Sunday, April 30, 2006




An open star cluster located in the Small Cloud of Magellan, about 200,000 light years away. Bonfires to welcome the coming of Celtic Summer. This is the eve of the season of Beltane. Starflowers in place of the earthly ones. This is from Caitlin Matthews' Celtic Devotional. The farewell blessing is usually said at the back door or a back window. I've always liked that word. Fare you well.

Go with thanks and go with blessing,
Season of integrity.
Souls with truth are deeply freighted.
Hearts are keen with innocence.
You have come to brightest Spring,
Infant, who has grown to childhood,
Midwife, wise with mothering,
Touch the hidden beauty in us,
Help us soar on Summer's wing.
Maiden of flowers, open the door,
Smith of souls, come you in.
Let there be welcome to the growing strength,
Let there be welcome to the Summer of the year.
In bud and blossom you are traveling,
In fruit and fragrance you will arrive.
May the blessedtime of Beltane
Inflame the soul of all beings,
Bringing energy and effort to conflagration.
From the depths to the heights,
From the heights to the depths,
In the core of every soul


Great weather this weekend if a little chilly and a lot windy at times. This time of year the temperatures and be almost eighty one day and drop to the mid fifties the next. The local university has been  hving their spring football camp the past month so my nephew has been busy. They had their spring scrimmage yesterday. The clouds and wind came in just in time for the game. A local cable channel carried the game and it was fun to watch. There were actually about 15,000 people at the stadium. Pretty good turn out for a game between two sides of the same team. It was kind of fun listening to the commentators. There weren't too many commercials and they weren't really trying to impress anybody so you could actually learn something about the team. My sister and the family came down to watch the game and picked up my oldest nephew on the way through Corvallis so he could come to the game too. We're covered. One's a Duck, the other's a Beaver.

I'd gotten in touch with my inner baker yesterday morning and made a batch of French  bread. I'll need to bake again Saturday. One loaf went home with Colleen and half of the other loaf went home with Chris. Yum.

We made a quick trip to get a new trellis for the front climber. If we'd waiting until next week we probably couldn't have gotten behind the bush to put it up. Between us mom and I make one good handiman. :-)

All the local trees are nicely leafed out. It really changes how the place looks. There's an absolutely huge chestnut tree down the street that's in full bloom. Now if we could just lose the moonlight broom at all the freeway interchanges. It's a lowlying, white version of Scotch broom. If nothing else around here makes me sneeze in the spring this stuff will. Some genius thought this would be a really great plant to put around the freeways. Ahhchoo!

Well, I don't know about you but this was a pretty good weekend. Now I gotta go back to work. Siiiiiiiiiiiigh.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Got a couple of good close up shots of the pink dogwood. They are just about perfect today. If the weather stays sunny, the color will be fading in a few days and the blossoms will start to fall within a week or so. The spring blossoms are like all extravaganzas. Short but glorious. The tree will be nice during the summer and provide some great shade, but for about three weeks it's a show stopper.

The size for the journal is ok, but the ones I posted to the trees and shrubs album on Webshots are pretty spectacular, in my very biased opinion.

Friday, April 28, 2006


It was clear but hazy this afternoon when it was tiime to go home. I could see the Three Sisters from the road and saw something different and kind of neat. The haze made the lower part of the mountains look almost the same color as the sky. It made the snow peaks look like they were floating above the surrounding mountains.

This is a link to a site with some great pictures. The difference is that these shots were taken from the east side of the Cascades. I'm over on the west side.


There seemed to be a thread running through a lot of the posts in support of boycotting The DaVinci Code. There's a theme of "poor me." Everybody's picking on the-fill in the denomination of your choice. It's all a conspiracy by the-fill in the target of your choice. Most of them were pretty foul mouthed too. Also very creatively spelled in a lot of cases. There were also some very well thought out entries running along the lines of  "if I don't agree with it nobody is forcing me to watch it or read it."

The Creator/ress existed long before humans realized she/he existed and will exist long after we're gone. My beliefs are mine, I'd prefer not to believe alone but my belief or lack of belief is not conditional on what you believe. My belief or lack of belief is not conditional on what some novelist writes or some script writer creates based on that book.

I seem to be having some trouble finding the right words to express this and I don't want to come across as a sanctimonious ass. If a piece of fiction can shake a faith perhaps the problem is not the book or the movie.


