Welcome to Painted Rock!


welcome to Painted Rock
Who am I and
what am I up to?

I have power tools
and I love to use them

Sharing experiences
on my "island"

When a mower is
not just a mower

what inspires me

Connecting with
others for better understanding

what inspires me






Welcome to Painted Rock!
Why Painted Rock?
My house sits on bedrock. There are little bluffs that drop off down to a creek that feeds my neighbor's small lake. Lots of rock.
I paint. I love color. Thus, Painted Rock.

The monad symbol before Painted Rock:
to ancient mathematical philosophers the circle symbolized the number 1; meuein = "to be stable;"
monas = "oneness;" the circle accommodates all shapes within itself; according to the Pythagoreans, was a term for Divinity or the first being, or the totality of all beings, Monad being the source or the One meaning without division; (in the pantheistic philosophy of Giordano Bruno) a fundamental metaphysical unit that is spatially extended and psychically aware; "Everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world works in circles, and everything tries to be round." (Black Elk, 1863-1950).

















my reading list

"Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World" - Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown

"Sacred Ecology" - Fikret Berkes

"Stories of the Great Turning" - edited by Peter Reason and Melanie Newman

"Guinea Pig B" - Buckminster Fuller

"The Shape of Green" - Lance Hosey

"Change By Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation" - Tim Brown

"Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?" - Kate Bingaman-Burt

"Thriving Beyond Sustainability: Pathways to a Resiliant Society"
— Andrés R. Edwards

"The Beginners Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science" - Michael S. Schneider




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about my visit with the folks at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage and Red Earth Farms in Rutledge, MO

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about my visit with the Amish in Jamesport, MO

helpful links

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
Red Earth Farms


people, places, things

Of all the pages within this site, I find this one the hardest to write. It seems so easy to "do" stuff or make stuff, especially when I see a problem that needs solving or, like the projects I've shared, I knew what the goal was and figured out a way to solve it. Once the idea is in place, it's just a matter of execution and documenting the process.

No, this page is not like that.
Here I want to try to summarize "why" and "how" I'm motivated to do any of this. That means I need to try and let you into my head. The hardest part is deciding where to start.

Let's begin with Painted Rock. That's the name I've given my place. I am the caretaker of 4.82 acres. Yes, I pay the mortgage and taxes, and it's considered legally mine. But how much can we say we really "own." Most of it is pasture and it backs up to woods. There are no houses (with people in them) within my line of sight. I hear them, though. I know they're there and some of them check up on me once in a while. I'm able to catch up on the neighborhood gossip with Tom, the neighbor who mows/bales my pasture. I also hear all the sounds of nature. I've learned to listen to the birds. They are good weather indicators. Some days they are playful and happy. Other days they are serious and terse. Sounds change with the seasons. I smell the aromas of nature, too. Green, living things. Road dust. Sometimes wafts of cow manure or horse manure. My chickens can be pretty smelly. I wouldn't count them on the long list of favorite rural smells. All the surrounding smells are amplified after a rain. Living out here for over 12 years has spoiled me with those elements of nature. I work in the city and hate its smell. It's dirty. Exhaust, chemicals, and trash everywhere. Concrete and asphalt everywhere. There are beautiful architectural structures there. I find more cosmetic, man-made beauty there. But, it smells.

I'm always happy to come back to my place. I am refreshed here and don't feel the need to have the "perfect" landscaping or vehicle or other stuff that I felt compelled to get when I lived in the suburbs. I'm freed to explore deeper issues and projects with longer-lasting impact. I see the earth breathe here and it reminds me to breathe.

my island

Reading has brought me a lot of information lately, along with sadness and inspiration. I put part of my reading list on the left. It will continue to grow.

I've built a page of excerpts I found interesting or entertaining. What's the point of researching if you can't find some levity in it all, too?

Feel free to email me any suggested reading. I'll gladly add it to my stack. I'm becoming very thankful for my Kindle and ebooks.

To avoid spending too much time in my own head, or just in books, I've included the search for people(s) who share the connectedness to nature or work to reduce their impact on the earth.

I began researching indigenous peoples, mostly of the past, and their beliefs and practices. Since I live in Missouri, I looked up native peoples of this state and studied their histories. I've been able to visit 3 sites so far that have collections of petroglyphs. Seeing the symbolism and reading about the rituals within their lifestyles that were so entrenched in the cycles of Mother Earth is very inspiring. Everything was connected so intricately.

I visited Jamesport which has the oldest settlement of Old Order Amish in Missouri. I was able to interview an Amish gentleman named Jake Graber and tour his family farm. Having studied the Amish a little before heading there, I was loaded with questions seeking a perspective on today's world. You can read more about that on the next page. That was an interesting adventure.

As far as people and places go, the most intriguing to me was to tour and visit with Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage and Red Earth Farms in Rutledge, Missouri. There I found people from the modern world who, collectively, decided to live differently from the typical guidelines of the "Industrial Growth Society." They share their resources, maximizing efficiencies. They operate within a closed loop structure, or at least as closely as possible. They generate their own power and much of their own food. They are innovative and cooperative. I was fortunate to interview two people and you can read more on that page. I'd like to go back some time and spend a week learning more from them.

I've joined the Sierra Club and a Meetup group called Green Drinks Kansas City. They get together and talk about various eco-issues. I believe this networking might bear fruit in future collaborative projects.

I promise to continue adding to this section. There is so much that inspires and motivates me that my head spins sometimes. As it comes into focus or if I run into something new, I'll share on this site.



starting a conversation
begins with a box of thoughts...

Powertools with purpose
With a new mission and a means
to do it, I tackle some projects...

Poeple I've met
There are those who've traveled
a similar path and have a lot to share...

connecting with others
A designer needs to understand their audience.

In order to to this, I created a survey and polled my community for friends, colleagues, and family. Through a series of questions I got a bette idea of where many folks position themselves regarding environmental concerns and degree of engagement in sustainbility efforts.

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