Monday, May 29, 2006

Listen, more often

to things than to beings…

Those who have died have never never left.

The dead are not under the earth...

They are in the rustling trees.

They are in the groaning woods.

They are in the crying grass.

They are in the moaning rocks…

The dead have a pact with the living.

lyrics adapted from the Birago Diop
Because of those who came before, we are;

in spite of their failings, we believe;

because of, and in spite of the horizons of their vision,

we, too, dream.

Let us go remembering to praise,

to live in the moment,

to love mightily, and to bow to the mystery. (--B. Pescan)

nibbling an apple slice

yelgpapp0506, originally uploaded by emily999.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

New paintings on eBay

I have a lot of new work up on ebay!

& here's another

I love painting animals...really makes me feel good. Hope you enjoy them too!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

My heart is moved by all I cannot save: so much has been destroyed I have to cast my lot with those who age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.

-Adrienne Rich

Donate to Unicef... Helping those in need from the recent earthquake.

This is why we should stop wars that are so obviously wrong. We could take a fraction of that money and have it set up in unicef or other organizations for aiding people in REAL need. Sorry for ranting...I just feel so badly for people when we are effected by things utterly beyond our earthquakes.

The Good Body by Eve Ensler

I picked up my first Oprah magazine in about, oh, three years. Not that I've been boycotting Oprah, heaven forbid (!), just trying to keep to a budget. Well, this time I couldn't resist...Oprah looked esp. cute on the cover and I was intrigued by some of the headings: The Good Body. What was this about? I was pleasantly surprised to read a great article by Eve Ensler's new play, "The Good Body". I am so excited about this because the philosophy is just what I've thought about my peers and esp. about women.

The play, from what I've read, shows how we've been force feed a lot of junk about our body image and how we should be perfect (whatever that might mean). I've always felt like body perfection is a bunch of bull and Ensler performs exactly what always annoys me about mass media. Basically, you've got massive corporations going around telling us and our kids that we are not made in God's image or what have you but are a bunch of uglies with serious needs for some anti-ugly pills/surgery/diets/etc. This is wrong and not to mention very shallow.

Ensler talks about how "...body hatred has been defined as a personal problem. But it is a social problem, a political problem, a cultural problem. It is not accidental or incidental. It is induced, injected, and programmed. We Americans like to tell ourselves we are free, but we are imprisoned. We are controlled by a corporate media that decrees what we should look like and then determines what we have to buy in order to get and keep that look. …

The antidote to body hatred is social activism and community. None of us alone is strong enough to stand up to the daily onslaught of propaganda, imagery, programming, seduction, and mind control. … It requires a movement."

I was especially intrigued by the last many people have I heard and seen just want to remove themselves from society because they feel they aren't worthy because of how they look? This mentality makes me angry because so many people buy into this propaganda. A few years ago, I had some friends and their grandparents would call them names, make fun of them for being chubby. They'd say things like why don't you look like this person (some blonde, skinny model).

I don't blame the grandparents, not too much anyway. They've been watching more TV then they should be and getting lots of cheap news rags with "scopes" on the stars...and then take that mis-information and apply it to their grandchildren!

I also had a friend when I was in California. Her niece was dark skinned and had very dark hair on her arms and legs at only eight years old. The child didn't really know she was a bit hairy until she looked at teen magazines and kids at school teased her. When I met *Sarah*, she was underweight and in therapy. Her parents were trying to help her see she was normal but Sarah was already showing compulsive symptoms linked to her feelings of isolation and teasing. I don't know what happened to Sarah but when I was with her (and I had the inside knowledge from my friend) I didn't even see her arms. What I could see were her eyes and how she was so hurt.

I hope she was able to make a change and not get hung up on her body image. I hope I can be like that too...

My other friend with the grandparents, she's learned to talk to them (even if they say it's back talking) and to say don't say that to me. We chat and shake our heads at the ignorance of people, offering each other support.

I feel media is the main culprit of why I felt insecure about myself, as a young women. When I was in my mid-twenties, I reduced watching TV to something like 10 hours a week. When I had my first daughter, I turned it off completely...I didn't have the time and just was happy to be with my daughter. Now, I watch it in short bursts and it plays kid stuff primarily.
I noticed a huge change in my feelings of self. I started seeing more of the world...animals, plants, people, my neighborhood and seeing what I could do to help. I also started to see how reading too much news effects me emotionally and how important it is to allow your self true quiet time. No music, radio, or distractions. Just quiet time to think and dream up plans. I think a lot of people feel this way. We want to do something but are distracted by so many other things from news to TV programs. How do we resist this? Ensler says it's through support groups and activism that we can shake this coporate bondage and I agree. I'd also add it's not just found in women, but in men as well...this feeling of not being good enough.

