Saturday, May 24, 2014

Great list of free stuff found on Reddit.

Project Gutenberg - Free books
Centsless Books - Free books, newer than Gutenberg's.
OpenLibrary - download out-of-copyright books, borrow in-copyright books, recommended
LibriVox - Free audio books - free audiobooks mostly from self-published authors. recommended
Documentary Heaven - Free documentaries and - more free documentaries recommended - Keeps track of your listening habits
Songza - Playlists for whatever mood you're in.
Soundozer - it's kind of like Pandora, but you can listen to any song you search for and you can create a station based on that song. You don't have to register either.
Grooveshark - free music, online radio, streaming.
Jango - Free music - internet radio that plays what you want, great for those who can't access
Courses and tutorials:
Class Central - Discover free online classes (MOOCs) from top universities like Stanford, MIT, Harvard, etc.
Harvard Open Courseware
MIT Open Courseware
Yale Open Courseware - actual video lectures for the class so you can get the in-class experience. Lots of classes over lots of subjects. recommended by /u/Pantsuit_Ugh
Stanford Open Courseware
EDX - Free courses from the best universities, you can even get a diploma for a few dollars.
Khan Academy - Free maths learning tutorials
Codecademy and LearnStreet - Free interactive coding tutorials
Become a programmer, motherfucker
Duolingo and FSI Language courses- Free language learning
Ted Talks - Free talks and lecture about anything and everything
Wolfram Alpha - Your one stop shop for calculations and questions about anything
Mathway - Awesome math problem solver.
A giant collection of Computer Science books made freely available
FreeRice - Answer vocabulary questions and rice is donated to charity!  
7 Cups of Tea - Free online counselling service
Thrive On - Not completely free, but aims to bring affordable online mental health programs to those who would otherwise go without. Starting next month
Blah Therapy - Online listening service. "Experience the rewards of venting to a stranger or lending an ear."
MoodGYM - Learn cognitive behaviour therapy skills for preventing and coping with depression.  
Ninite - update/install all your programs at once
SlimDrivers - Cloud based program that detects what drivers need to be updated. Incredible--especially after formatting an operating system. No need for CDs or trying to remember which model card, adapter...etc. you have.
Copy - Online cloud storage. Start with 15gb free. Or 20gb with a referral link (Shameless sharing of my own referral code). Woah, I've got a tonne of storage now. 
Mega Desktop Sync(50GB) and Symform (Unlimited, but you must share back!) 
Calibre - Free ebook library management
F.lux - Changes the colour of your screen as the day progresses
GIMP - Free photo manipulation software
Paint.NET - Windows application designed to be the much needed upgrade to MS Paint. recommended
Sumo Paint - Powerful graphics editor for your web browser and pc,
Blender - Open source, cross platform suite of tools for 3D creation.
Prey Project - Multi-platform anti-theft software
RES - Reddit enhancement suite - A must have for all you redditing needs
KeePass - free, open source, light-weight and easy-to-use password manager.
LastPass - free (with premium for multiple platforms), easy-to-use password manager.
Dictionary Pop-up extension, double click on a word that you don't know the meaning of and a dictionary definition pops up. Firefox extension powered by dictionary.comChrome extension powered by Google
ClipCube - clipboard history. I missed this when using Windows
LeechBlock (Firefox add-on) - simple productivity tool designed to block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day.
StayFocused - Chrome alternative to LeechBlock,

Audacity - free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds.
MusicScore - Free music composition and notation software.
Notepad++ - Notepad++ is a free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages.
Sublime Text - a sophisticated text editor for code, markup and prose. r
Rainmeter - Windows desktop customisation.
Handbrake - open source video transcoder
Pocket - a great site for saving articles, recipes or whole pages for later offline viewing, and cloud syncs with all your devices.
OpenOffice - The free and open productivity suite. Free Office
DistroWatch - Put the fun back in computing. Use Linux, BSD. This site gives detailed information on each Linux distribution and provides links to their respective communities.


