Share Your World – October 2, 2017

On this bright, sunny morning, what better thing could I do than sit and share more of my world? Especially since it’s too cold in this sunny morning to go do what I should do outside.

If you were given the opportunity to ride in a helicopter would go? Yes. I would like to do that, just as I would like to go up in a hot air balloon. New experiences are often good.

What are some of your favorite type of proteins to eat? (meat, seafood, eggs, soy, cheese, nuts) I think the proteins I eat most often are cheeses, beans, eggs – although eggs are less frequent than the other two. I don’t like to eat a lot of meat, and if I have meat in my meal at all, it’s always a small portion. Seafood – sometimes, but I don’t like fishy anything. Shrimp sometimes call me although the price of it usually means I’ll buy a bagged, prepared shrimp meal instead of making my own. But I’m a lazy cook.

What would be your preference, awake before dawn, at dawn, or awake before noon? Waking at dawn is good, although it’s a pleasure to sleep a little later occasionally. My furry girls, however, think right before dawn or at dawn is the best time. In my much younger days, I liked to stay up into the wee hours on weekends (when the next day was not a workday) and sleep late in the mornings. That doesn’t happen now – in large part because I can’t stay awake very late.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. A trip to Costco inspired me to buy some of their prepared, refrigerated, no preservatives meals. Is that real inspiration? The news events inspired me to want a new world to live in. Sorry, friends, I’m having trouble with inspiration these days. Just wait till we’ve had a month of gray skies, snow, and really cold – won’t I be great fun then?!

In the meantime, a critter update. I think my chipmunk friend did go out the door I left open after I saw him run across this room, because there’s been no further sign of him. Critters, yes, but they’ve turned out to be mice – I managed to capture one in the live trap, and as I let him loose in the yard thought about how that might be a really bad idea. Then I went through some days of critters eating the bait I put in the live trap, but not triggering the door. Sigh. Time to get serious, and deadly. I bought a couple of mouse traps, the unkind type, and last night caught three mice. I’m hoping that’s all. The cold weather has made them search for and find a way into my house, apparently. I hope they get the notice, that I’m done fooling around now.

And in a more uplifting mood – a couple of this week’s inks: Ghost Trees.

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Look Beyond the Obvious and Other Thoughts

Have I told you I have a new “pet”? Well, not so much a real pet that I invited into my home, but a critter that wandered in and is making himself at home, despite the fact that I keep trying to get him to go back out the same open door he came in.

For several years I have had a hanging screen in my morning room exterior door in the summers, which allows my furry girls to go in and out at will – saving me from constantly having to go open a screen door because Shasta is a major inner and outer dog. That had been a good thing, and I had had no issues because of it. However, This year I do not have a cat, and the chipmunk population has increased. A lot. There have been instances where one of them would decide to wander in through that screen, but when I made a noise it would run back out. Obviously, one (at least I hope it’s just one) managed to get in without my noticing. Or either of my furry girls noticing. I realized this when a plum I had in my fruit bowl had little tiny bite marks in it. So I’ve been putting treats out for this critter (which I know is a chipmunk because he ran across the room I was in yesterday), because I didn’t want him to die of starvation in my house before the live trap I ordered arrived. It did arrive the other day. I set it up before I went to bed. I got up in the morning – the trap was emptied of treats, and empty of anything else. Try a slightly different tack with the treats. While I was watching TV last night, he came for dinner, and set the trap off so it’s door closed. I jumped up to see – yes! Chipmunk in trap. But then – whoops! Whether the door had not shut properly and he pushed it open or I did something to open it oh so slightly I cannot say, but when I got to the door to go out and release him, he was not in the trap.

Reloaded trap last night. He enjoyed the offerings, but opted not to stay apparently, because he was not there when I got up. He did, however, enjoy a few nibbles on a couple of pears I had out to ripen. Then I reached for the container I keep my bags of coffee pods in and discovered he thought it was worth tasting what was in those pods. Sigh. Tonight I will try a slightly different method of putting the treats in the trap. And I will hope. Sometimes all we can do is hope.