I was taking the Vatican's call to boycott the film version of The DaVinci Code seriously until I realized it was all reverse psychology. The Vatican probably has stock in Sony. The call for a boycott is sure to increase sales. :-)

Seriously out of all the crap that's going on in the world right now from the war in Iraq, through genocide in Darfur, to the possibility of Iran joining the nuclear  club this is about 799 on my list of 799 things to worry about.

I seriously doubt that any of the fans who have read Harry Turtledove's alternate history fantasy series really believe that the south won the Civil War leaving the US officially split into two countries. The unofficial split is another story and the War of Northern Aggression is still recent history for some folks.

It's just a story folks. A work of fiction. And I guess I'm finally going to have to scare up a used copy of the blessed thing so I can see what all the hubbub is about. Yep, I have to admit I haven't read The DaVinci Code yet, but it looks like I'm going to now. Between the job, the cats, family, picture taking and my long as my arm and getting longer reading list, I should finish about the time my youngest nephew gets out of high school or one of the five gets married. Which ever comes first. LOL

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Interesting how the buds start out so pink and the bloom comes out a cream color. Experiments with some close up shots. Wish the bush was a little taller, though. It's hard enough to see the LED without doing a pretzel imitation at the same time. Shrub seems to be naturally on the short side


Bluebells and creeping jenny golden. Me and my camera are having a good time.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


I was playing around with the digital camera the other day. The nautilus and the wolf pendents came from Coldwater Creek. Back in the beginning when they still carried some very original items.

The tree of life was purchased locally but the maker has a website and can be found here. They have a wonderful selection of very original pieces.

Three guesses on the fabric background.


The light was great this morning. Shots with the digital in the front yard about 7:30 this morning. Went out this morning and splurged for a tripod. I can't hold the camera still enough to get some of the shots and I can't bend low enough long enough at the alter of the camera God to get some of the shots I want either. So we'll see. The ferns are known as fiddleheads at this point. I like to call them slow motion party favors because they unfurl like the squeaky toys only much, much slower. I included the andromeda shrub because the colors are so great.

I think I was actually focusing on the daylily foliage behind. I love the camera but it's kind of hard to see the LED display in the bright sunlight. Anyway, this how the front is shaping up right now.


The first of our rhodies to start blooming. Also the the one that gets the first sun in the morning. Coincidence?

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I was feeling pretty cheerful this evening. Until I started watching Oregon Field Guide. The program was concentrated on efforts to guide and plan development in the Portland area while maintaining some the open spaces and liveability. Something I believe will be more important as fuel prices keep going up and the cost of bringing in groceries from the other side of the country becomes more expensive. I hope we don't reach a time when we have to start tearing up parking lots so we can plant potatoes.

I was doing pretty well until the anti urban growth boundry guys came on camera piously defending the consumer's right to choose to live in a ten thousand square foot house if they want. I've noticed a few things. Most of the spokesmen for the libertarian consumerism philosophy appear to be white and male. When these folks start talking about how they're protecting my right to buy what I want I suspect it's more a matter of convincing me to buy what they want to sell me. Whether it's a huge house, a huge SUV, vitamins diguised as candy, or whatever the flavor the month is up right now.

I'd also love to find out how many of them would support my right to choose to carry a pregnancy to term or marry another woman-if I happened to swing that way. Time to lock the smokehouse as Harry Truman used to say. Or time to make sure where your wallet is.

Well, at least I got that bit of cantankerousness out of my system. It's spring and there's about a bazillion shades of green on display on the way home these last few days. Or at least a couple of dozen. :-)

It's Friday now and I'm still a little grumpy about this. If there is one thread that is common to the mystics, Wiccans and Native Americans I've been reading, it is this. Actions have consequences. We have a responsiblity to make sure that our actions do not interfere with the well being of others. So many of the so called "rights" I see highlighted recently seem to revolve around my right to convince you to do or buy or act in a way that will benefit me but may not benefit you. Too weird.

I hope the weather is better this weekend. I think a need a long walk with my camera.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

WHAT THE @#$%^!!!

