Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Word about Knee Injuries

At left, see my left knee doing its work, back on the team.

For those who have injured a knee or had knee surgery.

There are many kinds of knee injuries. All will require therapy when the knee is sufficiently healed.

My fall smacked the left knee hard into the pavement. The joint hyper-extended violently, tearing the tissue to mush. The fall cracked the knee bone, but that was the least of my troubles. My knee said, “Okay, if that’s how you treat me, I don’t want to be your knee anymore.” It refused to bear my weight.

For a month I had to keep the knee immobile so the bone could heal. Then the therapy began. At first I could only bend my knee at a 55 degree angle. The therapist gave me a printout of about ten exercises, which I did faithfully for weeks and months. Here is what I learned.

1) Keep up the exercises until you can grab your ankle and bring your heel to your butt. Don’t stop until you have back full flexibility. (After a while I found that my Iyengar Yoga routine included the therapy.)

2) Get your gait back. A leg injury can make you limp, waddle or walk with short steps as if on ice. Don’t settle for that. Get back to the confident walk you had before your injury. Walk a lot. Get back to any and every activity you loved before your injury. For me, that August hike, six months after I fell, was the triumph that said, My knee is back on the team and I’m back among the able!

3) Regular Chiropractic adjustments speed the healing by keeping open the nerve channels to the injured area.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Swamp Walking Woman

Here's what the book looks like. And here's an excerpt:

Reluctantly, but with renewed energy, they said goodbye to the land and walked forward into the muddy swamp. For a time the only sound was the swish of the woman’s skirt against the water. Then all around began the croaking of frogs. Glug-a-glug. Glug-a-glug. Glug-a-glug. Alert, Futura looked with round eyes wherever she heard a glug. As they passed by, the frogs stopped croaking and jumped into the water. All except one, who stayed on a partially submerged lily pad and stared at them crossly. One of his legs was wound round with fishing line.

“He’s caught!” said Futura.

Swamp Walking Woman put Futura down. The girl got her footing on the muddy bottom and approached the frog, who sat at the height of her chest. The lily pad and the frog’s leg were twisted together.

“Frog, don’t be afraid. I will help you.”

She gently untwisted the line.

Freed, he splashed into the water and rose to the surface. “My name is Shout. If ever you are in trouble, call my name and I will come.”

“Good-bye, Shout,” said Futura as the frog disappeared beneath the water.

“Well done,” said Swamp Walking Woman.

“Now I have a friend,” said Futura.


Responses to Swamp Walking Woman

I like [the] character Swamp Walking Woman and the generosity of the renewal that happens among the community. This reminds me of the "medicine tales" of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, as well as the mountain folk tales I grew up with. LB

[Patricia Lapidus is] truly a gifted story teller, and I’m honored to have been among the first readers of Swamp Walking Woman. HL

Patricia has written a story of gentleness and strength in an uncertain place full of fantasy and love. Her characters are eager, opening to nature as a bud opens to a full flower. –Arlene S. Bice, author of Life & Labyrinth

Publication of Swamp Walking Woman to be announced here in January.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Would Swamp Walking Woman Have Done?

What would Swamp Walking Woman have done with The Farm's Laundry? Since she is a larger than life figure like Paul Bunyan, she would probably have diverted a river right through the laundromat. And since Swamp Walking Woman had many helpers as in ancient fairy tales, a flock of birds would have appeared to hang the clothes in the trees for drying.

Swamp Walking Woman is a tall tale, a modern myth, and a fairy tale. Coming out soon.

For updates on Sweet Potato Suppers, go to

Meanwhile, I spent my weekend with family, including grandkids. With my son and grandson, I visited the land that was once The New York Farm. Watch for pictures.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sweet Potato Suppers

Watch for the re-publication of Sweet Potato Suppers coming out this fall. Among many treasures you'll find a glossary of hippie speak. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Simple Web Tech for Writers

For a free copy of Simple Web Tech for Writers, please send your email to Write free tech in the subject line.

Good Review of Red Hen's Daughters

A writer I respect read my book of poems Red Hen's Daughters and was so impressed he couldn't talk about anything else! When he puts some comments in writing, I'll post them.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


A friend asks, "Can we believe anything, or is it better to believe nothing except what we experience ourselves?"

The question got me thinking about observation and self-trust.  For much of my life I didn't trust my own observations--I had been thoroughly invalidated for stating some of these out loud.  I thought I had to have a guru to set me straight.  People would say, "You have within you everything you need to know."  I'd look around inside my mind and say, "No I don't.  Nothing but confusion there."  So I think observation comes in two steps and the first is to rehabilitate our own ability to observe.  The second is to observe with integrity and courage.  And not to get scared off by second hand warnings the purpose of which is to scare and nullify us. 

For me it was a matter of figuring out who to trust and even just how far to trust them, hopefully long enough to get my own feet under me.  I tend to trust hopeful things and mistrust downers.  Sometimes I overshoot and have to revise my trust of someone and something.  I'm forever grateful to The Farm and to Stephen and to each and every person I lived with or worked with on The Farm.  I was able to bring myself up to a level of awareness I don't think I would have achieved without that experience.  By the time I saw the limits of our vision and practice, I was able to sort it out without throwing away the sweet truth of what we lived.  Since then I have grown my powers of observation and refined my search while still maintaining the integrity of our vision.  We spiritual hippies made a powerful difference.

