Category Archives: Ask the Hippie

Ask the Hippie, Vol. 2, Issue 1

OK, so technically, nobody asked the hippie this question, but if you own a dog, you will probably thank me for this sooner or later:

Q. How do I remove dog vomit (or other pet-related stains) from carpet?

A. This is a truly disgusting question. But dogs will, on occasion, do truly disgusting things, and some of the things they do are things a proper British lady like Barbara Woodhouse simply isn’t going to mention when she’s dispensing advice on caring for canine housemates.

One disgusting thing my dogs like to do — and this is something they generally do only when the weather gets really cold, although I’ve yet to figure out why — is to eat each other’s … erm … byproducts.

Another thing they like to do is come inside and throw up afterwards.

I think that if you are a dog, this is considered performance art.

If so, Scout is the canine equivalent of Yoko Ono. And this is her signature performance — kind of a rat terrier’s answer to “Cut Piece.”

This is not the first time Scout has pulled this stunt. This is not even the umpteenth time she has pulled this stunt. But this is the first time she has pulled this stunt on carpet. Up until today, she has confined her efforts to private, invitation-only performances in her crate. But this evening, she apparently felt it was time to unveil her special talent in a more public setting: the living room.

I don’t know why she picked tonight to do it. Was it a political statement? A bit of scandalous, yet thought-provoking, commentary on the war in Iraq, perhaps? A protest against the injustice of dogs being sent outdoors in the sleet to relieve themselves? A strange canine religious ritual designed to bring the ascetic terrier into closer communion with the One True Dog while elevating her sympathies for those pooches who lack the comforts of home and hearth? Who knows? And who am I to criticize the creative pursuits of another species, when my fellow humans include such notables as Gunther von Hagens and Andres Serrano?

Whatever the motivation for Scout’s performance, the aftermath was pretty nasty — and certainly not anything I wanted to find in my living room upon awakening from a nap. But in spite of her occasional attempts to explore the limits of human patience, I love Scout way too much to let Ron kill her — which he would almost certainly do if he came home and found a mess like that — so I set about restoring the carpet to its original appearance, texture, and aroma.

Here are the practical instructions if you find yourself cohabiting with a four-legged Neo-Dadaist:

1. Use two pieces of cardboard (a cereal box cut in half will work) to scoop up the solids or semisolids.
2. Blot up the liquids with paper towels.
3. Soak the entire area with Windex. (This neutralizes the HCl in the vomit.)
4. Blot.
5. Soak the entire area with cider vinegar. (This disinfects the area and prepares it for the next step.)
6. Sprinkle baking soda over the vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction will create a fizzy effect that will help draw any particulate matter to the surface. Keep sprinkling baking soda on the area until it stops fizzing.
7. Blot.
8. Sprinkle a thick layer of borax over the entire area and let it sit for a while to draw out the stain.
9. Scrape up the excess borax and run the vacuum to finish the job.

Now … all Hints from Heloise and cheap shots at Yoko aside, I found an underlying spiritual lesson in my housekeeping adventures this evening.

Some people would consider a disgusting performance like Scout’s to be grounds for getting rid of the dog. I won’t judge them for that. But my dogs are my children, and I can’t abandon my children when they make mistakes — even messy, stinky mistakes that soak into the carpet and take a lot of effort to clean up.

How could I? My heavenly Father never abandons me, and God knows the human experience is full of big, nasty messes that I wander into out of ignorance, stubbornness, or misguided self-interest. Sometimes I have sense enough to tuck my tail between my legs and cower when the consequences of my actions catch up to me. Sometimes fear or foolishness will drive me to turn around and growl at my Master, as if it’s somehow his fault I made a stupid mistake. And sometimes I just sit there with a blank look on my face, utterly clueless as to what just happened and why I’m in trouble.

But every time — regardless of the size of the mess I make or the way I react when it finally dawns on me that I’ve got a problem — the Father gently moves me out of the way, cleans up the mess, pulls me close, and reassures me that he still loves me in spite of my headstrong, impetuous ways.

How could I do less for these beautiful creatures he’s sent into my life to teach me about love?

Emily

Ask the Hippie, Vol. 1, Issue 8

Q. How do I take sharp, clear photographs of neon signs at night?

A. This is what I refer to as an “impress your date” trick: It takes about five minutes to learn, but most people don’t know how to do it, so you come off looking brilliant if you can pull it off. I put it up there with making French silk pie or teaching the dog to “gimme four.”

