Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Want to Go....................

Did you ever treasure a little dream? I have one, one that I hope to see before the dream dies...I want to go see the Mermaids of Weeki Watche Springs. And swim with the manatees myself. I do.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Who was at Wadena and Why did They Go?

August 2, 1970 in Iowa. Hotter and more humid than any place I've been since. A Rock Festival! Why did we go - well, it was the thing to do. I don't even know who was playing there. By the time I made arrangments for my children and found a ride there, people were leaving - it was over with - but on with the story:

What else was going on this hot day in 1960? "Politiking at Clear Lake Iowa, a Governor and Senator listened to an angry young widow: 'A Viet Cong may have killed my husband, but we, everyone in this room, all other Americans are responsible for his death.' A withdrawal was being discussed, but talk was that the President's announcement of a deadline to withdraw would limit options to ending the war." Does this sound familiar? Deja Vu!

The H-bombing of Hiroshima was seeing its 24th anniversary.

But, back to Wadena, to free love, almost free drugs, few clothes and really, really weird people mixed with the young folks who were there just to have fun.

Another excerpt from the Des Moines Register: "I turned around, to be confronted with this guy who looked like Charlie Manson's spiritual adviser __ Jesus length hair , fierce beard, and eyes that looked as though they would melt asphalt."

"God wants this festival," he was saying, "The man wants this festival to take place. The devil doesn't want it to take place." He was talking to no one in particular.

Another: "Excuse me, but did you just use spare change as a verb?"

"I don't know. I just walk around asking people if they've got any spare change."

"A young man had moved into the conversation by then, a long-haired, bearded Young man with octagonal sunglasses and a leather head-band. 'I'd never do that,' he said. 'I think it's degrading.' 'Well, what do you do for a living?" I asked. 'I peddle dope, man.'"

Another excerpt from an article about concessions at the festival - including sliced cantaloupe, deep-fat-fried egg rolls, beaded necklaces, sweetcorn (after all, it was Iowa), and - the ever present drugs.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness was there working hard to "take many of the kids off drugs by introducing them to chanting."

The pale green outdoor toilets looked like voting boothes.

Marijuana grew wild in the ditches in Iowa. Summertime was a good time for hippies, both full time and part time.

Those were the days.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

How was my day at the Beach?

What a great day. Warm sunshine, a breeze, and beautiful water and sand! I'm amazed at kids, grandson didn't know these kids, but within a half hour they are all working together to make a sandcastle. Wish we were more like kids sometimes. A dark cloud came over the area, and the wind picked up bringing up some nice waves. About that time a plane circled overhead advertising lunch bargains. Since the clouds were starting to rumble, we decided to pack up and go eat. After a shower the red on my face settled down to a nice brown. These white sand beaches call for at least 30 block lotion!

Beach Day

I'm off to the beach today. Will take the camera. I only have one question, after doing comments today - how do the codes work - the security codes? My eye finger coordination must be bad, I have to type those in sometimes three times before I get it! Anyone know?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Full Blown Test

Candy Minx suggested taking all 45 questions to task - I come out just as boring. Oh well.......but dependable! One of my friends, my dear cousin, made a comment in her tongue in cheek wise way - "Oh, you took the County job thinking if you are just kind and wonderful to everyone, things would change." Yep. I did. But I can smile at myself for such naive thinking. Thinking if I just do everything right and the world will be rosy is something I have been "recovering" from - not that I do everything right - but that blankety blank drive keeps pushing me along sometimes..........

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Spread those Nukes!

I guess the U.S. is not the only one courting disaster for the sake of oil:

TRIPOLI, Libya (Reuters) -- After agreeing to nuclear cooperation with Libya, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the West should trust Arab states to develop such technology for peaceful purposes or risk a war of civilizations.

Sarkozy said preventing Arab states from developing nuclear power risked stoking a "war of civilizations."