As for my body, I am tall, heavy and strong. My body gave me two beautiful daughters, has lifted 1000's of pounds over the years, helps me create pretty darn good art work, reach for stuff on high shelves without a problem, helps me hold two kids at once and countless other things. I don't look like a super model but I know I'm pretty super, anyway. I don't need TV or magazines to say I have to be a certain weight or color or height. I'm me...stretch marks and all.

I think exercising, eating smart, doing volunteer work and making friends is one of the best ways to forget about not having a tan like the photo manipulated models have or whatever else models are trying to sell us. Let's just say, I'm glad I picked up this last Oprah mag. It confirms a lot of what I already felt was true.

Interestingly, in my search of good Oprah/Ensler quotes I found a great new blog!Actually, two...this one's quite funny.

*name changed

Friday, May 26, 2006

rainy day...

Earlier I wrote about Mr. Nelson's unfortunate new hair style. When Jon came home he said, "my goodness...what...what happened to Nelson! He looks like he's going bald. Oh, my." And Jon definitely agrees Nelson looks a different breed than Bichon. Thank goodness it's raining. Hopefully nobody will notice his freak hair style since all is too wet. Poodle with a Mohawk by Lynda Barry was mentioned...Bichon with a buzz cut is what I have. sigh...

Anyway, it was one of those days...Norrie filled the toilet up to the rim with toys, beads, you name it. I couldn't believe she'd do that, but she did. I cleaned it all out with Lydia keeping me company and then I couldn't fish out a last bead and Lydia burst out crying and said I should still get it but I had already flushed the toilet. One of those days...I love and hate Fridays. I guess it wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't rainy, or maybe not.

The nice/good thing is Jon is home (!) for a 3 day weekend. He's already got plans but there is still time to relax and what not. I want to paint the dining room floor but I doubt I'll get to that. It's enough I mopped the floors (not really, but I'm trying to be optimistic). We might try fishing...I'm a tad nervous about this as I've never fished. Seems vaguely interesting but I have a tendency to want to do something, instead of just sitting. We shall see. Might be too wet, anyway.

In sad news, a nice fellow I met when I first moved here three years ago, has passed away. His name is Andrew Moore and we shared a library show of our artwork. He was a very nice man and a wonderful artist. He was 93 years old but you wouldn't be able to tell. Boy, was he a wit and loved to make people laugh in his quiet way. Very charming person. I'll miss him.


Last week, we did a clean-up with our Unitarian group. Or rather, we tried. It was so rainy/windy all the trash blew away. Jon did find some Styrofoam and much to his delight, a morel mushroom! I admit it was quite exciting to see it standing proudly amongst the roots of a tree. Apparently, you can take mushrooms from a park but I'm not going to say do it. Whether we took one or not, we did have mushrooms in our lunch and it was rather good. : )

I used my film camera and so, pics will be late in coming. Hopefully, they came out decently.

It's nearly midnight. We stayed up watching this movie called "Nanny Mcphee". A children's film which didn't hold the kids attention in the least. I had to talk them into being interested or else they jumped on me, ran around the room or talked over the movie. Ah, well. I enjoyed it...the colors for rooms were fantastic, scenes out of a story book, story lagged but was all right (even if it's the same old concept that an older guy will fall for the younger prettier gal...annoying). Still, pretty to watch to some extent.

I moved the dining room table into the living room and could sit by the little fireplace of ours and paint with the family. This was a pleasant surprise...though a bit noisy.

I would like to get that basement into order but I feel it's going to take longer than 3 months. Mainly because I'm tired right now. When I'm tired, I feel like the least amount of effort for anything is a burden...and believe me, I'm tired.

I still feel badly about poor Nelson. I hope it looks better tomorrow. I don't think he'll let me stick a hat on his poor shaved head. Oh, dear...

On the last refraine...a gentle patter of rain falls against the window, like a soft ancient tapping, reminder of now, tomorrow and yester-year.

