Monday, March 27, 2006


Actually my favorite astronomy website posted this on February 28. It's the Flaming Star Nebula. It's about fifteen hundred light years away and can be found near the constellation Auriga, the Charioteer. Auriga can be found just above and to the north of Taurus. With luck and a small telescope the nebula is visible from earth.



Two sets of documentaries produced by Jacques Cousteau have been released on DVD. Cousteau Odyssey and Explorations in the Pacific. They take their place with Attenborough’s Living Planet, Sagan’s Cosmos, and Bronowski’s Ascent of Man as the ultimate in reality TV. I admit I have to admire the ad folks skill in packaging programs that are basically staged and convincing us that it’s “real.” But, hey there are centuries of precedent to draw from. After all, the oral and written traditions that came out of the Middle East have been packaged and sold to convince us that they contain the only “truth” about anything and everything.


At least the Hindus understand that there is one Truth with many faces and you worship the representation of God/dess that you are closest to. This doesn’t mean that Hinduism got it all right. Just this one piece of the puzzle. There’s still enough prejudice and discrimination to go around. Mix radical Hindus and radical Muslims, both pushing each other’s buttons with demonic precision, and the results can be and often are explosive. I really don’t know where some the radical Creationists got the idea that the Adversary has time to fake geological evidence supporting an ancient Cosmos. He’s got too many other fish to fry. To many shoulders to sit on whispering “be afraid, stay afraid, you’ll be safer that way.”


I hauled out Joseph Campbell’s Mythos this weekend. One statement from the series has always stuck with me. That Yahweh’s biggest mistake was believing that he was God. Not the best understanding of one group of people had of one face of God but IT, the ULTIMATE, the only GOD. And we’ve been sold this bill of goods ever since to keep the existing power structure in place.


The radical message of love, respect and the Oneness with the true God/dess was co-opted, caged, and made to serve the powers of this world. When you realize the power structures in the world Jesus was born into you understand just how radical the message he brought was. In a world of patronage, slavery and oppression he dared to say that chainscould be broken. That the Creator/ress what everywhere, in everything and everyone. That spirits could soar and sing. It wasn’t a question of whether the newest prophet of the truth behind all the masks would be silenced, but how and when. It didn’t take long the clip the spirit’s wings; mute the song and tuck it safely back in its cage.


Funny thing about cages though. The wings grow back, the door gets pried open and every so often the spirit slips out and takes wing. No matter how many fingers the little Dutch boys from the Vatican, Mecca, the various synods and other power groups keep sticking in their cracking dikes; she soars and sings.


J And oddly enough this is not where I expected to end up when I started this little number. God/dess you and I are going to have a little talk about when you decide to move the fingers. This was supposed to be a paragraph of notes to be worked on later, not an essay.  But, then I guess my idea of time and Your idea of time is on a little different scale.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Ran across this poem in a book called EARTH MEDICINE. In Native American teaching the word medicine refers to wisdom. So wisdom from the earth.

Look to the Earth
And to the Skies
The Sun, the Moon, and to the stars
You who would be wise.
For they contain the full measure of man
The height, the breadth, the depth, the span
Of his entirety.
Look to the Earth
And to the Skies
And watch them turn
Like pages of a holy book
But one untouched by human hand.
You who would be wise.
Look to Earth
And to the Skies
For in that which can be seen Without
Can true knowledge come
Of unseen mysteries that lie Within
To you who would be wise.
Look to the Earth
And to the Skies
Spring and Summer,
Winter and in the Fall.
Watch life begin, unfold, then fade and die
To rise anew
Time and again for Time Untold
You who would be wise.
Look to the Earth
and to the Skies
And in your looking, learn this mystery
That you who look to the Earth
And to the Skies
Shall be given eyes to see
Shall be given eyes
To make you wise
by Kenneth Meadows 

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Taking a lesson from Russ and Lisa, but I think I'll do five at a time. LOL

Feathery cat teasers. They come in great colors. I'm not sure why because last time I heard cats can't see colors, but they are great for working out a high energy cat. When Bandit really gets into it she can get at least two feet into the air and add a twist. She'll even come over and give me the "eye" when she wants to play.