France agreed on Wednesday to help Libya develop a nuclear reactor to supply drinking water from desalinated sea water. The reactor might be supplied by French atomic energy firm Areva.

Sarkozy told reporters in Libya that to consider the Arab world "is not sensible enough to use civilian nuclear power" would, in the long run, risk a "war of civilizations".

"Nuclear power is the energy of the future," he said. "If we don't give the energy of the future to the countries of the southern Mediterranean, how will they develop themselves? And if they don't develop, how will we fight terrorism and fanaticism?"

Many Middle Eastern countries, including some worried about Iran's nuclear program, are interested in developing atomic energy resources.

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Claude Gueant, Sarkozy's chief of staff, noted the nuclear cooperation deal means "a country that respects international rules can obtain civilian nuclear energy."

Sarkozy, due to travel to Senegal on Thursday, denied any link between the nuclear deal and the release this week of six foreign medics who spent eight years in Libyan jails and were convicted of infecting hundreds of children with HIV.

He helped clinch the deal between Tripoli and the European Union to free the medics, removing a major obstacle hampering reconciliation between Libya and the West. "The only link one can make, is that if the nurses had not been released, I would not have come," he said.

Areva, the world's biggest maker of nuclear reactors, deals with the full nuclear cycle from mining to waste. Libya said in February it would join Areva in exploring and mining uranium.

Saudi Arabia along with Gulf Cooperation Council partners Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates announced a joint project for peaceful nuclear energy, mainly for water desalination, in December last year.

Egypt, which suspended an earlier nuclear energy program after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, is looking to revive it to meet energy needs and conserve gas and oil reserves.

Libya and France also signed accords for a military-industrial partnership and cooperation in scientific research and higher education on Wednesday.

"I am trying to reassure a part of the Arab world," said Sarkozy. "There is Libya, but all the other Arab states are looking at the way Libya will be treated following the release of the nurses."

Relations between France and Libya deteriorated after an attack on a French airliner in 1989. France convicted six Libyans in absentia but Tripoli has denied responsibility.

The West lifted sanctions on Libya after it abandoned its weapons of mass destruction programs and world powers are jostling for position in the hope of grabbing lucrative infrastructure contracts from the oil-rich country. E-mail to a friend

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mein Garten

First we have Lamb's Ear, and it is truly as soft as a lamb's ear. Next, is the agapanthus - faithfully blooming away - this plant is no prima donna, its very sturdy. My prima donna is the Cajun Hibiscus. Tomorrow I have to dig a hole and mix the mushroom humus (sounds like a spread for crackers, eh?) into the sand and see if perhaps the soil has been too rich - I'm having far too many yellow leaves. Anyone have any ideas?

Another Personality Test

Why am I so boringly predictable. Since my historical person profile match came out "Hitler" I am absolutely sure these things are way off base! How would one reconcile those two different poles?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What's a little lightning?


Computer is back - kiss, kiss! I woke up this morning with my answer. It was the computer cord. I was sure - the message was saying the cable was bad and it hadn't registered with my brain - I was thinking it surely was something more complicated. My daughter's computer came back on after the storm. I figured it HAD to be the cord. So I went to Walmart and the new one works fine. Ya! I always try to make sure the electronics are shut down when storms come up because we have bad experiences.

BAD Experiences

The first bad experience was a lightning strike to the kitchen - it blew the sheet rock off the walls and the appliances and electronics stopped working. Luckily, we were able to have all repaired except for my computer which was two computers previous to this one and one TV.

We did not repair the lightning damaged sheet rock, dreading the expense.

In the meantime I decided I was finally going to adopt a greyhound. I've long admired these sweet and intelligent dogs, with sleek bodies and affectionate personalities. The adoption society did tell me he was afraid of storms, especially lightning and thunder.

"That's ok, he can sleep with me," I foolishly said.

