Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring is in the Air!

What a week it has been! The natural world is actively awakening from winter's long spell, and it is so incredibly beautiful. Plant and animal wisdom never ceases to amaze me at this time of year.

The daffodils are pregnant with a colorful secret that will soon burst into bloom.

The robins arrived two days ago. They found their way back to the tree in which last year's nest remains. The song of spring is in the air!

The sap is flowing in the trees, and the Full Sap Moon was a stunning sight this week as it rose over the calm, completely unfrozen river. 

The sunrises also have been extraordinary now that the river has regained its reflective quality. I love the sacred geometry of the sun rays in the photo below. Both the sun and its reflection appear as six-pointed stars, and their rays come together to form a larger star.

Although I never would have anticipated it during this morning's frosty sunrise, today was my first official kayaking day of 2013! My husband surprised me by taking my kayak out of winter storage. (He was technically the first one on the river.)

Right off the bat, I managed to scare away the geese.

It was incredible to experience the sensation of floating again.

And no boat traffic to worry about because the New York State Canal System doesn't open until May 1st!

I noticed autumn's leaves resting at the bottom of the river and was drawn to the reflection of the trees superimposed over the sunken leaves. The trees will grow new leaves over the resting place of the ancestor leaves. It is all a cycle, and everything is interconnected.

This is what "river bliss" looks like! As I got closer to the mountains in the distance, the snow remaining on them blended in with the clouds.

There was a word singing in my heart and on my lips while I was on the river today: 


The life force has returned, causing grass, plants, and flowers to shoot up green from the ground. The air is alive with the symphony of birdsong. Everything is yes. As the sap rises in the trees, I feel new dreams and possibilities stirring within me. They are fragile like the daffodil shoots that pushed up earlier this month outside my classroom. I was vigilant about keeping the kindergartners out of the tiny garden area during recess because I didn't want the tender shoots to get trampled. Now that they are taller and more noticeable, the children are more aware of them, and they have learned to be protective of them and to remind their friends not to get too close. Still, I watch over them and do what I can to protect them from external factors that could destroy them before they have a chance to bloom. It's the same with the tomatoes we started from seed earlier this month. They are vulnerable at this time - not firmly established - and need to be nurtured with great care and reverence.

After returning from the river, I came across a quote from Parker Palmer about saying "yes" to life when threatened with resurrection:
"Sometimes we choose death-in-life (as in compulsive overactivity, unhealthy relationships, non-stop judgmentalism aimed at self or others, work that compromises our integrity, substance abuse, pervasive cynicism, etc.) because we're afraid of the challenges that might come if we embraced resurrection-in-life. Every religious tradition is rooted in mysteries I don't pretend to understand, including claims about what happens after we die. But this I know for sure: as long as we're alive, choosing resurrection is always worth the risk."

Amen to that. 

And also to this - one of my very favorite poems, by e.e. cummings:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay 
great happening illimitable earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any - lifted from the no
of all nothing - human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Even though cooler temperatures are expected after today, we are headed swiftly into the lighter, warmer half of the year. The natural world is waking up and renewing itself, and my prayer is that humankind is, as well - and that more of us will open to our senses and intuition and say "yes" to the life force that seeks expression through us. I think again of the daffodils that are about to bloom outside of my classroom and how briefly they will exist as a flower - but how important it is for them to do so. Could you imagine a daffodil choosing not to bloom? How are we any different, really? When we say yes to life, we help to heal and beautify our world. The only reason to fear death is if we haven't truly lived - if we remain closed in a bud, afraid to bloom. That is one hefty regret!

It takes courage to bloom, and although others can support and encourage us, it's something we ultimately have to do ourselves. But perhaps we can slow down, take a good look around, and be inspired by the irrepressible "Yes!" of the natural world during springtime.

Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Spring!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I just did a little spring cleaning in my Etsy shop and have added some new images. If you haven't checked it out yet, here's your invitation! I am focusing on growing my photography business and really appreciate your patronage as well as your willingness to share my blog and shop with others. In addition to the products listed in my shop, I also offer prints of virtually all the photographs published in this blog. 

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Back Yard Birds

While visiting my parents today, my dad shared an article from a local newspaper about many people in the region noticing a decline in bird populations over the winter. People were wondering where the birds went and why they weren't feeding in their yards. 

Maybe because they're in our yard! It's been like a bird sanctuary here throughout the winter.