Here is how you do it:

1. Set your ISO as high as it will possibly go.
2. Get as close to the sign as you possibly can.
3. Open up your aperture as far as it will go. The aperture is your f-stop. The f-stop is measured with numbers like 2.8, 4.0, 5.6, 8.0, etc. You want this number to be as low as you can get.
4. Do not go below 1/100th of a second on your shutter speed. You can probably get away with something much faster than that, but that’s about as slow as you can go before things start getting blurry.
5. DO NOT USE FLASH. It will only lighten the background, which is exactly what you don’t want.

The cool thing about shooting neon is that you are almost guaranteed to get some kind of image, because you are shooting light itself. Since a camera works by recording light, it is almost guaranteed to “see” a neon sign, even if the sky around the sign is pitch-black.

Lower shutter speeds will produce a halo effect around the sign. Medium shutter speeds will give you a modest halo but will allow you to pick up detail, such as the electrodes and even the sides of the tube (which will look like faint black lines on either side of the light). Higher shutter speeds will give you a simple outline of the sign’s shape.

Here are some examples:


This sign at the Wigwam Motel on Route 66 in San Bernardino, Calif., was shot at 1/250th of a second, aperture f5.6, and 1600 ISO. The sign itself is maybe eight or nine feet off the ground, so I was pretty close to it when I was shooting. In retrospect, I probably could have gotten a nicer shot if I’d dropped to 800 ISO or used a faster shutter speed — I think this image is a little too bright, making it a bit hard to read (especially on those vivid white letters).

This neon swallow is mounted above a garage at the Blue Swallow Motel on Route 66 in Tucumcari, N.M. It’s probably 10 feet off the ground, or thereabouts. The lighting is a bit strange, because the entire property is illuminated with architectural neon. I shot it at 1/125, f5.6, and 1600 ISO. Notice how the camera picked up the edges of the glass tube and the details around the electrodes. Running the shutter faster or slower would have lost that detail — a faster shutter would have faded the lowlights into the background, and a slower shutter would have given a blown-out halo effect, like this:


This sign is also at the Blue Swallow, but it is inside a garage, just at eye level. I shot it at 1/250, f4, 1600. Notice the difference a few feet (and a slightly more open aperture) will make: Even with the shutter speed twice as fast, I wound up with a much brighter image, because I was closer to the sign and thus picking up more of the light. See how the details of the neon tubes disappear? If I’d dropped to 800 ISO or upped the shutter speed to 1/500 or so, I probably would have picked up more detail.


The famous rotosphere outside El Comedor de Anayas (an excellent Mexican restaurant with absolutely killer posole) on Route 66 in Moriarty, N.M. Shot at 1/200, f5.6, 1600. This thing is at least 15 or 20 feet in the air, but it’s so big and so bright that you don’t have to get carried away with the shutter speed to pick it up.

Here are three views of the Oasis Motel on Route 66 here in Tulsa. Notice the difference in the brightness of each one, and the variations in the amount of detail you see on the sign itself (not just the neon) as the shutter speed and ISO change:


1/160, f5, 1600 ISO. Notice how fuzzy the light looks — the shutter is slow, the ISO is high, and the camera picked up a lot of glare around the letters. This is fine if that’s the effect you want, but I usually don’t.

1/160, f5, 800 ISO. Notice how slowing down the ISO reduced the amount of glare around the letters and made the edges look a little more crisp without losing the intensity of the light.


1/200, f5, 800 ISO. Just a tiny bit more speed on the shutter, and the yellow moon (or whatever that thing is) loses a lot of intensity. When you’re dealing with yellow, purple, soft violet-blue, and sometimes green, you have to be careful not to speed up the shutter or slow down the ISO too much, because the tubes that produce these colors are coated with a powdered chemical inside that can mute the color and make it less vivid.


The sign at Fenders’ River Road Resort on Route 66 in Needles, Calif., is about 12 to 15 feet off the ground, as I recall. It’s close enough that I could zoom in a little bit and get a very intense image at 1/320, f5, and 1600. I like how the “NO” part of “NO VACANCY” — which isn’t lit up — is visible, but the tradeoff is that the vacancy sign itself is way too bright for my taste.