The dog was perfect - he was gentle with the boy and the cats. He was a constant companion to the boy. One day, the boy put the dog's leash under the coffee table leg, while he went to get the dog a treat. A jet flew over the house - it flew low and the dog, thinking the sky was falling, took off running through the house with the coffee table flying behind him - banging big holes in the sheet rock.

"Oh, well," I thought, "We already have holes in the sheet rock, now we have more."

So I calmed the fellow down and we settled in, one big happy family. Except - ya know when you've been married a long time, you can tell your spouse is pretty upset because they have "that look?" I was getting a lot of "those looks."

A couple of days later, I put the grey in his kennel in the living room and went to pick up the boy from a party. I came home and neighbors were standing in my yard, telling me that dog had eaten the blinds off my front windows. I gingerly opened the front door and - ZOOM - ever try to catch a frightened greyhound?

Greyhounds are also very smart - this guy had not only chewed off the whole corner of a wall in THIS incident, he had managed to unlock his kennel, which had two complicated lifts on two closures. He had peed the floor in the study, and covered it with a throw pillow.

With the help of the neighborhood, grey was located and sheepishly came home with us. Twas another jet! Wanna see the Blue Angels fly? Come visit me in my yard on practice mornings! Well, now we knew the grey was afraid of: sonic booms, loud jets, thunder, AND lightning. "H" came home from work and all H broke loose - at midnight I was waiting at a meeting point to transfer grey back to the foster home, crying my heart out. I whimpered something about being an abused wife, but after the grief left, I realized keeping grey in a household where jets constantly fly overhead, lightning strikes, and...........(see next paragraph) would be entirely too cruel and abusive to the grey.

Two weeks later, I drove to 'Bama to see my other daughter and had little boy with me. My other daughter was working nights - she called me late afternoon and said the house had been hit by a tornado. Ok! At first I thought it was a joke.

I am very calm in disasters. I was calm. I drove home, a tree had gone through the outer window in the boy's room, our roof had been lifted off and slammed back down driving all the nails out of the sheet rock, cracking a wall, knocked some of the brick off the house, our trim was all gone, and the garage door looked like a horse had kicked it. A window in the bathroom had shattered and cut the vinyl on the floor. Our above ground pool was GONE, gone, gone. Missing. The swing set was a pile of sticks.

By this time, the house looked a bit like it could have been bombed.

So, homeowners insurance may not cover hurricanes, but it did cover the tornado! That was way back when deductibles were $500.00 instead of $15,000, hooray! All damage was fixed eventually - seemed like it took a long time to put things back together.

If "H" had known what kind of luck I had, I think he would have turned and ran, and ran fast. My poor children suffer because of these disasters. Just think of a life long tour with me.

Poor little boy could not go into any room in the house for months without one of us holding his hand, standing by while he pottied, staying with him when he slept.

Anyway, we got the house put back together and, THEN.........

THEN - THEN came THE hurricane. This was a time a person (not us, thank God!) could say, "Well, the car was in the pool, the tree crushed a corner of the house, part of the roof is gone, and the carpet and walls were ruined, but, hey, we were really, really lucky!" (We were relatively in good shape, compared to others.)

Another story to be told later. Now, I bet ya'll understand why I have a paranoid snit when computer won't start after a storm!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Wilted Gardenias

Well, no computer again. Another lightning storm hit last night. After a blast that felt like it hit our backyard, I leaped out of bed and shut down the computer. Again, it won't come back up. I don't know if I will get lucky again. We'll see. So, if I'm quiet for a bit, that's what it is.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Piece

I absolutely hate doing domestic pets as I feel I am not good at them. However, when a photographed image of this kitten was given to me, I instantly agreed to do it. Isn't it a wonderful kitten? It's a little Manx. I've posted her over on the Art Site.

