Story by Andrea Grimaldi
Photos by Bernie LaFramboise

We are open to the public. We invite anyone to visit and walk around, walk their dogs,” Machpelah groundskeeper Paul Saville explained, looking around the park in his backyard. On this quiet fall day, the grounds crew worked on blowing away leaves and tending to the flowerbeds, as the sun came through the branches of the countless trees. And, had we been anywhere besides one of the oldest cemeteries in Metro Detroit, I would have wondered how no one took him up on his offer.

To Paul, a calming walk around the cemetery is nothing new. He has worked maintaining the cemetery since 1978 in what started as a summer job. By the mid-‘80s, he had worked his way to head groundskeeper and moved into the house on the property, hidden behind a garage of maintenance machines. Machpelah is one of the last cemeteries in America that has a groundskeeper living on the property, and the Saville family treats it with the care and pride of home.

Machpelah Cemetery is a gorgeous park, regardless if tombstones scare you or not. The history and depth in Machpelah Cemetery is worth a long, winding walk. The Jewish cemetery is located on Woodward, just south of Marshall road, across from a car dealership and surrounded by businesses. Despite the busy area, the cemetery is a very peaceful place, 24 acres of immaculate landscaping backed by the David Oppenheim Memorial park. The cemetery has 9000 garden beds and circling walking trails. Machpelah has won an America in Bloom award, as well as a Ferndale Beautification award, with good reason. There is a year-round crew that keeps Machpelah beautiful. Weeding and garden maintenance is a nonstop task, starting at one end of the park and restarting as soon as they reach the other. The crew also must level out between 300 and 500 graves and tombstones a year. Along with the tradition of having a groundskeeper on the property, Machpelah is also one of few cemeteries that hand digs each grave.

The Machpelah cemetery is integral to Detroit history. The first house on Woodward Avenue stood where the cemetery is now, when Woodward was a dirt trail. The two-bedroom house was on the Granger farm property, and the occupants paid $7 dollars per month for rent.

Machpelah has a very large veterans section. Alfred Levitt, a member of the Flying Tigers in World War II, is in internment here. A Congressional Medal of Honor awardee is also buried here. Members of the Purple Gang, Detroit’s Jewish mafia and Al Capone’s liquor supplier during the prohibition, rest here as well. According to rumors, one of Al Capone’s girlfriends is here, as well as a previous mayor of Las Vegas. Gilda Radner’s parents are here in a family plot. “Babeland” – a section of early 1900’s children – is the eeriest of them all.

While all internment records are available on the Machpelah website, the staff is also available to help with genealogy questions. The employees of the cemetery are very well-educated on the history of the cemetery and are happy to show guests around the graves. The main administration building has a chapel and a family room for guests. The guest gathering room has shelves of the interesting things found while digging; old medicine bottles, beer and soda bottles, broken glasses, rusted out horse shoes. A Congressional Medal of Honor from the Civil War was also found on the grounds.

The staff is accommodating to guests of Machpelah there out of both necessity and curiosity. Walk a mile somewhere you never thought you would, and walk away more intrigued because of it.

By Rebecca Hammond

SIGH: Michigan has been discovered, alas. While I’m continually amazed that I can keep finding new and enjoyable trails, towns, rivers in Michigan, I’m not happy that we keep making this-or-that list of national wonderfulness. The latest? Nikon has ranked Michigan the number-one spot in America for fall photography. (What took them so long?) Years ago I was driving to Ohio and was pleased to hear that NPR was doing an entire hour on Marquette, which was continually winning a spot on “Ten Best Places . . .” lists. At the end was an interview with the owner of a downtown business, who was maybe the grandson of its founder. His last words? “Don’t move here.” I now understand. A friend who lives in Marquette said that the last two summers were off-the-charts busy with tourists, and that even Munising had times with not enough hotel rooms or restaurants. Perhaps Musising will be to Marquette what Ferndale once was to Royal Oak.

RETRO FESTIVE: Darwin’s Home Evolution on the west side of Woodward north of Nine Mile has windows so
full of retro holiday wares, I defy you to take a look and not feel nostalgic. They sell housewares, furniture, jewelry, books, and games. Darwin’s will have a Christmas Party, date not yet selected, but check their Facebook page or website. They have treats at all times, a free drawing every week, and since items are only in the store for three months, there’s something new constantly. Check out their after-Christmas sale. Used gifts are green gifts. Regift and degift.