The president has announced that it would be "best" for Donald Rumsfeld to remain as Secretary of Defense. The impression I get from the quote is that it is best in the personal sense for him to remain in the job he's done so badly. Perhaps I misunderstood. We all know how well the president uses the English language. In any case, I guess I was under the very mistaken impression that appointees to positions at Rumsfeld's level do what's best for the country not for themselves. I do understand that this attitude is so "last century."

I'm sure there are more than a few members of our armed forces who believe that what's best for them is to be out of Iraq and back with their families.

Too bad their isn't a mood entry for extremely cynical.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Just vegging out after making the muffins for the week. The bread's done and there's a batch of soup cooling before it goes in the fridge. Man, I love that crockpot. Return of the King is in the DVD player. We had another little cold front move through so there was a touch of thunder and hail to add to the sushine we had today.

As the weather broke it got really sunny out front. For a moment we had really bright sunshine on the pink dogwood and the white flowering tree across the street. The clouds in the sky behind them were almost black. It made the flowers look twice as bright. The whole thing lasted about five minutes or so. Awesome.


Made a batch of bread this morning. Got to thinking about all those bread bakers who’ve gone before me. I’m Scotch, Irish, English, Welsh, and a bit of German. If I Google my dad’s last name, Heaton, I find that the name comes from Yorkshire in northern England. And back about a thousand years ago, that part of England was part of an Irish-Viking kingdom. So, there’s probably a bit of Scandinavian in the mix. If I did a bit of research I could probably find out which legions were used in the conquest of Britain. Were they Romans? Auxiliaries from the Middle East, Germany, or maybe Gaul?


Thinking about soda breads, flat breads, and rye breads. Breads that you knead and those that you don’t. All those women in all those generations baking in wood fired ovens, on flat stones, or steamed in a mold. Just a feeling of continuity with my mothers, aunts and sisters. Mom used to turn out bread in five loaf batches. Back in the day.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Tuesday it almost hit seventy degrees in our neck of the woods. The lavender is greening up nicely. The tulips are slowly coming on. All of the daylilies are nicely up and the summer lilies are peaking up through the soil, which smells so wonderful as it wakes up. The dogwood blossoms are about half open and the ferns are unfurling. I call them slow motion party favors because they remind me of the squealy party favors you blow on. The ornamental strawberries are beginning to bloom and the blueberries are starting to bud. The elderberries  and butterfly bush are leafing out so beautifully. The pink groundcover geraniums have doubled in the last week.

Today? It's forty five degrees and there's fresh snow visible on the lower Cascades east of Springfield. And some of the ski areas are talking about staying open until mid-May. Ahhhhh. Spring in western Oregon.

Amendment: It's now forty two degrees. Hopefully this is the last of the winter type storms for this year. Hope, hope, hope.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Had a little trouble getting that last entry to load properly. Apologies for wierd alerts. Ah heck, be alert-we need all the lerts we can get. LOL


I wish I could believe that the administration has the best interests of illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, and American citizens in the legislation at the center ofthis latest political firestorm.  But, I don't. 

I don't believe it's a coincidence that this legislation came up now. It'scertainly knocked the war in Iraq off the front pages. It's no coincidencethat the party of big business presided over the last large scale amnesty and wants to do it again. Not just for big business but to bolster attemptsto increase political support for the Republican Party among Hispanics. 

Maybe Mexico and the other Latin countries would have been able to build more viable economies years sooner if the various dictators hadn't been ableto play the "but we're anti-communists" card for so many years. They certainly have the resources. Perhaps if legally elected governments hadn't had to defend themselves from terrorist, yes terrorist, attacks supported by the CIA and certain graduates of the School of the Americas (located right here at good ol Fort Benning) there would be decent jobs at home for more of their people. The role call of Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador certainly springs to mind. You want to stop the use of undocumented workers in the fields, construction or the meat packinghouses? Send the CEO's to jail and levy fines big enough to get theirattention. 

Yes, I realize that most of the undocumented workers are from Mexico. Heck, most of the southwest including Texas used to be Mexico. If I can recommend an excellent documentary; it's The West. Ken Burns didn't make it but he was involved in the production. I got lucky and got a copy used. It can be spendy. If you're lucky your library might have a copy. I learned a lot that I didn't know. We not only forced Mexico to cede the territory that became California, Arizona, New Mexico and part of some other states, (I knew that) we proceeded to turn the people who were all ready there into second class citizens in their own country. (I hadn't really realized that) You get the impression in high school history classes that there wasn't anybody else here when the Americans started to move in. There's plenty of blame to go around and plenty of owning up to the past for all of us.   


