15 July 2018 Getting Started (Painting)

Hello to you.  It’s Sunday morning and looks and feels like it’s going to be another scorcher for us.  Last night I put some water on the yard and you can hardly notice.  Aw well.  I know we aren’t alone with this hot summer.

Lots of weird dreams last night and the feeling I get quite often that someone besides the dogs, Kyle and I are in our room.  It was really strong last night.  My heart kind of startled after the lights were out and it sounded like someone walking in front of our floor fan.  There was also the non-tinnitis high pitch noise too I hear sometimes.  It sounds like someone screaming at a pitch too high for human ears.  You know the high pitched noise your t.v. makes sometimes or the sound of a light bulb warming up?  That sound.  It could just be the electronics but I don’t hear it all the time so not sure.  Neither of us slept very well last night.

On a silly note, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking of a song by Exile.  I used to sing to the neighbor girls using a jump rope as a microphone:

Exile – Kiss You All Over (original 1978)

Talk about a walk down memory lane!

This morning Kyle and I got started on our paintings together!  Just the first coats of Naples Yellow for him and Grape Taffy Purple for me.  He seems to have more of an idea of what he’s going to do next than I do lol.  Part of me wants to go primal and just put colored palm prints all over mine!  Honestly,  I’m thinking about doing the woman in the octagon.  It is such an intimidating thing this painting and canvas bit!  It’s so different than just sketching on a notepad or scratch piece of paper.  I am just excited we are finally doing something like this together – going to stay in that part of it and not worry about the rest!

Time to head out and get some chalk time in before it’s too hot.  Lots of love and hugs to you today!  Try something new that brings you joy today!

16 1 9 14 20 9 14 7

P A I N T I N G = 90/9 divided by 2 = 4.5 = 9 cycle

25 5 12 12 15 23

Y E L L O W = 92/11/2/1

(the song Yellow by Cold Play came on while we were doing our paintings LOL! Kyle was like “Really?!”)

16 21 18 16 12 5

P U R P L E = 88/16/7 divided by 2 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1

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14 July 2018 Inception

Hello to you.  Just a quick note before I get breakfast started.  Not sure the painting on canvas is going to happen today.  We have lots of chores to do today and my butt is dragging a bit.  May be tomorrow?!  Part of the reason I’m so tired is just before falling asleep last night there was a loud explosion like someone set off a firework right in the middle of the street.  I was so pissed!  Not good to try to go to sleep mad.  It was hard to go back to sleep after that.  We found out this morning the sound we heard was someone hitting our neighbors truck!  UGH!

Then there were all the dreams I had that made me think of the movie Inception – dreams within dreams.  I’m with the Kyle I know but I’m like a person within a person as I lay next to him.  Then there is a man with dark hair and dark eyes telling me, “I have work to do.” Then all the sudden I’m in something like a fight scene in a movie on a train with stuff flying everywhere.  Another was of going to a beach that was all vibrant with a lot of teal green going on.  There were seals and I could see a life guard.  Then that same scene was devoid of color, of seals and the life guard – it was all washed out, cloudy and drab.   When my brain is running like that, I don’t wake up feeling very rested.   I guess my dreams are a reflection of the influx of random stuff I’ve been putting in my head via television, movies and internet.

  1. in·cep·tion = 105/6/3 cycle
    [inˈsepSH(ə)n]

    NOUN
    inceptions (plural noun)
    1. the establishment or starting point of an institution or activity.
      “she has been on the board since its inception two years ago”
      synonyms: establishment · institution · foundation · founding · formation · initiation · setting up · origination · constitution · inauguration · opening · beginning · start · starting point · outset ·

      [more]

Sending you hugs, love, prayers and positive vibes through the wires today!

Be kind,
for everyone
you meet
is carrying
a great
burden.

ian maclaren – circa 1898

Adapted from original version: “Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle.” Ian MacLaren was the pen name of Reverend John Watson.

13 July 2018 My Present (birthday), chalk drawings and Once Upon a Star (poem)

Hello there!  Hope you are doing well today.  Today is my husband’s 34th birthday and he said this morning, “It seems like your more excited for my birthday than I am!”  I replied, “I am!  Today is the day my present got here!”  Long before I met Kyle I can remember standing under a starry sky and asking, “Where are you?!”  Little did I know such a person was on their way to my heart and to my life.  Having a husband like Kyle is proof I must have done at least one good thing so far in this life!

I have been sharing a lot of pictures lately knowing I’m probably going to run out of room lool.  It’s worth the trouble.

