New Posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays -- er generally

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday and last week

Because I am left of the middle on a lot of issues, when I hear of something happening in politics, I naturally have a left leaning view that will impact how I see it (at least I admit it). Here's my take on the various 'scandals' which are supposed to bring down the Obama administration IF you listen to the Limbaugh ilk.

IRS-- If they had said in the beginning that they held off on approving tea party and patriot group statuses because there were so many instantly applying and those words clearly sound political, which means they needed to evaluate if there was also a charitable function, not just a political one. It just makes sense that way and there is no targeting. It's based on the name pure and simple.

The tea party and patriot groups did get approved eventually (so much for 'targeting in a meaningful way' but if they called themselves also a charity based on being willing to go around giving schools books to teach from and teaching the Constitution with their own slant-- that's not charitable. That's political and partisan. The IRS should treat left wing groups the same-- and maybe they are but they went into panic mode and lost control of the conversation.

I can tell you a dozen ways that teaching the Constitution from a right wing view is not how a leftie would see the same words but just take guns. Righties claim that saying there should be a 'well-regulated militia' means you can own an assault rifle and any sort of machine gun with no background check as you might be required to overthrow the military someday.

Lefties look at that same amendment to the Constitution and remember that at that time the government had a small military and what they wanted was a 'trained' group by them (i.e. the 'well regulated part) who would fight under government orders. How many tea partiers like that idea?


AP-- here's where the right and left are both down on Obama. My gosh, he did a horrible thing. Information that was deemed classified regarding two nations who openly espouse our destruction was revealed by reporters who in one case (North Korea) evidently went after those who had classified information and then revealed it. Where it was Iran, the information revealed was something Republicans said needed to be investigated because it told about a secret operation that could have endangered someone undercover. They suspected Obama had wanted it revealed to make himself look better as a terrorist fighter.

This is now being pushed in a partisan way by the politicians and media. Excuse me but information that is deemed part of our national security is classified for a reason. And I've seen too many times this year where reporters rushed to tell what happened in some situation when they got it wrong-- Boston Marathon being one example.

There is a difference between freedom of the press and letting the press ruin everything we are trying to do for our own security-- isn't there? Not to the press and Republicans. At least it's one issue that brought together right and left in condemning Obama.

Yes, I am disgusted by our government bureaucracy for how they can't seem to chew gum and walk; but none of what is above directly connects to Obama in my view. We expect him literally to be looking into everything that is done in the government? They call that micromanaging. I think he had good reason to expect that bureaucrats wisely do their jobs. Lotsa luck with that.

Benghazi-- this is one I have written about too many times. It's just ridiculous that the right, who never met a war they don't like, with thousands of deaths, would get all upset over four. There is a lot we don't yet know about what happened that night and if the real interest was in discovering it, I'd have a more tolerant view. Who outed the CIA annex?  The real issue though for the right seems to be somehow connecting this tragedy directly to Obama.

Oklahoma tornado: Then there is trying to figure out where to donate to Oklahoma beyond the Red Cross, but getting a little frustrated when I heard the Oklahoma politicians saying they don't need money as it's already there waiting for them to take and some writing they don't need shelters for children in their schools because it's only a few deaths. It makes me wonder if that state has something mentally wrong with who they choose as their leaders and spokespeople because it seems to me this is where there should be government help and we should all be working for safe rooms in these schools that are most likely to be hit by tornadoes. I cannot hear anything like this without thinking of my own grandchildren. I want small children protected when in their public schools and frankly if that guy who doesn't think it matters, doesn't care for himself, fine but for me every child should know they are as safe as we can make it when they go to school and if that takes federal money, my tax dollars, good enough!

Drones, Code Pink and how to get your point across: Obama gave [a speech this week] dealing with defense, Gitmo (tried to close it right away but was blocked either by his own mistakes or the right), drones, and the forever war we are locked into. He said what a lot of us wanted to hear. Some find fault because he didn't say it all sooner-- guess they wanted Romney in 2012 as Obama had to get re-elected to get a chance to do it; and if the naysayers thought at all, they'd know it. Elections are won by the middle and you can lose it so many ways it's not funny.

In the speech, he was interrupted by screeching and over the radio that's all I heard until later MSNBC refined her words and let us hear the whole thing (like I so wanted that). There are many who find fault with Obama because he didn't usher in a Kumbaya time for the world and this country. They wanted the world to be other than it is and often ignore the basis behind his decisions.