NATURE, A LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP: A praying mantis set up housekeeping on our porch for about two weeks this summer. The Number One sign you might be a nature lover: finding yourself with tweezers, picking spider webs off the back of a mantis. We humans seem to think wild things want the relationship with us that we desire with them. Just as I can wishfully-think that wild creatures enjoy relating to me, I can also think that they get into spider webs accidentally, instead of en-joying a free source of food they didn’t have to bother catching.
When you see the rather putrid fungi that pops up all over Ferndale in late summer, the red stems with slimy brown tops that are often crawling with flies, do you also wonder why you’re a nature lover to begin with? Nature can be disgusting. On the other hand, this was a marvelous year for fungi in the woods. When you see groups of spherical inch-wide brown fungi, each with a small hole on top, give one a press. A cloud of fine spores will puff out of that little hole.

PIPELINES: The Dakota Access Pipeline remains in the news and remains a concern for members of our community. NPR reported yesterday that in below freezing temperatures, police sprayed protesters with water cannons. And police complained that they had been hit with rocks and wood. President Obama may be considering rerouting this pipeline. While this would make most of us happy for the Standing Rock Sioux, the pipeline, which is heading for Illinois and consumers, will then become someone else’s battle. As of yet, no environmental groups that oppose the pipeline mention our demand for oil.

RANDOM GREEN THOUGHTS: I notice that any life activity becomes a learning experience if continued long enough. Hiking might be my favorite activity. Michigan is a hiker’s dream. We recently hiked the Highbanks Trail along the Au Sable Valley east of Os-coda, happy that we waited till mid-October. All memories of this day are glowingly positive, although many moments of the hike were not. Traffic was heavy along nearby River Road, parts of the seven-mile trail were “crowded” with hikers, and as always, my feet hurt. Some of this hike is along power-line rights-of-way. Gorgeous valley views are interspersed with dull second-growth woods. When you commit to a certain activity as way of life,moments of like and dislike do not end up mattering. When they seem to (my feet can really hurt!And there are bugs, sweat, cold), a mental reminder that even badly sore feet can’t wreck a hike overall is warranted. This is freedom, something to be nurtured and valued.

I read once that Grand Canyon river guides have a high rate of off-season depression, nothing else life offers being as exciting and absorbing as running rapids. Coming and going from the natural world can end up more complicated than reason would have it. Transitions even to a beloved place or state of being can seem like jarring oneself out of a rut that is simply comfortable. It’s easier to keep doing anything than it is to stop and start it. A hiker in motion tends to stay in motion.

Maybe all discipline is the realization that deciding a course of action ahead of time and sticking to it is better and easier than going with the whims and moods of particular moments. I’ve known musicians to keep going through all the “-itises”: bursitis, arthritis, tendonitis; I myself once pulled the top off a music stand and right into my upper lip, sending me from a rehearsal straight to the ER, and still played an oboe concerto two days later. Most things are doable if you made up your mind ahead of time they’re worthwhile.

Conversely, things that are worthwhile will end up avoided if each mood is weighed for validity. If the forest calls you, go. If that particular experience isn’t wonderful, you went anyway. You smelled the forest and the water and heard the wind (and maybe pressed a fungi).

Sooner or later you accumulate enough wonderful excursions that the occasional mediocre or even lousy one can be laughed off. You’ll have faith that good times are plentiful enough to count on.

Rebecca Hammond lives in Ferndale where she continues to struggle with putting her things away when done with them. Life is a journey.

By David Stone

I knew Michael Ashmore when he was an instructor, under the late Steve Britt in the 1990s. Since then, the Detroit location has moved many times. That’s why it was with great joy that I saw their ad in Ferndale Friends and I realized first, that they were within bicycling distance and second, that Michael Ashmore was chief instructor.

So, let’s meet Sifu Ashmore.

Mike was born in Hazel Park. He went to Webb Junior High on Woodward Heights. Then he went to Hazel Park High School. Afterwards, “I went to Oakland University for a couple of years, and also Wayne State ff16628_wu_staffUniversity for a couple of years.” From 1975 to 1995, he work-ed at Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital. Since 1995, Sifu Ashmore has been teaching Tai Chi full-time. He has taught Tai Chi in many area hospitals: Beaumont, U of M Hospital, Henry Ford Hospital, and others. Now he teaches full-time at the Ferndale school.

Mike originally studied Tai Chi to help curb the degenerative effects of Legg-Perthes disease, a condition in which the upper leg and hip bones loose Calcium and become very brittle, which can lead to the need for a total hip replacement. He originally studied Yang-style, but moved to Wu-Style when Britt opened the first Wu-Style school in the U.S.

Mike was cured, and continued his study of Tai Chi as a martial art. In our interview, he explained how Tai ff16628_wuthaichiChi, a soft-style martial art, differs from the hard-style martial arts, “You don’t use muscular tension to generate force…you use looseness and coordination of the muscles…stretching the muscles out and then coordinating all the joints in a unified way to whatever leverage goal you are looking for.”

