Friday, October 31, 2008

The Clock is Ticking.

YOU BET the clock is ticking. Always is.
With the end of this month, the time is running out for relaxing cups of tea and lay-abouts on the sofa with the newspaper.
It's time to be thinking of plots, great verbs, unusual situations and channeling the thoughts of characters who pop into your head unbidden. It's time to keep a pad and pencil by the bedside for those middle of the night excellent thoughts. It's time for typing on and on without really thinking just to get those 1,200 words - or thereabouts - on the hard drive every day to reach the Nanowrimo goal of 50,000 before November's last few hours elapse.
Tonight my brother came over and handed out candy to trick or treaters so I was able to do a little bit in my art journal. Above is something I did on the theme of webs for the Yahoo SoulJournal group. (You can join if you want, I'll bet. I'll give out the contact in the next post.) The original idea was "Web of Love," I believe. But mine came out "Web of Good Intentions."
I will try not to let all these "sticky" things get between me and writing during the month of November.
So I will say goodbye to October 2008 forever and to you ... only for the night - femminismo

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Well, I Said My Heart Was On My Sleeve.

Yes. I stepped out there and showed you how I voted. Some will agree with it and some will not.
"But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at." - Othello

I hope everyone is ready for the small doorbell ringers tomorrow. My brother will be coming over to hand out Halloween candy for me. He likes to answer the door and give the kids candy, and maybe I will be able to paint a few pages in my altered book journals while he is helping.
Another thing I am doing is getting ready for Nanowrimo which begins on Saturday, Nov. 1. It doesn't seem possible, but it is here again ... already. Fifty thousand words before the end of November.
I am in the process of making a "story board" of characters and names. That is permitted, according to the rules of Nanowrimo. I may even make a family tree, but I will have to be quick since I've put it off too long already.
I had best get to bed and then rise early to prepare some great character names, like Marcus Philby or Lulu Poindexter or Francine Riley or Wilton Whitacker. Hear anything you like? - femminisimo

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Votes Are Two For the History Books

NOT the most colorful photo I've ever taken, but one of the best, I think.
With these two mail-in ballots, the Mister and I are ready and willing to take the chance to change our country's direction.
I think, however, that with determination and thoughtfulness, WE are the real change agents. It is up to us to dedicate ourselves to stepping forward and helping out in America.
I hope that, on Nov. 4, we will see Barack Obama elected president of the U.S. Already, the excitement of millions who believe as we do - that our country's best hours are ahead - is mounting.
Tonight I am also stepping forward to volunteer to help change our country in another way. I am going to ask if Adelante Mujeres can use my help. I would like to be of some use to the young women who attend this school to better their lives, and the lives of their children. I would like to help them in some way - perhaps teaching them to read and write. Those are the skills I have to share and I do not think that Obama can change America all by himself. No one can.
We must support his administration while demanding the changes we were promised and not allow "politics as usual" to hold sway in Washington, D.C.
And we must be looking for ways to help in our own communities because there is so much that needs to be done by those who can afford to help. Donate one hour of the time you usually spend in front of the television or computer and make this country and its people stronger!
There; my heart is on my sleeve - femminismo

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lunch With Someone Special.