The lady, who yelled her way into at least 15 moments of national news time, got what she wanted-- more attention.  He wasn't as critical of her heckling as I am. I don't like those who are rude and haven't since the Vietnam war era where protestors attacked the soldiers for fighting a war of which they disapproved. Hey, I didn't like it either but I made my point by voting and speaking out in a polite, hopefully intelligent way-- it's how I was raised.

In the end, polling makes more difference that screaming for what happens politically.  I see value in large groups gathering to have speeches and make their points. It's like polling for showing the numbers on 'your' side. Screaming down someone else, disrupting a speech, might be more emotionally satisfying but I think it can turn off as many as it arouses to action.

Oh I know, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. I think it's a form of violence to interrupt others and refuse to listen. It doesn't help with freedom of speech and as Obama said-- freedom of speech means listening and talking. She didn't want to listen. She wanted attention and she got it.

On the farm: We watched Django Unchained,  and I'm still evaluating how I saw it other than what is it with some humans for how they treat others if they can get away with it? I can't relate to how that kind of cruelty grows and yet we saw it this week in London with the two men who hacked a soldier to death with machete and knives supposedly for ethnic or religious reasons. How do humans reach a spot they can do that to another human-- and don't tell me it only comes from those from 'other' religions as it's ignoring reality.


It was a busy week as we had the shearer come in on Monday. Forty-five were shorn which is more than we thought we had. Getting them altogether for a portrait is all but impossible but here are a few in the field that Farm Boss put a lot of work into reseeding last fall. It's doing well as you can see. The color for the day is green.




Then Tuesday the mobile slaughter unit came, and Farm Boss shot a steer for sale to some families in Corvallis.The population has to go down in our livestock. We don't like to sell to auction but prefer to sell direct to consumers which gives the animals the best life and the consumers the best deal for healthy meat.

The guy below had a very physical week and deserves some downtime which he still hasn't had as he's trying to repair one of our tillers...


We found the perfect picnic table at a place in Eugene which makes redwood outdoor furniture at a reasonable price. I am delighted as we start changing what was sheep pasture into a garden-- it'll take time. It turns out that it's a warmer spot to sit (if the rain ever stops) which is great for reading and drinking a glass of wine. The backyard with the deck gets the breeze off the creek. Nice to have two choices for being outdoors. This has been fenced to keep the cats in, avoiding them heading to the road and getting hit by someone's car. And now avoiding the danger from the fox population.

Currently we are losing the battle of keeping out the foxes. One got into our deck garden by going over the fence again!!!! We were having a hard time understanding why they want in. It came in with a goldfinch it had killed in the magnolia-- was that about a nice place to eat it?

And then I went out one afternoon after Pepper (the black and white cat) came racing into the house banging the cat door. There was the fox right outside that front garden fence looking at Blackie, who was staring at it with equal curiosity. I yelled and the fox stood there just looking at me.

So, I got the cats in and tried throwing some rocks at the fox... Guess what it did? It ran over to them to see if I'd given it food. I'd pretty well say that is why it's not afraid. Some foolish human has been feeding them. It only ran off when I turned on the hose and sprayed it. Even then, it went no farther than the apple orchard and sat to watch what would happen next. Spray didn't reach that far.

We are thinking it's going to take a big noise the next time we see it-- but will that work? Ack!

Finally, as another way to reach readers, I spent the week trying to learn how to do a video that would speak to what I see romance novels being about-- most especially mine. It is so hard to do this for a person (me) who dislikes seeing themselves talking and hates their voice on audio. It's a challenge to remember the points, make it look like fun and not goof up by some dumb expression-- like licking my lips. What was that about? Anyway, here is one attempt-- another less than perfect with the eyes closed to start but hey it's a learning curve. Memo to self: blink next time before the camera starts!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Visitors from the wilds


For the first time last spring we saw a gray fox in one of the gardens around our house. It came into the small rock garden and acted as though it was taking a sun break as it moved around, sat, posing perfectly and not quickly leaving.

Then one night this spring we saw two foxes in the vegetable garden when Pepper erupted with a loud cry of fear off the bed. They again sat with little fear when we flicked on the light. Since then we've seen either one or two foxes several times as they race past from somewhere.

The most upsetting was when Pepper came racing into the house banging the cat door in her hurry and I yelled for Farm Boss and ran out to see what it was. The fox was in the rock garden and our guard-dog cat, Blackie, turned to chase it off since I was there as backup.

I stood quietly to avoid Blackie getting himself in trouble as the fox panicked trying to get away. The fox banged off the other end of the fenced yard as it had only one place it could get in-- or obviously out. By this time we knew foxes can climb like a cat.