My husband has been passionate about feeding and observing the birds this winter. He maintains four large feeders and one smaller one and buys a 50-pound bag of black oil sunflower seed every two weeks. In addition to maintaining a food supply, he also built a number of structures in our yard that make excellent singing perches. (If you build it, they will come!) He spends a lot of time observing the birds and their habits and has even persuaded chickadees to eat from his hand - which is why I sometimes refer to him affectionately as "Saint Francis."

Are you familiar with the Enchanted Tiki Birds at Disney World's Magic Kingdom? Well, we have enchanted tipi birds. They perch on the top of our open tipi and sing to the morning sun.

On any given day, we will see: chickadees 

and cardinals

and goldfinches

and mourning doves

and downy woodpeckers like this one that gets food from the feeder and brings it to its perch to enjoy.

Blue jays had been absent for quite some time but recently made a reappearance.

We also have identified dark-eyed juncos, sparrows, pileated woodpeckers, house finches, tufted titmice, and nuthatches around the yard.

However, this harbinger of spring has yet to grace us with its presence:

Bird Study in the Classroom

I incorporate my nature and wildlife photography into the kindergarten science curriculum and never cease to be amazed by the children's ability to identify different types of birds at such a young age. We talk about how the female birds tend to have duller colors than the males and the purpose this serves. I tell them stories of kayaking past a nest and how the colorful daddy bird would fly around wildly in an attempt to draw my attention away from the nest. We also watch a few YouTube videos of birds building their nests and caring for their newly hatched babies. We categorize different kinds of birds as flying or non-flying (attributes selected by the children) and discuss how quickly new birds are ready to leave the nest in comparison to human children. We talk about how we can put nesting materials - like hair from a hairbrush - outdoors for the birds to use.

We also do a bird's nest art project that involves painting, coloring, and then constructing a nest scene with a variety of materials and lots of glue. 

Materials needed:
  • 1 white paper plate per child
  • Sky-toned tempera paint (diluted slightly)
  • Brown tempera paint (diluted slightly)
  • Bird coloring sheets and crayons (for paper birds)
  • Felt and wiggly eyes (for felt bird variation)
  • Nesting materials (all earth-toned): bagged Spanish moss, twigs, feathers, cotton, wool, yarn, shredded strips of paper, etc.
  • White glue (i.e. Elmers)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Watercolor paper or felt (for eggs)
  • Egg-toned watercolor paint (for paper eggs)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Diluted brown tempera paint (for speckled eggs)
  • Toothbrush (for speckled eggs)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Raffia

The first step is to paint one half of the plate sky blue. Last year, we left the other half unpainted, but this year we painted that half brown.

Next, the children select their favorite bird as the subject of their paper plate collage. Last year (photo on left), I cut out felt birds, but this year (photo on right) the children colored their favorite birds with crayons, paying attention to detail. After gluing the bird to the top of the brown half, it is time to build the nest.

Before  assembling the nest, I show them several containers filled with different materials, and they determine which materials would appeal to nesting birds. They "think like a bird" and try to select materials that will keep the nests as safe and concealed as possible. Not wanting to attract the attention of a hawk, they pass on the brightly colored materials. 

Working with one or two children at a time, I cover the brown (or plain) half with white glue, and then they arrange moss over the glue. After the moss, they can choose other materials. I follow each layer with more glue so everything will stick together when it dries. (Wax paper is useful for pressing down the nest materials after each layer.) It's a messy project, and the children find it very humorous that I end up looking like a bird's nest by the time they have all completed their projects!

After the scene has dried overnight, we're ready to add the eggs. I have used both felt and paper eggs. This year, the children painted swatches (approximately 4" x 4") of sturdy watercolor paper after looking at pictures of different kinds of eggs. The robin's egg paper is painted light blue with watercolors. The goldfinch and cardinal egg papers are splatter painted with diluted tempera paint using a toothbrush. (Rub a finger gently along the bristles to "speckle" the paper.) The blue jay eggs were first painted a faint yellowish-brownish-greenish shade using watercolors and then were speckled with the brown paint we used for the goldfinch and cardinal paper. After the paper dries, I cut out the eggs (because they seem a little small for the children to manage). Then I have the children select and arrange three eggs on their nest, and I adhere them with hot glue.

Then I finish them by punching a hole at the top and attaching raffia for hanging. 

~    ~    ~

My most gratifying moments in the classroom are when I am able to connect children with nature in a meaningful way. Discussing what is going on here-and-now in the natural world inspires children to pay more attention to the world around them. 