She's mostly finished - just a wee bit more to go.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More on Fashion

Finishing up my fashion fling tonight, the little yellow babydoll dress looks exactly like a pair of "baby doll pajamas" I wore in the fifties as a young teen. To bed only. The little print strapped full short print dress, I had sewed up several like this in the 70's to wear in the hot Iowa summers. Living in ultra conservative communities did nothing for my reputation as I sewed away and wore them about. The other frock, brown print, looks like something I would have purchased the material on sale and whipped up and refused to wear unless it was to a Woodstock type event. The sparkling pant and top - ahhhhhhhhhhh, I wants it. I really wants it.


While sorting "stuff" I came across a 1993 issue of Vogue magazine. I was amazed to see the emphasis on black and white. This (spring 2007) was also the season of black and white.

Black and white I like. However, I've been resisting the "gypsy" look. As true with most clothing that is presented to us at the runway level, these styles only look good on super skinny 17 year old girls. A slightly older, weightier (ahem) person like myself that has layered up cutting the body in half, let alone thirds or fourths as with the shrugs, tiny jackets, now layered over super long tops, and tiered skirts is going to look like an overly ruffled birthday cake. Perhaps a few combinations that could work, but for the most part, WHAT are designers thinking?

Making matters worse, when these styles, modified of course, hit the department stores, then eventually Walmart, that's about ALL we can find to buy. I have several shirts (2005 & 2006 style) that are cut too low in front for busty grandmas and too short for plumply grandmas.

And I knew it, I predicted it, too short shirts will be given over to too long ones. Now if I want a new shirt, I have to buy shirts that go down over my butt and unless they are striped downwards, make my butt sort of double in size. What is it with these designers?

From a marketing viewpoint - money! Can't design the same as last year, or last season, can we? Why? - well, my County boss taught me a phrase I always remember - follow the money! Who makes money if people who can afford to restock an entire wardrobe each year or season buy, buy, buy?

The problem is, that designers have been stuck in ruts. Unless our wear, our style of modern dress is totally and radically changed, they have to go back in years and select styles from those years, redo them a tiny bit, and hit it with new marketing strategies, or maybe not so new - lately it seems nothing is new, really new.

I predict maybe only one more year with this hippy stuff. Don't get me wrong - some folks look totally adorable. My problem is that there are few outlets where I can find something to wear that will survive the current craze through the next one!

These thoughts come from a wannabe fashion designer. But one who has had at least a couple of classes in marketing and related to marketing...enough to know this economy is based on persuading people to continually buy, buy, buy.

Personally, I like to be like an artist's canvas with a passable painting on it when I dress up. I like beautiful clothing and fabrics, jewelry and accessories. But I resent being told when I'm going to wear them, or being confined when going to purchase a shirt the only thing available is something that looks good only on Angelia Jolie!

There is a deeper reason fashion rotates styles through the years - it is to keep us buying, buying, buying some more. Yeh, and I admit to always wanting to be at the edge - and trendy - but the older I get, the more "refined" I get - either that or I don't care very much! I still do fantasize about having all the money I would like to spend on clothes, dumping my old wardrobe out and going for all new - but I resent the pressure of "have to." It's not as bad when not working outside the home, I do admit.

Gees, I still have clothing with padded shoulders hanging in my closet.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Irresistible Junk Triggers Psychotic Episode

I picked up the sack with all the material in it with intentions of walking to the trash. I did. Honestly, that was my intention. But I slipped, one eyball sort of slid downward exposing the pupil which is connected to the packrat part of the brain and the brain signaled back - "Look, look more, dig through it!" And.....I did.

Out of the bag came this wonderful fish print. Since the grandson's room is done in a Hawaii sort of teal calling for a tropical bedspread, the creative part of the brain told me to cut the fabric into a square, mount it, and frame it for his wall. He loved the idea.

Ok. Where oh where will I hide this package that dropped in from the garage until I can perform my fantasies upon it? There are multiple projects that can be dreamed up! So, does it matter that the sweatshirt embellished with deer cutouts that I gave to my ex-brother-in-law went to the garbage? Nope, not a bit.

