Category Archives: News from Turtle Ridge

Dark Money Buys Elections

pbsdirtymoneydocumentaryAn important documentary for anyone who cares about the sanctity of one-person-one-vote and Big Money corporate rigging of US elections that thwart the voice of the people. I witnessed much of this while in my one-time home state of Montana – and it’s going on in every state in America.  Check out this limited time free airing on PBS through Oct 31 at  Description: “A century ago, corrupt money swamped Montana’s government, but Montanans rose up to prohibit corporate campaign contributions. Today, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, Montana is once again fighting to preserve open and honest elections. Following an investigative reporter through a political thriller, Dark Money exposes one of the greatest threats to American democracy.

New Book Release: Illuminati Agenda 21

Illuminati Agenda 21 tells the story of the age-old battle between Good and Evil. The first part of the tale identifies the Luciferian perpetrators, tracing their origins back to ancient Sumeria, and tracking their hegemony over mankind through Babylon, Egypt, the Holy Roman Empire, and on to their modern-day lair known as The City of London. 

Part two brings the battle into recent times, where the Illuminati’s Agenda 21 is quietly unfolding in an insidious creep towards global fascism and their long-awaited goal of a New World Secular Order, which threatens to strip us of our humanity, replace us with machines, and destroy all Creation.

I hope you will take a few minutes to check out this latest book, which I co-authored with my husband, Dean Henderson – a brilliant political analyst and economist and a noted international author and speaker.  While some of my readers may find this book a bit out of the norm for me in terms of subject matter, it delves deeply into those things that I hold dear, such as alternative healing, organic gardening and farming, real food, GMOs and seed saving, as well as my reverence for nature and the spirit of being human.

All of these things and much more are portrayed both in my writing and in this new book, which uncovers what many people in these troubled times feel in their gut – that the system is broken and that the powers that be don’t seem to care all that much about our, or anyone else’s suffering so long as they stay rich and powerful…

So if you are literally sick and tired and want to find out why, step inside and find out the truth that is being hidden from us and what you can do to change the world for the better.

Check out our new book on Amazon!

The Homeplace: Fragments from the Past

2016 1-27 Fragments - Cast iron garden furrow tool and well-worn horseshoes. (2)Jill HendersonShow Me Oz – On the ridge behind my house is a small meadow encircled by towering trees.  A short, but well-worn path leads to a small pond clinging to the steep slope.  The pond is circled by a grotto of ancient oak trees with branches so big around they dwarf the trunks of almost every other mature tree on these 42 acres.  As I sat and stared into the massive reaches of these ancients, I wondered why this handful of trees had been spared from the saws of men when so many on the property clearly had not.  Obviously, the pond had been here a very long time – perhaps even as long as the trees themselves. And judging from their size, they had been there for about 200-250 years.  It wasn’t long after that first encounter that answers to my question began to emerge from the land itself.

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A Journey of Seasons

2011-12-24 Christmas Eve frost (1).jpgI recently lost my oldest brother, Patrick, to brain cancer. His quest for life at the fullest was one thing that the cancer could not take from him. He was a beautiful soul and his passing leaves a hole in my heart that I just can’t seem to fill with words. So, I will reminisce about our talks, and walks, and profound conversations on the meaning of life with these excerpts from my book, A Journey of Seasons, on the relationship between life and death.  I think we both saw that relationship best in the beauty of nature. 

…I like to think of winter as the Great Sleep. For while the landscape appears dull and lifeless, it is anything but.  Like the circle, a sacred symbol for many ancient cultures, winter is but one part of the never-ending journey of life.  The seasons follow the sure path upon which all things move from beginning to end from birth to death to birth, over and over in an endless circle we call life.  With so many more exciting months to choose from, December seems an unlikely place to begin a journey through the seasons.  But when you think about it, winter is literally the womb of nature and the catalyst for the vivacious eruption of new and hidden life come spring.  It is said that circles never end and seasons never die.

In memory of my brother, Patrick.
I’ll bet the sunsets are amazing from heaven!

2012 11-15 Sunset (4).jpg

…There is something of an analogy between spring and death and I search for its meaning among the bursting oak buds and the dragonflies darting about in the sun.  I see it in the bright blooms and hear it in the small chirps of newly fledged birds.  I feel it in the way my heart aches, both with the beauty of this place and with the unending search for the meaning of death.  I stand in the midst of the fervent life brought on by the spring rain and think about the inevitable death of our dear, old friend.  Humans question death in the deep, secret places of their hearts.  Yet, while it is difficult to love that which is most painful, death in itself can indeed be a joyful thing.  However, this can only be so when one truly believes that life is a never-ending journey in which the body is but a temporary vehicle for the soul.  When the earthly body dies, we are at last truly and completely free.

