Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Three Weeks - Yellowstone, and Etc.

These are latest works - I still have some corrections to make on both - but they will have to wait two or three weeks.

Road trip is on - flying and driving. Reservations made, packing in progress. Some worry over funds, but believing that memories that Grandson will have for life will be more important than things I probably won't remember, like cash in my pocket from time to time. We will be covering lots of miles, Wyoming, Colorado, and Idaho.

Will take lots of pictures - it will be nice to return to the mountains - Milla's blog keeps me alive with her mountain pictures, when my heart longs for mountains and meadows!

We will stay in a Lodge right next to Old Faithful! Much of my life I lived in Wyoming but never saw Old Faithful! I got such a good price on the Lodge, I am wondering if they are putting us in a small attic room somewhere in the recesses of the Lodge, however it has a long history and will be fun, even if we have a stall in the stable!

I wish I could pile my whole family in a bus and take off for this adventure - but I believe God knows who should go when, so it will all work out.

Hopefully I will be in good enough physical condition to get some stuff done for my mother while while at her place, perhaps my company will be enough. Yesterday I was in crazy pain throughout my body, today its confined to my right foot and ankle - I think I may have fibromyalgia - would explain acute episodes and recoveries.

Grandson wants to hike. And perhaps will have his first horse ride. Next on his list is the purchase of some giant gum balls, the candy store is in Fort Collins, Colorado and right close to a huge wholesale art supply house - Jerry's Artarama!

They tell us the Deepwater well is plugged, though they have to make it more permanent, however news comes out about seepage from the sea floor around the well. They are also telling us the oil in the water is "breaking up" - I don't know what that means because it doesn't evaporate. They haven't told us about the effects of the untested chemicals they have put in the water, so much yet remains to be seen.

This will probably be my last post for about three weeks - wishing everyone a wonderful rest of the summer! It seemed like it would never get here - now its almost gone! Grandson starts school a week after we return!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Road Trip

What a weird convoluted situation I find myself in. I had not planned to go to Wyoming this year. However, my mother suggested I come and she would help youngest grandson and I with a trip to Yellowstone and also get us all tickets for the Bob Dylan concert.

Well, to make a long story short, she decided that concert tickets were too expensive when the town was so full of poor people, and that instead of Yellowstone, the Municipal Swimming Pool would be fine for grandson. (She must have forgotten that we live in the land of water, albiet polluted water.) I've decided the whole disappointing fiasco shakes out to she had broken up with her boyfriend and was lonesome, but now that boyfriend is back, she is not going to loan her pickup to anyone as she chaeuffers him everywhere, and everything is off but poisoning her weeds and transplanting some flowers and walking to the municpal pool so grandson can swim.

I should have known. But, determined to make the best of a situation where tickets were already purchased for the plane, I've thought about driving the 4,000 miles round trip. BUT, at last found an affordable rent-a-car for the last week of the trip. So I can take him to Yellowstone! We may have to sleep in the car, and wash up in restrooms and eat bologna sandwiches but that would be the fun telling in the trip. So, Old Faithful, here we come.

At the same time at the end of the trip, I am supposed to be in Denver for an intensive seminar to make a years' old dream come true, of which I will write later, and no one to watch Sage and no money for seminar and no transportation - and airline tickets would have to be moved! However I have free lodging in Denver, so miracles might yet happen!

My oldest daughter will babysit the dog....and "H" will be here for the cats, the boy across the street will water the flowers some of which are rotting - the hazards of growing in 90% humidity conditions.

The next installment will probably come about after August 13th! Unless I can find WiFi connections in the wilderness!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fun Day - Visit from a Handsome Man!

Painting again! Always seems to relieve the blues. At least some! My handsome (and sweet) grandson came to visit today and take us to lunch. I loved it. All grown up - gives me a tear or two, and then great pleasure to see what a wonderful person he has become - his life ahead of him. It's been good - my grandkids, my daughter from Mobile visiting often lately, and their ADHD dog, Weezy. But I even love the Weezy. Guido continues to "grow" on me - as dogs do, wanting usually always to be at the owner's heels, bed, etc. Will go to Mobile this week sometime to drop off Guido with daughter, and to visit with my granddaughter, and lunch if she desires.

Tickets purchased for Wyoming trip with younger grandson. Plans being made, although the plans I WANT to make involve a rental car, and the cost is insane! Buses are an option, however much walking in the heat and I am out for the count lately, don't know what that is all about.