Typing a note to a friend this morning, I typed the word grey – as in the color. I usually spell it gray. Not sure why I changed, but that made me wonder what is the difference between grey and gray? I haven’t asked Google yet, thought I’d check with you first.

Speaking of asking Google – I think too many of us read something and take it to be gospel without looking beyond the obvious. Sometimes the way something is written will make my antenna go up (they don’t stay up all the time, that would be just too weird) and make me check into it before I decide to accept it. Sadly, anymore we cannot take the written word as truth just as we cannot take a picture as truth – it’s so easy to edit pictures, add or remove people or things. It’s so easy to take portions of things that have been said, and word them in a manner to make the point I wish to make, not necessarily the truth. I think we need to take the time and make the effort to research, to check further, before we make our judgments on issues. Or people. This morning on Facebook there was a photo of a young man kneeling, purportedly in front of the Statue of the Fallen Soldier, purportedly while taps were being played – which of course resulted in comments neither generous nor kind – nor allowing for any other reason for him to be kneeling other than disrespect. Maybe he was lightheaded? Maybe it was a sign of respect, as when you kneel in front of the cross or kneel in front of the queen? We don’t really know, do we? So why do we automatically assume the very worst?

I am not saying I don’t do this – I’ve begun to realize that when it is about Trump, I have become inclined to accept the worst. This came to my attention the other day when there was a post, again on Facebook, that stated that Trump did not know Puerto Ricans were U.S. citizens. I immediately accepted that, not being surprised about his lack of knowledge at all – then gave it a moment’s thought and decided I should verify before I comment. Snopes.com told me that this was not true, but it also stated that over 50% of U.S. citizens did not know that Puerto Ricans were also citizens. Whether or not that is true, I cannot say. But this whole episode was a good reminder to me, and I would hope my sharing might encourage others to look “beyond the obvious”, if not always, at least some of the time. Or, at the very least, make no judgment without further investigation.

I feel that I can now say, without a doubt, that I have absolutely perfected lazy. Not that I have managed to accept completely without self-recrimination the fact that I am a master at this – I alternate between telling myself I have earned that right and telling myself that’s not a good thing to be a master of. Do I care? Sometimes. I’m not sure. Yes. No. Maybe.

I have also decided I really need to make a more concerted effort to exercise regularly, to get over the lifelong dislike of doing exercises just for the sake of doing exercises, without any real pleasure resulting. So yesterday I started trying to do some exercises that I think should help in areas that I need help. But. I have this dog. This Shasta dog. Who thinks that when I do any exercise it is surely playtime, and what I really want is for her to get in my face, jump up on me, join in the fun, demonstrate loads of pleasure and excitement. Generally make it impossible to exercise. A lot like when I try to ride my Sit n Cycle, she gets right in front of the pedals and jumps up – joining in the “fun”. Is this a message that I shouldn’t exercise, or is it a message that I should do some dog training? I’ll consider both.

Oh my. There are a lot of words here. I guess it’s time to stop. But, last thing, I want to share a set of 4-1/4″ tiles I’m working on, which eventually will be finished as a set of coasters. It was an experiment in pouring inks, then lifting inks while they were still wet – a method Kellie Chasse uses as a background for dragonflies but I thought were kind of interesting as they are.

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Share Your World – September 25, 2017

Here I am on September 28 going back to the 25th, just so that I can share with Cee and all of you. I’ve been debating with myself about sharing or posting another rant, chiding chiding chiding people for reacting instead of thinking – but I decided not to be a grump. At least not today. Tomorrow – who knows.

What is your favorite outdoor activity? I guess it would be walking on the beach, because the ocean sounds have such a calming effect. In my younger years, it probably would have been riding a bike. Otherwise, my favorite outdoor “activity” would be sitting in a comfy chair on one of my decks with a glass of wine and my furry girls. “Activity” is subject to interpretation, you know.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger? That depends on who the driver would be if I was not. I do better with women drivers because they are usually less aggressive then men, and less likely to follow other vehicles what I deem to be too closely. If it’s a man driving, I belong in the back seat, because I am more a passenger seat driver than I am a back seat driver when I am not the actual driver. Got it?