So we shall continue to await the robin's return. And I look forward to the day when the first child approaches me excitedly with a personal account of spotting one. 

Because we are very ready for spring!

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The First Rays of Spring

"It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart."
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Even though we have several inches of new snow on the ground as a result of winter's last hurrah, it is now the first day of spring!

Today - the vernal equinox - is when the sun crosses the celestial equator on its northward journey, signifying the beginning of autumn for the Southern Hemisphere and the beginning of spring for the Northern Hemisphere. At the moment of equinox, there is a perfect balance of darkness and light. The amount of the sun's energy that reaches the Northern and Southern Hemispheres is equal. Balance is the word of the day and a concept worth reflecting on. In what ways does your life feel out of balance? How can you cultivate balance?

It is also a time to prepare for new life, new beginnings, rebirth. A time to prepare to blossom. Last week, one of my students commented that last year's garden died. Isn't it wonderful that during spring we get to plan and plant a completely new garden? It's a time to start fresh. We have the chance to think about what we want to grow this year. Perhaps we want to grow more of something, or cut back on something else. Perhaps there are some things we will choose not to plant at all. I love how it feels to select seeds for the garden each year. So many choices and possibilities! It's all such a fabulous metaphor.

I experienced the colorful shift from winter to spring on the river this morning. Here is a photograph I snapped at the moment of equinox:

I was struck by the balance between the pastel hues of springtime and the snow on the trees and shore (not visible in this image).

Here is the view facing north a couple minutes later:

 And here are the very first, golden rays of spring: 

And finally, the view from our yard: 

Happy Spring, everyone!
"Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!"
-Sitting Bull
© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Gifts from Dying Patients (and the Promise of Spring)

This morning, I went to the river's edge for the sunrise, and the dawn chorus was what I noticed most. The birds were all waking up for the day and singing their territorial songs of spring from their perches way up high. The ice that covered the river throughout January and February has thawed, and the river has assumed its reflective quality once again. Early in the morning, the water is very calm and mirror-like, which is a joy to photograph. 

And yet, it was only 18 degrees (F) this morning, and I spent most of the sunrise photographing delicate, glistening ice formations along the shoreline. 

Winter has not yet released the Northeast from its grip, but I put my faith in the birdsong, which heralds spring.

While sitting on the shore listening to the birds, I recalled a hospice patient I worked with back in my twenties. I don't remember her name and only visited her once, when she was in the hospital. It was mid to late autumn, and this elderly woman expressed sorrow for not being able to live long enough to see the flowers come up in the spring one more time. I was young at the time, and her words made an impression on me. I had my whole life ahead of me and took the seasons for granted, not paying much attention to their gifts or to the flow of the year or time in general. She awakened me to the power and promise of spring and to the relationship one could have with the natural world. I bet she was a gardener.

For the past couple weeks, I have delighted in observing the daffodils that have sprouted outside my classroom door. They make me smile every time I see them and urge me not to be fooled by the wintry weather forecast: Spring is coming! Now I get it. I understand the words of the dying woman and the spiritual and emotional significance of spring.  

It is usually the case that when I remember one of my hospice friends, several more come to mind. Each one taught me an important lesson that was a blessing to have received so early in life. Today, I am starting more tomato seeds, and I realize that each of these people planted a seed in my spiritual garden. I agree with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross who wrote, "The best teachers in the world are dying patients." The authenticity of dying patients is an incredible spiritual gift - a teacher that sows hearty seeds. 

Here are a few others that have taken root:

V. was a 98-year-old man who was deaf, partially blind, and had numerous broken bones because his skeleton was so brittle. He taught me about the power of communicating without words, since he could no longer hear them. Though I visited mostly with his wife, the moments I spent with him were profound. I held his hand and visualized white light entering through the top of my head and flowing down through my arm, into my fingers, and into his hands and body. I did this silent visualization twice while holding his hand, and each time I imagined light flowing through me and into him, teardrops trickled from his eyes - and I knew that a deep connection was taking place. I never got to see him again because he died the night before my next scheduled visit. But I have carried that profound connection with me all these years.

Then there was M., my first patient - a spunky woman who loved origami and had always wanted to learn how to do it herself but never got around to it. She inspired me to learn origami because it was something to which I'd also felt drawn. So I learned, and I love it, and I have her to thank for it.