Rainy Sunday Afternoon

H. "cleaned" the garage yesterday. Translation: Move everything around in a different pattern, and bring HER stuff in to go through and hopefully it'll be so ruined she will dispose of it. I got the game.

So, what a trip through memory lane. At least I didn't cry. I've carefully cleaned frames and photos, repacked them all cleaned and treasured, and will try to get them into an unused place in the back of my closet.

I thought, before I left for Wyoming, I had given away most of the gifts from missionaires to grandkids for their keepsakes. Schools don't teach geography anymore it seems or anthropology. That's why I like Montessori. But no, there was a bumper crop of "stuff." The broken stuff was thrown away. I divided the angels out for my older daughter, the angel collector. Separated "H's" stuff out and cleaned it as well - complusive Capricorn that I am.

The "stuff"

A round leather piece depicting the continent of Africa and wildlife.

Two parrots, from Costa Rica and perhaps Nicaragua.

A wooden chocolate maker from Mexico.

A carved wooden camel and donkey from Israel.

A carved lion and a black wooden flute from Africa.

Two baskets - one from Africa and a brightly embroidered one from Costa Rica.

A carved wooden bowl and beautiful carved wooden fruits from Guatemala. (The Mr. Idunno person(s) who break(s) things and makes them disappear had emptied the bowl of some of its fruit pieces.)

Not gifts, but unrelated objects: Two circa 1930's (I think) dog figurines from occupied Japan, an angel (50's)? from Japan, a pair of zebra salt & pepper shakers (dollar store variety), a bowl from China with cactus in it - not from missionaries, from the U.S.'s imports to keep China happy and U.S. labor costs down.

So that's some of my junk. Who will want it when I die? Probably no one, so why don't I just trash it all and relieve the efforts of occasionaly caring for it and finding the space for it. I dunno.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mi Casa

The garden is getting there - hopefully by November everything will have re-seeded itself. Still no bees, the dragonflies are growing, but a quickly transient population. No hummingbirds yet. Come on, plants, grow, grow! I have them in mushroom compost so they should zip along. It's humid and warm. A preliminary sketch is done and waiting for the Cajun Hibiscus to bloom. I can't decide whether to do them in watercolor or acrylic. The blooms are plate sized, deep blood red, but only last a couple of days. My command of acrylic is a bit better than watercolor, so that will probably be it if I can approximate that blood red.

A spider has built her nest in the bromeliad and has several juicy morsels awaiting her pleasure. I managed to repot that without too much disturbance to her home.

Thanks to the sprinkling system and generous new seeding, the half dead lawn is pretty much back in shape.

I need to finish painting the front door, get the windows cleaned, and the carpet cleaned and the Casa will be Mi Casa again - there is a certain sense of peace when things are repaired, cleaned up a little, weeds replaced with flowers.

Grandkids will arrive Thursday but can only stay until Friday - that is sad. Well, perhaps someone can take over the little one and I can take them to a movie. Maybe do some painting and approach them about a scrapbook project for Christmas gifts.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Happy Pleasures

I'm a sucker for fresh produce and lately its been like JACKPOT! Hattigrace turned me onto a local non-profit that is growing produce for income. That was a double bonus, being able to purchase organic local produce and have it support the non-profit services. This produce is less than store price by a long mile, so I kick in an extra donation.

My bag contained a small watermelon, lots of cucumbers, a big "mess" of pole green beans, and a very large bag of large cherry tomatoes. Tasting these fresh veggies and fruits were a reminder again, of being used to store produce and not realizing we are often eating something akin to cardboard.

The cantaloupes and corn from the roadside stand were - exquisite. Grandson and I are going to get more today. A nice fresh corn and black bean salad sounds tasty as well for the coming week. I'll take my camera to the country with me and give you all a preview. I love Alabama.

So tonight it is ham hocks and green beans for supper! And will brew a pot of lentil soup as well to last through the week.