Crocuses. We always get a few about the end of January. They may be little and wimpy, but they are a promise of longer days and sunshine ahead. They do look a litte forlorn if a late season snow storm comes by long after it's expected.

Any documentary by David Attenborough. Started his career with the BBC and used his passion for the natural world to create several wonderful documentaries. No talking heads and plenty of absolutely stunning photography. Close up shots of tiny flies, fish or insect larva that make them look like they're the size of large hummingbirds. He has an ability to explain concepts without talking down to his audience.

Laptop computers. It'a wonderful to be able to surf the net or work on projects in the comfort of a great chair. By the end of the week sitting at the computer desk is too much like work.

Stash teas. Northwest based company that has a line of black, green and herbal teas that is really astonishing. I think you could buy a different one each week and take at least six months if not longer to go through the whole inventory. I'm fond of their Lemon Ginger herbal tea.

And all of you, hugs to all.

Friday, March 24, 2006


There are couple of things that really bug me about the Ohio shooting. Incidently there has been absolutely nothing in the two papers we take. The local paper could devote a third of a page, including cute picture, to a coyote that made its way to Manhattan but nothing to good kid blasted for walking on the grass. I've even briefly searched the net and found two stories. One in a paper from South Africa of all places and one for a British paper.

I guess what really shocked me was the utter willingness of people who knew abosolutely nothing beyond what was in the brief story in AOL to believe the worst, not of the shooter but the victim. I would hope that the very idea that an adult would kill a child (and a fifteen year old is still a child, I don't care how grown up they think they are) is so foreign that there must have been a "good" reason for it. Talk about blaming the victim.

From what I've picked up we're talking about an obsessive compulsive who measured his grass and went ballistic if a neighbor accidentally mowed over the property line. And in a neighborhood with no sidewalks, he believed "his" lawn went all the way to the edge of the road so it was almost impossible for anyone not to trespass. Turns out the person that was doing the harassing was the shooter. According the posting for the English paper almost everyone in the neighborhood with kids had run ins with the man over the years. The kid was just being a kid. Maybe I'll luck out and there will be something in Newsweek next week. I know the local prosecutors weren't terribly impressed with his reasoning and have charged him with murder. Just our luck he'll probably be able to make an insanity plea stick.

I guess what really rocked me were the posters who agreed with the shooter. "Oh yeah, I'd do the same thing." Are we so hung up on what's ours or what we think is ours that we'll kill because somebody touches it? Not protect, the boy was nowhere near the house and not threatening the owner in any way, but just because he basically got on what would be sidewalk and right of way here in Springfield.

I used to look after my sister's kids years ago. I decided then, that there was absolutely nothing in or around the house that was worth a person's life except the people. And if somebody was coming in one door, I was grabbing the kid and heading for the hills. Property can be replaced, perhaps not fully but it can be replaced. Lives can't. 

Too bad family of the victim probably can't afford to sue the NRA. Somehow I can't picture this guy as a member of anybody's militia.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I’m wondering too, how many of these uncharitable, blood thirsty posters would describe themselves as Bible believing whatevers.


There was an excellent article in the Oregonian this weekend on religious ethics. On how “an eye for an eye” was actually an improvement. It means that you can’t exact more in retribution than the original offense. In other words, if the guy down the road steals some of your chickens you are entitled to the value of the chickens and any property damaged in the theft. You aren’t entitled to burn his house down.


And of course Jesus taught something that went far beyond an "eye for an eye."


Given the situation in the earlier post it’s just a thought.


Something else that occurred to me. I can't help wondering if all these perscription drugs they're pushing are screwing with people'sbrain chemistry. There is so much anger out there. When they study a drug they look for results on the disease they want to treat. I can't help wondering if it affects other things that they don't think to study. Or can't get money to study. Hmmmm?