Many people practice Tai Chi purely for its health benefits, so Sifu went on to discuss why it is “so good for your health.” The first thing Tai Chi does is relax the muscular-skeletal system. This improves the circulatory system because “your heart doesn’t have to fight to pump blood through a bunch of tense muscles.” Then they work to improve the respiratory system by teaching “an entire system of breathing exercises that in Chinese are called chi gong. These breathing techniques are designed to saturate the circulatory system with as much oxygen as possible…which again feeds back to the original goal of relaxing and loosening up the muscular-skeletal system.” After that, Sifu Ashmore pointed out, ”we can work on various parts of the body as needed.”

Mike is proud to announce that, due to great demand, they have recently increased the number of beginner classes.

So, whether you want to learn an ancient martial art, regain or maintain your health, check out Wu’s Tai Chi Academy. And remember the Sifu’s words: Tai Chi – it’s not just for old people.

Wu’s Tai Chi Chuan Academy, 3140 Hilton, Ferndale, MI

Story by Rose Carver

The protest at Standing Rock has become a symbolic representation of a hopeful environmental future, as well as one of healthy government dissent.

For the hundreds of Native American tribes (dubbed “Water Protectors”) that have gathered on the land to protest the oil pipeline, it is about protecting the water in the nearby Lake Oahe from the potential for contamination due to a pipeline break, and protecting the ancestral land it would run through, desecrating it ff16614_sr_campin the eyes of those who have dwelled there for centuries. It is a precarious situation for all parties in finding common ground, and it touches on many facets of the world at large; including a government that claims to protect vulnerable populations from the interest of private companies, and to hold true to the treaties and agreements that were made with America’s Native People.

Alan Benchich is a long time activist. He served as delegate for Bernie Sanders at the Democratic Convention, and has been a resident of Ferndale for the last year, moving here from Detroit where he had a 38-year career at GM.

Benchich has been an advocate for environmental, economic and social issues for the last 45-years. He claims that if one needs proof of the interests of big corporations being held over the interests of community, one needs to look no further than this very state. Benchich points out that because of the state’s location, sitting in the middle of the largest mass of freshwater in the world, there are constant environmental threats.

“Fracking, the situation in Flint, the water shut-offs in Detroit, the 60-year-old Line 5 oil pipeline that runs under the Mackinac Bridge, Nestle’s company’s sucking aquifers dry on the west side of the state,” Benchich said, “and the source of the threats are corporations whose main concern is profit.”

“You only have to look at Kalamazoo, where the largest inland oil spill in the country occurred in 2010,” Benchich said. “The company, Enbridge, said that the line was completely safe just one week before the enormous spill occurred.”

Benchich felt drawn to show his support to the Water Protectors at Standing Rock because he felt the importance of what was at stake, and so he made the trek to North Dakota to join up in their ranks. Benchich organized a small, local caravan of supporters who traveled to Standing Rock for a week, around Thanksgiving.

The protest is taking a powerful stand against the assumed power of the almighty dollar, but their peaceful protest isn’t without considerable resistance. “When I saw a video on line that showed militarized police using pepper spray, rubber bullets, long range acoustic devices (LRAD) that cause permanent hearing damage and water cannon against unarmed citizens, it was more than I could take,” Benchich said.

Benchich was welcomed into the Oceti camp, which is one of four camps, and the nearest to where the pipeline is being built. He said that the Water Protectors are absolutely devoted to defending the sanctity of the water on their land, and even though the harsh North Dakota Winter is starting to set in, they will not be deterred. “It is hard to describe the energy at Oceti. The camp is a camp of prayer, peace and respect. Weapons, drugs and alcohol are not allowed,” Benchich said. “There is a spirituality that transcends and permeates. Every morning in the cold, pre-dawn darkness, there is a call to prayer at the sacred fire that continuously burns.  Hundreds of people walk down to the waters edge and are led in the prayers of various native peoples as the sun rises. At the risk of sounding corny, there is a sense of tranquility and love.”

Benchich describes a vibrant scene, with people from all over the country and the world pitching in and helping out however they can, and their peaceful endurance is history in the making. Representatives of hundreds of different tribes and nations had arrived a few weeks before Benchich did, and there had been a council fire gathering of the elders of the seven tribes that make up the Great Sioux Nation. This was the first gathering of its kind since the 1850s. With such nonviolent intentions, it is hard to imagine the violence that occurs when the authorities arrive.

“The cops not only used water cannons on people in freezing weather, they added anti-freeze, a toxic substance, to it to keep the water cannon from freezing up,” Benchich said. “Snow has now covered the camp, and the North Dakota winter is setting in.  The authorities will try to freeze out the water protectors. They will not plow the road and are trying to stop supplies. I was recently told that businesses in the area were instructed not to sell propane to the water protectors. But they will not leave. The Water Protectors are committed to stopping this pipeline. They are committed to protecting the sacred.”