If you could have three wishes granted for you alone, what would they be? 1. For harmony, peace, and tolerance. Wait, does that qualify for this question, because it’s not really for me alone? But yet it is – because if the world had more of these things, I would have less anxiety and irritants. 2. More ambition and less proficiency at procrastinating or ignoring. 3. This one is purely selfish – enough money to travel more.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. Here again, very little is inspiring me these days. Although, the pleasure I get from eating a slice of bread I make with Herbes de France (or Provence), toasted, slathered with cream cheese and peach jam, inspires me to make more of that bread. I appreciated a couple of conversations I’ve had with friends this week, where I felt free to say how I feel about current events, without fear of being shut down.

I’ve been doing a little more inking – mostly on tiles, because really that’s my favored substrate – as if I was going to do something with any of them. Maybe. Anyway, my themes seem to run a bit dark, or feature downhill scenes – Slippery Slopes so to speak. Probably a reflection of my state of mind these days. Here are two of them which will be finished to make them suitable for use as trivets, if anyone wants a trivet.

Despite my lack of inspiration or my wishes for more, truly I do have enough, and I hope that you feel you do too.

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Stereo

Watch this thoughtful and thought provoking film made by a 13 year old girl.

The Green Rocking Buddhist.

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Share Your World – September 18, 2017

I’m a day late – but that’s less late than I was the past couple (few?) weeks, so I think it’s good. It’s a perfect day to play on the computer, do some inking, maybe bake cookies – cloudy, chilly, rain in the forecast. Yesterday was much the same, so I made soup and baked bread. So much productivity – I’m going to need a week off! Now it’s time to Share with Cee and y’all.

Complete this sentence: I want to learn more about … Lots of things. Whatever grabs my attention at the moment. What makes the world go around for you and me. What my furry girls are really thinking. Ah – maybe not that.

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep? A comfortable something to sleep on and protection from bugs or any outdoor critters. Warmth, but not too warm. Safety from storms, floods, fires.

What is your greatest extravagance? Amazon. I think probably clothes when I get it into my head that I need to change my wardrobe. I always think I need just “one more”. Reality is, I really don’t. Besides that, technology. I love electronic gadgets. Treats for my furry girls. Sometimes I think I spend more on them than I do myself when it comes to eating. So now I have dog food/treats delivered – my grocery cart is much less full.

What inspired you this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. I think the cooler fallish weather. I actually picked up some (but not all) of the pine cones, the ones in the lower end of the driveway at least. There are more. Then I cut back some new tree starts – I have a poplar that thinks it needs to reproduce in the most inconvenient places. I baked bread (you already knew that), made soup (you knew that too), did some inking. A couple things I’m not unhappy with. One is below, “O’Keeffe Country”.

Wishing you a week of enough.

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Words and Their Uses

I love words. I love playing with words. I respect words, and what they can do to uplift or bring down. Build or destroy. Comfort or agitate. Words should be treated with caution, I believe, because words are forever. Though invisible when spoken, they cling, worm their way into your subconscious. When written, they do the same, but they are more obvious, more readily reviewed in total, without variation.

Stating the obvious, I am now putting words on “paper” (digital though it may be), and those words will become part of me, part of my life, part of my identity. Because they are “out there”, for any who wish to read. To quote. To misquote. Which leads me to the purpose of this blog, my realization that words taken out of context, words distorted to represent what I want them to rather than the whole truth, pushes my buttons faster than anything else I can think of. I have found my pet peeve. I have found what wakens my passion, my indignation.

The other day, a friend showed me a petition she’d gotten at her church. In perfect innocence, without any idea a volcano was about to erupt. The petition itself was harmless, really, but the letter that accompanied it to explain its purpose, was, in my view, completely the opposite. Not innocent, not harmless.