Humid...oh, it's humid...& doggie do's and doggie don'ts

It feels like it's the middle of summer. The weather is moment producing frost conditions, the next humidity of the greatest proportions. I won't be surprised to see fireflies dancing's that humid. Of course, I washed all the floors in the house and now it's taking a good hour to dry them. The coolest place is the basement...which I have to mop up too. I'm going to scrub all the rugs in the house with borax and get rid of the dog pee smell. Next, the carpeted steps and then perhaps the closet (cat pee smell). That's what a house with many a critter is like...we smell like pee. sigh...Don't worry it's just in certain areas of the house that need tending from Winter neglect (also, I do exaggerate...sort of).
Doggie Do's

Anyway, I've found out something about my self. I realize now that it's much easier to pay someone to trim your dogs hair then doing it your self. Yes, poor Mr. Nelson is now sporting a mangled do. It's HORRIBLE. It was worse before (my art student, Jodi, got to see a bit of it) I trimmed it down the second time. All I wanted to do, all I just wanted to do was trim his bangs from getting into his eyes. Not quite....alas, I trimmed him, he moved I gauged and next thing I know he looks really, really bad. Kind of like a Klingon or Shakespeare hair style (bald on top with long hair on the sides). I used Jon's beard trimmer. There is Nelson hair stuck in it. I hope he will not mind. I felt so bad for Mr. Nelson I went to McDonalds and got him a burger. Nelson ate it and doesn't know why I keep shaking my head at him.

I think he suspects I have done something amiss. I admit I laughed at him when I first botched it up. Oh, poor Nelson. I feel awful. I even thought I'd just tell everyone the kids got gum in his hair...but they are only 4 and 2.5; they don't chew gum. I thought glue or paint...but even then it seemed unlikely. I'm sorry Mr. Nelson. I was not meant to be a doggie groomer. I realize this now...

This reminds me of the time I cut my brothers hair for the first time. I did a really bad job and had to shave it down to the skin...he had small nicks and scabs afterwards. From a distant it wasn't too bad but up close...shield your eyes.

Thank goodness hair grows back fast...I hope. And you can definitely see his eyes which makes him look all the more pathetic....
Doggie Don'ts

Small print says: Why did you do this to me?

If a stranger says what breed he is I will say he's a cross between Bichon and Labrador...sigh. I wish there were doggie wigs. Knowing Nelson, he'd just rip it off his head. I wish I could stick a hat on his head or something...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Illustration Friday: Sorry

Illustration Friday: Sorry, originally uploaded by emily999.

I'm sorry we don't take better care of the earth for all children.

There is only one planet in all the vast universe that is Earth. We need to protect and respect her.

Girl with her teddybear

Girl with her teddybear, originally uploaded by emily999.

Well, I thought of doing one of my bubble people collages...tried something different. I like it! Maybe I'll make some cards on cafepress...what do you think? Piece titled" You color my world".


Sunday, May 21, 2006

umbrella gal

umbrella gal, originally uploaded by emily999.

Between the rain and sun, we went for a walk
Flashes of sparkling light
Chattering all afternoon.
Words mean so much
And yet, still have flight.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Oh, I forgot!

I updated my webpage! It's been, I thought I'd freshen it up a bit. : )

What a day...

Started off wet and rainy but turned into a beautifully sparkling day! Had Jon drop off stuff for the UU annual yard sale in Duncansville (actual name). We drove by later and checked things out. Unfortunately, Lydia saw several items I donated (such as a pair of Dora boots and pink mittens) and had a fit. Poor thing. We had to go back and buy them...kind of embarrassing and sweet. I talked to Lydia, who I'm sure felt betrayed by my careless action of giving away her pink mittens, and assured her I wouldn't give away things until we had talked about it. It really was very sad to see her so upset, poor dear. But she was happy when she got her mittens back and all for a dime. Sigh...

Before this, I got some supplies at AC Moore. I'm going to try my hand at making matting. I hope I can do this. It seems a bit daunting.

Then we went to the Art festival and saw lots of art,

people, and ate lunch. Jon and I shared a Greek platter...not too bad, actually. And we had to get a funnel cake (which was a tad pricey for that small thing!). We also got the traditional kettle corn...had the popcorn gal split it into two bags for the girls.

Tomorrow, Jon's folks sing in their choir group at the arts festival. I don't know if we'll go again...I'll see. Seems this year had a lot less dogs at the festival too. Last time, I think there were at least 20-30 dogs. This time...only four! Plus, there was this really chubby Dachshund...cute and looked like it was a little turtle with fur! lol!

I saw my work there at the juried art exhibit. This was exciting! I wish there was better lighting but the pieces looked very good, otherwise. There was quite a crowd and I started regretting not making it to the reception for artists. But as it was such a strange and sad week, I'm glad to be out and about. It seems like this has been a very odd emotionally draining week with our Aunt passing...

Fitzgerald & Beach Acoustic Based Blues Duo...sorry for the blurry pics. Lydia dropped the camera two weeks ago and it hasn't been the same... : (

This year's festival feels smaller or just spread out more. I think the last two or so times I went, I was really medicated so much for my allergies it felt like a hurdle just to walk around. Now, it seems like everything looks so empty. I hope more people's rather nice...even if they make you pay $3 for parking.