Once Upon a Star – (Blog poem I wrote 3 May 2006)

Weary eyes and weary soul my light embers dim

I look into the heavens for Pleiades and sing a faraway song

A forgotten hymn

The sisters dance forever make haste to Venus

A veil of silk and dreamwork

Cast a spell between us

Sitting in my plane of invisible air I fly

Through space and time

To your gleaming spires my voice will cry

Once upon a star

Neither light nor shadow

The distance far

 

1 July 2018 Be A Bridge (Chalk drawing, dream)

Hello.  How are you doing in this moment you visit here?  I hope you are well.  My heart is a bit heavy and conflicted.  It’s confusing emotionally to read news of about a murder suicide of a family of 5 in Price Delaware, the death toll from the flood in Western Japan rising, a newborn being killed in a tornado, tariff wars tempered with 6 year old twins saving a drowning child, interesting progress in space exploration, China offering to fund restoration of the Middle East….such a tenuous balance all of “this.”

My drawing from yesterday and the dream I had this morning kind of ties in nicely to this balance, this race we are running together….this bridge we are building.

10 July 2018 – I drew this without a message and then we got some piddly rain that came through (rain just enough to blurr the drawings I did ) so I went back and touched it up.

The dream this morning was of being at a running race that was taking place on a very high bridge like the one in this drawing.  The little yellow shapes on the bridge in my drawing are people.  So I’m initially below the bridge watching the people running and then I try to figure out how they got up on the bridge to run the race.  I take a closer look and see they are using trampolines to jump up to the top of the bridge to finish the race.  Then, like happens in dreams, fast forward and I’m on top of the bridge with other people like we are waiting for the others.  Then we transition to watching a version of the very same race in a very primitive video game form.

When I talked out this dream with Kyle we think it was like dream central saying, “Yeah, you guys are about 6 consoles away from getting your shit together.”   Funny Universe, very funny! 

We are innovative.  We have a lot of ambition, ingenuity and creativity as a species.  What we haven’t yet mastered, and I’m as guilty as anyone, is team work.   I’ve never been very good at working with others but I try.  My problem is I learned the lesson of self reliance all too well growing up.  I also learned that unless I do it, it’s not going to get done right….yeah…some trust issues.  Too many times I trusted people to do their jobs right and they didn’t.  They let me down.  Turns out that’s too bad because you can’t do everything by yourself!  Sooner or later you are going to have to let other people help.  You are going to have to trust other people to do things with and for you.  They may fuck up but that’s part of the journey and you just have to let that process happen.  Remember….Life is School.  We are all in Earth School.  

If we are going to survive as a species, we have got to ditch all those things we are using to exclude people from the team like skin color, physical appearance, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, economic class, profession, disabilities/health conditions.  It’s time to ditch the “labels” we put on people that make them ineligible to join the team of life.  The energy of God put us all here for a purpose otherwise we wouldn’t be here.  God doesn’t make junk!

Sooner or later we are all going to find our way to get to the top of the bridge and I think there has got to be an better way than relying on trampolines and a Nintendo console!

Source Internet: Track and Field

2 18 9 4 7 5

B R I D G E = 45/9 divided by 2 = 4.5 = 9 cycle (it is a very labor intensive work to build a bridge and keep it structurally sound)

9 18 5 12 1 14 4

I R E L A N D = 63/9 divided by 2 = 4.5 = 9 cycle (interesting that two unrelated words would be the same)

18 1 9 2 15 23

R A I N B O W = 68/14/5 divided by 2 = 2.5 = 7 divided by 2 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1 (7 known colors to the rainbow, I’ve seen 8.  The color pink hidden in there)

10 July 2018 We Are God’s Heart

Hello to you.  Hope this finds you well in whatever time and place this finds you.

Yesterday I took my pink spirit book and a pencil out to our pecan tree to jot down some thoughts that I couldn’t get out of my head.  I am a very spiritual person and quite often the topics that come up relate to the concept I have of God at this phase of my life.  Intelligent Energy.  I have come to believe that all of creation is an Energy construct.  When I lay in bed at night I can see all these tiny little vibrating particles that make up the wall, the dresser, the blankets draped over me….the dogs and Kyle.  When I lay down and gaze at the sky it’s much the same.  An untold number of tiny vibrating particles making reality real.  Each place I look, each breath I take….all God energy.