If one feels drawn to join the protest on the frontlines, be forewarned. Benchich recommends that you dress for the Arctic, and to go only if you have a skill to contribute, are able to both be self-sufficient and to contribute work.

Story by Andrea Grimaldi
Photography by brother Willy Aschmetat

At some point this summer, you may have seen Bernie Laframboise’s garden. It would have been hard to miss, and impossible to forget. His corner lot was lined with giant corn plants, with a dense forest of vegetable plants hiding behind them. Bernie has over 30 tomato plants in 15 different varieties, with some seeds coming from as far as China and Russia. The tomato plants are staked and trained to grow upwards, all reaching over six-feet-tall. The uglier the tomato, the more delicious it is, and his heirlooms are a point of pride. A handful of tomatoes have weighed up to two pounds.

In addition to the impressive quantity of quality corn and tomatoes, Bernie grows squash, zucchini, rhubarb, ff15682_blg_2pumpkins, green onions, jalapenos, pimentos, bell peppers, asparagus, grape leaves, okra, potatoes, beets, pole beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, lettuce, chilies, kale, and cucumbers, just to name a few. He has a handful of fruit trees, including pears and apples, as well as melon and berry plants throughout his garden. There is also a wide variety of spices and herbs. Bernie places plants strategically,like encouraging companion growing by mixing basil plants in between his tomatoes. The entire yard is also lined in beautiful flowers and hanging baskets that attract bees and butterflies.

Bernie offers gardening tips, such as using 100 per cent organic materials in your garden for a higher quality produce. Cow manure and fish emulsion help to enrich soil. Pruning leaves off of tomato plants help direct ff15682_blg_3the growing energy to the tomatoes themselves. Collecting rain water is very useful – Bernie’s 250-gallon tank helped him make it through the heat spell this summer.

Above all, Bernie says you need dedication. “Be prepared to be married to the garden,” he explains.Bernie works full-time as a developmental mechanic. He also provides Ferndale Friends with some of the beautiful photography you see in each issue.  His garden is his third job. He uses his vacation time to plant and prepare every spring, using PVC hoops and plastic sheeting to make greenhouses on his raised beds. Every night after work as well as throughout the weekends, Bernie can be found in his garden, digging, weeding, and picking.

The reward certainly outweighs the amount of work. Not only does Bernie have more produce than he can eat, he has a backyard oasis. The height and density of his garden makes for the perfect amount of privacy. He has a small cabana in the midst of the gardens, perfect for him and his friends and his dogs to relax. Although Bernie has only lived in his house for three years, his efforts look like they have taken a lifetime.

The importance of growing natural healthy food is a message Bernie wants to share with the world. Watching your efforts grow from seed to food is a process that not many people get to partake in, but it is a very important one. Canning and preserving food is how people have made it through difficult times, and is an important part of surviving. In addition to the health benefits that fresh produce offers the body, there is a therapeutic aspect to gardening. “It is good for the mind to keep the body busy,” Bernie explains. “You forget the world exists when you’re making your own world in the garden.” It doesn’t take a lot of land to grow your own food, just a lot of love and dedication.

Story and photos by: Malissa Martin

When Suzanne Row and her husband Bill first bought their house she had a vision. She saw kids running and playing in the backyard while she sat watching and smiling. Fast forward 20 years and Rowe said her vision came true. The longtime Ferndale resident and her husband are moving to Florida in October to enjoy their retirement.

Rowe is a real estate agent and her husband just retired after working 20 years as a musical instrument salesman.

Rowe said it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to Ferndale and she recalls how the city has changed over the ff15616_rowe_gardenyears. “I’m an East Side Detroit person, and this felt like the old neighborhood. When we moved here it was kind of cool, but so different. Not so hip, but it still had that charm.” Rowe said.  Taking a stroll to get pizza at Michigo Pizza and Assaggi Bistro or going shopping on Woodward Avenue are activities she said she will surely miss. She will also miss community-enriching events like the Ferndale Perennial Exchange. “Everybody get together and it was bring-a-plant, take-a-plant. It was always a fun event.” Rowe said.

During her time in Ferndale, Rowe was an involved in city politics. She served on the Beautification Commission for eight years. “It was wonderful. Peggy Snow was the chairperson forever and I learned a lot from her; except I’m not real good at naming the plants even after all this experience.” Rowe said. She was also on the Property and Assessing Review board for about eight years on and off. Leaving the garden that took 20 years to create is a treasure Rowe said she has to painfully leave behind. “Every garden has got its own memories. It’s really hard leaving this.” Rowe said. Through the years she’s collected various plants and decorative pieces; most are gifts from friends who feed her green-thumb passion.