2013 4-17 Tulips (4).JPG

…. Our hearts heavy after many days of constant grieving and long sleepless hours, we made our way back to the clearing of the house in silence.  Despite our lack of sleep, neither of us felt tired.  We took our coffee and sat facing the woods; towards the place where we had just laid our last boy to rest.  We talked for hours about living and dying and what it all means – and we laughed.  We laughed harder than I ever thought possible in this overwhelming moment of grief.  We laughed remembering Buck and Milo’s antics and the many tight spots they wrangled out of.  We laughed about their cunning manipulations of the weaker members of their pack (us).  They had always made us laugh and it only seemed appropriate to celebrate their lives and their new freedom with more laughter.

All in all, it seemed to me a fine time for dying, or for being born, depending on how you look at things.  All around us life was pulsating and breathless in its own race to eventual death.  So many things live only a short time before a new seed is planted – and beauty and marvel and mystery are all rolled together into the fabric of time.  For us, it can seem eternal, but from heaven, it is but the brush of a butterfly’s wing.

2013 5-19 North Fork Float (21)  Butterfly Lick.jpg

Ozark History: The First Inhabitants

osageShow Me Oz – Excerpted from the Introduction to my book, A Journey of Seasons: A Year in the Ozarks High Country

The Ozark “Mountains” are an anomaly – an island in a sea of plains, a bump in an otherwise flat road. When viewed from the air the folds and contours of the Ozarks resemble a human brain; an interesting comparison, since the Ozarks also represent one of the most ancient and diverse landscapes in North America.  Among the unique and dizzying array of flora and fauna, caves, sinkholes, crystal clear springs and toe-numbing rivers is a rich and tangled history of human habitation.

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Moonshine in Missouri

IMG_4301By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Quite a few years back, on a beautiful fall day just like this one, a bit of unpleasant news filtered down through our village grapevine. Apparently, an elderly and well-known gentleman in our little community had been arrested for bootlegging moonshine.  That the man in question made and sold corn whiskey was no secret to many in the surrounding area, for he had been doing it for the better part of his life and made little secret of it. Some of the first official reports claimed that this gentleman and his immediate family made and sold up to 9,000 gallons of moonshine each year.  And while that may sound like a lot of ‘shine, it didn’t come as a surprise to me or to anyone else living within a 100 mile radius, because this fella had a reputation for making absolutely top-notch hooch and everyone who drank alcohol wanted a jar of their very own.

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Buck: A Short Story (part two)

2001 - 11 - Peace Valley - Buck scenting the windThe continuation of a short story about our beloved lab, Buck, whose life was much too short.  Continued from Part One: 

He had around his neck a dirty old blue bandana that had been folded up like a collar and tied on when he was but a pup. That bandana was like an announcement that clearly said he belonged to someone. Probably one of the local Salish families here on the Rez. But whoever it was hadn’t noticed, or cared, that the puppy they’d strapped that thing to was not a puppy any more and now the damn thing was nearly choking him to death. It’s a wonder he could even swallow; that thing was so tight around there. Kinda irked me to see it, but he wasn’t yet sure of me and I thought twice about pissing off the wrong person. Continue reading

Buck: A Short Story (part one)

1993-1 - Gafield, AR - Buck see's snow for the first time! editBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

I wrote this short story many years ago.  Our beloved 12 year-old lab, Buck, lay dying on a pallet in the middle of our living room as Dean and I and Buck’s best buddy, Milo, comforted him until his time came.  It was sudden and wrenchingly painful and left us with a hole that could never be filled.   But even as we mourned, we laughed.  For Buck’s life, and ours with him – and with Milo – were joyous and filled with adventure, laughter and lots and lots of love.  This is a short story about a dog whose life was too short.  From my heart; in Buck’s voice.  This hasn’t been edited thoroughly on purpose.  Buck would want it that way.  I hope you enjoy. Continue reading

One Woman’s Journey Through Oz

2002 - 5 - Caney Mountain Herb walk - vistasby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

I am not an Ozarker by birth.  I was actually born in  the West, grew up in the Deep South, and spent 10 years or so roving about the Rocky Mountains of Western Montana and other points beyond.  I love them all.  But when the day came that I first laid my eyes upon the rocky and rolling hills and hollers of the Ozarks, something deep in my bones told me I was home.