Lydia and Norrie with their new friend

Oh, and I had to introduce a new member to the house! Odie our cockatiel! He's so cute and actually will sit on my shoulder and help with laundry.
Yeah, I know I'm I have four rats, 1 dog, four cats, and a bird...oh and a pear and a peach tree (sung to 12 days of Christmas...).

A funny bit...the chapel at 4pm played chimes, some nice little melody...and then went into a rendition of in "Hair" Ah...campus life.

Stiff joints, aches and Superman

It's rainy here in cloudy Altoona, PA. It’s rainy but, oh so beautiful. Love it, actually. Only problem with the rain...or certain storm fronts, is they could bring in weather that makes my joints feel stiff and reminds me of how human I still am. Mild arthritis, I'm guessing. My allergies are under control with weekly shots but the fingers start getting owies and the rest follows. I've decided to become proactive and do stretches, have mass quantities of Ben gay on hand and some Motrin. sigh...All this to live in a very beautiful part of the world.

Well, apparently there is a new movie coming out about Global Warming by Al Gore. I'm actually excited about seeing this film as it's not one of those doom day films and does offer ways to redeem ourselves from ourselves. Exciting stuff. Of course, the Big Oil companies are screaming bloody murder over this film because a lot of the problems stem from these companies desire to maintain the status quo. My question is, why don't these oil companies switch to alternative energies? They obviously have a lot of money...and lots extra to give to politicians, commercials, start wars, etc. Why not, instead of oil, put energy into creating none polluting, readily useable resources? Oil companies remind me of those villains in the old Superman cartoons. If you've ever seen those cartoons, you know what I mean. The villains put X amount of energy in finding ways to steal, manipulate the masses or be greedy in some way. I remember one episode where the villain even creates advanced robots (that even fly!) just to steal some jewels. Imagine if he had put those robots on the market! Why he'd be a millionaire! Funny how art does reflect life...

A good model for oil companies is BP, British Petroleum. They actually have done a lot to change their industrial work by implementing energy efficiencies. By doing so, they have made changes to control carbon dioxide which is implemented in the Kyoto treaty. This is a good change in oil companies and one that should teach other oil conglomerates that change is not that expensive and actually really good for business.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Strange day...

So, I went off to tutor science today...planning on collecting water at a nearby pond, spring, and other water sources. Brought Mr. Nelson as it would be nice to have Nelson out and about, besides he was already a bit muddy and a walk through the wet woods wouldn't be a problem.

We go to the pond get the water samples, tread back to the house and stop to look for almond beetles. I tie Nelson to a tree and we start looking for almond beetles. My knot comes untied and next thing I know, Mr. Nelson is wandering off. We try to make a grab for him but Nelson starts to dodge and play and run in ever increasing circles. I start to panic and chase after the boys who are chasing Mr. Nelson and Mr. Nelson is having the time of his little doggie life. After awhile I catch up and we start to hunt Mr. Nelson down only to see him disappear behind a ridge and I'm like, "Oh, my God...he's gone." We run up to the ridge calling him but no luck. I'm like where the heck is he? We walk into the woods and I start thinking, my god, he's going to be bear food. This and when I get my hands on him, I'm going to kill him. Anyway, one of the kids and I walk on and on until there is some sort of a clearing and we're calling and everything when I see these tires attached to these trees saying "KEEP OUT". For some reason, my hair stands on end and I am royally creeped out. There are two of these signs and I keep thinking there must be some strange ritual or something down here...and I admit I was worried about forest people or hill billies (sorry, I know it's politically incorrect) or hunters as well as bears. After about 20 feet, I say, “let's just stop here and wait for Mr. Nelson to catch us.” So we wait and I feel a bit better but feel sad too because I start thinking Mr. Nelson's leash is stuck on a tree or he fell off the cliff or something like that. That's when we here the other kid and his mom and low and behold they've got my devil of a dog, Mr. Nelson. Apparently, he had been running in increasing circles and he had run back to the house to talk to their dogs. I should have just sat on the stoop and waited for him there. ARGH!

So, we learned that the mom had luckily come out and Mr. Nelson was tempted with a treat of turkey. They then found us in the middle of the woods and I was happily reunited with Mr. Nelson. Then we walked back and I could at last enjoy the woods and not have flashes of the Blair witch project running through my head. What a day. Phew. Who knew Science could be so exciting!

Well, we finally did the water experiment...does soap have any effect on algae? We shall see in about five days. Oh, my…

Quote of the day:

"Call security! We've got...babies!!"


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Fragile life is...

Endangered pygmy rabbits are now, apparently, no more. I don't know why this makes me so sad...I hope there are some pygmy rabbits out there that people haven't found and this isn't the end.