Although Rowe has enjoyed good times at her home, she’s had tough times too. The house behind hers caught on fire one night around 1:00 A.M. The fire spread to the garage and eventually crossed the fence to Rowe’s property. “All I could see were flames and my garage.” Thankfully, the wind blew the fire in the opposite direction so Rowe’s garage didn’t burn, but her garden wasn’t so lucky. Half the trees and grass were burnt. “No one could understand what it was like. That’s 12 years, but look how it came back! Isn’t it amazing how plants do that!? It’s just proof about life.” Rowe said.

The hardest part about leaving is saying goodbye to her friends, Rowe confessed. “I’ve met so many people.” Rowe said. She treasures the personal and professional relationships she’s made over the years.

Rowe plans to visit Ferndale, and it will be sooner than later since she’s selling her own home. “I’m still going to be back and forth. I can’t imagine never coming back. I look at it like this: that’s going to be our home base and who knows what will happen.” Rowe said she might do real estate part-time in Florida, but she’s really looking forward to enjoying her favorite pastimes: writing and painting.

Although Rowe is originally from Detroit, she said Ferndale has a special place in her heart. Moving to Florida is the beginning of a new chapter and Rowe said she’s ready. “It’s like a new adventure.”

Saying goodbye is always hard. So, to the beautiful city of Ferndale, Rowe says, “Ferndale you’ve been good to me.

By Rebecca Hammond

DO YOU WATCH THE TV SERIES, PORTLANDIA? Ferndale is weird in some of the ways that Portland, Oregon is weird. Good weird. Fernlandia has become so dear to us, the five or six years Phil and I intended to live here have stretched to 30 (so far). This weirdness is some of the glue that holds us here, it and a neighborhood that is old-fashioned in its friendliness, with much calling back-and-forth and wandering about. Our town and its ‘hoods are a splendid combination of old and new, traditional but forward-thinking. It doesn’t take deep perusal to notice.

One obvious way is our yards. A couple of years ago I bicycled around this quadrant of Ferndale counting Fernlandia yards. If memory serves, there were then about 18 yards with no visible grass. All had been replaced with ornamentals, natives, vegetables. About 66 had gotten rid of half or more, and maybe 87 had replaced so much grass with other plants they went far beyond a lawn bordered by shrubs or flower beds. This trend has grown, especially on devil’s strips, where our sandy “soil” isn’t just inhospitable to grass, it seems actively opposed to it. Now, though, the Fernlandia approach is countered by more pesticide warning signs every year. Two philosophies on yards, two approaches to gardening.

Well, what’s wrong with pesticides, anyway? No matter which route we take, the point is to surround ourselves with property that pleases our aesthetics. If you want green, velvety turf, you must have to use chemicals, right?

No, not really. Remember TV gardener Jerry Baker? When we moved to Michigan from Germany in the mid-80s, television was a culture shock, and I remember three reasons: Oprah, Miami Vice, and Jerry Baker. Oprah and Miami Vice were the talk of mass media then, unavailable to those of us limited to the Armed Forces Network, as it ran six months behind. But we had heard of both. Jerry Baker, ex-Detroit cop turned garden maverick, was a new name.

Baker’s MO is producing a healthy yard and garden using nothing but grocery-store ingredients. His idea that a healthy lawn can stand up to pests is echoed by Bayer on its lawn-care site, which states that even nine grubs per square foot won’t damage healthy grass. Baker, now retired to Florida, recommends cocktails of odd ingredients like beer, ammonia (basically nitrogen), and liquid dish soap in a hose-end sprayer, powerful enough to need application only once every two weeks. The nicest lawn I ever saw was a Baker lawn, right here in Ferndale. Very Fernlandia. Newcomer Tina Towell told me, when I noticed her husband Dick using a reel mower, “We were mow-ing about two acres at our previous home, so a city lot is a breeze by comparison. It doesn’t warrant the existence of yet another noisy, polluting gasoline engine. Our simple push mower not only gets the job done in short order, it also provides a bit of low impact exercise and a surprising sense of accomp-lishment. There is, as well, something very neighborly about it.

“Purveyors of elaborate, chemical-based turf regimens vie for our attention each spring to no avail. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s good enough. ‘Lawn order’ needn’t rule our lives.”

On June 7, 2014, the Washington Post ran an article in their Health & Science section called What To Know Before You Spray Your Lawn With Pesticides. What Philip Landrigan, professor of pediatrics at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine states may surprise you. Kids play in the grass, put fingers in mouths, and face high levels of exposure simply by that and being smaller. Growing faster, “they take into their bodies more of the pesticides that are in the food, water, and air.” And because of that growth, “These delicate developmental processes are easily disrupted by very small doses of toxic chemicals that would be virtually harmless for adults.”