Until we began to research them (after their latest entry into the supposedly safe-cat yard), we did not know that they have semi-retractable claws. They can pull them up some when they run and use them to climb. They actually prefer to nest in trees or hollow logs but will den up in the ground.

They are the oldest of the dog family and almost prehistoric with their mix of skills. I got curious regarding the sounds they might make and realized we have been hearing them around here for awhile thinking they were birds or raccoons.



Be sure and listen to the YouTube. If you hadn't already been aware, they have 40 different sounds they can use to communicate.

Someone told us many of the raccoons in our area died off during a recent parvovirus outbreak which might explain the increase in the fox population. They are gorgeous little animals and have a very catlike look to them. I don't want them in the yard with the cats. They are pretty much the same size animal. While Blackie would try to fight one, he's not a trained killer as a fox must be to survive in the wilds. Research says they would not attack a grown cat but I don't know. They are certainly fascinated by the cats.

The dog world is not overly friendly to other species within it as the fox will be killed by coyotes-- which might explain why they like hanging around humans. The coyote will be killed by wolves-- and wolves kill other pack members and sometimes even within their own.

We also learned foxes are somewhat omnivorous and eat fruits and vegetables, when available, so in that they are raccoon like-- and might explain holes through the years that I have seen in tomatoes thinking they were from slugs.

Foxes are beautiful but they are way too close to the house and have gone back into the supposedly safe-yard now several times. The most recent two of them, who appear younger, possibly twins, and they had a hard time getting out but it hadn't stopped them coming in. I am not sure what we will do about this fox family to discourage their entry into our fenced yard where especially two hunting together might be a danger to our cats.

First photos from April 2012:


 May 12, 2013:

As best I can tell, there is no reason for them to want into the small, fenced yard. Although we do have a small birdseed feeder there, they've shown no interest in it or in hunting when in that yard. Maybe they just want in because it's there, and they can. FarmBoss/Engineer has a job ahead to prevent them from entering because I really do fear they could get into a fight, at the least, with Blackie and he'd come out the loser. :(

May 15, 2013 and the twins were back-- in the fenced yard which had recently been re-secured to the point it looks like a big bird cage. Not a cage to prevent foxes from entering obviously.


One wanted out sooner than the other but it had the most trouble going back the way it had come. When the one sitting by the pool finally decided to go out, he/she did it with ease. The other one became more desperate and was beginning to worry me that he/she would end up trapped and we'd have to figure out how to get it out of the wire. The one thing I can say for them-- they are not easily discouraged.




To have the wild visit you is cool... but it has a downside.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Making Memories-- Diane Widler Wenzel exhibit in Albany

So many people liked Diane's colorful exhibit that I thought I'd post more of the photos we took which do not cover all in this show. Remember it's at the Albany Public Library  (2450 14th Ave. S.E.) through June. If you go, take time to read the signs as they tell her story of creative process.





Wednesday, May 15, 2013

advertising or not...



As an experiment, I have tried word verification and moderation to reduce the number of spam that easily swamp my email box. Word verification works but inconveniences readers who have genuine comments. Moderation really doesn't work for me at all as a lot of the spammers are not just posting on the current one but way back-- and they still show up but I just keep them from posting.

So now, with my email box once again overloaded, I am going to try what someone commented worked-- no anonymous commenters. I really hate doing that but if it works, it will be what I stay with. Commenters can use OpenID, but I know some don't want to do that. I will miss comments; but if this works, I will not miss the multitudes of spammers that I think mess up our whole internet by their over usage that accomplishes nothing for anybody not even whoever they are paid to spam by. Whoever buys anything from their efforts? I doubt anybody but they must profit from doing it somehow and they have gotten very ingenious in what they say before they slip in their link.

Frustrating to have to do this because of an abuse of the system but that seems to be the story of modern life...


On a higher note, we were at the Albany Public Library (2450 14th Ave. S.E.) on Saturday to give Diane Widler Wenzel a hand with adjusting the height of some of her paintings there in her exhibit-- Making Memories. Well, we weren't helping so much as the tall Farm Boss who could reach what it would take a ladder for her to get up to.


Her exhibit is on the second floor and covers examples of her art from 1966 through 2013. It's an extensive exhibit going from one end of the second floor to the other and she put a lot of work into the meaning behind it. Diane created signs that explain some of her thinking in the creating; so check it out if you are in the Albany, Oregon area as it will be there through June.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Delusions and illusions

One of the things that makes life tough is separating what is real from what is illusion. It's not easy. We read something in the paper and think-- wow, that's neat... right up until two days later when we find it might not have been all there was to the story-- the real hero? You know, whatever the truth of who broke in the door, the media has the hero they want and convincing them otherwise won't be easy no matter what really happened.