Lillies of the Valley

Lillies of the Valley, originally uploaded by emily999.

Lillies of the valley

Lillies of the valley, originally uploaded by emily999.

For my mom...

Seldom Seen Mine

Seldom Seen Mine, originally uploaded by emily999.

Gorgeous view at Seldom Seen Mine...I was too afraid to get any closer with my gals...but the "older" youngsters seemed to do fine.

Baby robins

Baby robins, originally uploaded by emily999.

This is a nest in our side yard that I discovered today. Beautiful baby robins! We had a nest on our front porch and they all hatched and flew away at 2 weeks! Amazing!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Illustration Friday: Angel House

Angel House
Collage piece. An homage to homes, memories and how time changes us.

Some good news, I received an honorable mention with one of my sculptures in the local art show . Ironically, at the time I got the phone call, Norrie, was howling for attention. Ah, well...the mama artist at work.

Whipup:Whiplash "Yarn"

I finally had a few moments after all the things we went through on this weekend. Talk about having your emotions twisted around. But we are doing better, if not feeling a bit frazzeled.


I wanted to do something different with the word "yarn". I crochet and knit but physically felt unable to do much of that this weekend (it got a tad chilly and for some reason this really bothered me and just crawled back into bed. Thankfully, Jon took care of everyone).

I decided to create a painting with a play on the word yarn, as in telling tales, tall tales, etc. Or just how kids see their parents as super human beings. I also wanted to do this as an homage for all moms, aunts, big and little sisters, and friends. So, here is my version of yarn...or tall tales or seeing the super in our moms and girlfriends.

You can see a bigger version at my flicker account here.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Mother's day, Mom!

mothersday2006, originally uploaded by emily999.

To all the moms and mine especially, Happy Mother's day!

So passes the last of the Grand Gottshalls

Today our dear great-aunt Myrt passed away at 5am. She was 92. Born at the turn of the century, she had memories of all sorts of treasures and times gone by. I find it amazing she was born in 1914 and saw so many things come and go. She out lived two husbands, her daughter and was the youngest of the senior Gottshall clan. My husbands grandfather was one of her brothers and she came from a family of 10 children. She spent the last 3 months in a nursing home under very good supervison. She was an interesting, strong woman who favored cute guys, liked to vote republican, and was always on the look out to say something witty.

We will miss her. Good-bye Myrt.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


girl lino, originally uploaded by emily999.

I did this lino a few weeks ago and only got to print this last week. This was made after we visited the local campus where Cherry trees were blooming. Lydia was wearing the birthday dress my mother made and sitting under the cherry tree. Everything just felt like a painting...or in this case, a linoleum print. ; )

I'm out of allergy medicine...

not good. But I don't feel too bad...just a bit sluggish. Plus, I have to go to the post, pharmacy, pick up the girls, etc. I don't even want to get up. I want to take a nap, sleep have my dog washed (he smells like rabbit poo) and that's about it.

It's damp, cold and rainy. A good day to make some scones and maybe some cookies. I feel like it, sort of. If I had my medicine I'd feel 100% more like it.


Jon brought some of my work to the vegetarian/vegan store in State College called Stone Soup. Hope they will like something and display it...more so, I hope someone will like it and buy something. : )

We shall see. The store is really nice but needs a mural and some warm tones on the inside. I do that a lot. I'll be in the doctors waiting room and imagine redecorating or adding this and taking that out, etc. I wish I could do that to my house, actually. But life is life and well, until I become a famous artist, I'll just have to do what I can, when I can.

I'm going through my stash of paintings and reworking frames/matting and thinking about rotating stuff at the local gallery and trying different venues in State College. There is just so many more options in State College in regards to art.


I made pasta last night with fresh Basil, garlic and leftover vegetables. I sautéed the veggies with the garlic and Basil. Then added a locally made spaghetti sauce. Then I dropped the pasta in and lightly coated them. I'm starting to see the need to let food stand for itself. In other words, let the pasta taste like paste. Don't add too many ingredients and let the blending of flavors work together, not compete. So, my pasta came out beautifully and was even better for lunch! Fresh Basil is incredibly different then dried. I can eat the leaves fresh and it invigorates me. Of course, I feel the same about mint.

I'm trying to grow Basil from seed and today I saw a few seedlings peaking out! Very exciting.

On another note, there is a small group, apparently, of people that trade plants. They meet at a local library...this sounds exciting to me. I think I may have to try this out...I'm mostly interested in edibles, however. Actually, I'm interested in most anything. (rolling my eyes here).