Green is produced by using argon gas and a tiny bit of mercury inside a phosphor tube. Depending on the shade, you can end up with an extremely bright light, because the mercury intensifies the color. (It’s really cool to watch this process when a sign is being made. You put the finished tube on a transformer to age, but you leave the mercury at one end. After the argon has settled down and quit arcing inside the tube, you roll this little ball of mercury through it. If you leave it plugged into the transformer while you’re dropping the mercury, you can literally watch the tube change color as the mercury rolls through it. But I digress.) This is important to you as a photographer because, with a sign like this, which has both neon (red) and argon tubes, you have to make some decisions about how to shoot it, since one color is much brighter than the other.


This shot of the Blue Spruce Lodge on Route 66 in Gallup, N.M., is one of my favorites. I just love the way the sign glows in that dry western New Mexico air. The sign is very close to the ground (I seem to recall the bottom being about seven or eight feet up, if that), so you can get away with a very high shutter speed: 1/500 at f5 and 1600 ISO.

Below is another example of that decisionmaking I was talking about when you’ve got a sign with several colors and intensities. This sign hangs in a garage at the Blue Swallow Motel on Route 66 in Tucumcari, N.M. I am sorry to report that this room rate no longer applies. 😉

1/1600, f5, and 1600 ISO. I could get away with a shutter speed this fast because the sign is at eye level and very bright. The “$3” part looks about right, “UP” looks a little too intense, and “VACANCY” looks a little dim.


At 1/640, f5, and 1600, the “VACANCY” part looks better, but everything else gets a little too intense.

Hope this helps. I know it was a little long, but it’s hard to explain photography without going into a little detail and giving visual examples.

Emily

Ask the Hippie, Vol. 1, Issue 7: Orion!

This turned up in the comments section of the Hit Me With Your Best Shot page. Lest it fly under the radar, I am putting it up as an Ask the Hippie entry.

Reader Scollay Petry tracked down the song, found out the name of the composer, and came up with this response:

Well I asked my mom about this and she contacted my music teacher at school then the publisher…. She got this response. Turns out James Zimmerman is the writer, living in NYC.

————

I am writing at the request of Tyson Harper, Editorial Director of the Music Department of Pearson Education, concerning your interest in the song “Orion.”

During her time as a music teacher, Ms. Harper taught this song herself, so she shares my pleasure in knowing that “Orion” has become part of your family’s musical traditions. This song was published in the 1974, 1978, 1981, and 1985 editions of the school music program Silver Burdett Music, Grade 6, published by Silver Burdett Company. “Orion” is Part 1 of a musical composition entitled Orion Suite, which was written by James Zimmerman. This piece had not been published prior to its use in the 1974 edition of Silver Burdett Music, and we negotiated the rights to use this piece through Mr. Zimmerman’s lawyer.

Silver Burdett, now an imprint of Pearson Education, no longer retains the rights to use this piece. Were this not the case, we would gladly send you a copy of the song from the Silver Burdett Music, Grade 6, book. I am happy to help you locate the composer and a copy of the song, however, and I suggest the steps described below.

Contact the composer.

James Zimmerman
210 West 101st Street
Apt. 9D
New York, New York 10025

Contact the lawyer, agent for James Zimmerman.

Mr. Donald Aslan
171 East 83rd Street
New York, New York 10028

Since 1982, when we last heard from Mr. Zimmerman, the piece may have been published in publications other than Silver Burdett Music. The Harry Fox Agency, the licensing agency for the music industry, currently represents more than 27,000 publishers. To locate the composer, or a source of “Orion,” click on

HFA Online, http://www.harryfox.com

You might also try the “Search” links of either or both of the performing rights organizations in New York.

BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), http://www.bmi.com/search

ASCAP (The American Society for Composers, Authors, and Publishers), http://www.ascap/ace (for ACE Title Search Database)

Local colleges with music education departments may have copies of Silver Burdett Music. Should you need to, I suggest you contact one of these for help in locating a copy of this now old textbook series.

We appreciate your interest in “Orion” and wish you all the best in locating a copy of the song. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions.

Susan Greene
Senior Editor
Music Publications
Pearson Education
susan.greene@scottforesman.com
973-739-8220

You can bet that I will be writing to that composer — and his lawyer — and doing my best to sweet-talk him into hooking up with iTunes to get this thing out there and available for all us hippy-dippy-Lorax-reading-ecogeeks who sang it in sixth grade and really want to hear it again.