Confusion over what really happened is more of a problem if we are following stories live-- or if we believe these commentators really know something. It also happens to us if we believe fiction in books, television, or film has reality to it and then wonder why our lives don't match up.

curious about me down along the creek

Ronni Bennett had a story this week about an eighty year old woman and if you haven't read it, this woman's viewpoint has been mine a lot recently: a sexually liberated woman.

Actually I didn't have to wait to be 80 for that. I think I got liberated in my fifties. When I began painting nudes-- particularly men... and then sculpting both sexes without clothing, it was not okay to do it and I really didn't care. Now I write romance novels-- again not okay and mine have sex in them. Oh my.

Well, liberation isn't really ours unless we take it rather than wait around for it to be given. If it was given, doesn't that mean the real power is retained by those who gave it?

a cover design I won't be using

I have noticed that what she wrote she is enjoying so am I-- admiring healthy, physically attractive people mostly of the young adult sort. When I am out somewhere, I admire the way they move, the beauty of a graceful body. I don't think-- oh I wish that was me as at one time it was. I just appreciate it now because as she wrote-- it stirs the juices. It doesn't require having sex to be a sexual person. It requires being alive to sexuality.

look in the shadows and you'll see it
Something happened this week to remind me of illusions versus delusions when I thought I was saving a hummingbird from our two cats. I heard it whirring outside my window as I was writing and then saw two cats looking up at it with a bit of a mystified or was that ready to pounce look.


Since we have saved two hummers this year, I was very upset when the third was killed last week. So I was not about to let this one be killed. I yelled my mean mama scream and ran out which didn't impress the cats as they kept looking up as the 'hummer' sucked from the nectar of the columbine. I grabbed a hose and sprayed the columbines with water which immediately caused the cats to head off.


After I had cats inside, I decided to see if I could photograph the hummer at the columbine. It was when I discovered it wasn't a hummingbird at all. It was a type of moth. It whirred its wings like a hummingbird, had the look of one; but it was definitely not which probably explains the mystified look on the cats' faces as they didn't try to jump it. They had yet to decide what it was.

I'm unsure but think it's a variety of sphinx moth and maybe one called hummingbird hawk moth. None of the photos I see online quite look like it. It does though have a proboscis that can get the nectar and some favor the columbines

This business of deciding what something is is part of the dilemma we face right now in our country but also in the world in a time of more division, rancor and paranoia than I have ever seen in my nearly 70 years.

The Republicans are trying once again to bring Benghazi into some kind of story that can impeach Obama and destroy Hillary's chances for ever being presidency. Listening to a pundit like Huckabee, you'd think they found a smoking gun. They have taken an illusion with some facts-- four people were murdered that night-- and turned it into a delusion that they believe because they live in their own bubble.

Despite what Fox, Issa, WND, Limbaugh, etc. say, I have seen nothing new about the Benghazi story. I thought maybe there was but heard the testimony of what was called a whistle blower. It was more that he felt wronged by being critical of no military sent in and then demoted (whether for that reason or another who can know). So he's mad but has he said anything we didn't know? Not from what I saw.

Yes, Benghazi represented a tragic loss of life. So does the war in Iraq and Afghanistan not to mention elsewhere around the world. Yes, a request for backup was decided couldn't get there fast enough to save the lives that were lost. Libya was at that time a very violent place (watch the documentary-- How far to the front? for how Tim Hetherington was killed there). But that isn't enough for the right wing who need some way to impeach Obama or derail Hillary. They say we must make sure this never happens again. Do they believe what they say or just expect their loyal following will?  When they push us to more wars do they think about the lives lost in them? 

Anybody in Benghazi that night knew it was dangerous. Three of the men were hired protection. The ambassador clearly understood the risks. Could he and his security force have been protected? Only by staying in Tripoli maybe. Christopher Stevens was killed by smoke in what should have been a safe place during an attack. Those things happen. But it's not enough that it was a tragedy. It has to be a conspiracy.


The right wing is going nuts with conspiracy talk. Obama is trying to destroy our economy, buying up all the bullets, lying about his birth place, secret Muslim, gay marriage, etc. You just think they've let go of a delusion only to see it crop up again.