I feel a bit down about our new pear tree. Seems to be not doing very well. I'm going to snip a branch and see if it's alive. Jon thinks it has had too much shock or something. Poor little thing.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

To satisfy my mom, here are some Lydia and Norrie pics:

We're supposed to get some much needed rain come Thursday and is supposed to proceed until the next week. And of course, I'm now gotten used to the massive amounts of sun (started feeling like we were in Southern California, again...). Ah, well.

Illustration Friday: Fat

I had to give this a try. Illustration Friday has a new look...very interactive and busy in the sense of new.

Anyway, fat or chubby or cute and round:


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Inspired by the return of leaves, warm winds and the color of flowers, I turned to the Greek Gods for inspiration in a recent Spring card exchange.

I looked at the story of Demeter & Persephone and came up with this:

The story of Demeter and Persephone goes as follows:

Far from Demeter she was playing with the deep-bosomed daughters of Oceanus and gathering flowers over a soft meadow, roses and crocuses and beautiful violets, irises also and hyacinths and the narcissus which Earth made to grow at the will of Zeus, to be a trap for the bloom-like girl—a marvelous, radiant flower. The meadow was a thing of awe to see: from its root grew a hundred blooms and it smelled most sweetly, so that all wide heaven above and the whole earth and the sea's salt swell laughed for joy. And the girl was amazed and reached out with both hands; but the wide-pathed earth yawned, and Hades sprang out upon her. He caught her up reluctant on his golden chariot and bore her away lamenting.

And so long as Persephone yet beheld earth and starry heaven and the strong-flowing sea where fishes shoal, and the rays of the sun, and still hoped to see her dear mother and the tribes of the eternal gods, so long hope calmed her great heart for all her trouble. . . . and the heights of the mountains and the depths of the sea rang with her immortal voice: and her queenly mother heard her.

Bitter pain seized Demeter's heart, and she rent the covering upon her divine hair with her dear hands: her dark cloak she cast down from both her shoulders and sped, like a wild-bird, over the firm land and yielding sea, seeking her child. But no one would tell her the truth, neither god nor mortal man; and of the birds of omen none came with true news for her. Then for nine days queenly Demeter wandered over the earth with flaming torches in her hands, so grieved that she never tasted ambrosia and the sweet draught of nectar, nor sprinkled her body with water. But when the tenth enlightening dawn had come, Hecate, with a torch in her hands, met her, and spoke to her and told her the news.

... and all-seeing Zeus sent a messenger to dark-cloaked Demeter, rich-haired Rhea, to bring her to join the families of the gods. Swiftly she rushed down from the peaks of Olympus and came to the plain of Rharus, rich, fertile corn-land once, but then in no way fruitful, for it lay idle and utterly leafless.
Then bright-coiffed Rhea said to Demeter, "Come, my daughter; for far-seeing Zeus calls you to join the families of the gods, and has agreed that for a third part of the circling year your daughter shall go down to darkness and gloom, but for the two parts shall be with you and the other deathless gods. But come, my child, obey, and be not too angry with dark-clouded Zeus; but rather increase forthwith the fruit that gives men life."

Demeter did not refuse but straightaway made fruit to spring up from the rich lands, so that the whole wide earth was laden with leaves and flowers. Happy is he among men upon earth who has seen these mysteries.

And now, queen of the land of sweet Eleusis and sea-girt Paros and rocky Antron, lady, giver of gifts, bringer of seasons, Queen Demeter, be gracious, you and your daughter the beautiful Persephone, and for my song grant me heart-cheering food and drink. For now we will always remember you.

For me, I think of my mother and family who are in California. I miss them and hope to spend time with them in the future. Happy Mother's day, Mom! And welcome to Spring, again.

One more quote...

Martin Luther King, Jr.:
I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions. This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream -- a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man's skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality.

Another great quote:

William Schulz
Unitarian Universalism affirms:

That Creation is too grand, complex, and mysterious to be captured in a narrow creed. That is why we cherish individual freedom of belief. At the same time our convictions lead us to other affirmations . . .

That the blessings of life are available to everyone, not just the Chosen or the Saved;

That Creation itself is Holy -- the earth and all its creatures, the stars in all their glory;

That the Sacred or Divine, the Precious and Profound, are made evident not in the miraculous or supernatural but in the simple and the everyday;

That human beings, joined in collaboration with the gifts of grace, are responsible for the planet and its future;

That every one of us is held in Creation's hand -- a part of the interdependent cosmic web -- and hence strangers need not be enemies;

That no one is saved until we All are saved, where All means the whole of Creation;

That the paradox of life is to love it all the more even though we ultimately lose it.

World January/February, 1990

Quote of the day

L. B. Fisher:
Universalists are often asked where they stand. The only true answer to give to this question is that we do not stand at all, we move.