WHAT THE #$%@^!!!!!!


This is a picture of the yard in question. It looks like any other average suburban yard to me. Certainly nothing to shoot anybody over. Certainly no what I was expecting from the comments in the news story.



There was an extremely disturbing story on AOL this morning. It happened in Ohio, but given the few comments in the posts, I suppose it could have happened anywhere. On one side an older gentleman, totally devoted to what was described as a meticulously maintained lawn. (see comments below of the picture of the actual yard) On the other side fifteen year old boy who walked across the lawn. The boy is dead and the lawn owner is in jail.


The guy with the lawn stated that he’d had trouble with the next-door family for over five years and he finally flipped out. The article was fairly brief and didn’t give details of problems between the neighbors. What got to me were the few posts that I read before climbing out of the cesspool. Several rational posters have suggested that if the yard was so important to him, maybe it should have been fenced. Good point. But, some of the other posts. That a kid deserved to die because he trespassed on a neighbors yard. Heck, our yard in Oakridge got its corner clipped regularly.


We had an empty lot behind our house that was the neighborhood favorite for pick up baseball games. The kids were welcome to come in and retrieve balls as long as they closed the gate afterwards. Heck, they were welcome to make a side trip to visit the berry patch as long as they picked the ripe ones and didn’t throw the green ones. And we got along pretty well. I think my folks figured that if the yard was kid friendly, they’d always know where we were. J They were right too.


There were some pictures with the story. Frankly, given the man’s reaction, I was expecting a really fancy yard. Reality was a little different. Small ranch type houses, big yards, no sidewalks and no fences between the houses. Since it’s the end of winter the yard didn’t look that great. I don’t know about lawns in Ohio, but out here it’s nearly impossible to keep a lawn green past July unless you really work at it. And Imean really work at it. We’re talking major investments just in water, not counting weed killers, fertilizer and really good seed. That’s one of the reasons we have a yard full of lavender and other stuff. But, I’m getting off track here.


Frankly, there aren’t enough details in the story to say what the previous harassment was or wasn’t. No statements in the story from neighbors or police describing previous harassment or calls to police for trespassing or the like. My experience with wide open, no fence neighborhoods is that the kids regard the whole block as one big backyard. So, we’ve got a dead kid, a man with a shotgun in jail, and a lot of folks talking through their hats about something they don’t seem to know much about. What is really scary is that a good third of the posters seem to believe that having someone walking across your property gives you the right to use lethal force. I’m sorry, but having problems with your neighbor does not warrant vigilante justice.


And would somebody care to tell me the difference between this and the abuser’s excuse of  ‘if you didn’t make me mad, I wouldn’t have to hit you” or the “if you weren’t insisting on getting in my way on the freeway I wouldn’t have to ride your bumper.” There were a lot of comments about how kids aren’t as respectful as they used to be. But, there was a time when flipping out and shooting your neighbors wouldn’t get nearly as many supporting comments as I’ve been seeing the last few years. I’m afraid that there is plenty of disrespect from all ages and classes to go around.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


I'm outta here. :-)

With the blessing of the Star Kindler,
And the Well-Keeper,
I return home in peace.
Candle flames, day dies,
star-sparkle in the skies;
night's promise gladly bringing,
heart's blessing, soul's singing.
I seal my soul with the elixir of healing:
seal of truth upon my lips,
seal of nature upon my being,
seal of knowledge upon my mind:
the triple blessing of health upon me.
May healing peace be upon the souls of all beings,
from merciful night
til Spring's true light.
May the blessing of the
Friend of Souls,
the Companion of Hearts
accompany me this Spring night.
From The Celtic Devtional

Friday, March 17, 2006


Without further ado. 