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Happy New Year & Thank You…for Everything!

2013 3-22 Spring Snow (32)Happy New Year everyone!  What an amazing and sustaining year it has been!  The garden was prolific and insects few.  The fruits got fat and juicy and the seeds ripened.  Many rivers were run and lazy days spent in the woods or under the shade of ol’ Granddaddy oak.  Good friends and family gathered, stories were told, many were healed and songs were sung.

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Songkran: A Thai New Year Celebration – Part II

Brightly festooned temple in Chiang Mai, ThailandBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

As mentioned in Part I, Songkran is often called the Water Festival because it ushers in the rainy season so crucial for growing rice, the main staple in the Thai diet.  Naturally, water has always played an important role in the celebration, but modern participants have taken the tradition and turned it up a notch…or ten.  Today’s festivities often begin days before the ‘official’ holiday, which is around April 13th, and can last for several days after Songkran ends on the 15th.  One can feel the tension building as the holiday nears.  Locals and visitors alike have a wary look in their eyes and a rare alertness to their steps.

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Songkran: The Water Festival – Part I

SE Asia II   (55)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

As we walked down a narrow lane in the Thai city of Chiang Mai, some unseen person standing in the shadows shouted “Sa-wat-dee pee mai!” just as a cascading sheet of water hit me in the side of the head.  Water was dripping into my sandals, my hair was plastered to my face, and my sunglasses dangled somewhere behind my neck.  I turned to see the laughing, smiling faces of a group of eight year olds.  My face said all there was that needed to be said as I resigned myself to my fate and laughed with them.  “I’ll be back!” I said teasingly, sending them into new fits of joyous laughter.  Today is the beginning of Songkran, the Thai New Year, and my birthday – and my only regret in being out on the streets at all today is that I didn’t have my own bucket of water.

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Merry Christmas from Our Home to Yours!

2013 Christmas Card

Sky Bear

Sky Bear Cow Skull by Jill Henderson 2This is my most recent painted cow skull, entitled ‘Sky Bear’.

In many native cultures the bear is among the most sacred of animals.  Not only are bear strong and powerful, but they are gentle mothers and thoughtful souls.

The Great Bear is not only sacred to Native Americans, but to all of mankind.  That respect is represented in the naming of the constellation Ursa Major – the Great Bear.  You can find the Sky Bear by first searching for the Big Dipper (in North America).  Continue reading

The Great Apes of Sumatra (A Travel Story) Part III

B45-Abdul-showing-off._thumb.jpgBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

(If you missed them, you can read Part I and Part II here.)

When we left the story last week, Dean and I had just come face to face with an extraordinary creature named Abdul.  A free, but not yet wild male orangutan whose eyes shone with an intelligence and knowing that was both unsettling and revealing.  Just as we turned to hike up the mountainside towards the feeding platform a female orangutan named Jackie came into the clearing walking upright on two legs and waved at us.  Instinctively, we all waved back. Continue reading

The Great Apes of Sumatra (A Travel Story) Part II

B45 Abdul showing off.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

(If you missed it, you can read Part I here.)

After walking through the jungle mist along a narrow foot trail that followed the Bohorok River upstream, the narrow dirt path suddenly vanished into an impressive wall of giant rocks that had obviously fallen from the surrounding bluffs thousands of years ago.  Although we were alone at present, this was obviously the place where we were to meet our guide for the trip across the river to the Bohorok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Continue reading

The Great Apes of Sumatra (A Travel Story) Part I

'Abdul' - Bohorok Rehabilitation CenterBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

In the half-light of a misty dawn, we walked quickly down the narrow jungle path that wove its way along the high banks of the rocky river below. The thick morning fog oozed slowly down from the mountains all around us, shrouding its highest points in a mysteriously gauzy veil. We had only been walking for fifteen minutes, but already we were soaked in minute, iridescent beads of moisture. Continue reading

The Sacred Circle of Water

Sacred Circle of Water by Jill Henderson (2)When we moved into our new place a couple years ago, my husband and I found two weathered and stained cow skulls that had been hidden in the tall weeds of the side yard.  Not knowing exactly where they fit into our landscape, they were repeatedly moved around the perimeter of the house until finally they wound up on a shelf in the workshop where they sat for the better part of two years.  I had been saying all along that I wanted to paint them, but just never seemed to get around to it. Continue reading

Rain in a Parched Landscape

On the Horizon by Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Water is the lifeblood of all living things.  Without it, hard times are sure to come.  In the Ozarks, periodic summer drought is common in the months surrounding July and August, but the prolonged drought of the last four or five years has had everyone on the edge of their seats, watching and waiting and hoping that this summer would be different.  In some ways it’s been very good.  Early moisture and much cooler temperatures have made a huge difference.  But as most summers go here, we hit the wall with a continued drought.