Newspaper headline

newspaper, originally uploaded by emily999.

Found this at Loobylu...quite fun actually.

Monday, May 08, 2006

My shuddering, travel dreams...and Ebay

We went up to Shavers Creek with our homeschool group. Great time and beautiful trees and though it has not been as rainy, it was still green. The forest ground felt really dry and crunchy and there is a no fire ban going one because it looks like a drought is upon us.

I am typing this with a cat (Kiwi) sitting directly in front of the screen. I guess she thinks if I'm staring at the screen all day, there must be something good about it. Sigh... This has inspired me to do a painting of a cat in front of a computer screen...oh, Kiwi...
New stuff on ebay as well

I did a load of clean up today. I (shudder) cleaned up the 3rd floor where my "studio" is. I have 75% of my art stuff up there but most of it is in the living room where I teach art classes. The 3rd floor is more of a haven for my four cats. I had left Jon to be in charge of cleaning the cat boxes but lets just say he's been slack. I found piles of ______stuff and spent an hour cleaning. It looks all right now but still messy as heck. Anyway, I must admit the cats were being really well behaved considering. Poor guys. So, I cleaned that up. Then I kept at it and did 5-6 loads of laundry, washed half the dishes (there were a lot), vacuumed the bedrooms, and there is STILL a heck of a lot of stuff to do. WHEN WILL IT END???

***********Brain pause*************
I want to have some of my artwork exhibited in a local store and need to go through a box of work I had displayed at the library about two (?) years ago. Time flies.

There is a cool store in State College that sells vegetarian and vegan food, called Stone Soup. I love the name and the message. Very nice place, actually. I wanted to go to the May Day festival they had this weekend but was just overwhelmed with activity. I think next year I would like to get more into this May day celebration. They actually had a pole where kids would wrap the strings around it...very sweet, actually.

Sunday we went to a friends house. It's a really neat house right next to two creeks. We saw a garden snake (the second time I've seen a snake!). This one was really cute with a red flickering tongue and the markings of a grass snake.

The kids had a great time and I felt like I had walked onto the set of a movie/play...interesting and stuff was being worked on and just active. I like that feeling.

Afterwards, we went over to Jon's parents for dinner and I fell asleep for two hours. I was really tired, I guess. Feels like this weekend was VERY full. Plus, on Saturday I got all my art pieces framed/ready to go and got that off my mind. I was stressing out about this but in the end, the framing came out beautifully. And I was pleased that when Jon dropped it off, the women who collected the art oohed and ahhed over my painting. So that in itself was rewarding.

I can't wait till next year as I want to enter at least two other juried art shows. This has been a long time dream of, I'm very excited.

The only down part of the art show is it falls on a rather busy weekend. There is a rummage sale we're doing for the Unitarian group on Saturday and on Sunday we're cleaning adopted creeks. So, it's going to be a busy weekend.

**********back to complaining**********
Just realized I missed the farm tour today. Darn it. I would have been too tired to do anything, anyway. Oh, well.

I mentioned going to Shavers Creek. I think I want to live there. I love the discovery cool and so many animals to look at. I was watching the kids (there were homeschoolers and public schoolers there). The older public schoolers were in groups, I guess as I noticed about seven of them walking in lines (there were no true lines or anything...they just walked in lines). I thought that was odd. All the other kids were shouting and investigating and having a blast. Very nice energy, actually. For some reason, I liked it. Then I looked around the bookstore and found a great mushroom identification book. Jon loved it...I do too as there are some fantastic photos (for future paintings).

I've got to be more proactive about the local Stitch and Bitch. I was late last time by 25 minutes (not my fault...Jon's new schedule has him coming home an hour later then usual). So, that was a disappointment. Still, I put up a presence though I got some snide remarks from people passing by saying "If only I had so much time." make time for what you want! That sort of comment annoyed me. Plus, there are a bunch of young people that look like they stepped off the set of some film/show and either ignore me (like I'm a fuddy old lady with her knits) or laugh out right...geez, it's just knitting! I didn't realize knitting was still looked upon like a great-aunt sort of thing. ANNOYING!

So, that was Thursday. Then in-between and all through this my two raccoons, I mean daughters, tested my patience to no end. Let's just say, I've finally wised up and put all the finger paint in the mud room. Sometimes, it takes me a little longer to get the idea about removing temptation out of sight.

Also, it is not a good idea to leave your dog outside with a bag of garbage two feet away. Actually, this was Tuesday and there was trash as far as the eye could see. Horrible. Then when I came back to the house, I could her my 2.5 year old saying, "Hide, Lydia, hide! Mommy's coming!" I had already decided I would not get angry but I confess I was passive aggressive and may have roughly moved them off of the stools as they had been "washing" the dishes and everything else in sight before I came in.