This talk is not about improving the world or our country. It is about stirring up every wingnut out there. This week Farm Boss was down to our rural store and heard someone, he'd never seen there before, spouting off about Obama and how he's trying to destroy our country, etc. etc. He said he thought about saying something but wisely kept his mouth shut. I told him later that it might even have been a government person looking for militia people out here-- and they most likely are out here as I've seen their flags a few places, you know, the yellow-- don't tread on me.

I think with most Americans it's a good time to sit back a bit to let it all shake out while hopefully we increase security budgets for our embassy employees in dangerous locations (oh can't do that as it costs money?). Don't let anybody else tell you what to think or what the truth is right out of the gate (and that means right or left). Chances are it won't prove to be. Delusions are easier to come by-- especially for those who live in bubbles where all they hear is those of their own ilk.

I think we ourselves are sometimes illusions. Because I recently came to hate my profile photo here (that happens a lot to me), after we got back from shopping at the plant nursery, I took some new photos. It was one of those days when every photo came out great. When I was writing this, I thought well that's the photo when it's all going well but how about the other times when I'm not wearing make-up, have on my glasses, and don't give a ... (incidentally, I might be one of the few people who uses lipstick to lighten the color of my lips, not darken them)

Illusions -- except 
which is the illusion?

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

perspective... or not

As soon as I post something like I did on Saturday about joy in life, depression follows. It's like saying-- we never spill milk on the rug-- and immediately it gets spilled. Or it's going to be sunny, good day to wash the car-- only it rains Anyway Monday night it was hard to sleep, too warm and it didn't really cool off until morning. Then Tuesday I felt a bout of depression such as i haven't had for awhile-- a long while. I had to remind myself-- it's okay to feel this way once in awhile. I've experienced some bouts of depression, and they never feel good, but they do pass.

The following videos helped me on that particularly dark day when it was brightly sun shining outside. It's possible that it's a good idea to make some of these or put together a photo album about our own life and experiences for those times when life isn't all we would wish-- most especially when we don't know why it isn't. 


 and
 
   

or

  

 Sometimes it's all about getting some perspective...

Saturday, May 04, 2013

The best years of my life


Reading articles and blogs by others, it's interesting to me especially when the thinking relates to old age. We all get there eventually if we are lucky. What will we make of those elder years? What is possible to make of them? Are they different than earlier years or does it all flow along with only physical changes as the true differences? 

We are all different for how we age, how we have lived. I can only answer those questions for myself, but I've been thinking about it for assorted reasons.

Some people get to old age and have regrets. They wonder what if I had taken this road or that. How would their life be different? I think about it but more from -- wow, supposing I hadn't been able to have children? Supposing we hadn't gotten the farm when we did? Supposing I had spent my life wishing for things I never got? How would that change my today?


Well I did get what mattered most to me, but I admit my goals weren't huge ones. I have not gotten everything that I thought I'd want, but I've come darned close.  I didn't dream of being a prima ballerina or a famous artist. I didn't dream of wealth. What I wanted came under the realm of what many want except maybe the farm where not all wish for living a rural life and raising livestock.

The farm is a huge aspect of my life today; and although it has its problems and limitations, I can only think what a disappointment it would have been had I never lived this life as I wanted it so much. 

And it wasn't a short term want. I grew up on a farm and I could only think how much I wanted back to that life. I got it. It's not the farm I might've imagined wanting, but it's so darned close that the differences don't count. I have lived and am living the dream I always had. 

Where I may not be able to convince others that they should buy my books or that they have the quality I think they have, I can write and nobody can stop me. The dreams we have that depend on others are the most iffy for bringing us joy.


I am one of those people who has known throughout my life how wonderful certain moments are. I've savored them and lived them fully at the moment I had them. I then have no regrets about what I didn't get or what didn't last longer.

When my children were small, our daughter three and our son six months, I remember thinking-- this is as good as it will ever be. I am at the height of joy. I am strong as a woman, in my own prime at the age of 26 or thereabouts. I remember especially one moment when I was at Mass. I sat in the pew, my two children on each side of me, husband just beyond. I knew my strength was as strong as it likely ever would be. Although I knew my children would grow and that was what made the current years so precious, they were mine at that age in a way I also sensed they would never be again as the world would reach out for them. It was a time of pure joy. And knowing I had that moment then makes this moment joy also because I lived it totally with no regrets then either, no wishing it ahead or behind. 

Living in the moment is a joy but so is knowing that some specific moments are special. I have had so many of those in my lifetime. I won't go into them all, but the important part was that I recognized them when I had them and can relive them on the rare occasions when i think back. I feel joy at knowing i didn't miss what was possible.