Tuesday, April 11, 2006



In my “Where I’m From” post I mentioned one log loads. That isn’t entirely accurate. There was a time when one tree would make up several truckloads depending on how tall the tree was. My scanner isn’t talking to my computer and I’m not sure how well these pictures would copy anyway. But we’re talking trees so big that the cutting crew could stand on the stump. We’re talking at least three guys plus the cross cut saw and the rest of the equipment. Or three or four kids could sit side by side and have room left over. (Nobody recorded their mom’s comments when she tried to get the pitch out of their clothes. J)


Those days are long gone. The loads I see going down the road are usually just above the size my dad called “pecker poles” and the replanted forests don’t look anything like the old pictures of huge trees with space between them and low lying brushy undergrowth. My dad told stories of spotting trees with scorched bark. Back in the day when he was new to logging. The older guys told him the local Native Americans deliberately burned out the brush with little fires to improve the browse for the deer and elk. Or folks running sheep would burn the brush out so the grass would come up. Thing is they were always doing it and the underbrush didn’t get a chance to build up.


So, most of the forestland out here was never totally untouched. Between the locals and the lightning there was a fire somewhere most of the time. But there weren’t very many people and then we bought into the myth that forests could be managed. We didn’t learn from what the lumber companies did in states like Wisconsin and Michigan. Heck, most of them were the same companies. They strip mined those forests and then they came west. Western man continued to believe that he knew better than the natural world how to manage forest ecosystems that had been doing very nicely on there own for thousands of years. That a log that died of old age or fell to wind or lightning instead of being harvested was “wasted” somehow.


I wish I had pictures of some of the little clearings I’ve seen where a great grandfather cedar fell twenty or thirty years ago. There are seedling trees, vine maple, and little berry bushes that look like blackberries but aren’t-salmon berries I think. The old tree itself is covered with moss. Some of the berry bushes are starting to grow from the tree itself. And if you are lucky enough to be there on the sunny days after a rain, there’ll be a half dozen kinds of mushrooms and toadstools growing from the cracks in the bark. And of course a couple of dozen different kinds of creepy-crawlies to keep you company if you decide to get the seat of your pant damp by sitting on the tree.


And no, I’m not against cutting trees but the best work being done in Oregon right now is being done by the small tree farmers, not the big corporations. When these folks look at their land they are looking fifty years ahead. Which trees can I thin now, which ones will be left for another twenty or thirty years? Where can I leave some brush piles for cover for birds and small animals? How many seed trees to I need per acre? How can I harvest with a minimum of impact on the land itself?


And when I look at what’s left after killer tornadoes rip through a town, I start thinking that maybe wood frame buildings may be cheaper but they may not be the best way to go in some parts of this country. Heck, if I lived out there I’d be trying to build a hobbit hole myself.


And the big guys like Weyerhaeuser, Crown Z and Pope & Talbot? Their old growth was harvested and exported overseas. As raw timber. They sold out their mill operations and when the supply of federal timber began to dry up the mill towns were left to wither, the little companies went bust, and the mills were left to rust. Expendable forests, expendable equipment, expendable communities, and expendable people.


I think I’d be hard put toconvince Rae Beth’s cunning man that this is “progress.” And I think it would be very hard to sit through what he’d have to say to us.

Sunday, April 9, 2006


Right after I started this journal, I started another one that didn't get off the ground. Basically because it was too much like this one. Well, you might have noticed an awful lot of spirit oriented entries lately at the expense of the pussycats, flowers and pictures. I'm kind of off the politics right now because you can't understand where some the politics are coming from without understanding where the religion is coming from. So I've recast the second journal. It can be found here. 

This is where most of the religious speculations will be. It'll be a way to follow one thread or one book and still go whoopie the daffodils are blooming or the cats have done something really great or I just got a new batch of pictures. There may be some double posting if it'll fit in this one. I think the star shots will probably stay here  Maybe they'll end up in both places. Who knows?




I think Lisa did this and Russ's entry was great.


I am from Douglas fir, hemlock, spruce and cedar.


I am from the Cascades, the Blues, the Siskiyous, and the Wallowas.