9 July 2018 – Drawing I did yesterday. It fits this post I think.

Here is what came up in my pink spirit book yesterday:

“Why a man to become a God? Why Jesus? Because human beings make God “care.”  To look at nature without the heart of man, one would think there was no loving God.  Everything is just food.  One energy feeding the next size up.  I saw a black spider wasp disable and dismantle a spider twice its size in seconds.  I’ve seen larger wasps do the same.  The bird I tried to console to its death was attacked by ants before it was completely dead.  Ants attacking and eating a molting Cicada before it can even fly away.  It’s new form devoured just inches from its previous one.  Just energy!  Just food!  One energy form devouring another.  There are no emotions.  There are no feelings.  There is no morality or conscience without human beings.  God can be cruel….nature can be cruel.

Some higher forms of life seem even more compassionate than humans or is it just our wanting them to be?  Our influence as observers on the “experiment” affecting how we perceive them?  What came to me during several of my episodes is we are only alive because the rest of existence allows it….just hasn’t figured out a way to eat us more quickly just yet!  Is this why we must not be still too long?  Eat or be eaten?!”

I don’t know that God/Nature is cruel, it’s just super efficient.  Everything around us is part of a perfect design and we, with our feelings and consciousness are the cog in the wheel so to speak!   We are the ones who will go out of our way to save a three legged dog from death.  If this dog were born into a setting without us, it would just be left to die.

I believe we are God’s heart.  Without us, without a Jesus or all the pantheon of other Gods taking human form, God just isn’t all that friendly and or relatable….tangible.

How we love and take care of each other makes God real on this earth.

Later in the day we watched the Queer Eye episode where the Fab  5 went to Gay Georgia to help with a lovely woman and her church community center.  A lot of irony in just that sentence!  They helped Tammye, her gay son, her family and the entire town.  What a beautiful example of what I am talking about!  Without the heart of human beings, without the act of building bridges between different worlds,  empathy, compassion and care, there really is no unconditionally loving God.   We give God all their senses (sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste) and our many beating hearts in which to process this complicated existence.

It’s people like the Fab 5, like Tammye and all those in this world who seek to fill this world with unconditional love that are God’s heart.

http://ew.com/tv/2018/06/19/queer-eye-season-2-episode-1-tammye-interview/

1 John 4:20 20Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

Source Internet: Queer Eye Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Broan Fire House episode

9 July 2018 Sleep, Bird in the Water (missions) and Buy the Milk (story)

Hello – how are you doing in your here and now?  I hope this finds you well.  I’m tired again but getting better.  Think I’m getting closer to figuring out what the problem is – being too warm at night.  Link likes to cuddle right up next to me and he runs really warm.  Last night I went out to the couch and it was nice and cool and I actually slept some until he figured out I had left the bed and came looking for me lol.  Then we went back to the main bed and it had cooled down and I slept some more until things heated back up.   I’ve always slept better when it is cooler and ever since we adjusted the thermostat in the house, by just 1 degree higher, I haven’t been sleeping as well!

https://sports.yahoo.com/science-says-sleeping-cold-room-174708555.html

Science Says Sleeping In a Cold Room Is Better for Your Health

Courtney Campbell

Those who prefer to keep bedroom temperatures chilly while catching some shut eye may be on to something. According to an article written by Dr. Christopher Winter, Medical Director at Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine, and published by the Huffington Post, our bedroom temperatures can make a big difference when it comes to getting a good night of sleep.

Although most of us might not give a second thought to the temperature of our bedroom at night (unless you’re trying to save money), Winter says our rooms should be 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit for the best sleep. If the temperature goes above 75 degrees or below 54 degrees, it can cause people to toss and turn all night.

Why does the number on the thermostat matter? Our body temperatures naturally peak and decline during a 24-hour period, with the highest numbers occurring in the late afternoon and the lowest ones around 5 a.m. Sleep usually begins when our body temperature drops, so a colder room can encourage us to fall asleep faster.

If the promise of more sleep isn’t enough, there are plenty of other reasons to keep the air on cool:

You’ll have a more restful sleep.

Research done at the University of South Australia found that certain forms of insomnia occur with poor body temperature regulation. If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, a colder room could help your body cool down enough to reach a level of deeper, restorative sleep.

It’ll keep you looking young.

Sleeping in a room warmer than 70 degrees will stop your body from releasing melatonin, one of the body’s best anti-aging hormones. Once we’re asleep in total darkness and our body temperature drops, it releases melatonin and triggers a slight cool-down in the body.

It can help you lose weight.

According to the Huffington Post, naturopathic doctor Natasha Turner says that as your body temperature drops and growth hormone is released, the stress hormone cortisol will also decrease with healthy sleep patterns. When you aren’t able to sleep enough, you’ll wake up with high levels of cortisol-meaning you’re more likely to reach for a box of cookies and have increased anxiety.

You lower your risk for metabolic disease.