Reading my book recommended by Wandering Coyote and I love it so much - "The Spice Necklace" only it makes me more homesick for islands. BUT I have come up with a mission statement - it is forming and will go into written words, and most always what I write comes to me in some manner.

Ok, going to take the Guido for a walk, the sun is gone, the dark is descending - and then paint some more! I love everything I paint lately and don't want to part with it. I think another show is coming up in September, which is exciting! The Farmers' Market downtown draws artists, but it is too hot. I would faint. Marketing plans WILL come to me, I'm sure. Soon. I hope.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Have been going through a bit of an emotional time again. Struggling to get equilibrium back - the melancholies are hard to unwrap from one's head sometimes.

They tell us the oil deluge has been stopped. They now wait, test, and wait to see if it will hold. One report states that the well is 14,000 feet into the bottom of the sea which is also a mile down. Even man can push the limits of even the earth. Why should I be surprised that man can also push the limits of another man? Speaking in broad terms - the word "men."

My painting is stalled in the midst of the melancholies and I not feeling up to par in the body as well as emotions.

Grandson and I are scheduled to go on a two week vacation out of state and I shiver a little thinking of the long travel times and convoluted connections with this particular trip. Perhaps a change of scenery will help. I hope I am not fooling myself about my stamina. He is supposed to be on the internet looking for places to see and things to do, but is preferring to watch TV.

I have been able to continue with Curves (cardio strength training for women). Though I love feeling stronger in the muscles, I am reminded three times a week just how much I hate exercise! Have aggravated a knee - but the whole program is so flexible, I can work around aches and pains and bad days. If this is what I must do to slow aging and stay reasonably healthy, I must.

Another art show is coming up in September and I am getting prints made of a few paintings and some cards. That is exciting because it brings up possibilities for other materials; cards, smaller prints, etc. I MUST paint as doors are opening! Now, the continual artist's bane- will it sell?

With the prints, my "babies" - the ones that are emotionally meaningful can stay with me.

So, I have nothing more exciting to say.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Nightmare in Paradise

Painting "Blood on the Water" done by Rod Obe - about 25 years ago. It is interesting to me that the rust color floating on our water looks like blood.

Disasters come in many forms - I have read about oil "spills," and visited California beaches and wondered at the oily film on the water as far back as 25 years ago. I have been through three hurricanes, of various intensity, even one that claimed about five to six years of our area's life in cleanup and restoration and over 100 residents' lives. I have been through snow storms that buried houses across the street from me, and read of tsunamis and earthquakes and seen pictures of the devastation from those types of disasters.

I have never seen anything like this.

Fisherman speak into the reporter's microphones, holding up blackened powdery oysters saying that the oysters are gone and it will take at least three years to grow more, that is IF the water were clean. Our water may never be clean or friendly to life again as no one knows how long the puncture in our earth's crust that is allowing this science fiction sized deluge to pour forth will continue. Some estimate if the deluge is stopped today, perhaps ten years for clean up, but there is secrecy and lies and speculation. BP has effectively killed off a huge fishing and tourist industry and before this is over, if not stopped soon, most, if not all, of the marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. The potential exists that it could eventually affect the Caribbean and the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S.

I have pictures on my cell phone from a trip grandson and I made to a favorite fishing pier. It is roped off, equipment marring the coast line - metal "booms" - and a guard to make sure no one gets too close to the whole scenario which is clouded with secrecy and $40,000 fines and Class A Felony charges if one passes a certain demarcation too close to "clean up" efforts. Yet everything within sight is still, no one is there but the guard. We can swim in, wade through, and cleanup the mess when it hits our backyards though.

The President meets in secret (to my knowledge, no public or press allowed) with the military and the County Commissioners. People work in the "clean up" without proper protective gear, with few, if any, long term studies on the effects of exposure to the oil, the fumes, and the chemicals that have been released into the Gulf of Mexico.

It is like something out of an Orwellian scene to see the long lines of people whose incomes have gone to nothing from the spill standing in lines and picketing, hopeful that BP will hire them to clean up BP's mess for a whopping $10.00 and hour! Yes, I know, in our destroyed economy that is at least enough to feed one's family.

No one has the answers of what will happen, or speaks of it anyway, as this stuff moves into our wetlands, our waterways and seeps underground through the porous limestone soil base in this area into our drinking water and into water we use to irrigate and cook and bathe. Maybe they have the answers, but that is another secret no one wants to talk or think about.