In the same article, Gary Ginsburg of the Univer-sity of Connecticut points out that there is no scientific standard for the length of time we’re warned to stay off a sprayed lawn. Herbicides can still be detected in the urine of pets 48 hours after spraying. Ginsburg recommends staying off a treated area for at least two days, three being better. The chemicals are also tracked indoors, or blow in windows, and can be found on inside surfaces a week after spraying. They’re are also re-wetted by dew or rain, and it’s not even certain that they’re safer when dry.

Leslie Jones of the Pleasant Ridge Environmental Committee told me, “I think that many people, over time, have been sold on the idea of having perfect lawns at the expense of health, their own as well as the health of the whole ecosystem. I think it takes a very long time for these kind of ideas to sink in. We spend tons of money to keep our lawns perfect and our gardens free of weeds in the easiest way possible, by spraying or dousing everything with pesticides and weed killers. Better living through chemistry! That was an actual chemical industry slogan at one time. We shouldn’t tolerate a polluted, toxic environment whether it comes from carbon pollution, pesticides or industrial and chemical pollution. It’s bad for our health but also the health of our fellow earthly inhabitants. Humans need to respect and honor all life whether plant or animal. We are all connected and need to see and understand that connection on which all life is based.”

LuAnn Linker of Wild Birds Unlimited in Royal Oak said, “Remember, any chemicals that are poisonous to weeds and insects are just as poisonous to birds, pets and children. Opt for environmentally friendly lawn care products.” Fernlandia. We’re the Ann Arbor of Metro Detroit, the Lakewood of SE Michigan, the Portland of the Midwest. Keep Ferndale Weird. Becky Hammond is listening to wrens, orioles, and baby chickadees as she types this.

If something happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states connected to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this curing passes into breast milk.

0 340

Story and photos by Rebecca Hammond

THE OLDEST RECYCLED ITEMS in your home, if you’re lucky enough to have your original windows, are the clever and elegant solution to balky windows – the sash weights. This Old House claims that, with care, original windows will outlast replacements. We love ours, even their leakiness, indoor air being more polluted than outdoor air, but only one still works as designed. You can waltz up to that one and raise or lower it with a fingertip. The rest apparently exist to infuriate us.

The book, Garbology, by Pulitzer-Prize winner Edward Humes, states that our curbside bins, into which according to SOCCRA we should put anything that fits, are actually an old idea. First used in NYC when the waste problem there became so huge, a czar of sorts initiated a mocked-buteffective army of workers that marched in whiteclad units in the streets. Residents were required to sort their garbage, which had lots of tin cans, which were made into the sash weights that may be in your house. (You may not want to know what else was recycled, or into what.) Why we humans come up with good solutions to problems and then abandon them is beyond me. Garbology makes another interesting point in a section on shows like Hoarders: We all hoard stuff, it’s just that hoarders value it enough to want to keep it. The rest of us store it elsewhere, imagining it gone.

NOW IT’S FEDERAL: The Flint water crisis remains in the news this week, having gone national. It occurs to me that the cheapest thing all along is to keep local water sources clean and drinkable. When Flint reconnected (at great enough expense requiring the charity of the Mott Foundation) to the Detroit system, I assumed that although the effects of having consumed lead would remain with anyone unlucky enough to have ingested it, the water now was again safe to drink. Not so. Pipes were damaged enough that lead is still a concern. It’s both heartening that charity groups rally to get truckloads of water to Flint and irksome that Lansing is not handling this, period. But when I hear from now on that regulations are too expensive, I’ll always remember Flint. Was this cheaper? Federal aid has been requested. The bill seems to go up by the day.

BACKYARD HABITAT NEWS: A screech owl sings from a neighbor’s big spruce most evenings. They have a sort of ventriloquist effect, making them hard to pinpoint with a flashlight. After maybe an hour of searching one night, I found the little songsmith near the trunk a bit above roof height. It was not a bit bothered by my search; in fact, it paid no attention to me until I made clicking noises, then stared me down, bold for something so small. It’s clumsy taking photos with a flashlight in one hand and a camera in the other; probably all I’d have needed is a hoop-twirling on one leg to be a vaudeville act, but I did get a few nice shots.