The petition was protesting a recent bill passed by the state of Oregon – a bill explaining funding for the Oregon version of Planned Parenthood. The bill funds another bill that would “reimburse costs of services, drugs, devices, products and procedures related to reproductive health provided to individuals who can become pregnant and who would be eligible for medical assistance if not for certain federal requirements”. The bill also requires that insurers provide coverage for abortions for all women, regardless of “citizenship or gender identity”. There is allowance for exemptions for religious organizations.

To my way of thinking, we may or may not agree with the concept of abortion, but we are fortunate to have the freedom to make up our own minds. I believe that we should have the same freedom to choose whether to have an abortion. I may vehemently disagree with you about the morality of that decision, but it is not up to my beliefs to dictate your actions. Your actions are not harming me, they will have no effect whatsoever on my life, or the lives of those around me. I equate it to making choices about how I eat – I prefer vegetarianism, you like your red meat. Fine. It’s a matter of personal choice.

So back to the letter that came with the petition. The letter stated that this bill would enable people to have abortions to make gender choice – that is, they were told the fetus was a boy, but they wanted a girl = abortion. NO! That’s not what the health plan says – it says the patient should be allowed to have an abortion regardless of the patient’s “gender identity”. The letter emphasized, in a negative way, that our tax dollars would pay for non-citizens to have an abortion. That part is true – but the bill covers so much more. I resent the distortion of the words used in the description of the coverages the plan affords, I resent the obvious emphasis on the negative. I resent that they didn’t also explain the undeniably good parts of what it covers. The prenatal care, the postnatal care, the mammograms, regular checkups, all of those good things. Factually, in 2015, Oregon had a population of 4.025 million. Out of that number, there were 8,610 abortions performed. That’s .002%, which means a very very small portion of my tax dollars would have gone towards the cost.

Another irritant in all of this is that it took me quite a lot of digging to find out what those tax dollars for that funding would actually be covering. The petition and the letter referred to Oregon House Bill 2391, which is the number of the bill for funding, but does not explain coverages, the very thing the letter was emphasizing. Those coverages actually come under Oregon Chapter 414, where I found House Bill 3391 – finally! A description of the coverages.

My whole point here is that we need to arm ourselves with the facts before we make our decisions, but the groups supporting/not supporting certain positions do not make it easy to do that. Which brings me back to that thing that most quickly raises my ire – my pet peeve. The use of words to distort, to disfigure, to lead astray, to misinform. Yes, I know – that’s the job of those who are paid to write the speeches, write the text for convincing the public to buy their product or support their position. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. So – what I would ask is that you question, always question. Accepting things on face value is a luxury not often afforded these days. My friend asked me what she’s supposed to do – dig and read the text that was not meant for the average person’s consumption? My answer: Yes! Search. Google is a wonderful thing – there is much to be learned. Yes, you may spend some time, but that would probably be time wisely invested, right?

That’s it, that’s my rant for today. Represented by my ink below – it’s a black cloud that blows innuendo and misrepresentation.

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Share Your World – September 11, 2017

Is it possible we are already into the middle week of September? No? Not quite? But rapidly approaching. Cee has reminded me that a new week is here, and it’s time to share a little more.

Would you want $200,000 right now or $250,000 in a year? It’s safe to assume all money is tax free. If I were younger, I would probably wait the year, but I think I’ll take the $200,000 right now because that money would take me to Tuscany for Christmas, France for spring break, a sandy ocean beach for the summer – and so much more.

Is it more important to love or be loved? I think it’s more important to love – people, your life, where you are – because you get what you give, so giving love certainly assures getting love, right? Besides, I think real contentment comes from the good feeling that comes with loving.

List things that represent abundance to you. Freedom. Forests, oceans, sandy beaches, friends, family, the birds that sing, loving and being loved by my furry girls, music, art, sunshine. Life.

What inspired you this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. A petition I was shown this week – the petition was not what inspired the passion that followed, but the wording of the letter accompanying it. But that’s another post. The inspiration was not of the kind that lifts you up and makes you feel good, but it did make me realize one of the main things that gets me aroused.

This week I want to share one of the (few) inks I’ve done recently, this one a peaceful, pastoral view.

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