UPDATE: I am pursuing some leads on copies of the textbook (which should have melody line and lyrics) and/or teacher’s book (which will have the entire accompaniment — not just the melody) and/or a record that could possibly have the song on it. Stay tuned. We might be looking at Christmas in October for the Red Fork Hippie Chick….

UPDATE 2: “Orion” has been found. Click here to listen.

Emily

Ask the Hippie, Vol. 1, Issue 6

Someone found my blog today while searching for an answer to the question, “Are tomatoes bad for dogs?”

The answer, according to my test subjects, is an unequivocal NO.

When we lived in Belleville, Scout had easy access to the entire garden. Her normally white fur was stained green all summer from her forays into the wilderness of tomato vines, where she would search for split tomatoes. We had a pact: She was not to touch any intact tomatoes, but if she found a split tomato within her reach, it was fair game.

She ate a lot of tomatoes — and a fair number of bugs. Especially ants. Split tomatoes have a way of filling up with little black ants. Scout didn’t mind. Extra protein, I guess.

Jason and Songdog will also eat tomatoes on occasion, although they are not nearly as fond of them as Scout.

But yes, I think Scout has demonstrated, quite clearly, that a 15-pound dog can consume 30 pounds of tomatoes in a 24-hour period with no apparent ill effects….

Emily

Ask the Hippie, Vol. 1, Issue 5

Q. Several readers have asked: Where did you get your fence material?

A. We had to special-order it. You can get it through http://www.hutchison-inc.com. I want to say it cost us about $200 for a 100-foot roll, but don’t hold me to that. If you go to Hutchison’s Web site, you can click “where to buy” and fill out a form to get more information. I think we wound up having to order it direct from them, because the places that supposedly carry their products locally didn’t have any fencing in the height we needed. They don’t carry gates, so you’ll have to make your own — or do what we did and hire some guys to come out and install it and make a gate for you. We used Aaron Fencing for the installation. They’re right here in Red Fork. They do nice work.

Ask the Hippie, Vol. 1, Issue 4

Blog reader Larry asks: You mention growing salad all year around with bricks and plastic. I am curious about this as I would like to do the same if possible. I live on Vancouver Island where winter temperatures rarely go below 20 F. Are your conditions similar?

Answer: Larry, the best gardening advice in the whole world comes from your neck of the woods. The city of Vancouver, B.C., has an incredible urban agriculture program which, among other things, supports a wonderful Web site called City Farmer. City Farmer taught me everything I know about vermicomposting. I signed up for City Farmer’s Podcasts and learned to make a handy dog waste composter that is still going strong and still hasn’t filled up after more than six months of constant use. My interest in cold frames and other season extenders came out of some old Mother Earth News magazine articles from the ’70s and something I read on City Farmer about six years ago.

The folks at City Farmer could give you spot-on advice about any aspect of gardening you can think of, but in the meantime, here’s how I built my brick-and-plastic cold frame, which grew several nice crops of spinach for us when we lived in southern Illinois (just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis), where nighttime temperatures dip down into the teens and low 20s quite often in the winter, and where single-digit evenings are not unheard of.

Our house in Illinois came with a cute but poorly designed brick patio that trapped water and funneled it right into the basement. We got tired of having a wet basement, so we dug up all the bricks and took them to the garden, where I used them to define the beds and keep the mulch where it belonged. (We use a modified version of the Square Foot Gardening concept, which involves laying out the garden in 4×4 squares instead of rows.)

When winter rolled around, I had some plants I wasn’t quite ready to part with, so I stacked another layer of bricks onto one of the beds, stretched some Frost King plastic over the top, and used a few more bricks to weigh down the plastic and keep it from blowing away.

That’s all there was to it — just a four-foot-by-four-foot square of the garden, surrounded by a double layer of bricks, with clear plastic over the top to protect the plants from frost damage.

The plants just kept going all winter, so I just kept harvesting spinach and lettuce and reseeding as necessary. We had some nice salads using the spinach and lettuce and a grow-your-own-mushrooms kit that Ron bought me for Christmas. (I’ll include the salad recipe at the bottom of this post.)

I think the brick beds worked better than a regular cold frame because the bricks were dense and fairly dark, so they absorbed heat all day. Then they radiated the heat out at night, and the plastic trapped some of it in there with the plants, keeping them warm enough that they could continue to grow throughout the winter.