One study found that sleeping in a room set to 66 degrees can help prevent certain metabolic diseases, like diabetes. Participants not only burned more calories when they were awake, but also nearly doubled their amount of brown fat, or good fat, which allows the body store fewer calories. Over time, this can lower the risk of metabolic diseases.

So, put on your favorite PJs, turn the A/C down to 65 degrees, and get ready to catch some zzz’s. ]]>😴

————————————-

Ugh…..yesterday was an emotional day for me.   It started with watching a video of a man saving an otter from killer whales.  Alas he couldn’t rescue the baby that was with her.  Hearing her scream for her baby just tore me up!  Little did I know this was going to be the tempo of my day!

As Temple Grandin says:

Temple Grandin

“Nature is cruel but we don’t have to be”

Temple Grandin, The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger’s

8 July 2018 – Simple drawing I did before the sequence of events that would unfold

So yesterday Kyle and I decided to take the dogs on a walk in the evening and came across a loose dog.  He looked like Spot, probably even the same age, but was a Chihuahua.  He had tags and seemed to be a nice dog but we just couldn’t get close enough to him to read his tags.  Having Link and Spot along with us didn’t help either.  So we finished the walk and I went home.  I put a note about him and his whereabouts on our neighborhood Next Door page to let folks know about him in case they were looking.  Then I grabbed my phone and went out to see if I could get a picture to help identify him.

I didn’t find the sweet boy but I did find something quite tragic in front of my neighbor Fred’s place.  There was a bird in a puddle of water in his front yard.  At first glance I wasn’t sure if it was dead or alive.  When I stopped to really look, I saw labored breathing.  I chose to stop and sit down next to the dying being.  Their wings were all messed up.  I sat and talked to them in soothing tones and stroked their head which they seemed to respond to.  There were tears on my part because I knew there wasn’t much else I could do for the poor thing.  Fred’s cats were out and I knew it was either they were going to get the bird or it was going to be the ants we have around here.  We have ants that wait for Cicada’s to molt and eat them before they even fully get out of their casing!

So I was sitting there and Fred came home and asked me if everything was ok.  I told him about the bird.  He is a hospice nurse and was just home from work.  He was very tired and said, “Why always in my front yard?  The last time it was you telling me about my favorite cat!”  A year or so ago I had been walking and found his favorite cat with it’s throat torn on his front yard.  I had taken the time to tell him instead of just ignoring it.  He told me he had just been on vacation to California and it’s been 8 months since his wife died.  I said that I bet Cindy would be happy that he’s moving on, that she would want him to be happy…he deserved to be happy.  His wife had been sick for a very long time and they both suffered so much with it.   The dying bird I was sitting with was almost symbolic of what they had been through.

He went inside and grabbed some paper towels for me so I could remove the bird to what I hoped would be a safer dying place in my yard.  The bird seemed to find peace in being wrapped and closed it’s eyes as I carried it home.  One last effortless flight.  Alas the space I chose to give this poor thing rest in my yard was later found by the ants.  I think, I HOPE,  the bird had already passed on.  There just was no winning with this case.  I am praying that the bird found a moment of peace with how I chose to handle things.

Remember the message about life is about choices?  What I’ve shared with you illustrates this.  It’s probably happened so many times in your own life and you may not even have been conscious of it!

1) Kyle and I chose to take the dogs for a second walk which we don’t normally do in the summer here.  2) This lead us to the loose dog we wanted to help.  3) This lead me to going back out for a longer walk.   4) This lead me to finding and trying to console a dying bird.  5) This lead me to a loving conversation with Fred about his wife who died after suffering a long illness.

All of this felt like a mission.  I don’t believe that it was “just a coincidence.”  There is the hidden director at work!  Do you heed the direction or do you ignore it?

A long time friend shared a story with me recently.  I don’t know if it’s true story but it was a great example of what I have experienced in my own life when I heed direction from the unseen director….God of energy, the Source….the Universe.

http://www.gospelweb.net/Illustrations/BuyTheMilk.htm

Buy The MilkOr Are You An Angel?
Author Unknown
Bible.Flag
Follow Book & Flag

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had spoken about “listening to God and obeying the Lord’s voice.”

The young man couldn’t help but wonder, “Does God still speak to people?” After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways. It was about ten o’clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, “God, if you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey.”

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, “God is that you?” He didn’t get a reply, so he started on toward home. But again, the thought came to him… buy a gallon of milk.

The young man thought about Samuel, and how he didn’t recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. “Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.” It didn’t seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. So, he stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started toward home.

As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, “Turn down that street.” This is crazy, he thought, and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street. At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, “Okay, God, I will”.

