Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What New Project Have U Begun?

HERE is part of my new project for April. This has always been a good month for me, since it was in April that I began my journal-book-a-month project ... and actually finished it up!
I am taking small coin envelopes and all of the lovely colored Tazo tea packet "sleeves" that I couldn't bear to throw away. Both naturally hold small objects, and in April my theme will be "Upon Closer Inspection." I want to put a small project into the envelopes every day - maybe some writing or drawing or a photograph. I am going to try and examine something in detail each day.
Observation is the primary objective.
The theme came to me in the middle of the night and I either sat bolt upright or imagined I did. "UpOn ClOsEr InSpeCtiOn." OK, why not? Then I fell back asleep. Fortunately I remembered all of this and didn't have to come up with another project name. (whew!)
I punched holes in some of the envelopes and tea sleeves and then decided to paint the envelopes. Here they are, drying, along with some collage materials. Since tomorrow is April First, however - All Fools Day - I will need to work in some creative energy with all the work energy.
Can't wait - femminismo

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Let's Go On, Shall We?

LET'S leave that video behind and speak of events that have lifted us up into this great new spring we're embarking into. (Sorry if I've been away a bit.)
I guess I like to think of us on some big boat - all together - emerging from the winter storms into a calmer, more energizing sea.
A Sea Change! That's what we've gotten, with the birds trilling at twilight. The Mister and I heard one bird last night, giving three whistles and then a warble. Three whistles, then a warble. (Anyone? Anyone? Anyone know what this bird is?) Some other bird with the same call, but further away, trilled right back at him/her. Courtship going on all over the place and the leaves on the trees obligingly filling out to hide those nests way up in their branches. (No one will ever find us here, my darling!)
Long after we thought it would never end, winter has yielded and seems set for a better course. Today (Sunday) there were torrents of rain and more expected tomorrow, but Saturday was a glorious day and our hoes and rakes got no rest. Neither did our backs, arms, legs and shoulders. The Mister hacked vile weeds from the yard and I went around with the rake and wheelbarrow and hauled them to the compost barrel. (good riddance)
I planted sweet peas in a tray, inside, to let them root and then place those seedlings in the ground outside. This method is from a magazine article and since my sweet peas tend to mysteriously disappear (hungry sharp-eyed birds?) I thought I would try this and grow them up a bit before planting. I'll let you know how it goes.
The mossy culvert pipe is from our trip up to the property last weekend. This pipe used to be part of the old bridge (I think) before it washed away after beavers dammed the river. Looks like a glorious hideout now doesn't it, if a sudden downpour should strike.
Our area is bursting forth in blossoms - on the trees and bushes. This flower was so sweet-smelling, it reminded me of daphne. The shrub was very large, however, and the flowers were there first with little leaves coming out now. Anyone know what it is? Three blooms perfumed my whole office.
This lush ornamental tree is close to my office, too, and is a very nice shape. The flowers are translucent - the pink and white so pretty it makes a little ache in your throat. I absolutely had to share them.
Spring makes me remember the little valley where I grew up. It could have been England, the hills were such a verdant green, and in the afternoon when the golden sun was setting and the smell of lilacs and cherry blossoms perfumed the air, it was all you would want for a magic kingdom.
We now have peonies blooming in our own back yard and I will (again) hate to see the petals fall once they are done. For now, here is just a sample - femminismo
p.s. Tuesday night I start "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Trilliums At The Creek

This seemed like a good trip by camera phone. I hope it works out and you can experience a little of the peaceful calm on this piece of the earth in Oregon - femminismo

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wonderful, Wonderful Fortune

"HOW LONG? NOT LONG! 'A lie can't live forever.' "*
I can not conceive of people my age being born in a more interesting time. Yesterday must have taken the cake as we watched politicians actually accomplish something. Perhaps not all we'd hoped. Perhaps not at all what some of our countrymen wanted, since it brought some to the brink of spewing racial and homophobic epithets at elected officials trying to get to their workplace.
"The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."
TODAY is also the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech, "Arc of the Moral Universe," after the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
I feel as if I've marched that far tonight, since I was in the woods all weekend - walking uphill and down amongst the ferns - enjoying my wonderful fortune to have a great, peaceful place to get away from it all.
You can bet I'll be back with more photos of everything I saw - femminismo

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Smell of Magnolia

TONIGHT I went to take the trash out streetside and the smell of the early white magnolia blossoms - Star magnolia - just about blew me away.
The frogs at the end of the street are quiet at nights now. I don't know why. Have they finished courting?
But I suppose nature trades off. First, early on, it's the noise of frogs you hear and then other senses come into play as the earth warms up and gives up her scents and the blossoms on the trees engage our nose too.
I mentioned we were in the woods a week ago. (Can you tell: Is this waterfall big or small?)
Neither of us could work up the proper enthusiasm on Sunday to tackle that again. We spent time around home doing small chores. Here, however, are some of the photos from a week ago.
Up above are the smooth-edged yellow woodland violets. Huge growth of fungus on a downed tree. Trillium, white, just opened up.
Enjoy your time in the woods, and Steve, any time you'd like to take on caretaking duties, feel free to fly in to our neck of the woods - femminismo
p.s. The creek is looking good. I pulled out ivy and some nettles, but got "stung." Did I already tell you this? Sorry, if so.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I Sewed It Just For You!