The nice part was that it was made out of leftovers from other projects and really didn’t cost us anything except a little elbow grease.

This is our winter salad recipe:

Spinach, lettuce, or both (whatever you have in your garden)
Fresh sliced mushrooms
Can of black olives, drained
Package of crumbled bleu cheese
Olive or walnut oil
Balsamic vinegar
Coarse sea salt if you have some

Toss the first three ingredients, top with bleu cheese, drizzle with oil and vinegar, and sprinkle with salt to taste. I always make this in the winter, when produce is scarce and good produce is even more scarce.

If you’ve never had freshly harvested mushrooms, you really ought to do yourself a favor and buy a mushroom kit from Mushroom Adventures. They’re a little pricey, but they’re so much fun, and you can’t believe how wonderful really fresh mushrooms taste. They’re nothing like the ones you get in the supermarket.

Emily

Ask the Hippie, Vol. 1, Issue 3

This isn’t really a hippie question per se, but it falls within the Red Fork Hippie’s area of expertise, so it’s as good a candidate for “Ask the Hippie” as any other topic. And I know some other journalists peek in on this blog now and then. I hope they’ll chime in with their thoughts, too.

Q. What does it take to be a journalist?

A. Here are the things you need to be successful in journalism, in no particular order: Curiosity, tolerance, gumption, a strong work ethic, lots of energy, a commitment to accuracy, intuition and good people skills.

Curiosity is the most important trait. If you were the kid who drove your parents crazy by asking “What if?” and “How come?” incessantly from the time you learned to talk until the time you moved out of the house, you will probably do well in journalism.

An open mind also helps. In the past 21 years, I have interviewed cops, criminals, college professors, garbage men, toddlers, centenarians, dog trainers, politicians, artists, gardeners, exterminators, historians, a sewer plant operator, tow-truck drivers, athletes, housewives, fighter pilots, drag queens, preachers … you get the idea. Every one of those people was treated with respect and appreciation, because every one of those people took the time to help me do my job, and every one of them had a story to tell.

Be prepared to work your butt off for a relatively small paycheck, especially the first few years. This is a fast-paced profession that can wear you out if you aren’t prepared for its demands. Know what you’re getting yourself into before you start.

Accuracy will make or break you. I have spent 21 years building my credibility. One stupid mistake could destroy it. I am always conscious of that fact. Readers’ trust is very hard to gain … and very easy to lose. Accuracy is everything.

Sometimes accuracy depends on your ability to recognize when someone is lying. People have all sorts of reasons for lying to reporters. Some are trying to advance an agenda. Some are trying to cover up a mistake. Some will just feed you a line of bull to see if you’ll fall for it. Don’t. A healthy dose of skepticism will go a long way toward protecting you from other people’s malice or stupidity. Trust your intuition and verify anything that raises a red flag.

People skills are extremely valuable. Every source is different, and different personalities require different approaches. You have to be able to read people and adjust your approach to suit the situation and the person you are talking to. A lot of that comes with practice, but if you already have a natural gift for getting your way, it will serve you well in this business.

A lot of editors will say that you need to be a good writer to be a good journalist. That helps, but I’ve turned some pretty lousy writers into pretty good writers with a little coaching. I’ve never managed to turn a lousy reporter into a good reporter. You can learn where to find information, but I can’t teach you curiosity, audacity, or intuition. If you have everything else, but you lack writing skills, find a tutor to work on that. The reporting skills are much more crucial, IMHO.

Finally, be forewarned: Journalism is an addictive profession. Once it gets in your blood, it’s very hard to give it up. I’ve tried a couple of times. It was an exercise in futility. I love this business far too much to live without it.

Emily

Ask the Hippie, Vol. 1, Issue 2

Yeah, I know, I was gonna do “Ask the Hippie” more often than this, but I got sidetracked. Sorry. Hippies are known for creativity and pretty dreams, not organizational skills.

Anyway, here is a much-belated answer to Teen’s request for information about growing marigolds.

Marigolds were the first flowers I grew when I was little. I think I was about 5 when Mom and I planted marigold seeds we’d harvested off my grandmother’s plants.

In any case, marigolds are generally tough plants that resist insects (some gardeners plant them alongside food crops to discourage pests, because the flowers release a scent that insects find distasteful) and thrive in a variety of conditions.