Four jobs I've had in my life:
Baker (worked with Lisa at Chatel),
paper pusher,
baby sitter,
and many, many moons ago-bean picker.
Four movies I love:
Cry Freedom
All Three Rings Movies (I know it's technically three films, but)
Going my Way
Four Favorite Television Shows:
MASH reruns
Judging Amy
Babylon 5
Four Favorite Books:
I only get four? :-(
How Green Was My Valley
Cry the Beloved Country
In This House of Brede
Four places I've been on Vacation
The Oregon Coast Aquarium
The Oregon Trail museum in Eastern Oregon
Half the State Parks on the Oregon Coast
Crater Lake National Park
Four of my favorite dishes:
McGraths' s Fisherman's Stew
Homemade french bread with rosemary
Fresh chocolate chip cookies
Milk to go with the cookies
Four Places I'd Rather be Right Now:
Any little beachfront motel on the Oregon Coast
Visiting my sister in Umatilla
Anywhere there's a cat
Four Bloggers I'm Tagging:
The wonderful transplanted beachcomber at
Dave at

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


It isn't quite cherry blossom time yet. But the flowering plums are beginning to bloom. So with that in mind.

Son of the Twilight, Daughter of Dreams, Uncreated Child of the Universe, my heart plays with you. Spring's song broken, heart's token. Candle-message softly spoken; leaves unfurling, light before, open now the soul's door.  I smoor my soul in the eaves of evening: flower of life, flower of light, flower of love, blossom in peace in the heart of all beings. From close of night til light of day. Child of Truth, Mother of the Word, weave your web of sleep about me.

Words from the Celtic Devotional.   Picture one of Mary Barker's flower fairies.

Granted the fairies are probably looking for their long johns and gathering in the primroses or the heather no matter what kind of fairies they are. It hasn't been raining but it hasn't been sunny either. Oh, well Spring "officially" arrives next week.

Monday, March 13, 2006


I forwarded a copy of what I wrote about lighting candles to my sister last week and I may have sort of opened Pandora’s Box. Make no mistake, I love her dearly, but when it comes to matters of faith, we’re opposites. I’m most comfortable outside, the poem attributed to St Columcille that describes the perfect hermitage sounds like heaven (I’d be sure of good tight walls and a good fire myself), and I’m increasingly uncomfortable with a lot of the old hymns that are full of battles and fortresses. (Note, I love “In the Garden” now there’s a mystic for you.) And frankly the stuff they’ve come up with where you repeat the same phrase or phrases over and over and over until your eyes glaze over doesn’t do anything for me either. I don’t know, maybe they are going for the zombie effect on purpose, that could explain some of the support for George Bush.


Sis belongs to a congregation affiliated with the Four Square Church. She seems to be more comfortable with a system that is more ordered. She like what I wrote and asked what I’d been reading. Tall order, in some ways I think what I wrote probably reflects just about everything I’ve read in the last twenty years. So I started with a little blessing from The Celtic Way of Prayer. She liked it, but wondered if it didn’t come close to Nature Worship. Ok, can of worms time. I’m going to have to walk very carefully here. I don’t believe that any traditional culture “worships” nature. I do believe that I’m up against what 18th and 19th century western Europeans “thought” traditional cultures were worshiping.


What philosophers like Rousseau believed about traditional cultures probably says more about Rousseau than the “Noble Savages” he wrote about. The descriptions of the less admiring were usually phrased in a way that made us look more sophisticated and advanced. “Oooooh, look at the silly Hindus. They worship elephants and monkeyS!” “The Chinese are certainly strange. Imagine worshipping great uncle Harold.” Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.


Any suggestions on how to explain,tactfully, that the Celts and all the others didn’t or don’t worship nature, but they do see the hand of the Creator in all they behold and believe it should be respected. That everywhere you look the Creator can be seen and experienced. 


Ran across one interesting website with the view that because we could destroy the natural world proved it wasn’t divine. Interesting idea, bit like the person who hits their spouse because they made them angry, so it’s their fault. Come again. There is a Creator/Creatress. That one part of the created universe can totally trash another part of the created universe only proves that we didn’t get the message. Oh, and if you believe that Man is “Fallen,” the fact that Adam and Eve screwed up does not mean that the rest of creation has a problem.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


I've still been feeling sort of "written out" this week. Beautiful drive home from work yesterday. We've had a cold spell, and actually had snow on the valley floor yesterday morning. Through the day we moved from snow showers to sleet, hail, and finally sunshine. All in the same hour! On the way home I could see the bright white snow on the higher hills, bright blue clear patches, patches of showers (hail showers) where the misty white went all the way to the ground, and clouds ranging from brilliant white through dirty grey and blue black to high white wisps. Very spectacular for a twenty mile drive.

Pink flowering plums or other flowering trees looked unusual with their snowy overcoats and I hope the early spring flower fairies haven't forgotten their overcoats. There's a pot of mini bright red tulips on the front steps. They looked very cold when I passed them on my way to work yesterday. "Where's the rewind button?"

Hauled out my baking stone this morning and knocked out a small batch of french style bread. A four cup or so of flour recipe will make two small loaves of very crusty bread. It only takes about twenty minutes or so from start to finish and the dough can take most of the rest of day to meditate. The baking stone is great for free form loaves and gives a very crusty loaf. You just have to be sure and start the oven early enough that the stone is good and hot. The other secret of a good crusty loaf is to spray a healthy dose of water onto the bottom of the oven so that it fills with steam. This batch got a helping of rosemary and is excellent even without butter. Another good addition is Mrs. Dash's garlic, tomato, basil combination. A couple of teaspoons of that makes a surprisingily tasty loaf.

Doing a batch of bread is a great way to slow down. There was a good little documentary on the tube several years ago. The film profiled a family owned bakery in New York City. I think it was on Manhattan. They used the old wood fired ovens and baked french style bread for dozens of local restaurants. What I really remember is the family patriach describing how you work the dough "until it is full of grace." What a wonderful description.

Sunday, March 5, 2006


Well, this has been a week. I’m still seeing candles. How bright they are seems to depend on how tired I am. There aren’t as many and they look like they’ve been burning for awhile. Still, it’s kind of neat. Weird, but neat.


Kittie number three, AKA Bandit, is now an innie. I’m not sure if she was in heat before we had her spayed but a couple of the local tom’s were veeeeery interested. The last day she was out full time she basically spent trying to keep away from them. I finally got her in about 10:30 and she spent the whole next day sleeping. She’d been getting over a cold, so that got worse. I have never seen a cat with the equivalent of severe laryngitis. It’s hard to assert yourself when you can’t say anything. And nothing looks weirder that a cat doing the meowing movements and nothing comes out. She has adapted a lot faster than I thought she would to being in the house full time. The three are trying to figure out who’s who in the pecking order. Actually Misty and Bandit are duking it out and Lucky is observing. Since the Duchess (Lucky) is built like a small Sherman tank, neither of the others seems to want to argue with her.


In the last week or so a few daffodils are up, the crocuses are doing well and the local flowering trees are starting to bloom. Ah, the season of the sneeze. It’s not really that bad. I’ll just keep telling myself that.


Let’s see. Mom turned 80 last week. Both sisters had colds so we’ll all get together one of these days. I am slightly in shock. Youngest nephew has shot up about three inches in the last three months. He’s still 13 so he may, just may pass up his six foot plus football playing big brother. I can still reach up and hug him around the neck without his bending over, but the days are numbered.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006


I had a really good rant going. All the finger pointing on all the issues that are going so wrong is very frustrating. Beyond frustrating actually. By the time anyone admits to being responsible for anythting the country will be a lovely shade of indigo. (i.e. don't hold your breath) Cute picture though, even the red states will be blue. :-(

The rant wouldn't solve anything but I wish all the finger pointers would look at the hand that's doing the pointing. When your hand is folded so the first finger is pointed out, where are the other three fingers pointing? And when you hold out your open hand to help someone where are the fingers pointed?

And I realized that I couldn't point my finger and cast blame without being in the same position as all the rest. (long sigh) :-)