Friday, June 21, 2013

The Passing of Michael Eagle

Michael Eagle was my closest and truest friend. I knew him for 35 years, he was the constant man in my life, other people came and went, but Michael was always there. We were never lovers, but had an intimacy unlike any other relationship. We were so close people often thought we were a couple; we loved each other deeply and sometimes bickered and argued like an old married couple.  He was the Eagle in Eagletree, the name of my business. He was a father figure for all of my children, and was always there when I needed him. He was 69 years old and lived an extraordinary life. He was in the service just prior to Vietnam, flying small planes in Alaska doing mapping and aerial photography. He was an experimental machinist for Boeing and helped design the landing gear for the 747 that still fly today. He worked on oil rigs, as a long haul trucker, short order cook, big equipment operator, a sign painter, an artisan, gold dredger, big equipment operator, mechanic, mason, woodworker, and jeweler. A contractor and handyman who could build a house from the ground up, he could fix anything. Once he mastered something he moved on to the next thing.  He was an accomplished herbalist, woodsman, and hunter. He loved electronics and was a Ham radio operator. For much of the last 20 years he was a gypsy and lived in his motor home, often parked at my house, or would take off to the south in the winter, or the mountains.  He had his RV rigged o be completely off grid with solar power. He made a wood fired sauna on wheels, and a solar hot tub on wheels. He loved learning how to do new things and I was always surprised to learn something he knew how to do, from stained glass, to how to develop film. One day he decided to make chain mail and started on a pair of gloves, got the first one done, then in the middle of the second one changed his mind and turned it into a necklace and gave it to me.  I could write pages about all the things he did and how extraordinary he was. He taught my sons carpentry, and my daughters how to drive. He is one reason why they turned out to be such amazing people. He was so proud that my daughter Trillium was becoming an electrician and a welder, that my other daughter, Aradia has a successful business, and that my sons, Alder and Terran have great jobs they love. When I had my car accident he was by my side and came every day to see me in the nursing home.  He was considerate to the extreme, and never wanted to eat a meal without contributing something. He was a very hard worker, and could work much younger people under the table. I remember when he met his sweetheart, Katrina, and how much in love they were. I was so thrilled for him, as he was alone most of the time I knew him. It was wonderful for two people late in life to have met and be so perfect for each other.  He had son from his first marriage,  Ed, with whom he had lost contact for thirty years. They reconnected about ten years ago and even from a distance became very close,talking on the phone and via Skype for hours at a time about politics,  prepping, airplanes, radios, and electronics for hours. His other son Gabriel was out of town and we could not reach in time, many years Gabriel’s sister Dru had come live with Michael and he was closer to her than her biological father, he became dad too, and grandpa to her child.  

He was exceptionally healthy and active and working up to the day he died. He did not believe in western medicine and only after much harassing on my part did he finally start taking medication for high blood pressure, and his reluctance to have medical intervention was a choice that he knew might cost him his life. 

He was living way out in the mountains in Southern Oregon, off the grid, and working on big equipment on a ranch, when he collapsed on Monday morning. He was air-evaced to Medford, where they found that he had e had a massive stroke on both sides of the brain. The damage was severe and there was no chance of any kind of recovery.  There was a delay in reaching family so the hospital placed him on a ventilator. This gave time for Ed to fly in from Missouri and Katrina and I to arrive. The family placed him on a do not resuscitate order, as we all knew that is what he would have wanted, but we kept him on the vent until his son Ed could fly in.  The nurses and hospital staff were amazing and wonderful. I tapped into my midwifery skills to make plans and create space for a peaceful transition. I know now why so many midwives turn to caring for the dying, there are so many similarities. It felt like a birth, in uncertainty, in fear, to having nature be in control, in wanting to do the best thing, but instead of anticipation and joy, sorrow and loss.  Katrina, Dru  and I stayed with him at the hospital until Ed arrived. We removed the ventilator and he breathed on his own fairly steadily through the night,  and in the morning, Katrina climbed in bed with him, we all held him and sang and prayed, and he slowly and peacefully passed. We washed his body, sewing him into a blanket as a shroud with sage in the traditional Native manner.  The bath and the shrouding was such an extraordinary process, and so loving to do with Katrina, we joked and cried, and took our time. Katrina trimmed his beard, like she has been doing for nine years. Dru had missed the moment of passing but came in the middle of the bath, so we covered Michael up and the hospital staff let Dru’s daughter who is five into the room for a few minutes to say goodbye to grandpa. Then we finished the bath and the sewing of the shroud, and with final kisses, and sent him off for cremation.

One of the nurses told me that they had never had a family wish to do the post mortem care, and it was an honor to be with us during that time.  The hospital had two women as part of their compassion team, who were with us whenever we needed them, and their presence was very helpful. They said that it was one of the most peaceful passings they had ever assisted in.

The process of having that time with him at the end, the way space was given to us, the love and care from the nurses and staff was extraordinary. I think of them as passage doulas. Michael’s passing was inspiring, beautiful, and profound, and the single most difficult thing I have had to do in my life. He is the closest person to me that has ever died, and I am having a hard time imagining my life without him. But what helps my grief is knowing he died on his terms, on his mountain, did not linger or suffer, was not a burden to anyone and his passage was so filled with love.

We should all end this time in life the same way we come in, surrounded by those who love us, peaceful, conscious and filled with the spirit of the Creator.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Healing, Walking, Gardening, just not blogging

I am doing so much better, really short of miracle. After hospital, nursing home, seven months in the wheelchair, started the process of slow, painful process of walking. Gardening has been my therapy and the healing for both my mind and body. Have not been in the head space to work on the computer, all the websites and blog neglected. I was three credits shy of my Masters in Education and could not finish after my accident. My whole life seemed to revolve around doctors, PT, treatment, and healing. My daughter Trillium came down from Portland numerous times to help with the herb business and we got a bunch of new products for the Oregon Country Fair, so I have been putting energy into getting that going again. Did two other festivals after OCF, which was pretty amazing considering my limitations, but had a great time. I still have part of the bone in one leg missing, and have trouble walking any kind of distance, but all the healing work is paying off. Here are some things that made a difference: prayer, support of family and friends, white tea kombucha, comfrey & horsetail,  trauma oil, gardening.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In a car accident, need prayers and support

On Monday, Nov 7th at 9::30 am I was involved in a serious automobile accident. The short version is I swerved and a concrete wall and my car had a disagreement, and the wall won. I am very lucky to be alive and no one else was hurt. One broken leg was not good enough, I had to break two. My left leg was shattered in multiple places, both tibia and fibula with a compound fracture, and compression fractures of both ankles, the right leg only has three fractures of the tibia. It was an amazing feat of medical skill that put my legs back together with an entire hardware store of metal. My situation was complicated by medical problems, and I spent the first few days of my hospitalization in the cardiac unit. After six days I was released to a skilled nursing facility, where I currently reside until I can get the rehab I need and modifications made to my house so I can go home. It took until today until I have been able to post anything.

This accident has been the most challenging experience in my life, facing the possibility of losing a leg, as well as a long recovery with an uncertain outcome. Although I have had issues with my mobility and health before, I have never experienced this level of incapacity and being dependent on others for the simplest thing like going to the bathroom.

One of the many lessons I have learned from this experience, is seeing the health care system from a whole new perspective. As a midwife, my experience was working with people in the most joyous time in their lives. As an accident victim, the health care workers I now encounter are working with people often in the most difficult times in their lives. From the firemen and paramedics that cut me out of my car to the nursing home staff, they have very difficult jobs caring for who are suffering or unable to care for themselves. All of my health care providers so far has been dedicated, professional, and in some instances truly gifted. But like anyone in a complicated medical situation there have had problems, mistakes that should not have happened, and it my case, made a bad situation worse. This experience showed me it is not the health care system that is broken, it worked amazingly well in my situation, but that fact the medicine is not dictated by patient care by the medical insurance industrial complex. Because most places are staffed by the minimal allowed guidelines, I have been “told” that there is not understaffing, however everywhere I have seen so far the amount of work needed to properly care for patients far exceeded staffing. It has been inspiring to see how dedicated this people are, under such difficult circumstances. Here comes my political rant, people need jobs, health care workers are overworked, a simple solution to put people to work and reduce suffering, but somewhere along the line the bottom line, profits before people. There is not enough nurses and the cost of education is prohibitive to many. Once I got to the nursing home, what struck me the most was not how bad my care was, the place I am in is better than some, worse than others, but how badly the elders and the very sick are treated in this country even with medical insurance, and if you have no insurance, you are really in trouble. After the last week I can tell you that I now firmly believe every CEO of every hospital and nursing home in the country should be required by law to spend three days in their own facilities, with casts on both legs and be unable to go to the bathroom without assistance. Add in a fog of medication and a complex system to follow and understand, and then we may see finally see some changes in the health care system.

I am lucky most of my medical will be covered by Medicare, as what my car insurance paid ran out the first day. However in order to get home and to complete my rehab, there are more expenses then what my family can help with and I have been unable to work or go to school since the accident. My family and friends set up account at any Oregon Community Credit Union, to make cash or check donations the Daphne Singingtree Rehab fund, and for now we can use my son Terran’s PayPal account accept donations. I am hoping that if I can get quite a few people to each donate a little it will add up enough to get me home.In addition to cash we could use some building materials, some labor. I don’t communicate via Facebook well, my email is, home address is 2740 Shirley Street Eugene, OR 97404 I am currently River Park Nursing Center 425 Alexander Loop 97401 room 225. I am in therapy most of the day but am open to visitors in the late afternoon or evening, call first. My ability to community online is limited, so be patient.

I am very blessed to have survived this, and focusing on being as positive as possible.  But more than the money I need people’s prayers and support. A prayer circle was held for me in the tipi during my surgery and I believe that made a difference in saving my legs. Thank you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 Clinical Education Study

If you are a practicing midwife or a student in the clinical phase of your training, please take a few minutes to complete a survey that will help in my research. This is a short online form that is completely anonymous and will help shed some light on the field of clinical education for midwives. Please feel free to pass this link to any practicing midwives or students you know, the more people who fill the survey out the better the results will be. The results will be published online and in the upcoming third edition of Training Midwives: a Guide for Preceptors (2011, Eagletree Press)
The link to the survey for midwives is here:
The link to the survey for students is here:

Thank you,
Daphne Singingtree
Eagletree Press

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wt loss Update

The good news I have lost 46 lbs, in six weeks! Counting from my highest weight over a year ago I have lost over 100 lbs , still have quite a bit to go, but it is going down fast. Had my kidney stent removed last week, and my kidney function is back to normal, still having post surgical complications and going in tomorrow for more tests and procedures. Considering what other people have to go through with health issues, I feel pretty good and am looking forward to getting better and being more active.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back from the hospital, Again

My recovery from bariatric surgery was going remarkably well, then Friday night I was hit with horrible pain and vomiting and went to the ER, turns out I had a kidney stone and an infection, ended up spending two days in ICU, and just got out of the hospital this afternoon. Have a stent in the kidney for two weeks, still have one stone yet. Everyone tells me passing a kidney stone is like the pain of childbirth, well now that I have had both I can safely say childbirth is so much better, you get a baby out of the deal. I am told that the kidney stone was probably unrelated to the bariatric surgery, but I am use to drinking a lot of water and green & white tea. I have been drinking protein drinks and staying away from caffeine, so I think the lack of fluid is what got it going, so I am going back to drinking water, water, water. Being in the hospital again, and being really sick, sucks big time, but I am so grateful to be home, my new housemate Shelly worked on the garden when I was away and it is a joy to be home. Zane my grandson is 11 today. Hard to believe time goes by so fast. I remember it only yesterday being at his birth. One of the things I remember about his homebirth, not only the honor of delivering my first grandchild, but the process of watching my son Alder with his wife Sarah, as he held her during contractions, it was watching my boy become a man. Zane is such a great kid and a joy. I am glad I weathered this latest crisis, and maybe be around to be there for his first child.