Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ben is seven.

"Edward Hopper"

"What about Edward Hopper?"

"I've thought about it. And that is the exact person I want to live with if something happens to you and daddy. He loves to paint and I love to paint. He paints New York and Cape Cod and I paint New York and Cape Cod. He paints pictures of everyday things like warehouses and that's what I want to paint. Just everyday things and he makes them beautiful"

From East Village Idiot (clicky)

HIV/AIDS and Disability: Capturing Hidden Voices

As the global community marks World AIDS Day this week, and watches with alarm as the disease marches on defiantly in East and South Asia, in Eastern Europe, and Africa, a key group is being largely overlooked in efforts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS - the more than 400 million people who live with a physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental health disability in the developing world.

There's got to be a morning after?

'06 forecast: More stormy weather

WASHINGTON — The record-setting 2005 hurricane season, which officially ends today, could be a harbinger for 2006 and beyond, the nation's top weather officials said Tuesday.

Optimal conditions for hurricane formation — warmer-than-normal ocean waters, absence of high-atmosphere winds and favorable winds from Africa — could continue for years. Past cycles have lasted 20 to 30 years. The current cycle began in 1995.

Finish reading here

"Fear is the mind-killer."

It was a WOMAN who said it. In every Dune book. . . . Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam

The litany against fear

In the Dune novel, the Bene Gesserit used the following chanted words to reduce their fear.

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will allow my fear to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone I will turn my inner eye to see its path. And where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

The exact wording however, differs in the book. The film version ends at "over me and through me'" - the last three sentences are removed. A few people use this fictional litany as a kind of mantra to help them reduce fear in the real world.

Love your Mother

Oh, goody. They just canceled the tornado watch! I can go to bed.

Well, I *was* looking for a picture of a wet yellow cat. . . .

This was written earlier today:

Just took one *really* exciting ride. Had some checks that pretty much had to go to the Post Office, and I'm almost out of cigs (normally would be okay, but with the water rising, I could be shut in for a week). So hopped in car and left during a break in the rain. Just before I left, noticed Honey Pie trying to get back across the bridge. The bridge slopes slightly, so there was less water on the far side. She'd gotten part way across and when the water got too deep, too swift, so she had turned and was working her way back. She was not a happy pussy!
When I got back from the store, the water was up another six inches. I stopped at the top of the road, and called her. She was delighted to see me, and got in the car with no problem. She did not, however, like the ride back. Nor, in fact did I. One can't really tell how much of the end of the bridge has been dug out, so it was simply and act of faith. Some was gone, and it'll mean some work when the water goes down, but made it. Was one relieved yaller cat that got out on this side, lol! And one relieved yaller-cat mama who did, also.
Ah, you poor flatlanders who haven't an idear of what "Lord willing and the crick don't rise" means. . . .

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Howard

Gotta say, I still just Love this man!

(thanks, Corinne! )

“The President is more determined than ever to stay the course,” the former defense official said. “He doesn’t feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage ‘People may suffer and die, but the Church advances.’ ” He said that the President had become more detached, leaving more issues to Karl Rove and Vice-President Cheney. “They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway,” the former defense official said. Bush’s public appearances, for example, are generally scheduled in front of friendly audiences, most often at military bases. Four decades ago, President Lyndon Johnson, who was also confronted with an increasingly unpopular war, was limited to similar public forums. “Johnson knew he was a prisoner in the White House,” the former official said, “but Bush has no idea.”

Seymour Hersh ~~ The New Yorker

Thanks, Maha

Interesting blog (clicky!)

And gorgeous picture of the Great Wall.

The wall always said Worlds to me about the Chinese world view. Aggressive nations don't build walls, they build roads (and harbors and airports and missile pads).

Monday, November 28, 2005

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Irony. They told us that we'd be in trubble if we tossed our bras. That we'd sag, etc. Looks like not only is that not true, but that wearing a bra in an of itself may cause sagging (atrophy of skin, muscle, ligaments), reduce size (ditto) and possibly even cause cancer .

". . . have found that going bra-free can actually cause breasts to sag less. Bras can cause breasts to sag because chest muscles are worked less when breasts are supported and confined in a bra. Over time, these muscles and also ligaments can atrophy (shrink in size) because of lack of use." It is basically a matter of "Use it or lose it. When the chest muscles and breast ligaments have to bear the weight of the breasts, muscle tone returns."

Dr. Gregory Heigh and Dr. Claire Heigh

So. I don't have peach preserves. I do have half of a huge jar of maraschino cherries. How does Cherry Chili sound?

Well, my son took a look at this blog for the first time last night. And protested that I'd left the bathroom out of the drawings. Since that's the room he built almost single-handedly on his own, I can see his point. It wasn't so much that I left it out on purpose, as that that was the first time I'd used Paint, and I'd run out of space, and didn't know how to make more. Since I do now: here is the rest of the Fairydiddle Mystery House


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Seems to be a pie weekend. . .

And this one was too good not to front page.... Thanks Hannah!