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Moore Oklahoma, Our Hearts Are With You

2012 7-2 Sky Shots (4)Today is a day filled with dark clouds and tears for the horrible tragedy in Moore, Oklahoma.  I cannot post my regular column with a heart so filled with pain for those who lost their lives, their loved ones, and their homes.  This catastrophe brings back such dark memories of another deadly twister that rocked the lives of those in the nearby city of Joplin, Missouri, two years ago and of countless tragedies that have no rhyme nor reason.

Our prayers, our hearts, and our tears are with you today.   May you find a small ray of peace at the end of the storm.

Giving Thanks

Maple Leaves copyright Jill HendersonJill Henderson

The tradition of giving thanks didn’t start with modern culture.   In fact, it goes back much, much further than the moment that Pilgrims and Native Americans broke bread.  It goes all the way back to a time when all humankind depended on the bounty of the earth for every imaginable facet of life – a time when man was truly of the earth. Continue reading

Weather Prognostication the Old Fashioned Way

By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Weather is the barometer by which humankind revolves and Ozarkers talk about the weather the way stock brokers talk about share prices.  In nearly every conversation, the weather is often the opening topic and over the years, I have come to believe that the official greeting of the Ozarks is, “How’s the weather over ’t your place?”  Like people everywhere, Ozarkers love to grumble about “bad” weather, but usually they do it with humility and humor. Continue reading

Keep It Funny!

grasshopper and ants 1By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz –

There are so many laments about the bugs in the Ozarks that if they were compiled into a book it would never end. How do you even begin to tell outsiders about the insects that inhabit our Oz? If you’ve got a vicious sense of humor, you could just let them wade into the chest-deep grass and work it out later – they’re not going to believe you anyway. If I told a person unfamiliar with these parts that the insects in the Ozarks would carry off their children if they didn’t keep them tied down, do you think they’d believe me? I suspect not, but every Ozarker who reads this knows it’s the truth.

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A Gardener’s Dream

Our new garden. © 2012 Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Almost a year ago now, my husband and I settled down into our latest ‘new place’. We’ve lived quite the nomadic lifestyle over the last 20 years, moving to another house, state, or even country every few years.  In every case where it was physically possible, the first thing we did after unpacking our bags was to dig a garden.  We have hand dug and landscaped more acres of land than my back will allow me to remember, but each and every one of those gardens were lovingly created, tended and enjoyed by us for as long as we had to enjoy them.  And while it was always difficult to say goodbye, we never regretted a single one of them.

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The Hillbilly Stereotype and the Modern Ozarker

2008 Old Farm Machinery - Jill HendersonFor many years I have written about the Ozarks.  Most of the time I write about the natural landscape and the plants and creatures that inhabit it.  But that’s not where my love for this place ends.  For what is a place without its people, its culture and how it sees itself compared to the rest of the world and how the rest of the world sees them?  Ask anyone who doesn’t live here about the Ozarks and most will eventually use the word hillbilly in some shape or form. Continue reading

The Ozarks Sustainability Festival

20114The 5th Annual Ozarks Sustainability Festival will be held this Sunday, May 20th from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM in West Plains, MO.

As always, the festival will be a free, fun-filled day of learning for the entire family with a focus on sustainable skills, homesteading, small farming self-sufficiency, natural health, alternative energy and much, much more!   This year’s festival is again chock-full of live demonstrations, hands-on workshops and just-for-kids activities.  There’s even going to be a native plant walk right on the grounds!  Keynote speakers will present discuss topics such as urban homesteading, transportation, emergency preparedness, natural remedies, seed saving, aquaponics, making tinctures and alternative energy for the home, just to mention a few!  See the full list of speakers and demonstrators below.

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Notes from Turtle Ridge – April 2012

2012 4-4 Box Turtle Hatchling (2)smBy Jill Henderson

This week’s article is the  first in a new series  I’m calling Notes from Turtle Ridge.  This series is definitely more personal and less academic than my regular weekly column, but hopefully, just as informative and entertaining.