 I am from clear cuts, choker cables, riggers and log trucks with one log loads.


I am from sandy beaches, basalt cliffs and mudflats.


I am from wild geese calling at sunrise, wrens in the thickets, and great blue herons on the other side of the river.


I am from the little creeks, the mighty Columbia and the Pacific breakers.


I am from tricycles, tetherballs, little sisters with skinned knees and a love for bugs.


I am from the ivy by the patio, the hydrangeas with dinner plate size clumps of blossoms and the garden in the back yard.


I am from a wringer washer, a concrete laundry sink and clothes full of the smell of sunshine.


I am from missionaries, Methodist hymnals and fairy rings.


I am from winter gales, spring showers, sunny summer days and autumn fogs and frosts.


I am from lavender, dogwood, daffodils, daylilies, ivy and blueberries.


I am from rivers with concrete barriers, hydroelectric turbines, and a creek that’s lost its namesake salmon run.


I am from Hanford Reach, the Umatilla Arms depot, and the Columbia Gorge where condors may soar again.


I am from logging towns with no mills, harbors with no fish, and farms being swallowed by urban sprawl.


I am from books, and a flute and feeling out of step on the march to wherever.


I am from feeling like I’m on the outside looking in. I am from seeing what no one else seems to see.  I am from hearing what no one else seems to hear. 


And Russ, you’re right. I think I’m gonna stop here myself.

Saturday, April 8, 2006


I just spent the last hour and a half with a drippy nose and half crying. I just watched my DVD of the Laramie Project. The scene sthat affected me the most? The wackos from the Westboro Baptist Church are spewing their bile outside the courthouse. And here comes a line of maybe ten or fifteen young people come across the street, up the sidewalk and take position between Phelps group and the onlookers. And they're dressed in home made angels costumes. And it just blew me away. They'd made the wings big enough to block most of the signs. Right on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved Phelps' face when the angels showed up.

The statement given by the hospital spokesman with a quote from Matt's parents. "go home and hug your kids. Don't let a day go by, be sure to hug your kids."

Two young guys did something horrendously wrong, stupid, evil. They're in prison for life. One of the defendants had an infant son. He'll never know his father. His mom will probably have to raise the child alone. The other defendant was raised a Mormon. He was excommunicated. His family isn't even supposed to visit him. They're just supposed to forget he exists. The kid who found Matt will probably never forget the horror he found that morning. The Shephards lost their son. The bartender is kicking himself because he didn't look up at the right time and maybe stop what happened.

God oh God one event touches so many lives. All of our actions have repercussions we can't even imagine. Think oh think. And never let those you love go out the door or go to bed or any action we're they're going to be gone for a time without giving them a hug or tell them you love them.


 Earth Citizen Pledge

"Aware of the vastness of the universe and the uniqueness of life, I
accept and affirm my responsibility as an Earth Citizen to nurture and
care for our planet as a peaceful, harmonious home where life may

Believing that each of us can make a difference, I pledge to persevere in
Waging Peace.  With my spirit, intellect, and energy I shall strive to:

* Reverse the nuclear arms race, and end this omnicidal threat to the
continuation of life;

* Redirect scientific and economic resources from the destructive
pursuit of weapons technologies to the beneficial tasks of ending
hunger, disease, and poverty;

* Break down barriers between people and nations, and by acts of
friendship, reduce tensions and suspicions;

* Live gently on the Earth, reclaiming and preserving the natural
beauty and profound elegance of our land, mountains, oceans, and sky;

* Teach others, by my words and deeds, to accept all members of the
human family, and to love the Earth, and live with dignity and justice
upon it."

--From Waging Peace II

Found at this website

And this from another section of the website.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone; it is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hope of its children." --Dwight D. Eisenhower

Odd how one of America's most successful generals really hated war. It was something you waged as a last resort, not the first tool in the kit.

Friday, April 7, 2006


I’ve been reading about the tools a Wiccan priestess or priest commonly uses. I’m nowhere near ready to start collecting these items and I’m not sure if I ever will be. But, I find the description of the Athame, the ritual knife, interesting. A double-edged tool is specified, although the edges are usually dulled. It’s never intended to be a weapon. It's focusing tool used to cast the circle for worship and to test the truth of those you meet in a trance.The double edge is a symbol that power cuts both ways. Any energy you send out is going to come back to you. Traditionally the energy that comes back is stronger than the energy that was sent out. Especially negative energy.