*******pathetic travel dreams************
Sometimes, sometimes I just want to fly off to some interesting country and take a four day nap, eat lots of prepared just for me foods and ride a beautiful white horse after visiting a few flea markets. Yes, that would be nice...

*******reality and appreciation**********

At least I've gotten my allergies mostly under control. I still get mild headaches but they are MILD! A miracle, I must admit. I have to get weekly shots, but I don't care. It helps and I know they are helping.

*********back to complaints (there's a lot of 'em)*************
I'm trying to teach my kids to ask me for permission before they do it. Such things as using finger paint (which I have removed from their eye sight), turning on the bathroom sink and flooding the bathroom (definite no and I still haven't told Jon this one), putting toys in the toilet and flushing, sitting in the bath tub and waiting for a bath without telling me (yes, it's true), walking around the house naked, feeding Mr. Nelson 50 dog cookies, feeding the rats by opening the frig and giving them various foods I planned on using for dinner, exploring my art boxes, opening the back door to water the plants without me, letting Mr. Nelson go for a walk by himself (Jon caught him), letting the rats out, going into the basement, pulling out all the videos in the cupboard and using them as a foot path (Norrie does this, I don't know why), playing with the computer (found programs running I didn't even know we had), playing with the oven (yes, it was bad and thank goodness Mr. Nelson barked like crazy or who knows what. He got extra treats, believe me), waking up after only seven hours of sleeping, and standing on the upright piano to get things off the top. This is just a tiny bit of what they do. There is the no stop talking and the tantrums, as well. It's normal stuff and sometimes I can see the humor of it and other times I wish I was in France.

At least now I know that I'll have earned the gray hairs and the wrinkles. There was a funny moment the other day. I looked into the mirror and I saw white at the base of my hair line. I thought, ah, it's happening...I'm finally getting gray. Ah, well good-bye youth. I was fine with it. I actually thought it looked kind of cool. I washed my face and went to look for the gray/white and it was gone! I thought, water really hides the gray and then I saw this feather floating in front of my half blind eyes. It wasn't gray but a feather from the comforter. This is what happens when you're still asleep and aren't wearing your glasses. I did find two silver strands later on, so I'm not entirely wrong...

We're still waiting for rain. I hope it rains soon and we won't have to resort to what China did. I think the article also says it's acid rain...yuck! Jon mentioned the butterfly that stinks as well.

Also, I want to apologize for any typos. I try to catch them but I'm too tired to go over this a third time. Sorry.

what I should be doing right now...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Pine trees

Pine trees, originally uploaded by emily999.

We went up to Shavers Creek with our homeschool group. Great time and beautiful trees and though it has not been as rainy, it was still green. The forest ground felt really dry and crunchy and there is a no fire ban going one because it looks like a drought is upon us.

I'm definitely going to join the local Audubon society as I would love to go bird watching with the girls. They Environmental center had several birds that had been injured in some way and would live the rest of their lives in cages. It was nice to see the birds and at their second chances.

They had several owls...the horned owl and others that were simply charming. I especially liked the little cute! I may have to do a couple of paintings owls...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

You will find what you are looking for

after you have bought the same thing again. Ever feel this way? I do. Apparently, this also works for when you have made a replacement for the missing thing too. Here's what happened.

For several weeks now, I've been working with my older art student in teaching her linoleum carving. She's making birthday invitations for her 17th year. In this time frame, I've been searching for a missing brayer. The little roller I have to spread on the ink and ink up my plates. I couldn't find it and assumed (apparently wrongly) my 4 or 2.5 year old had misplaced it. Why do I wrongly blame people too? Well, that's a whole other blog, to say the least.

Anyway, I finally started to have a break down of sorts thinking I'd lost the dang thing for eternity or (rightfully) assumed it would appear when I least expected it.

Well, I wanted to see if my theory of replacing the lost something with a made by me replacement would satisfy the gods of the lost things. I proceeded to cut some plastic piping (left over pipe pieces from the puppet stage Jon and I built) and started twisting a metal coat hanger into shape. Trimmed off the excess and low and behold, a brayer! And it works! Compared to my original brayer, it's about 85% as good.

I probably should take a pic and share (I'll have to do it later as it's 2:30am...went down at 9:30pm. It was a long day filled with everything).

And of course, the gods of lost items laughed upon me and I found my brayer yesterday in a little tool pile of stuff I have going on in the mud room. I've learned my can find ways to make what you need and not have to shill out those copper coins at every corner. And now, I have two brayers! : )


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