I watched a video made by a resident of the area, and BP's idea of beach clean up in this case is clearly shown - in early morning hours, a bulldozer moves down the beach, pushing sand over the top of the oil and I wonder how many times can this be done before our beaches become a toxic waste dump - is the answer already obvious? They already are toxic waste dumps. The oil is obviously toxic and we don't have clear information exactly what chemicals are coming ashore with the oil. We know large measures of methane and benzene are included. One of the videos shows the surf boiling like water in a pot on the stove.

Where were the inspectors, where was any ounce of integrity with the company? Did anyone ask any questions as one of the, if not the largest deep water well in the world, if not this hemisphere cracked into the earth's core? When an exception to having a tight plan in the case of a "spill" was granted when the permit was issued? An alarm was not sounded when BP's top executive reportedly sold off his shares about a week before the explosion. Or Goldman Sachs reportedly divested its holdings in the company before the explosion.

It is reported that now there are 17,000 wells in the Gulf of Mexico, off the shores, that have been capped off since the 1940's. These wells have the potential of blowing at any time as they are not inspected to make sure the caps are holding according to one investigative report. I posted a map of the amount of wells in the Gulf, the yellow dots marking the wells are almost wall to wall for miles.

A politician, a senator from Louisiana, states on TV that she has accepted thousands of dollars from BP for her campaigns up to two weeks before the oil spill. And sees nothing wrong with that while being involved in overriding the President's ban on offshore drilling. A law is passed by our politicians that corporations will not be limited in amounts they can give to politicians and their campaigns. Have we lost our country to greed, to money mongers? I can't remember for sure, but the amounts may have amounted to hundreds of thousands the politician had accepted.

In the U.S., we have become the proverbial frog in the pot - never questioning, never researching, never caring as long as we are comfortable, what the long term consequences are of our blind obedience to our comfort and big money, in this case oil corporations which have become a world economy, thus controlling our lives. We deride, at the worst, or ignore scientific findings of what is happening to the planet we call home. ("We" being the majority of the population.)

My heart is sick - I am one person, a half healthy retired grandma, I am not an organizer, not even sturdy enough to pick up a sign and go stand in protest in the 100 degree heat for a day, I long to throw myself in front of the bulldozers, but "H" tells me I could cost our family the loss of our home and my presence because of the penalties and not make a difference anyway.

BUT, I have become passionate where I can - I recycle, I compost, I change to energy efficient light bulbs, gather my errands into one day to minimize use of fossil fuel, I am writing people who send catalogs and junk mail, and tell them to stop. I do what I can in my tiny sphere of influence. And I shout out what I see, what I think. I show my grandson the horrors of what has happened - a sea holocaust- and tell him, "remember!" Maybe he will be the scientist who makes a difference, an honest politician, a geologist, an environmentalist. I post on Facebook the obvious truths of what is happening to our planet and face ridicule and anger from people I thought were my friends. I don't care, alarm after alarm has been sounded and we (including myself) go on as if the air we breathe, the water we drink, the planet we live on will go on the same forever. It won't.

Yes, I am heartbroken. Scared. And angry. Not just because the most beautiful landscape our area has to offer as been irrevocably ruined, but because we (our society's way of life, our corporations, and many of our politicans) are killing our planet, our creatures, and ultimately ourselves. Thanks for listening! It is my heart for people to realize that this disaster is not just here in the South, but the same bomb is ticking, is lurking in the waters all around the world, with the potential for the same type of disaster to cover the earth with blood covered water. Water is life - our body is 70% water!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Beautiful Caribbean

Lost in fits of nostalgia tonight - between a reality turned dream, a collision of senses, of touching heaven, while being part of the landscape, intertwined with it in love, raucous night sounds of tropical paradises, barking of hungry dogs who also have a full night of experiences, frogs and lizards to chase, biting insects and the smells of ganja in the air, and outdoor cooking and curries, the sounds of soft rain daily and nightly, waking at four a.m. and walking naked through the bedroom courtyard staring at the moon and stars, monkeys eyes silently wondering about this crazy stranger - I don't want to wake up, but I must! I don't know where home is. Is it where I put my feet? Oh, the heart takes much longer to settle to "home" and sometimes it settles immediately, were I an eagle, a whale, I would turn southward.