Nothing is true for you unless you have observed it yourself.   Love, Patricia

Patricia/Trish Lapidus
Writing Consultant, Life Coach, Author

Including Sweet Potato Suppers, a New eBook
and Long Awaited, Swamp Walking Woman


Friday, May 29, 2009

Everyone Can Write

This is my family and writing blog. It's informal. I invite your comments.

I am a writer and an encourager of writing. Whether you keep a journal for yourself alone or write professionally, I am cheering. I love words and all we are able to do with words.

This is the cover of my book of poems, Red Hen's Daughters, available from

It has never been easier to get feedback from other writers on the net. My latest discovery is a site called thenextbigwriter. People post their work and read and critique for one another. The standard of encouragement and good guidance is very high. Before that I found divinecaroline. This is just to name two. There are more.

Then, when your work is ready, you no longer have to court a traditional publisher if you don't want to. Even if you do publish with a traditional house, you still have to do your own marketing. So, I'm learning how to market my books--and learning what people want to read. There is nothing worth writing unless readers find it worth reading. I will shortly have specific guidance to offer about publishing and marketing your products.

Tell me what your interests are, what you want to read about. Contact me at

I will send you a gift. Write "gift" in the subject line so I won't miss your email. Love, Trish

Let's Get to Know One Another

And now the CD. Available soon from kunaki.

This is a text CD created with samples from my books. I took the cover picture during cherry blossom season from the street where I live . In the background is West Rock Ridge where I love to hike. The state park offers miles of trails, some up to the top, others around Wintergreen lake.

This is a "you can do this, too" CD.

Red Hen's Daughters

A Red Hen/Red Letter day! My father raised a few different varieties of chickens over the years. The earliest pictures I have, which were taken on the Oak Hill farm, show a mix of black chickens and white chickens. Later he kept Barred Rocks, whose white feathers were striped with black, a series of bars. But my favorites were the Rhode Island Reds with shiny rust-red feathers. The roosters sported long red tail feathers and some iridescent green ones. I could see why they walked so proud.

My book of poems, most of which have been previously published in a number of literary magazines, takes a grownup look at a farm childhood. Why were the hens not allowed to raise their own chicks? That was our top concern--until we noticed the slaughter.

While you are keeping an eye out for the poetry volume, watch also for my CD of samplings. The text tells writers how simple and easy it was to publish the CD. And it gives excerpts from my books. First, the revised edition of Sweet Potato Suppers. Then, a scene from Swamp Walking Woman, a fantasy novel about the strength of women in modern times. At the end of the CD are the first two chapters of Gideon's River, a novel about family.

You could use this method of writing and publishing to introduce yourself and your business or hobby. Keep an eye on my blog for the release of both.

And may your summer be blessed. Trish

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Currency That Is Not Money

     Don't get me wrong.  I have nothing against money.  I like it and use it happily.  
     Money is just a symbol of energy, one that can be used honestly or not.
     I'm reminded of some of Mark Twain's stories.  There was a pattern to them.  Two or three knaves would come to town and trick the innocent villagers--we'll call them fools, meaning no disrespect--out of their hard earned savings, offering health or heaven, the two immortalities for which any of us will trade our life's work.
     There is another currency, and that is community.  By community I don't mean a structured "intentional" community, though those can be done, honestly or not.  I mean the more fluid set of connections available to us all in a variety of circumstances, whether inherited where we have stayed put or created where we have wandered and settled.  
     In these difficult financial times, it is good to remember that less than a hundred years ago people didn't use money as their primary means of survival.  They used their farms, on which they could take care of themselves, and they used cooperation, helping one another at harvest and through the winter.  As an example, my parents and aunts and uncles spent a week every November hunting deer in northwestern Maine.  They were good hunters and they came home with their quota of deer, which the uncles dressed and the aunts packed in freezer paper, a box to go home with every family.
     I'm not suggesting we all take up deer hunting, although deer have overrun Connecticut to such an extent that here hunting is a choice for those so inclined.
     I'm talking about that other less tangible currency, trust and mutual help among neighbors, something to cherish and preserve if you have it, or, if you've been going it alone, something to create with your own offers of assistance to others.  
     Don't let an economic downturn distress you.  It will be hardest on those who have depended too much on others to create work for them.  You CAN make money.  You CAN create paying work for yourself.  More important, you can create a caring community right where you are by inquiring about your neighbors and offering your help.  It's okay to pick and choose.  I'm not suggesting you try to help those who are already dedicated to failure.  Simply, among your friends and neighbors, find the ones who can use your help to get themselves stable.  Helping these is like putting money in the bank, for they will value you and help you when you need it.
     Don't wait until your own need is severe to begin building trust.  Do it now while you have energy to spare.  Here are some ways:  
     1) Get to know your immediate neighbors, choose those who want to win and make mutual agreements about how to support one another.  
     2)  Find a good group that is already helping and pitch in.  Become part of the team.  As an example, check out Plenty at
     3)  Check on the members of your family, decide which ones are interested in winning, and help any who need help.
     4) If you are interested in permaculture villages or ecovillages, look these up and learn how they work.  Go to
     5)  Help children.  They are our future.  For resources for parents and those interested in improving the lives of children

 Click Here!    

     There are many ways to create community.  Common to all of them is becoming known as someone who can be counted upon.  

     Ask me questions or let me know how it goes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Heart and Help for Parents

Being a parent can be confusing and frustrating.  Don't feel bad about not knowing what no one ever told you.  There is help available now!  Nicole McKenzie is my favorite.  She offers free e-classes and many helpful ideas.  She makes you feel like, yes, you can do this!

Follow this link: