Have I said that I sell Japanese indigo seeds?

This gallery contains 13 photos.

For the past few years I have been harvesting and selling Japanese indigo seeds. Last year I had so many seeds I determined I would not let many plants go to seed this year. Well, life got pretty busy, and now I have so many seeds I could grow a large indigo farm if I […]

Life with family, Japanese friends, and on the indigo farm – old post I never published

All of us except John were together for Peter's graduation from WIlliam and Mary.

All of us except John were together for Peter’s graduation from William and Mary. This picture has nothing to do with this post, but I just wanted to look at it!

Hannah's baptism on a chilly September day

Hannah’s baptism on a chilly September day


(This is a post I found in the drafts, and I am posting it just because – for pictures and stuff.)

Lately things have been buzzing around here, both with activity, and literally. We have hosted 6 Japanese visitors, traveling with them to DC, Williamsburg, and VA Beach. We had a great time and gracious hosts along the way. We were especially happy to have our son, Peter, help for the entire time, and to spend time with our daughter, Hannah, and husband, Stephen. We even got to witness husband Pete, along with Hannah’s husband, Stephen, baptize Hannah in the Atlantic Ocean! We were able to take the student who was staying in our home to a cross country meet, and to my daughter, Sarah’s, college, High Point. (We only didn’t get to see our oldest, John…) The host families here in Blacksburg, as well as others who shared their lives and time in various ways, made the trip a success.

Leading up to the visit, and since, there has been a lot of farm activities – caring for my indigo plants, buying a raw fleece, washing and dyeing some of it with my fresh indigo, and doing soap-dyeing experiments with my indigo.

Fun with Japanese students

Japanese students and some hosts -below, in DC,

Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, Blacksburg, and High Point

Sendai students in front of the White House
Sendai students in front of the White House
Posing with Thomas Jefferson at William and Mary
Posing with Thomas Jefferson at William and Mary 


Sightseeing in DC




Early Americans


Virginia Beach


Braving frigid water!



Hiking with Japanese students to Cascades Falls


Hiking with Japanese students to Cascades Falls




Hanging out in Blacksburg


Target shooting in Blacksburg


Cross-country meet



I think Sarah’s in here somewhere…

Indigo plants mid-season - time for first harvest

Indigo plants mid-season – time for first harvest

4IMG_3151 - Version 2

Blooming indigo plants

Blooming indigo plants


Cats enjoy raw fleece!

Cats enjoy raw fleece!

Experimenting with using my fresh indigo for coloring soap. Over time, the colors changed quite a bit.
Experimenting with using my fresh indigo for coloring soap. Over time, the colors changed quite a bit.


Spider Stories, 1st Installment

My childhood home, in Florida, was modest and cozy, and home to lots of wildlife, from us 5 kids and our friends, our steady stream of cats, our dog Huckleberry Hound Dog Gray (maybe he got in a few times), moths, roaches, and… big brown house SPIDERS.

These spiders are often about 4 inches in diameter, with long legs, and a body about an inch long. They are not hairy or fat, but are a bit graceful, and still very terrifying. They like to hang out at the top of walls, in dark places, in hallways, in the shower, really, anywhere you have let down your guard.

When I was small sometimes I would look up and be terrified as I would see one of these guys at the top of the wall. Most likely I would scream and run to Mom to have her save me by disposing of it (read, “killing”). I don’t know how many times she said, “Tell it ‘Hello’ “. She said they ate roaches. If that was true, they needed to eat more, but I really didn’t believe that was a good enough reason to keep them around. It wasn’t until I was an adult with several children that my mother realized just how terrified I had always been of spiders.

Although I am much better now, I still don’t like to even write the word, and will try to avoid it, if possible – which is pretty hard when writing Spider Stories! I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but writing these stories is therapy for me, kind of like in the movie, Arachnophobia. Actually, watching that movie was a type of therapy for me, too.

It is time for bed now, so I hope this doesn’t trigger any scary arachnid dreams.

Jeepers, I just lost my post…Visitors, Family, Japanese Indigo, and Fleece

Well, once again, I seem to have written quite a lot, only to somehow leave the site and have all my post disappear. I had written about our Japanese visitors, traveling with them and my son, Peter, watching my husband, Pete, baptize our daughter, Hannah, while our Japanese friends, her husband, Stephen, and our son, Peter, watched. Some of us also got to visit our youngest, Sarah, for a cross country meet and then go to High Point and hang out with her and her roommate. We had great home stay families help make the stay special for our friends, as well as local friends who entertained in many ways. Local old time country music and dancing, hiking to a waterfall, canning apples, visiting a beautiful old farm and helping with chores, on and on… (Now, if I could only see our oldest, John, my mother’s heart would be  even happier!)

Peter left to join John in Boston this week, and that was hard for Pete and I. They will be able to work together on the muziclab.com website, and I love to see my boys working together. I think we will need to find an excuse to go to Boston – maybe to see our sons or something…

We just got back from another cc meet and saw Sarah, then stayed with my sister, Deborah, and husband, Bill. I love my family! It is wonderful to spend time with Deborah. She and I spent many nights sleeping back-to-back, and she protected me from the bad guys.

Then, I wrote about the farming I have been doing, with my Japanese indigo, and activities related to that. I have now bought a raw fleece, have scoured it, and am in the process of dyeing it with fresh indigo. I love hand carding the soft wool, and never tire of the magic of watching the color change before my eyes from yellow to green to blue when I remove it from the dye.