On Saturday, I had lunch with someone very special: my granddaughter, M. She is a girl I wish I had been - smart, savvy, thinking ahead, determined to achieve her goals. I'm not kidding. She's the best.
We met at Jamba Juice and talked over our lives, the meaning of reality, commuter travel, parents, mothering, the cost of education and much more. She is attending the Art Institute in Portland and working about 35 hours a week too. She is a busy, busy young woman. (At first I said "girl" but that's not right. Not any more.)
As you can see in the photo, I had a picture for her. It was taken around Christmas about four years ago, maybe. We sat outside in the October sunshine and drank our healthy juices and enjoyed each other's company. A great way to spend part of a Saturday.
Today was a warm, sunny day too. An Oregon October day that makes you glad to be alive. If only the warmth could last a big longer. The Mister was busy in the back yard and I was busy inside. I raked leaves for a while, but then got busy on my pumpkin: The 3 Faces of Eve.
Translating drawing to sculpture - with a paring knife - doesn't always go like you'd wish it to. A once a year sculpture doesn't keep your skills very sharp. But this pumpkin did end up with three faces and I can twirl it about and try each one out in the dark. Folks will see it coming and going on Halloween night - although I doubt it will be very frightening.
I have a picture I took of it in the dark. I started at 1:38 p.m., as you can see above on the microwave clock, and gouging away at it I made quite the mess.
My hands and arms were very tired. This was a thick-skinned pumpkin!
I also got terrifically inspired by Gabrielle, the chef at Out Aza Blue, the restaurant I told you about in Friday night's post, so on Saturday I cooked acorn squash and carrot soup, flavored with sage and rosemary. We weren't hungry for it last night, so we had it tonight. Delicious if I do say so myself. (And I do.)
I love places like restaurants and art galleries that inspire those instincts. They are like matches to us candles - femminismo

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sicilian Cookery Scores a Hit !

WELL, it's an exclamation mark in the title above, and well deserved, for Gabrielle, owner of Out AZA Blue Market & Cafe in Gales Creek.
I had been trying to get someone to go there with me after I heard there was a formally trained chef trying to make a go of his gourmet meals on the Wilson River Highway.
Gabrielle, whose kitchen is up these stairs in the picture at the left, is originally from New York (his parents were from Sicily), has a degree in engineering, attended Reed College, has a business degree and attended culinary school in Switzerland.
The menu covers a variety of foods - from steaks and pastas to lasagna and eggplant parmesan. The Mister ordered a gyro and I thought, "Good grief! Why order something you can get from the corner deli when you could have a rib eye steak?" But one taste of the gyro gave me a whole new outlook on that particular "sandwich." Delicious! Spicy with heavenly tender meat and vegetables. Remember to click on the pictures to get "closer" to the food.
I ordered the seafood pasta and the sauce was heavenly. There seemed to be a clam sauce base, with maybe brown butter. When I put my leftovers into the take out box, I scraped the bowl clean with my spoon. If I could have - maybe if we hadn't had friends with us - I would have used my finger. But I do have the leftovers for tomorrow night's dinner.
Here's a picture of the seafood pasta surrounded with Gabrielle's homemade bread - and it was delightfully fresh, soft inside with a slightly chewy crust. Also delicious.
Our friends has a vegetarian pizza, and the waitress - who overheard them say they didn't care for too much roasted garlic (who knew there could be too much?) - mentioned it to Gabrielle, who left it off the pizza. There were lots and lots of vegetables, even some cabbage, and they both declared it the best veggie pizza they'd ever had. We all tried each other's food and will certainly come back again to share a meal.
The market and cafe also has food to go and organic produce, too.
Gabrielle came in and sat down to visit with us and tell us about his place, what he'd done to upgrade the building and his plans for the future. If you get the chance, you will not be sorry you stopped here. Click on the link - at the top of the post under the restaurant's name - and you'll find more information and a map.
We also had dessert - pumpkin pie and carrot cake - all homemade and very, very good. The four of us shared two desserts. (I forgot to take pictures of the desserts. It's just as well. Go check them out for yourself.) We had a great waitress, too. You'll meet nice people here.
Now I must totter off to bed. Lucky, lucky me to find this wonderful restaurant - femminismo

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Heavenly Smells Not Related to Yoga.