I know that the best of the followers of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions are aware of this and act accordingly. Or at least try to. Do unto others, treat your neighbor as yourself, are all bedrock traditions at least for those who call themselves Christians. At least that’s what they taught me in Sunday school. But, listen to Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. Read the posts on controversial stories from those who describe themselves as Christians. Listen to the talk radio or certain politicians. You come out feeling like you’ve taken a swim in a cesspool at noon in the middle of August.


Jesus told us to love our neighbors. When someone (a lawyer, I think) asked who his neighbor was, he got the story of the Good Samaritan. The general idea is that whoever needs your help is your neighbor. I can only conclude that the others have a narrower definition. And most of the rest of us don’t fit on their version of Procrustes very special bed.


If you aren’t familiar with the story, Procrustes would invite travelers to stay the night at his house. Only place on the road and no inns and all that. He would promise a good nights sleep on a very special bed. It fit anyone who laid on it exactly. What no one knew was that the game was rigged from the start. The bed was adjustable. It would be set up before hand so that the guest never had a chance. Those who were too tall would be “trimmed” to fit and those who were tooshort would be stretched.


Sound familiar?


Update. As Lisa says in her comment, it's all too familiar. Gay rights, gay marriage, women's rights, putting down those who don't believe the way you do or follow alternative paths of faith, the ordination of women. Theseus may have given Procrustes a fatal taste of his own medicine, but it looks like he had brothers and sisters. Lots of brothers and sisters and they're all alive and well. Three thousand years or so from the original story and their trimming and stretching goes merrily on,

Thursday, April 6, 2006


But then I go back and look at the white herons and remember the interviews that Cousteau had with Maori elders and their reverence all of Creation or I run across a poem like this and I feel much better. :-)


I have been the sunlight
On the open plain,
I have seen the wonders
Of the earth drinking rain.
I have tasted the nectar
Of the flowers and the dew,
I have been the hummingbird
Seeding love where I flew.
I have flowed with rivers,
Learning the water's songs,
Singing to every canyon
As the water moved along.
All these dreams have lifted me
Beyond the worlds I knew,
Where I have lived the harmony
Of other sacred points of view.
From Earth Medicine by Jamie Sams

Wednesday, April 5, 2006


As long as the likes of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and the other radical evangelicals kept their religious opinions in church they could claim protection for their radical beliefs under freedom of religion. Although I believe what the founders had in mind was protection of the individual from the state in the form of a state imposed set of beliefs; not freedom from inquiry when those beliefs impact the rest of us.


But, as I’m doing my personal exploring I’m finding that religious beliefs have a profound impact on political beliefs. (Duh) We’re facing a mindset that is potentially explosive and I think the majority of us who are going to be affected and don’t share those beliefs have a right to force these people to bring those beliefs into the open, explain where they’re coming from, and not be allowed to hide behind the constitution. Or claim that they’re being unfairly targeted. Creation knows some of them do a wonderful job of picking on most of the rest of us. Robertson and Falwell have both blamed “gays, lesbians, witches, feminists. liberals, the ACLU, and for all I know, fluoride,” for what happened on September 11. The president claims God put him in the White House. I’d like to know why he believes he was singled out.


For most of us, the rising oceans, increased hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters are evidence of Global Warming. Something we need to work to control because our grandchildren and great grandchildren are going to have to live with the results. For certain religious factions they are evidence that the so-called “End Times” are upon us. We don’t have to worry because there won’t be another generation to live with results of our folly.


Most of us consider the war in Iraq ill-considered, ill-timed, probably illegal, and generally bad news all around. For some folks, it’s just the prelude to Armageddon.


For most of us, the rape of the natural world is a call to work to preserve what’s left of our environment. James Watt was quoted as saying that working to save the environment didn’t matter because God was going to replace it anyway.


The radical religious right is claiming that they have a right to be heard in the political arena. I’m all for that. But, by entering that arena they give up the right to claim that the rest of us don’t have the right to know what those beliefs are and to question their effect on the rest of us. Actually, they’re pretty open about what they believe. The rest of us have the responsibility to learn what those beliefs are, where they came from and be able to call them on it. Because we’re going to have to live or perhaps not live, with the results.