Pastry for one-crust pie
1/3 cup chopped peacans
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar

3 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbs flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp mace
1 1/2 cups pumpkin
1 1/2 cups light cream heated

Press pecans, butter and b. sugar into shell, prick sides w. fork and bake at 450 degrees for 10 min.

Beat heated cream into combination of other ingredients and pour into cooled shell. Bake in 350 degree oven for 50-60 min. until knife comes out clean.


Saturday, November 26, 2005



1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (9") pie crust, unbaked

Beat cream cheese until fluffy, gradually adding sugar and spices. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Pour into pie shell and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until set in the middle. Chill before serving.

My personal favorite.

Clicky! (And be patient if you have dialup)

Thinking about what to give for Christmas?

Try this!

The annual snow and ice sculpture festival in Brugge, Belgium.

Photo: Lieven van Assche/EPA

Monument to kitsch

Photo: Yves Herman/Reuters

A wolf in its enclosure at the Bavarian Forest park in Neuschoenau, Germany.

Photo: Armin Weigel/EPA

Snow in Europe. Clicky

Thanks, Judy

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Owl and the Pussycat

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey,
and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh! let us be married;
too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the bong-tree grows;
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;

And hand in hand on the edge of the sand
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

1871 - by Edward Lear

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Metal Dragon, Water Horse


In days so dark, with the promise
of no ending.
Accepting what you cannot change.
Finding small pleasure in
the oriole in the mulberry tree
a scarlet tanager bathing in the creek
an indigo bunting flashes across the path
the glint of goldfinch among the purple of thistles
a great blue heron fishing a dozen feet from me
as I drink the day's first coffee.
I have seen all these, and say it is
enough for one lifetime.
A kind of peace in learning to be still,
teaching the soul to desire no more
than it has. Will have.
And to be nevertheless glad.
Distaff empty, spindle full and slowing,
the wheel pulling to quiet.
Garden at rest, waiting.
What you cannot see
What you can no longer hope
A baby at the breast,
my own. Then grown,
and that child's child,
bright as the flick of sun on creekwater
I have loved and been loved, and well.
I have no argument with god.
All pain has been bearable,
and survived.
The pleasure of learning to know what is possible,
and doing that with joy.
No path has been so steep it
could not be climbed.
Remembering always to say thank you
to the Lord of the Dance.
The drowsy Dragon, like the dog, turns thrice
to settle into sleep.


Yet, it seems that even winter ends.
A murmur in the dream. A small plash.
And one eye opens.
Expecting what?
Nothing. Nothing. It is done.
A voice. Hello.


Will the glory of the snow bloom?
Planted late in a warm winter. And the
The forgetmenots reseed, reliably,
even in an abandoned garden. Blue lace.
No bleeding hearts although I love them
the iris from my mother's garden,
but the roses did not survive.


No. I was not prepared. Could never have
imagined, dreamed it.
Had I, it would have been something sweet
and lavender. Suitable. Serene. Some
thing to touch the hearts of the young ones:
holding hands on a park bench. Seemly.
Not this, this heart all gladdened out of season.
All hobbledehoy, all gay, all sunlight and thunder.
Beyond all edges, beyond belief, no white dove
perched on a finger: an eagle. Raptor.
Soul soars and circles,
out of sight, nor hears any voice of reason.
Sightless, blind and deaf with joy,
without voice for this, stumbling
without guidance. No teacher.
Yet too, a peace so deep and fine, spun silk
against the naked skin at midnight, cool.
And warmth, not ember,
wildfire running against the wind, devouring.
And an angel, standing in the corner,
But not surprised.

~~ Julie Li

'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down
where we ought to be,
and when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained
to bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
to turn, turn, will be our delight
till by turning, turning we come round right.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Li Jiang

Prior to living in China, I thought Chinese painting was wonderfully imaginative. Especially those mountains. Then, my first year, for Spring Festival (Chinese New Year's) we traveled. The picture above is of the Li river. I still think Chinese painting is quite skilful, but I also think it's rather more realistic than it's given credit for. . . .



The living are soft and yielding;
the dead are rigid and stiff.
Living plants are flexible and tender;
the dead are brittle and dry.

Those who are stiff and rigid
are the disciples of death.
Those who are soft and yielding
are the disciples of life.

The rigid and stiff will be broken.
The soft and yielding will overcome.

from the Dao De Jing

Sailing to Byzantium

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
- Those dying generations - at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

William Butler Yeats


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Moving Day




Squirrel Gravy

Two squirrels, skinned, etc. Remove scent glands on back legs. Thigh, thigh, drumstick, drumstick, back, breast, breast. 1/2 cup flour. Salt, pepper (marjoram, etc). Dredge squirrel in flour. Heat 1/2 cup lard (okay, butter) in big cast iron skillet . Fry squirrel till browned. Turn heat down, cover pan, cook another 20 minutes till done. Remove, and keep warm. Remove all but about 4 TB lard (butter). Take 4 TB of the seasoned flour, mix with a pint of chicken soup (broth), shake well, till all flour is dissolved. Pour slowly into hot pan, keeping heat low stir till it thickens. Either put squirrel back in gravy and cook some more, or put squirrel pieces on plate and pour gravy over.