TONIGHT, after yoga class, I descended the stairs in bare feet, stopped to put on my sandals and pushed open the swinging glass door - only to be confronted by the smell of 20,000 pastries coming fresh from the oven, and by the sight of all these Guatemalan lovelies piled on tables inside the restaurant exactly across from the yoga class exit.
I could not stop myself. I was immediately drawn inside by the sight of all those golden brown pastries and the smell! Oh, the smell! Who did I see inside the shop but ... I stop myself before I tell the name of the person. I wasn't supposed to see her ... umm "him." Could of been a him. (The name will remain secret.)
Any way, didn't have my camera, but did have my phone. This photo's not the best, but maybe you will get the idea. (Music now begins: "Heaven, I'm in heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak ... .")
Yoga class was very good, by the way. Lots of challenging positions and more work on balance, which I really, really need. And the way to get balance is to become unbalanced. Let yourself start to tip and fall. Only then can you correct your actions and achieve balance. And I think this must relate to much, much more than merely physical balance. But that's another thought for another day.
I mentioned a post or two ago that my computer died on Monday. I got to work yesterday to find it in the back of the room, on a table, laying "face" down on a soft, comforting blanket. Later in the day it was upright and had a sign on it. I had to take a picture of it since it was the computer I worked on for over a year. My first Mac. As you can see, it had power supply problems. Now many things are wrong with it and it is officially D.E.A.D. And I am back on my Mac OS10.
Since so much of my life - at least one-third, I'm sure - is spent at work, I thought I would send out a photo of the window I can look through during the day. I am surely lucky to have that bit of the outside world to stay in contact with the seasons.
Many of us nowadays are looking for the good in life to keep us from thinking about the negatives. I've got a job, health insurance, a wonderful Mister, food to eat and a roof over my head. My yoga practice is becoming easier and more fluid. To encourage those happy, positive thoughts a coworker came around on Wednesday with these napkins which I promptly put under my traveling coffee cup.
It is always happy hour somewhere - femminismo

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Concert Tonight in the Old Hometown.

TODAY was a good day. No computer problems (my computer at work died Monday just before production day on the paper started), I had a wonderful yoga practice, and then the Mister and I attended a guitar concert with Johnny A. (TM).
His name is trademarked: Johnny A. Have you thought about having yours trademarked? I have ever since I went to the Oregon Press Women's conference and considered the importance of having my own Web site. (I considered it, but really didn't know why it might be needed. I'm working on that concept.)
Anyway, he is a brilliant guitarist. Check out his Web site by clicking on his link above. A cool, cool guy. You can listen to some clips of his music. He plays jazz/rock fusion and had me dancing in my seat - femminismo
p.s. Must scoot. It's past 10 p.m. and I've got a cup of hot chai tea on the bedside table.
p.p.s. Photo of Johnny A. from his Web site.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Perfect Hostess Throws the Perfect Playdate.