I have so much indigo and it is getting colder, so now it is a race against winter, to get the leaves harvested and dyed with, turned to pigment powder, or dried, and to save the pollinated blooms for seeds. It looks like this year I will have many seeds again, and this time both for pink as well as white flowered plants. (if you are interested in indigo seeds you can reply here, or send an email to nancydorrell@mac.com and I will be sure to reserve some for you.) I have also been doing experiments trying to see the best way to use my indigo to dye my hand-made soap blue. It really is science – or most likely magic – and if my picture uploads you can see the many colors I have gotten recently. If anyone stumbles on this blog, gets this far, and has any helpful information for me about this, please leave a comment!Image


If only I wrote music… I could upload it on a new site called Muziclab.com.

Muziclab is new and fresh, for artists who are new and fresh. All the music is original, and it is set up by genre and location, so if you are like me, a music fan, you can search for the newest music in your favorite style, or search your location to see who is close.
When you first go to the site you can simply browse, but you should take a few minutes to make a profile for yourself as a fan or artist. As a fan you can browse the music and make a playlist by “liking” individual songs.
If you are a musician, your music will not get lost in a bunch of cover songs. It will also not have competition from ads. The site is purely music and music videos.
muziclab.com Check it out!

Spider Stories from My Life

This is a growing post, as I will add to it bit by bit. A little therapy to help my near phobia of spiders. Actually, anyone who has experienced the things I have would develop a phobia. Beginning with my childhood in Florida, I will relate all the scary spider experiences I can remember. I call it therapy, but hope it doesn’t backfire. Through my sheer number of spider encounters, I have at least gotten over my strongest fear of the smaller ones. (“ones” sounds much better than “spiders”, don’t you think?)

Last day in Manila – Long day, long post…

This is my last day in Manila, and it has been pretty full, to say the least. It’s been so long since morning I can’t say for sure is my Bible reading of 1 and 2 John was actually today or yesterday. This is just a post for me to try to remember this day.

After breakfast and getting ready, I talked to Jane Swan on Skype, and tried calling others, chatted a little with John, and emailed Sarah’s coach about her injury and the MRA test she wants her to get. I packed off and on, and went to the children’s home a little in the morning. At some point Annabell came by with plastic she bought for me, and I bought some of her soap, trying to calculate so I have enough money for my fee at the airport, and my last massage. Throughout the day I said my goodbyes to the kids out on the street, and gave Chris a bag of stuff to give to the kids of hes choice. That was accomplished in about 5 minutes. When I went to the children’s home, Alvin was alone in the yard, so I took that opportunity to give him the watch I had brought. ( aboit that, the first day or so that I saw Alvin, he mentioned that he needed a watch. I just happened to have brought a watch and had not known who to give it to. So today I surprised him and he was VERY excited. Thank you Jesus!) While I was talking to Alvin a horde of other kids came up wanting all the stuff in my bag. So many that I could not keep track and, of course, ran out of stuff. Layer Danilo came up and said he got nothing, as did one of the girls. So “pitiful” but I wasn’t sure if it was true. So I went back and scrambled to get something for them. The moral that I had known already, but ignored, is, basically, don’t give them anything. Later I took a couple of general toys, a nerf mini-football and a sock monkey, to the nursery, and, basically created pandemonium there, as well.

After taking 3 of the older toddler/young kids outside and trying to keep up with them, I finally said my good byes and scurried off to try to find the house of a sweet woman I met at church yesterday. I knew it was a bad idea, but, already late, I took off to find her without asking anyone. About 2 miles in my flip-flops later, and after talking to several friendly Philipinos, I Talked to the guards at Faith Academy ( now I can say I have seen it..) and finally gave up to head home.

At our corner, I got inspired, and actually found her, and had a nice visit wit her, her husband, and their granddaughter. The tea her granddaughter gave me was superb since I was so thirsty… Then, off for a quick bite, talk to the guys in the street, see the Josie’s Angels leaving their Bible study, talk to Dicky and Mindy, Find Jovee and give her a necklace and say good bye, wait outside with the Jazz girls, finally going with them so we could watch My Fair Lady. Not so easy. When we finally got there, they ate dinner, which was fun to see, the some cleaned up while I hung out with others in the room 10 of them share.Finally, we started the movie, with everyone crowded in, including Eliza, the inspiration for watching. Well, although this is a terrific movie, it starts rather slowly, and is hard enoug to understand for those of us with American English as our first language. I’d say about 5 girls stayed interested, not including Eliza..Since my massage appointment was for 9 I asked Mama Maria if Arthus could take me home. Turns out there was no car- it had gone to the airport. I was at least 30 min late. Not only that, but I didn’t have enough money after all, as I had loaned some money, and the loanee had not gotten cash yet. OK, a 30 min massage, ” gentle on the shoulders this time” gentle it was NOT! I think Zoli was determined to rid me of my knots, but, alas, she failed.

Now I have set my alarm for 5 a.m., and may change it to 4:30, to be sure to have time for my shower and finishing packing. So, good night, and I see Pete tomorrow! It is sad to leave. If Pete were here, I would definately want to stay longer. God willing, I will return in the not-too-distant future, with a team, including Pete and dental folk.




Last night I was able to help a couple of women in the community by getting a massage. I think I already mentioned this… Anyway, today, I noticed that the big knots I always assumed were just part of my natural calf anatomy are gone! Yea!

I wish I could bring them home to work on Sarah… And all of us for that matter.