Finally, there was a female hospice patient whom I visited at home. She was probably in her late forties or early fifties and was suffering from ALA ("Lou Gehrig's disease"). There were framed photographs all over the living room walls that showed her smiling with her husband and children when she was in better health, and the contrast between the pictures and the way she looked as I sat with her in her living room was striking and memorable. (I would love to have photographs displayed at the bedsides or in the rooms of all hospital patients so caregivers could see who they were prior to their illness.) This was a woman who had lived a short but vibrant, loving life and was so much more than her current condition suggested. I realized her fate could befall anyone. Her husband told us about all the special things he was doing for her in a devoted effort to fulfill all her wishes before she became further incapacitated and eventually died. He understood that his time with her was coming to a close and put everything else aside to be there for her. Such love and devotion! 

Although my grandmother wasn't one of my patients, I remember the last visit I had with her at her home three months before she died. At that time, she would have been eligible for hospice services; she had decided to let the cancer run its course rather than subject herself to further treatments that compromised her quality of life. We sat together on her front steps, and she spoke quietly of the joy and comfort of watching the wind blow gently through the trees. And I thought - that's it - she had arrived. Her attachments to worldly concerns were falling away, and she was able to dwell in the stillness of the trees that are so rooted in being. When I'm kayaking on the river or sitting in the back yard and a gentle wind shakes the leafy trees like soft tambourines, I think of her and how we sat in stillness watching and listening to the trees that afternoon.

If only we could understand how much of an impression we make on others when we share our authentic self, even in brief encounters, when we are suffering, or when we feel we have nothing of value left to give! By doing so, surely we have a far greater impact on our world than we ever would imagine. And perhaps we can allow the petty concerns of our daily lives to fall away long enough to realize how fortunate we are for the opportunity to experience the gifts of spring once again.

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Owl Energy

A barred owl touched down silently in our yard earlier this week and didn't seem to mind having us as an audience for a couple hours.

The visit was special because I've felt a connection with owls at various times throughout my life. There is a baby picture of me that I always thought resembled an owl. Several years ago, I had a dream about an owl and spent some time reflecting on owl symbolism. It was when I was pursuing a teaching career in a bleak job market, and I was struck by how owls know what they want, and how they become very quiet with senses heightened and pursue their target swiftly, silently, and effectively. Some words that came to mind were: vision, hunter, wisdom, intuition, and discernment. That kind of energy seemed like an antidote to the self-doubt I was experiencing and brought to mind a quote from Paulo Coelho's novel, The Devil and Miss Prym:
"Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate, and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed."
Some time after that, I remember waking up and wondering if I still had a need for "owl medicine." I was working part-time as a library shelver at the time, and when I arrived at work that morning, the most prominent book on my first cart of the day was an oversized photo book about owls! (Working as a shelver was an intensely spiritual experience on numerous occasions!) 

Traditionally, the owl is associated with feminine wisdom, insight, intuition, death, and the spirit world. However, rather than rely on superstition, I like to connect with the energy of a life form and learn what I can from experiencing its essence directly. By doing this, the plants and animals I encounter become my teachers. I also tend to research the subjects I observe, to expand my knowledge of the natural world - and then share my knowledge and experiences with my students.

Needless to say, I was excited when my husband pointed out the owl (who caught the attention of a pair of cardinals in this photo) perched on the wigwam frame in our yard. 

I spent a long time photographing and observing our visitor on this gray, motionless sort of afternoon. When I put down my camera to sit and connect with the owl's energy, the impressions that came to mind were: patient, present, confident, and aware. I couldn't tell if the owl was male or female, but it was intensely aware of its surroundings. When the owl fixed its soulful eyes on me, the gaze was steady and penetrating but not at all fearful. There was a deep sense of calm alertness.

Every now and then, the owl would hunch into a hyper-alert stalking pose, and we expected it would strike any moment upon an unsuspecting rodent or bird. 

But then it would ease back into what seemed like pure awareness.

Even now, as I look at photos of this barred owl, my breathing becomes deeper and slower, and I feel more centered. I am grateful for the time I had connecting with owl energy. It was a first for me and quite a powerful experience.

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Latest Favorite Vegetarian Entrées

It's back to being gray and rainy here, so I'm indoors again. Today I'm offering a foodie post.

I adore Pinterest. It is the source of many of my new, favorite recipes over the past couple years. It has breathed new passion into my cooking, and I now have a whole binder of recipes from Pinterest alone. (I organize my recipes by putting them in plastic sheet protectors in binders.) I've noticed lots of recipes lately that feature quinoa, kale, and cauliflower, which are among my favorite ingredients. In honor of my dad hopefully being discharged from the hospital later this week after he has a defibrillator implanted, I thought I'd share some healthful vegetarian recipes that are a big hit in my home. When you mix together the ingredients in these recipes, what happens is downright magical; the whole transcends the sum of the parts! Click on the recipe name (in bold) to go to the recipe link.