LINDA is absolutely the hostess with the mostess. She invited a group of us over to make shrines at her fabulous "farmhouse" with its great big playroom in the basement. If you click on the link under Linda's name, you will be taken to the Web site she and her family have for their letterboxing adventures. You will also see her wonderful home. The view is terrific from the living room window. Well, actually, every window has a great view.
Before I left for our afternoon art adventure, however, Nikki came by to claim her prize for being the 2,000th person to visit this blog. That's been a while ago, but we finally connected. She got her framed lady-face picture - with other collaged images and trinkets - and it was good to visit on a sunny afternoon. This is Nikki, her daughter Caitlyn and the picture.
Back to our trip to Linda's house: JoAnn picked me up, then we got Sylvia and Darlene followed us in her car. It was a short over the river, almost through the woods and we were there.
Dawn arrived minutes after us and we all trooped down to the basement and claimed our work spaces. There were the shrine pieces (back, walls and "floors") all cut out and painted with matte gel (both sides on the foam core board so it didn't warp) so we were all ready to begin. I went in a couple of different directions with the materials. There was a four-armed Indian Ganesha finger puppet. It appealed to me, but the Mexican influence called strongly. I gave in willingly.
I painted the walls and floors on one side and papered them on the other. Very colorful paper, too. Linda put on great, inspirational music - Mexican folk music and then we visited other countries with reggae and Irish music. Very international afternoon.
Here is JoAnn, at right, dabbing purple paint on gold. A great way to decorate the back and top of the shrine.
Below are Linda's elegant hands painting the edges of the box - four pieces glued together at the corners - that will then be glued onto what is the base (or back) of the shrine. Following me here? I hope so.
Sylvia's shrine (below) is taking shape. I love the goldy-orange of this paper and borrowed a piece for my own project. Linda had lots of milagros, devil heads and skulls and pictures we could cut out. She was just so generous!
We worked along until finally someone noticed it was getting to be "hungry time," so we took a break. We pretty much all agreed that art captured our attention so completely that it was one activity where we didn't much notice the passage of time.
Upstairs, we had pumpkin scones, plums, tasty tofu dip, fresh veggies, blueberry cake and apple slices with delish caramel dipping sauce. After eating and conversing, with a cup of tea in hand we went at it again. Back to the shrines.
Darlene had brought some recycled wooden pieces with her and decorated those as a shrine. This is her piece with the two bowed wooden pieces on top. I liked the tin hearts. I'd like to find more and try those out.
Dawn's shrine had the purple-blue background with a mermaid and other images and a devil head in the center box.
I think I told you we were making Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) shrines, but not so. These shrines are just in honor or remembrance of someone or something. They are artworks and not for that holiday.
JoAnn's shrine (right) has dried marigold petals in the glass ball. (The dead can find their way home with the scent of marigolds.) I like her stack o' skulls, too. Hanging things from ribbon was an inspiration. It's easy to make holes through the foam core board and then knot the ribbon above.
Here is Sylvia's finished shrine with a lovely rat on top. This "enclosure" with the crosses on top is really neat, with the skull picture inside decorated with flowers. I also like the skulls she used. And the jeweled flowers. Nice touch.
Linda's gent in the tuxedo and wings adds a slightly sinister edge to this shrine, I think, along with the heart. He looks like Mr. Heartbreak to me, the angel who comes at the end of a love affair. (Maybe not. I'll wait to hear from the artist on this one.)
And here is mine (left). I call it "Defending the Homestead." I didn't like the senora as much as the Ganesha, but when I put the pistola in her hand she took on a whole new dimension. I would imagine sharp shooting was a handy skill back on the Mexican frontier during the Revolution.
All in all, we had a great day. If you're still reading with me, congratulations. I hope you'll try your own shrine. Out of foam core board, cut out one "house-shaped" piece, paint both sides with gel medium; cut out two longer skinny pieces foam core and two skinny shorter pieces, coat both sides with gel; let dry; paint everything or cover with paper; glue together those four pieces into a four-sided enclosure; glue to house-shaped piece; stick inside whatever fits your theme. I may make one for Hanukkah - femminismo

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Will We See Judy Wise in Oregon Again?

I WENT to the RaeVen's Nest site to see which classes Judy Wise is teaching there and what all is going on.
If I hadn't just remembered that John went with her - at least, I think I'm remembering right - I might wonder if she was coming back ... because I saw who the entertainment is on one of the first nights of the get together that group is having. Woowee!
The Alex Wilson Band - and girls, that is Alex Wilson over there in that photo. And you know what a party girl Judy Wise is! I will bet you dollars to donuts that she was up and shaking her bootie to this man's music.
(What does dollars to donuts mean, do you know?)
Anyway, I hope she does come back to Oregon and doesn't run off with this piece of "mancake" (thanks to Mrs. G for that expression). Or if she does run off, I hope she still finds time for plenty of art and posts all about it.
It is late and you will all have to wait until tomorrow for pictures of the shrines we made at Linda's house. We had so much fun, even without a house band. There was plenty of recorded music and lots of heads bent over tables working the matte gel and glitter. Later - femminismo

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Love Almost Everything About October.