A Beeline for Spring

By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz
– – –
Today is the Vernal Equinox, the celestial event that marks the point in time when day and night become equal in length and spring officially begins.  Of course, here in the Ozarks, spring has been well under way for several weeks now.  Even before the first daffodil bloomed, the signs were all around us, especially winged kind.  I always know spring has arrived when  the moths begin beating against the windows at night and when sleep-drunk wasp queens drift on the breeze and buzzing bees begin searching for the first flowers of the season.

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The Journey Continues…

smo logo orig 324x507 300dpiIt has been a long and eventful year and I would like to say “thank you” to all who have supported me as I fulfilled a crazy desire to blog about those things for which I am passionate – homesteading, nature, gardening, edible and medicinal plants and of course, the Ozarks. Since I began Show Me Oz in July of 2010, I have written and posted over 70 articles – an undertaking that has been both challenging and rewarding! Continue reading

Historic Hotel Seeks Artistic Future

Grand View Hotel 1908By Jill Henderson

In the small town of Berryville, Arkansas, a piece of Ozarks history is slowly re-emerging from the past, thanks to two dedicated souls with a dream. Six years ago, Alexander Virden and his partner Sandra Doss, sold everything they owned – including their own home – to finance the restoration of a 109 year old landmark known as the Grand View Hotel. Their dream – to turn the abandoned and condemned beauty into a thriving community arts center and local gathering place. After pouring all of their own money into completing the main floor, the duo now lack the resources to fully complete their dream of a non-profit center for the arts. This is their story. Continue reading

A Gardener’s Odyssey

© 2011 Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson

It was a chilly night in February when my husband and I left our home in Missouri for a six month tour through Southeast Asia. We had just sold our farm, replete with herb, flower and vegetable gardens, fruit trees and berries, all neatly edged in native stone. Continue reading

Joplin, Missouri

2008-5 (13)I tried to write an article for todays posting, but I just could not focus on anything but the news coverage of the terrible tragedy unfolding  in Joplin, Missouri, after a massive tornado ripped through the center of town last night in a destructive force that leveled a huge swath through the center of town.

We send our prayers out to all those who have lost loved ones or who have been injured or lost their homes in this terrible event and to all those who are still missing or trapped beneath the rubble awaiting rescue.  And thanks and prayers for the safety of the brave men and women who rushed to the scene to help. 

For every dark cloud there is a ray of light.

Bless you all.

4th Annual Ozarks Sustainability Festival

If you live in the Ozarks region, you don’t want to miss the 4th Annual Ozarks Sustainability Festival in West Plains, MO this Sunday, May 15th!

Started by Mary and Skip Badiny of Maranatha Farms, the Ozarks Sustainability Festival was begun as a way to promote simple, sustainable lifestyles and living skills.  The first festival was held in the lush gardens of the Badiny’s farm and has been growing ever since, with last fall’s festival drawing in over 1500 people. Continue reading

Say Cheese: A Dying Family Industry

Photo by Jared Benedict - Jill Henderson

At one time in the not so distant past, the central Ozark region was well-known for its rich and productive dairy farms.  As few as ten years ago, you didn’t have to travel far before coming across rolling pastureland dotted with the distinctive black and white patches of Holstein heifers grazing the green, green grass of home.  Continue reading

Morningland Dairy Update

P. B. Obregón – Wikimedia Commons

By Doreen Hannes

On January 13th, the second grueling day of the Morningland Dairy LLC marathon trial ensued. For those who don’t know, court went on for 10 hours on Tuesday and ten full hours on Wednesday. Continue reading

Judgement Day for Morningland Dairy

P. B. Obregón - Wikimedia Commons

The following piece has been forwarded to us via our friends at Transition Missouri.  Please make plans to pack the courthouse in support of our Ozark family dairies and bring warm clothes in case the courtroom is full… J.H.

By Doreen Hannes 2011

Missouri farmstead cheese plant, Morningland Dairy is going to be in Howell County Circuit Court at 9am Central time on Tuesday, January 11th. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office is charging Morningland with 3 criminal charges and has also filed a “Preliminary Injunction” in hopes of getting a court order to destroy Morningland Dairy’s cheese.

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The Avenue Theatre – Revitalizing A Sense of Community

avenuetheatre The Avenue Theatre in West Plains, Missouri, is an art deco local landmark that has been a part of its community for nearly six decades. It’s story began when it opened as a movie house in 1950. It derived its name from its location on Washington Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares in the small southern Missouri town of West Plains. Continue reading