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

This first recipe is my current favorite vegetarian burger. It is flavorful and smoky, holds together well, and has an excellent texture. I make a batch or two and freeze the leftovers for easy lunches. These burgers taste incredible on a bun with a bed of arugula or a mix of baby spinach and arugula. The yogurt sauce is perfect for tempering the spiciness, and if you want, you could add a teaspoon of canned minced chipotle in adobo sauce plus 1/2 teaspoon of the adobo sauce to the yogurt mixture for a smoky kick.

Cauliflower Alfredo

When I asked my son what his favorite new meal is, he chose this one. I prefer it served over whole grain pasta. The vegan sauce is a smooth, creamy blend that features cooked cauliflower, white beans, and almond milk. I steam extra sun-dried tomatoes and kale to complete the meal.

Neat Loaf ("No-fu Love Loaf" from Let Them Eat Vegan)

This is a meatless, tofu-free creation that is held together with lentils, bulgur, and oats and seasoned with all kinds of goodness. It is delicious stuff! You can serve it like a meatloaf or on a bun like a burger.

Kale Pesto

Traditional basil pesto is all well and good, but there are other forms of pesto that I like even better: garlic greens pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, spinach pesto, and now this. I'm pretty picky about pesto and always end up modifying recipes by reducing the amount of oil and cheese and increasing the ingredient after which it is named. I adapted the original kale pesto recipe to such a degree that it became a new entity, so here's my version, along with the original one I found online.

  • 1 bunch kale (about 5 cups chopped)
  •  1 teaspoon olive oil, plus 1/3 cup
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Toast the walnuts in a saucepan with 1 tsp. olive oil, stirring frequently, until fragrant. (Don't let them burn!)
  2. Lightly steam the kale.
  3. Place the cooked kale, toasted walnuts, cheese, nutritional yeast, garlic, and lemon juice into a food processor, and purée. Drizzle the remaining olive oil into the food processor while continuing to purée until smooth and creamy. Add pepper to season, and pulse until combined.
  4. Serve as you would any pesto - on pasta, crackers, pizza, omelets, etc. 

Cauliflower and Corn au Gratin

This is creamy deliciousness along the lines of a comforting, bubbling macaroni and cheese, but without the pasta or the cheese; it is vegan! The original recipe doesn't include corn, but I thought it would make a nice addition - and it definitely does. I substitute frozen corn for a portion of the cauliflower. I also use almond milk instead of soy milk and substitute black pepper for the white pepper. This is really good!

This is another vegan delight. The creamy sauce is spiced with chili powder and red pepper flakes. (You can reduce the amount of red pepper flakes if you don't like it so hot.) I stir in extra kale  - and prefer to steam it rather than sauté. 

The sauce gets it consistency from blending cashews and non-dairy milk. Here's what the sauce looks like on its own: 

Well, I suppose that's enough for now! I hope you'll find something here to try and enjoy!

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Ice Pictures on the Shore

After a long string of gray, cloudy days, a sunny day was in the weather forecast, and I was determined to get up early enough to experience the sunrise and make the most of the day. 

As the sun rose, it illuminated the shoreline, which overnight had become a masterpiece of stunning ice designs. 

My last few posts have been heavy on words and light on images, so this time I will let the pictures speak for themselves of the beauty I found on the river this morning. 

Zoomed in:

I love the sense of flow suggested by the curvy lines here, and the edge where the very delicate ice plates meet the gently moving water:

I see a story scene in this image - of a river running by two houses (one set back a bit) before turning into a waterfall, and two people sitting in the yard looking and pointing at a bird.

Some of the rocks also were sketched with an elaborate ice design:

This oak leaf was temporarily detained on its journey...

...but has since been freed from its icy confines. This leaf reminds me of my dad, who is still cooped up in the hospital after a second emergency surgery, waiting to get back into the flow of life. Sometimes we just need to be patient and trust the process, knowing that this, too, shall pass.

When I returned to the river about an hour later, the warmth of the sun had melted nearly all of the ice, but I was glad to have seen it in all its glory. 

How much beauty and inspiration do we miss because we got up too late, weren't looking in the right place, or aren't really looking in the first place?

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.