THIS morning - early - the sky was filled with the most unusual light. The back yard was suffused with this glow, and trees, shrubs and grass seemed surreal as if they were under a very large yellowish umbrella with lights trying to shine through it.
I wanted my camera to capture the color of this light, but it was a foolish request. I wonder if even the most sophisticated, expensive cameras can record light the color it was this morning at 7 a.m.
I took photos of the tree peonies, wanting to savor the delicately radiant orange and yellow leaves. I was in my pajamas (or "pyjamas" for Brits) and bare feet but I wasn't that cold since I was in photographer mode.
Then I saw the sky and realized where all of this beauty was coming from. I think with the sky photo the camera did a pretty good job of recording what I saw.
I may have been colder than I thought because all of the photos were very shaky and consequently, blurred. Then I realized the picture of the tall unclipped rose, "floating" above the garden, looked like what I try and manipulate in the watercolor special effects in Photoshop. So why bother with that when you can just shake the camera? (This is my "tip" for the day.)
Tomorrow, my pals, JoAnn and Sylvia, and I are going to Linda's house to make Dia de los Muertos shrines. This is going to be really, really fun and I hope, when I get back and show you what I did, that you won't hate me for going off and leaving you to do grocery shopping or cleaning the toilets. (Please don't hate me, because that's what I'll have to do on Sunday.)
I found this guy at http://www.diadelosmuertos.us/. A very interesting site with even lessons plans for Day of the Dead. Isn't he colorful? I am feeling inspired. Now I'm going to go spray paint bottle caps for decorating my shine.
And if you're wondering what I don't like about October, it's the rain - when it begins and doesn't end until ... well ... whenever it feels like it - femminismo

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Feeling Silly Posting This ... But Oh What the Heck.

YES, sure I'm feeling silly, but when I found this picture on my computer - I was looking for something else - it made me laugh. At Art in the Pearl over Labor Day weekend, I saw these in a downtown Portland store window.
Did you ever see such a thing? Remember, laughter can keep you healthy!
I have been telling you of my travels and adventures, but I sure haven't been posting much art lately. I found this picture of a journal page I didn't have the nerve to post, but suddenly I find I do have the nerve to show it to you. Prepare yourself for nudity. I was looking at (insert famous artist's name here)'s famous painting and decided to do my own interpretation of it. What I got wasn't quite what I expected, but it was fun.
Let's see ... what else has been going on? Work. Eating. Yoga. A little yard work. I made an apple crisp. That's about it. Trying to finish up a newsletter for Valley Art, so I've been writing.
I will leave you with this one shot, taken with a digital camera through the lens of a very old Ansco "Rediflex" camera. My pal, JoAnn, told me about this. She was first to do this and I was so impressed I had to get an old camera right away. I apologize if I'm repeating myself and you've heard about this before. Here's the picture and then I'm saying good night - femminismo
p.s. Oh, wait. I "fixed" this old clock photo in Photoshop and I want to remind you that time is running out on our candidates and state measures and local political races and the hour is close upon us when it will be time to vote. I hope you are registered and will vote on November 4! I know I will.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

An Excellent Adventure.