That is how I am living old age. Aware in the moment of what I have and savoring it. My body is not the strongest it will ever be but it's still strong enough to do most of what I want it to do. It's not the most beautiful it has been. There's no doubt I do sometimes look in the mirror and go-- oh my gosh; but I believe letting go of the need for beauty of the more sensual sort is part of living happily with old age. Surgery is a way around acceptance, but it doesn't fool the body for its real age. While I would like to lose weight I am not letting that wish ruin what is.

The writing I have been doing is work but also a joy even though marketing is not. To be writing original stories gives me such pleasure, but I remember when doing sculpture did also and painting a painting that came out as i wanted it to come. Creating and the joy it brings doesn't mean others appreciate what I do. If I had to receive that from others, I'd find this a less pleasurable part of my life. If I instead concentrate on doing the best I can and letting that be my joy, then what someone else thinks about it can't hurt me. It can teach me.

Putting my books out proved to be a joy to me also. For the first time what I wrote was available for others to read. They could choose not to, but I had taken the risk of putting it out. And it does take some being willing to do that to put any creative work out and into the market where it can be rejected. Again, it's creating that is the joy; we can't determine how others will perceive it. If we let that be a factor, we will be depressed or joyful but always dependent on someone else, not ourselves.

Right now for this stage of my life a lot of my creativity is about writing and creating characters and plots. But the beauty of this moment also is-- something else might yet lie ahead. I don't have the feeling of some oldsters that the best years are behind me. The best years are always right where I am-- not denying its reality and sometimes limitations but fully living them. 

Later this year, I will have my 70th birthday.  I believe one thing is true of life. There have been wonderful moments. There have been those I just had to get through. In the end though, the one I am currently living is the best because it's the only real moment. That will be true until the end of my days. That doesn't mean, when they come to my mind, that I cannot savor those past times that were the best then. They are part of this one.


 At the beginning of this week, I turned off word verification and am just using moderation. I hate the word thing as they are so hard to read, but I may have to go back to it. I don't mind moderating but what I dislike is having my email swamped by spam and right away they were back. grrrrrr I guess they must be computer activated as it's the only explanation i have for how they are so quickly back. I loved the month without seeing all the spam in my email but I'll see how my patience holds up for how long before word verification returns...

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Beltane


Despite the calendar telling us that summer doesn't begin until the Solstice, here in the Pacific Northwest, it begins May 1 with Beltane. Celtic festivals follow nature and reflect it unrelated to religious demands-- pagan or otherwise.



For Beltane, there used to be the May pole to dance around but not sure many still do that. Where I live, and in the lands where the Celtic religion originated, it is the time of hills turning green, trees in leaf, wildflowers everywhere and gardens full of color. The days are growing longer; the birds are building nests. It is a time for eager anticipation of summer weather when we can swim in rivers and hike in mountains that winter denied us (unless we snowshoe). It is a time to celebrate the renewal of life. It was the day in 1910 when my father was born in South Dakota.


What I didn't know about Beltane (or had forgotten) is that it is also the time of the coming together of the god and goddess, of male and female.
"Handfastings (Pagan marriages) are traditional at this time. It is a time of fertility and harvest, the time for reaping the wealth from the seeds that we have sown. Celebrations include braiding of one's hair (to honour the union of man and woman and Goddess and God), circling the Maypole for fertility and jumping the Beltane fire for luck. Beltane is one of the Major Sabbats of the Wiccan religion. We celebrate sexuality (something we see as holy and intrinsic to us as holy beings), we celebrate life and the unity which fosters it. The myths of Beltane state that the young God has blossomed into manhood, and the Goddess takes him on as her lover. Together, they learn the secrets of the sexual and the sensual, and through their union, all life begins."            From  The Shaman's Well, link above

Romance is the bread of life. Love is a worthy of celebration as artists and writers seek to capture the elusiveness of human reasons for mating.
 

I love thinking of Beltane as a not just a celebration of spring but one of sexuality and love. It is what the continuation of life is all about. And it's not all about opposite sex relationships as love between adults is love wherever it's found. And love, for those who have found each other through all the pitfalls (and there are plenty) is always a precious thing to celebrate.



 When I painted, I liked to paint emotional connections between people. When I did sculptures, I looked for poses that illustrated the same. Now it's books; but it's always what I am drawn to capture whether in clay, paint or words. 

The sculptures are all fired clay. If I get back to painting again, I hope I can do more couples in various poses reflecting love's moods.