Yes. It is good.

fractal of the day ~~ Sprott's Fractal Gallery

Mongolian Death Worms?

Just as I was feeling very neglected, as in what am I, chopped liver? (Read: I didn't get the worm! Nobody even tried!) It came. Not for me though the plain old FBI worm. Nope. I got the CIA worm. Well, I did and didn't. It came, but earthlink stole it before I could make the obvious decision not to open it. But at least I don't feel left out anymore. . . .

w32/sober.jen@mm worm

For Immediate Release
November 21 , 2005

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691


E-mails purporting to come from FBI are phony

Washington , D.C. – The FBI today warned the public to avoid falling victim to an on-going mass e-mail scheme wherein computer users received unsolicited e-mails purportedly sent by the FBI. These scam e-mails tell the recipients that their Internet use has been monitored by the FBI and that they have accessed illegal web sites. The e-mails then direct recipients to open an attachment and answer questions.

The e-mail appears to be sent from the e-mail addresses of and There may be other similarly styled addresses. The recipient is enticed to open the zip attachment which contains a w32/sober.jen@mm worm. The attachment does not open and its goal is to utilize the recipient’s computer to garner information. Secondly, the virus allows the e-mail to be forwarded to all those listed in the recipient’s address book.

The text of the email is as follows:

For the full text, click HERE


I think the Dems need to claim collective ownership of a serious withdrawal plan ASAP. By this I mean a general working plan, whether John Murtha’s “beyond the horizon” redeployment or something else, upon which more specific nuts-and-bolts withdrawal procedures can be built. Such a plan should be a well-publicized feature of Brand Democrat going into 2006. And Democrats need to claim ownership of this plan now, before Republicans beat them to it.

Bush has a history of turning on a dime and assimilating former opposing positions as his own. For example, he fought the creation of the Department of Homeland Security tooth and nail, until one day in (I think ) June 2002 he declared he was for it. From that moment forward he spoke of it as if it had been his policy all along. And by adding a “poison pill” anti-Union provision, he took the issue away from the Democrats, who were for the DHS all those months that Bush was against it.

* * *

Some time soon — maybe after the December elections — Bush could announce that the “mission” is sufficiently accomplished to begin withdrawal from Iraq. And then Karl Rove and the noise machine will turn the centrist Democrats’ “cautious half-steps” into talking points arguing the Dems are against withdrawal. That sounds may farfetched, I know, but I think it is entirely in line with Bush’s past behavior.

Whether Bush likes it or not, whether he realizes it now or not, U.S. troops cannot stay in Iraq in perpetuity. One way or another we’re going to leave before Bush’s second term has expired.

Read it all here.

Reprise ~~


24 BEFORE. . . . NEVER!

Tropical Storm Gamma weakens

Items compiled from Tribune news services
Published November 21, 2005

TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS -- Tropical Storm Gamma weakened into a tropical depression Sunday and drifted off Honduras after torrential downpours lashed the Central American coast, killing 14 people, including a young family of four.

Gamma, the 24th named storm of a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season, was expected to dissipate over the next day and was likely to miss Florida. But the storm was expected to bring steady rain to northern Honduras and central Cuba as it becomes less organized, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Gamma's maximum sustained winds decreased to 35 m.p.h., the hurricane center said. Forecasters said Gamma's projected path would carry it south of Jamaica by Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

look for you yesterday, here you come today

I think that the coming depression/ weather crisis is going to make anything in the remembered past seem tame.

We have messed, without caring what the consequences, for too long in too many different pots.

The problem? Mother Nature and Papa Economics have rules that operate regardless of whether we "believe" or not.

"During the past half century, the annual number of Atlantic Basin hurricanes has been as low as two and as high as twelve. The percentage of such hurricanes making landfall in the United States in a single year has been as low as zero and as high as 86%, in 1985, when six out of seven storms made landfall. "

Remember kiddles, that's a maximum of 12 not an average

Rita = #18. . . .

And a final word from Papa Economics: rising tides only raise those with boats. The rest of us drown. . . .

Monday, November 21, 2005

The God I have experienced, who wouldn't snuff a smoldering wick, hears every voice and never gives up desiring. Never forces or imposes ~ has deepest respect for the soul's freedom ~ but always always encourages and is willing to receive the voice that calls.

God is the one who bears our authenticity so that when we are ready to receive it, it's intact.
God is the very ground of our being, the essence of hope, and pervades every atom of Creation.

Think of concentric circles.
Say there is a Point of Contact with the Holy.
Around that there is our Experience of the Point of Contact.
Around that is our Description of our Experience of the Point of Contact.
Around that is our Interpretation of our Description of our Experience of the Point of Contact.

Notice how far from the actual thing that occurred, the Point itself, our Interpretation of it is! This whole Process of Integration of the touch of God is important. Yet there sure seems to be plenty of room for error, thus plenty of room for humility.

Once again: THANKS, jc!