ON SATURDAY I truly had an excellent adventure on the Art Harvest Studio Tour through Yamhill County in Oregon.
It was perfect weather for driving and since I waited too long to find a fellow adventurer I decided to make the trip alone. That way I could cover as much ground as I wanted, as slowly - or quickly - as I wanted, and have some time to myself in the bargain. So off I went into a perfect, sunshine-filled October day in Oregon. I traveled many familiar roads that were filled with good memories.
I went to Pike first, a town that no longer exists but is now only a name on a map, and visited the studio of Jim and Linda Hayes. They had a warm fire going. Both of them design jewelry and I wanted to buy everything in sight, but I can't do that and still afford access to the Internet ... and eat. That's important too.
I did buy a pair of Jim's earrings in a style I have always admired. (I have a pair of Linda's and I "luv" them.) This necklace is an attempt of mine to capture the beauty of Jim's jewelry.
Up the road a bit I found Annie Witherspoon's studio on the second floor of a barn. Without using all capital letters and exclamation marks, how do I tell you what a marvelous space she has? Hmm. Can't be done. Here are the signs leading to her studio. The house is built on a hillside and the barn is down below with a fantastic view of the valley.
Inside the studio the windows are filled with jewel-colored stained glass pieces. Wonderful "lady faces" and people. Annie is a terrific person, who volunteers her time teaching math skills to the women at Adelante Mujeres, the group I have spoken of before. I had a delightful cup of ginger tea while I talked with her. I do hope our paths cross again.
Back on the road, I headed for McMinnville and passed the Lakeside Grain barn. Don 't tell the Mister, but I was driving curvy roads and shooting photos through the sunroof. Not a good idea when you're told to be careful and drive safely. I love the countryside, however, and couldn't do nearly enough gawking. This is where a fellow adventurer comes in handy to drive and let you look. (Next time maybe.)
I saw one sad thing on my trip: A magnificent oak tree I had always loved had been cut down and the stump was in the process of being burned out. The tree had been in a wheat field next to a house I lived in for a couple of years, and I would see it every morning at sunrise through the kitchen window ... then in the evening I would watch the sun set on it. Sad to see these giants pass.
Well, in McMinnville I looked for a place to eat lunch and found Orchards Bistro. Lovely, lovely place. Smoked turkey sandwich (with grapes and walnuts) and tomato basil soup. The water was infused with cucumber and something else. I thought it tasted like parsley. It was wonderfully refreshing. My waiter was a handsome young man who directed me to my next destination in Sheridan. (I left a little tip of my own.)
Landry Deese is a very well-spoken, well-traveled young man, who is a wood fire ceramist and kiln builder - and wild man, I think. (This is a good thing!) I bought one of his tea bowls and I really like the way it fits my hand. Visit his Web site and explore. He knows a lot about clay and kilns, and also does concrete countertops.
His gallery partner (or maybe it's the other way around, and he's her partner) is Kim Hamblin and her work is tedious, time consuming and ultimately a joy to admire. I got up onto a stool to get an overview of this project she's working on. It's called something like "Playing with the Heart." Sorry if I don't have that totally correct. She cuts out paper, paints it, does this again, and then uses tiny nails to pound it all together. Wonderful stuff! Remember: You can click on any of these photos to make them bigger.
I only had a little while until the Harvest Tour ended for the day and I decided to go back to McMinnville and visit a book artist. This is one of the most wonderful decisions I have ever made. Marilyn Worrix started making books 10 years ago and then it became an obsession. There were wonderful books on display in this "gallery" upstairs. I say "gallery" because it turned out not to be just one little room of handmade books. It turned out to be her home - a former Elks Lodge (I believe) she and her husband bought and refurbished - and the rooms rambled on one into the other. It was a Craftsman's paradise, with skylights, and the ballroom under construction, and could easily hold parties for 300 or more. And everyone would have a place to sit!!! This is the dining room above.
Here is the ballroom, which I understand they are in the midst of renovating.
I took photos, since every single room was open for viewing, but not all the pictures turned out great. : (
Marilyn's name is linked to many Web sites and she is active with the Oregon Cultural Trust and other book groups.
An artist who also exhibited in her home was Doug Roy. When I saw his work in the Art Harvest brochure, I assumed his work was quite large. It turns out his "papercarvings," which is how he terms his work, are quite small. Magnifying glasses were hanging next to the wonderful work. Check his Web site to marvel at the tiny detail.
Now I simply must go because by now you have probably stopped reading and these keys are typing out words only I will read. Art Harvest Tour 2009, can't wait - femminismo

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Time for Remembering.