Notes from (slightly) Up North: Pleasant Ridge’s Environmental Committee are working with their city government on a sustain-ability plan, with SOCCRA on an electronics-and-metal collection site at the PR DPW, and on the following upcoming events, all nearby and open to the public. Thanks, Leslie Jones, for sharing this with us:

Monday, March 21 at 7:00 P.M. – The Effects of Pesticides on Health and the Environment, an educational seminar discussing why and how to avoid pesticides in the lawn and garden. Pesticides are linked to multiple human health concerns, as well as the decline of bees. Dr. Tom Kocarek, Researcher and Associate Professor at Wayne State University’s Institute of Environmental Health Sciences will outline the latest in scientific research involving the impacts of pesticides. Melissa Cooper Sargent, Environmental Health Educator at the Ecology Center, will provide tips to creating a lush and beautiful yard without pesticides. Community Center, 4 Ridge Road. The PR group will also be hosting a talk on Native Plants with Brendan Nolan on May 23 at 7 pm to be followed by a Native Plant Sale on June 4. Also at the Pleasant Ridge Community Center, free and open to the public. For further information and to RSVP, contact Leslie Jones at 248- 506-4754 or p.ridgeenvironmental@gmail.c om, and look for them on Facebook.

Claire Galed, co-manager of Huntington Woods DPW which works with their Environmental Advisory Committee, offered these New Years’ tips for a greener year:

• Start 2016 with a Pledge: landfill less and recycle more.

• For monthly information on recycling, sign up for the the SOCRRA e-newsletter at

• The New Year is a good time to ensure that recycling is easy and throwing things away is difficult. Have a container near your mail-sorting spot. Put recycling containers in your bedrooms and baths.

• Turn unused waste baskets into recycling containers (a great project for children and grandchildren). It is a good cold or rainy day activity, and can lead to increased awareness and more recycling. By making the container, there is ownership of the situation.

Rebecca Hammond prowls yards and the streets of Ferndale in search of owls. Their calls can be heard citywide, and by googling “owl calls.”

If some happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states united to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual malfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this curing passes into breast milk.

0 642

By Rebecca Hammond

MICHIGAN HIKING TRAILS HAVE great displays of fungi in Autumn, with specimens here in Ferndale as well. Look up the USDA’s website on Michigan fungi. No matter how geeky this sounds, the names alone make it worthwhile: Hen of the Woods, False Tinder Conk, Swamp Death Angel, and one seen here in Ferndale, Dryad’s Saddle – one specimen can produce 100 billion spores.

One of the best parts of living in Michigan is constantly discovering things to do along roadsides. Some become favorites.It’simpossibletoignoretheviewfromtheCutRiver Bridge on US 2 in the UP, but I wonder how many people know it’s also a great stop. The east side has one of Michigan’s ubiquitous long wooden stairways; down, down, down to river and lake level. The views of the bridge, the rapids, and the lake change with each step. You can head up a path on the west side, and can return to your car across the bridge. Stone stairs on the bridge itself take you underneath to cross to the opposite walkway. Opened in 1947, the bridge is 641 feet long and 148 feet high. We’ve enjoyed a good leg stretch there for years.

And there’s Bruno’s Run. A 9.25-mile loop trail buried in the Land O’ Lakes that is the central UP, it’s a true slice of Michigan, wandering through a varied forest and along numerous small lakes and a river. If you like feeling far from people, find Bruno’s Run. It’s south of Munising on H-13. There’s trailhead parking along Moccasin Lake.

What seems to be a mere rest area along M-28 west of Munising on Au Train Bay is really a treat, with Scott Falls across the highway, and Lake Superior steps away. The lake is often a rolling and thunderous place here if the wind is from the north, pushing waves across 150 miles of open lake before they pound the shore at your feet. A small pictures rock rises to the right, not too visible from the highway. In October the beach was dotted with almost perfect sphere of grass, some eight inches across and weighing a pound (yes, I took one home), formed by the pounding of the grass-filled surf against a small sand bluff.

Considering that one milkweed pod can hold 300 seeds, the fact that the Ferndale Monarch project has given away almost 250 pods could mean as many as 75,000 seeds distributed. A green gift idea for a butterfly lover would be some packs of seeds, milkweed and maybe coneflower and d goldenrod, along with a book about butterflies, or a shirt or poster. Try Monarch Watch’s gift page for some lovely choices. They also certify as “monarch waystations” places that have a required number of monarch-friendly features. That could be a great gift (you can order a sign) for those who have already planted butterfly gardens. Check out Library or King Books for butterfly or guide books. Visit The Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop in Berkeley for the mesh cages designed for raising caterpillars.

You may have noticed new LED streetlights along Detroit freeways. They use far less electricity than the orange-ish sodium vapor lights that often preceded them. The Detroit Free h Press and Forbes Magazine have had articles listing the advantages of LEDs, and one is enhanced night-sky viewing, even in urban areas. Forbes showed before- and-after pictures of LA, and the difference is striking. Glare is reduced and the new lights have better coverings, directing light downwards. The artificial orange haze that crowned LA and our city, visible from miles away, seems all but gone. Detroiters report feeling safer. Stars blaze on a darker, bluer background. The morning sky lately has been stunning, with a crescent moon rising, Venus blazing in the east, and Jupiter and Mars nearby. Orion is often due south when I arise, morning west through the early morning hours.