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Invested in a set of Jacques Cousteau documetaries of a trip or trips through the Pacific in the 1980's. I've only had a chance to watch the programs filmed in New Zealand. The second episode ends with a visit to the Waitangi Roto Nature Reserve and footage of the reserve's white herons. I didn't even know herons came in white.

White herons, known as kotoku (Maori word, I believe) displaying

And  a pair with their two chicks. The reserve is located on the South Island just above the southwest corner of the island. Absolutely fantastic. More information, and pictures, can be found at this site.


I did this as a rough draft a couple of weeks ago and let in sort of bubble away at the back of my mind.

I changed the wording in the candle litany to “we kindle this flame.” We switched from the open candle to a cute little hurricane lamp. Much safer to leave lit for awhile.We have three terminally curious cats who love to check out new things; like the new centerpiece on the table. I started having visions of frizzled kitty tails or Misty the Magnificent's lush whiskers getting too close an open flame. Anyway I’m thinking little lamp, nice peaceful, golden light. You know, the welcoming lamp in the winter window routine.


And I had another “close encounter.” Felt a much higher level of energy. As I'm saying the words in my mind I heard other voices joining mne. Saw higher flames, more powerful, like a huge bonfire. And the shadow, like a film negative of someone or something in the middle of the fire.


Don’t know whether it’s the wording. Kindling is a more powerful word than lighting and flame implies a larger fire than a nice safe candle. But, I wasn’t thinking big flames just peaceful lamplight. I don’t know if it’s something blocking what is intended as a benign request. Or if it was a warning of some kind. That what looks like a benign request can be twisted if you aren’t very, very careful. The writings of Neo pagans that I've been reading really stress this. You can ask for healing or wisdom, knowledge of who you're going to love or riches. But you can't do anything to interfere with the autonomy of any other person.


And while I’ve never paid much attention to folks who claimed knowledge of past lives, I’m wondering. I’ve run across too many stories of lost royalty. We can’t all have been kings or queens in our former lives. I did have the sense of being caught up in some very powerful emotions. Perhaps it was something an earlier me witnessed. However, there was no feeling of fear or danger to me or anyone else.


Incidently, I don't want to give the impression that the Universe comes calling every other Tuesday. I've had three of these experiences, that I'm aware of, all since the first of the year.

Saturday, April 1, 2006


Five more things I'd prefer not to do without.

RAINBOWS: The weather this week has been really western Oregon  spring. We had everything but snow this week. Fog, sunshine, rain, wind, hail. You name it, we had it. And a nice bright full rainbow paced me all the way down 99 to Eugene as I headed home the other evening. It showed up brilliantly against the gray black clouds over the Coburg Hills on the eastern side of the valley. You don't see something like that every day. Probably a good thing or you'd start ignoring it.

SQUIRRELS: We have a bird feeder in front of the kitchen window. We keep it stocked with sunflower seeds. The chickadees like it and the squirrels love it. Kitty TV deluxe. At least one daring animal manages to not only raid the feeder while upside down but eat too. Gotta admire the little critters. Hang upside down and stuff your little cheek pouches; what a life.

CATNIP: In any form. I finally got smart and attached a long string of yarn to the newest catnip mice. That way I can toss the mouse and reel in the cat. Mom's been at my sister's this week so the cats have had the house to themselves during the day all week. Every evening I've found that yarn tail tied around the legs of the coffee table. I'm not sure how they managed to get in, around, up and down to get that yarn twisted up.

Daffodils: The area along highway 99, which I drive to work everyday is sort of well known for it's daffodil population. There's a lot of those little yellow dudes in bloom right now. They look like little bits of sunshine along the roads. Really pretty.

LITTLE ELECTRIC AROMATHERAPY MACHINES: Like I said mom's been gone all week and I don't really have time to haul the second litter box in and out every morning. And frankly my knees have been giving me fits by the time I get home anyway. Yeah, we use the best kind of odor control litter we can get, but it gets a little sour in here by the time I get home. Fire up that little machine with the fan, load with cinnamon, pine or lavender and I'm ready to believe in miracles. Much easier to live with. And yes we have two boxes. One in the house at night for the Bandit and one out one the enclosed deck for Misty and Lucky. Guess which one everybody uses during the day.

So, there's my five for the week. What floats your boat?