FRIDAY was a time for going back into the past and looking forward to the future.
Paula would probably hate me for doing this but I'm going to anyway. I want to talk about her and remind us all - especially myself - that life passes quickly. Too quickly. I took the day off work Friday - October 10, Paula's birthday - to attend my friend's life celebration. She died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
Paula and I attended the same high school. Isn't she gorgeous. Her hair was always perfect! We were friends, had lots of fun together and then both went our separate ways. Last time I saw her was at least 20 years ago at a high school reunion. That's a lot of time to let pass and a lot happened.
Paula didn't want friends to visit her out of curiosity and see her in a wheelchair. She didn't want a funeral service either. Not even an obituary. And she certainly didn't want anyone to hold a life celebration for her. However, she raised two extraordinary daughters who admitted they didn't always "do what Mom said."
Her brother, who was in my high school class, spoke at her service, as did both her daughters. There was also a slideshow, so I got to catch up with Paula. She was full of fun and life and a wonderful mother. She took her kids skiing, to museums, played with them, taught them to be responsible people, climbed Mt. Hood, loved her grandchildren and was never bitter about the cards she was dealt. At the end she made her own decision to withdraw the feeding tube that kept her body going.
In the slideshow there were so many wonderful photographs of her laughing, loving and having a great time living. The Mister and I talked it over and wondered if anyone could put together such a reflection of our lives when the time comes. We immediately made plans to have some pictures taken of grandkids on our laps - and Paula would be the first to laugh at such a thing.
video
Later in the evening we attended a concert with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, playing some of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," and that was a magnificent ending to the day. All the lovely joy in the music reminded me of the beauty in the world - in music, art, friendships. Baroque violinist Monica Huggett played an 18th century Dutch instrument and this is just a short clip. I hope beauty finds you today and every day - femminismo

Friday, October 10, 2008

Our Best Intentions

WE ARE not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. - Abraham Lincoln
Only a thought for today. More tomorrow - femminismo

Thursday, October 9, 2008

80 degrees in Athens, Ga., 49 in My Hometown

SHIVERING, that's what's going on here in Oregon, as fall - clamoring for its three months of fame - has announced itself.
Farmers are wrapping up harvest time and putting things to bed in preparation for Ol' Man Winter.
On Tuesday I got my hair cut and then went driving in the countryside to see if there wasn't something to photograph. I was working with a different camera and having fits with the automatic settings on it and the setting sun. (No, I didn't turn any dials on the sun.) This photo is what I came up with. I also caught some sheep in a pasture, but they weren't too receptive to having their photo taken. None of them turned out well. (Not the sheep; the pictures.)
So, anyway, what was I saying? I'm cold, I guess that was the gist. And I don't like to be cold. But I did enjoy being in this small valley close to the Coast Range hills. These hills go on for many miles and separate us from the sea. If I could get high enough I would be able to see the ocean ... but then, couldn't we all.
I got an e-mail from an artist friend, Roderick Smith. He is absolutely an amazing painter. I actually own one of his paintings and I wouldn't mind if he got the adulation he deserves, because I consider this painting an investment in my spiritual life. Click on his name to go to his Web site.
He sent me a photo of a painting he did on some rusty tin he found. I asked for and got his permission to show this to you. Here is "Obama."
On another note, I want to let you know - or remind you, if you already knew - that this week in October is Mental Health Awareness Week. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, focuses its attention on many aspects of mental illness. For those who do not personally know me, I want to tell you I have a brother with schizophrenia. He takes his medications regularly and for that we are very thankful. There are many mentally ill persons who are either distrustful of medications or have no one to help them - no family, no friends.
My brother is going through a rough time right now, with "flashbacks" plaguing him. His mind keeps running hurtful episodes, of times he would rather forget, over and over through his brain and he is powerless to stop them.
He has been talking to himself more often, and on public transportation he has noticed people changing seats because they don't want to sit by him.
He has a part-time job, receives some Social Security Disability, and Medicaid helps with doctors and prescriptions, but there are many things he has to do without. One thing he doesn't lack, however, is support from family. It's time for our nightly phone call now, and almost time to leave for yoga. I'll say goodnight, now, until next time we visit - femminismo
Oh! p.s.!! Check out this French blog for my Mona Lisa - "Scary Mona" - a collage I did. I was so happy to loan her out.