I was able to resurrect the computer. It did this in Wyoming once. Made my heart flutter, it did. It must have a short - or all the power outages in Wyoming have wounded it. So here's a kiss on its screen for coming back home to Mamma!

Well, much to do today - since I am chauffeuring hubby back and forth to work, (broken truck) he has felt obligated to dig me some holes in the garden area. We put in Butterfly Bush, Agapantha, and Porter Wing and Milkweed. These plants are supposed to bring bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. This evening when it cools down, I will put the exotic grape red hibiscus in a large pot, along with my exotic which is having "puppies" already.

My back was burning and I was sort of scared, but a little time on the icepack and a night's sleep and it is fine. Its usual stiffness is there, but whew!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Thoughts on the 4th of July

This 4th of July I feel sad. My heart used to burst with pride when I stood and faced my flag and sang "The Star Spangled Banner." But my two year intimate acquaintance with politics and subsequent reading, news on the TV, talks shows, underground blogs, war that I am not sure doesn't have everything to do with politics rather than "freedom" has left me confused and sad and disillusioned in regard to my country. I suppose I'll eventually process it all.

My friend finished her book on our visit to Albania. It's excellent. When we visited I didn't consider politics at all. But world politics were at work. We visited an important chapter in history. And I can say I live in a country where I can actually get out to visit other places if I wish (not without some hassle, but it's not impossible - now), and most of us have toys for our kids, vehicles instead of donkey or foot travel and other things we take so for granted. We have phones, we can travel without seeing soldiers watching us with guns in hand. So much to be thankful for today, despite the crazy 21st Century political deviousness.

Other news:

The website finally kicked into its official name: http://healingtreeart.com

That's the good news. The bad news is that I can't work anymore on it, nor may I be able to access the files to clean it up and keep it running. We had a power outage yesterday while I was working on the computer, and when it was time for everything electrical to come back up, of course, my computer would not. It seems dead in the water. My web design software is lost somewhere since the move so reloading to a new computer is not an option now. I have to borrow daughter's computer which is not accessible to me 24/7. Computer is right arm, yes?

I'll see if the problem can be solved. At best, maybe a change out of the power source will work and I won't have to worry about how in the world I will be able to replace a couple of thousand dollars worth of software. And did I back up files? Well, I was working on it. About 1/2 way done is all.


So the Happy 4th of July sees me cleaning up the house, being chauffeur for hubby whose truck is broken, and the kids and grandkids are all gone doing 4th of July stuff. So much for moving close to family.

Well, there's a couple of movies for grownups at the Rave Theatres and I could go eat shrimp, and buy some plants for my planter. It's cloudy and grumbly for a 4th of July. Going to the beach would be like saying to the lightning: "Come get me!"

So hey, a day alone might be a welcome respite, after two years living alone, being in 1825 square feet with 3 messy people is wearing...being a tutor is wearing me out (but I am grateful I can do it)...however, it is a good thing I didn't choose that as a career..... so its the movies or some books or some art..type of day......or maybe pulling weeds?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

ITS UP! Test - Test - Test

Sunday, a.m. Getting ready to fix breakfast and a good cup of coffee, its quiet, no one up. I like it.

I finally uploaded the website to the host. (Haven't slept much.) I am having trouble getting the correct biography to upload, but mainly I wanted to see if you would be a "tester" for me. That is, would you check the site out and given me your feedback? (The writing on the biography page is awful I know.) I have yet to get subdomains set up for the websites I want it to link to so those are missing, and the Links page is bare. But getting there.

The web address is temporary for a few more days until the host does their thing. Then it will be http://healingtreeart.com

For now:

Healingtree Art and Design

However, what I need to know is:

Does it come up quickly?

Do you see all of it on your browser - and if it comes up messy on your browser, what browser are you using?

Are there any overlapping layers except the intentional one on the Drawings page?

Any glaring grammar or spelling errors?

Is it generally pleasing to the eye? Any suggestions, critiques?