Michigan has three “dark-sky” preserves. House Bill 5023, sponsored by Peter Pettalia, seems to have cleared committee as of this writing. It would “designate the state-owned land encompassing Rockport State Recreation Area, Negwegon State Park, and Thompson’s Harbor State Park as dark sky preserves.” Michigan was, in 1993, the first state to set aside a dark-sky preserveL Lake Hudson in Lenawee County. Most of us who travel north come home with a common rhetorical theme: the stars.

The 60-year old Enbridge Oil Pipeline that crosses the Straits of Mackinac is still under scrutiny, a rupture there having the potential to cause an economic and environmental catastrophe. Representative Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor has introduced bills to gain more state oversight on pipelines, with more inspections, access to reports and plans, and higher standards for permits. This seems reasonable for a state with 3,200 miles of shoreline alone for Great Lakes. So far these and other bills have not made it past the early phases.


Rebecca Hammond sews, writes, and teaches oboe in Ferndale. Find Funky Ferndale Crafts on Facebook

If something happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states connected to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

Story by Sherrad Glosson | Photos by Bernie Laframboise

When you ask Lori, a Ferndale resident, the reasons why she wants to help others deal with medical issues, one of them is because she’s been there… and is still fighting the fight.

Fibromyalgia came first. “It came out of nowhere,” says Lori. Not even accepted by the medical community until recently, it causes the brain to create pain signals by itself. It’s been compared to trying to move with broken bones. She tried different medications to subdue the pain in her hands, her hips, and her knees, but didn’t want to become addicted to any of them and they didn’t help, anyway.

Lori was prescribed many dangerous and addictive pain killers to subdue the pain in her hands, hips, and knees. “Medications aren’t really safe. They come with complications and side effects. Many of the medications I have been prescribed the side effect is: ‘Can cause death’.”

She began to research and seek other alternatives. One doctor had her try something different. He put her on Prozac, which treats the source of the pain signals. It helped. He also suggested she try medical marijuana.
Worse was to come. This past summer, Lori had a MRI and found out she had lesions on the brain and also was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis,) a disease that affects the entire nervous system. It affects everyone differently, and Lori stood up to show me some of the effects it’s had on her. As she began to stand, she looked pretty stable, but when she stood on both feet she began to wobble, and immediately sat back down.

She says that this disease affects her balance as well as her train of thought. She can be in a conversation and completely draw a blank. From this personal experience, she did much research into alternative methods of dealing with pain.

Lori met Bill in December 2014 through a neighbor. Bill was an organic Tilapia farmer from Florida who moved to Michigan to grow medical marijuana. His goal was to grow clean, high-quality
medical marijuana for those suffering from autoimmune diseases. As it happens, he’s been growing his own marijuana to self-medicate since 1979. Bill’s undergraduate studies combined aquaculture with hydroponics, and he has been an organic farmer for most of his life. He is also a licensed fish farmer, composting specialist, and certified educator.

Together, Lori and Bill set out on a mission. Trident Apothecary (a fictitious entity, not a business) has goals of serving those with autoimmune diseases, protecting the environment by not using toxic pesticides, and mitigating their own waste production through worm farming. “We’re caregivers.” Lori says. “We welcome anyone with a valid MMMP (Michigan Medical Marijuana Program) card. We want to help, as organically as possible.”

Trident Apothecary has established a passive solar greenhouse to raise worms and fish to break down their waste and create organic soil for their plants. This process has been put in place to grow and produce the highest-quality products. The primary focus for Trident Apothecary is on the mind, body and spirit aspect, all integral parts of the healing or coping process.

Their new working project is to create a candy that will reduce the need for autoimmune patients to inhale medical marijuana via smoking. You can imagine that smoking is definitely not an ideal method for a child to receive her medicine, even if it is the only one to help them deal with their symptoms. Even learning how to do it at a young age could be baffling. Then you have adults who don’t have the desire to inhale smoke at all.

Since using Bill’s method over the last year, Lori reports her symptoms have improved. They are looking for other autoimmune patients to work with, to make the disease easier to deal with.

If you suffer from autoimmune disease and would like more information on Trident Apothecary and how they may be able to help, Lori and Bill encourage you to contact them at their Facebook page.

Lori also talks about the need to stay active and keep doing what you love. “To keep my hands working, I make suncatchers, jewelry, and other crafts using beach glass, beads, and driftwood. Multiple sclerosis has weakened my strength and dexterity. This is part of how I fight back naturally.”


You can contact Lori and Bill through

Lori’s arts and crafts are at

If something happened with our heartiness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a preparation. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states connected to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction turn on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.