Like most annuals, they prefer full sun and loose, well-drained garden loam, although I once grew them with moderate success in a contaminated bed under a shade tree that allowed only dappled sunlight to filter down on them now and then. The area was right under an old oil-change rack at a historic service station that some members of the Illinois Route 66 Association were restoring. The ground where I planted the marigolds was so contaminated that I could smell the oil every time I plunged my spade into the dirt, and when I went out to weed the area a month or so later, no weeds were growing there, aside from a few tough blades of grass.

The marigolds didn’t exactly thrive in that environment, but they survived, bloomed, and set seed. They didn’t produce a lot of foliage, and they looked pretty stunted, but given the soil conditions and the lack of light, I thought they did remarkably well.

Marigolds need moisture, but like most plants, they don’t like wet feet, so don’t get too carried away. If you plant them in a container, make sure it has drainage holes in the bottom, and put about a one-inch layer of charcoal, vermiculite, perlite, aquarium gravel, or similar material in the bottom before you add the potting soil. If you plant outdoors, make sure they are not directly under the drip of the house, and make sure the soil drains well. If in doubt, dig a hole trowel-deep, put a handful or two of sand in the bottom, and add a handful or two of compost before replacing the soil. If the soil comes out of the hole in a big clump, smack it around and/or chop it up with your trowel to break it up and aerate it a bit before you put it back in the hole.

When you plant, you can either direct-seed the marigolds or start them indoors about six weeks before you plan to transplant them. You get earlier flowers if you start them indoors, but I’ve done them both ways. Plant them after the last frost (April 15 is generally considered safe here in Oklahoma), as they will not survive a heavy frost.

Other than that, you really don’t have to do much to them. Just keep them moist but not soggy, and they’ll generally take whatever else you can dish out. They are annuals, which means they’ll die off at the end of the season. Just harvest the seeds (which are wrapped up in a neat little husk that looks almost like a tiny brown paper bag — click here to see a picture) and you can replant next year. One or two flowers will usually produce enough seed to grow a whole garden of marigolds.

For more on marigolds, click here.

Ask the Hippie, Vol. 1, Issue 1

I’ve been looking at my page stats and noticing that people are surfing in here while searching for topics that may or may not actually be covered here. They’re Googling various search terms, and the search engines are sending them here based on combinations of random words scattered across this blog.

A few people (the guy looking for “hot hippie chicks,” for instance ;)) find exactly what they are looking for. But I’m afraid some of these folks are sorely disappointed when they surf in here, only to find that I have no “hippie trucker girl photos” or instructions on how to “get rid of red chicks” here. (Those are actual search terms people have used to find me, BTW.)

I do, however, find that some of these folks are looking for information about questions to which I can supply answers.

In the interest of serving those readers, I have decided to start a weekly feature here called “Ask the Hippie,” in which I will attempt to supply answers to those burning questions that drive people to Google in search of enlightenment. I make no guarantees as to the veracity of the answers, which are, like the wisdom of the late-night psychics on cable, “for entertainment purposes only.”

Let the entertainment begin.

Q. Where can I buy catbrier plants? (Inspired by the search term “buy catbrier plants.”)

A. I have never seen catbrier plants for sale. And based on my own experience with catbrier plants, I have no idea why anyone would want to buy them. But if you are within driving distance of Red Fork, Oklahoma, I can make you a good deal on all the catbriers you care to dig up….

Q. Where can I buy hippie bedding? (Search term: “Hippie bedding.”)

A. Try Tie-Dyes of Tulsa. The owner will dye anything you want to bring in, as long as it’s made of natural fibers. Bring your sheets. Bring your blankets. Bring your pillowcases. She’ll hippiefy all of ’em for you. She can even tie-dye a big pink heart on your PJ’s for Valentine’s Day.

Q. Where can I buy tahini in Tulsa? (Search term: “tahini in tulsa.”)

A. Wild Oats.

Q. What do hippie chicks dig? (Search term: “what hippie chicks dig.”)

A. Organic gardening, Birkenstocks, broomstick skirts, Red Zinger tea, nature, animals (especially the cute and fuzzy variety), fuel-efficient cars, patchouli incense, old Volvos, and New Mexico skies. This particular hippie chick also digs Sean Connery and Sam Elliott (yowza!) … but I think that’s more of a chick thing than a hippie thing.

If you have a question for “Ask the Hippie,” e-mail it to sundayjohn66 at mac dot com. I may answer it in a future post.

Emily