Just for you, to keep your toes comfy during these cool (almost) spring nights, I sewed up this fine quilt. Don't go gazing into that blue sky too deeply. You just might go up, up, and up, never to return!
I didn't report on my weekend before, so I will now. Sunday was my first trip up to our "property" this spring and I found that earlier the Mister and our neighbor (with his very versatile Bobcat) had made short work of the mess the snows and winds left this past winter. What a difference with all the fallen trees gone! Culvert pipe is planned for a marshy area close by one of our favorite trails (and near the outhouse). There are at least three springs coming into the property, which all eventually join the creek.
It was my job to sweep off the bridge and I took childlike glee in brushing a pile of dried leaves into the creek and then hurrying to the other side to watch them glide by on the water to go downstream. Seeing the clean surface of the bridge, I felt I had really accomplished something.
Then I went hunting for flowers, some of which you see in the quilt above. There were yellow Johnny jump-ups, trilliums and the tiny white flowers with clover-like foliage. I've forgotten the name, but I'll bet if I look back a year on this blog I will find them again.
The picture of the sky and tree in the "quilt" was taken on Monday (yesterday) while tonight (Tuesday) as I left work there was rain and snow mixed. Crazy usually describes this time just before spring is fully realized here in the Northwest. I can never get too excited about the little spring cotton frocks with short sleeves until August, and by then - of course - it's woolen suits in the stores.
On the way home from the property on Sunday there were sumi ink skies again. Lovely, lovely, beautiful! I've put it into Photoshop to add "paint daubs" and hope you like it - femminismo
p.s. I always forget: CLICK ON THE PICS to make them bigger.

Monday, March 8, 2010

No Girls in India?

International Womens Day ... and yet I didn't find rose petals strewn down the road of my commute this morning. The coffee tasted better this morning, however, and I had a good job to go to. Thank heavens for all the women who came before and made it possible for me to earn a good wage and be able to own property and marry as I wish.
I also wasn't forced to decide whether or not to kill my own daughter after her birth because she was a girl! Some women have really had to put their foot down in order to live an honorable life and protect their own flesh and blood.
I'm sorry if I sound flippant, but it's hard to believe that life goes on like this in other parts of our world. Life goes on like this until one day a woman ... a mother ... in India thinks, "Well, no, I don't think I should have to face a choice like this where once my baby is born, and if it's a girl, I should allow her to be killed."
I found this picture today as part of a story I can no longer locate. This girl is set to be married soon, to a prosperous man, because her parents (her mother, especially, who made the decision) decided just because she was a woman they would not allow her to die. Lord bless the child that's got a mother like this one - femminismo

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gone Moon Crazy!

THE LAST few mornings I have been getting up earlier for work because the days are becoming hectic and detail-crammed. Projects must be finished. Have to be!
But there's one thing I'm glad I stole a few minutes to observe, and that's the moon setting in the west.
When the moon is slipping away in the morning there is a little more light in the sky and it's just a perfect mix for a photograph. Here I have wedged my camera in a snowball tree (no leaves yet) and steadied it to keep the moon from moving. (Ha ha!) The sky looks so dark blue, when actually it was fairly light. But the digital camera does its own thing. This was the moon on March 3.
Today, March 4, I sneaked out again just a little bit later and got this shot of the moon stuck in these tiny little branches over our neighbor's fence.
It really does look as if it's snagged, doesn't it? I love the moon. It reminds me of so many special moments - coming up over mountains, shining on water, shining on snow - and cold and frosty above two lonely people together on New Year's Eve. (Or maybe only one of us was lonely!)
The Mister has been working on thinning out two of the most wonderful trees on our 3/4 acre piece of land where we have our home. At the back of our yard there is a Sequoia and a redwood. OK, I know I am a tree hugger and if I had my say there would never be any trees cut down and we would live in concrete bungalows and rotten limbs would be falling all around town causing insurance lenders to commit hara-kiri right and left.
But when I came home and found a ton of limbs cut from the trees - just so the roof of the shop wouldn't rot and fall apart - I was so sick I could hardly stand it. However, as I'm sure you've heard, you can get used to anything. After calmly talking about this situation we both knew how the other person felt, and the reasons it had to be done, and the reasons I still didn't like it (the shop was built in the wrong place, OK?) I. am. now. getting. used. to. it.
Admiring the moon this morning I looked toward the trees and the mist at the base of them made them look even more lovely, regal and able to bear anything time and man could throw at them. I guess this is just my day for dark, cool photos - femminismo

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ladies and Gentleman of the Supreme Court


OH, don't worry! I know all our problems can't be solved by getting rid of all of the guns in the world, but it's worth dreaming about, isn't it? - femminismo

Monday, March 1, 2010

Here It Comes . . .

IN LIKE a lamb, that's the way March has come in.
Not much sunshine today in our part of Oregon, but a very mild temperature and no rain. So I would guess you can foretell the future if the old saying holds true.
Hold onto your hats at the end of March. Get out your kites.
And happy birthday, Butchie! - femminismo