He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi-commercial area of town. It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark, like people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, “Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street.” The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. “Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid.”

Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the door and said, “Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but, if they don’t answer right away, I am out of here.”

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man’s voice yelled out, “Who is it? What do you want?”

Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn’t seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep.

The man asked, “What is it?”

The young man thrust out the gallon of milk and said, “Here, I brought this to you,” he said.

The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway speaking loudly in Spanish. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face.

The man began speaking and half crying, “We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn’t have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.”

His wife in the kitchen yelled out,”I ask him to send an angel with some. Are you an Angel?”

The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put it in the man’s hand. Then he turned and walked back toward his car and tears were streaming down his face. He knew then that God does still speak to people… and answer prayers.

 

8 July 2018 – Simple drawing I did before the sequence of events that would unfold – looks like a man in a box looking for a way out to me. 

 

8 July 2018 Options (Drawing) and True Facts About The Octopus (video)

7 July 2018 – Strange drawing I did and the title “options” came to me afterwards.

As I get older, I realize that the thing I value the most is good-heartedness.
Alice Walker

Hello to you in your here and now.  How are you doing?  I hope this finds you well.  I’m still waking up.  I am finally feeling like I’ve got some rest but still not got my “Sim Energy Bar” completely back to full lool.  For those who have played or have seen the Sims videogame, you know what I’m talking about!

Dreams were happening all night long but none that have prompted me to get up and write them down like I normally do.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as then I stay in bed and get more sleep!  The only thing I remember from last nights journeys was a ghostly, transparent white face in one of them.

The drawing I’m sharing today is strange.  Let me try to explain what it means to me.

Source Internet: jack-storms-glass-cube

It started out being like a jewelry design.  Then it became something Jack Storms the glass carver/artist (https://jackstorms.com/) might make with the boxes on top.  Then the thought of hot boxes from space falling in the water and landing on a giant octopus came to my mind.  Finally, when I sat back and really looked at this mess of imagery, it looked like something happening to the earth.  The eye of the octopus began to look like the earth to me.  The gray line and three planets to the right came after that….hence “options.”   What are our options as a planet should something really big hit it?  My imagination run amok loool.

My husband told me about this Meme this morning and it made me laugh especially since we are tackling laundry this morning!

See the source image

10 5 4 9

J E D I = 28/10/1

12 1 21 14 4 18 25

L A U N D R Y = 95/14/5 divided by 2 = 2.5 = 7 divided by 2 = 3.5 = 8/4/2/1

15 3 20 15 16 21 19

O C T O P U S = 109/10/1

3 12 1 13

C L A M = 29/11/2/1

15 16 20 9 15 14

O P T I O N = 89/17/6/3 cycle (makes sense, when you are making choices or considering options it would be a cycle)

This video surprised me.  I thought it was just going to be another nature video until I started listening to the narrator!  Zomg I found it hilarious and informative at the same time.  He sounds like a variation of Morgan Freeman to me.  He managed to bridge the gap between humor and learning….”Clams are dumb.”  Never considered the intelligence of a clam before!

True Facts About The Octopus

I hope you have a lovely day.  Positive vibes through the wires!

7 July 2018 Mermaid Returns (chalk drawing) and Genome of Redwoods

Found some quotes I liked from the Daily Good site – http://www.dailygood.org/ :

Great art picks up where nature ends.
Marc Chagall

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.
C. S. Lewis

When we show our respect for other living things, they show respect for us.
Arapahoe Proverb

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
Bertrand Russell

Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian biochemist and Nobel Prize Winner for Medicine

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.
Meister Eckhart

I hope this finds you well in mind, body and spirit as you visit here.  I’m in the ocean and in the woods today lool!  Going to try and go back to bed and see if I can get some sleep.  I seem to be experiencing a bit of insomnia which is uncommon for me.  In talking to several other people, this condition seems to be going around!

I hope no one minds me sharing this Interesting article.  I am grateful for CBS News for posting it.  Sometimes these positive stories get overlooked in all the negative “b.s” that usually permeates the headlines.  This morning I actually woke up with it on my mind!  I have wondered for the longest time if this type of thing was ever going to be done.  I have wondered why we aren’t doing autopsies on falling trees to find out their stories so we can do more to preserve them.  Looks like they are actually doing this now:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/mapping-the-genome-of-redwoods/ar-AAzqj3W

CBS News

Mapping the genome of redwoods

Our liberties and traditions are rooted in history, as are some of our natural monuments along our West Coast. Lee Cowan reports our Cover Story:
Deep in one of California’s few remaining old-growth forests sat an oddity, popular with tourists since the 1880s: a giant sequoia so giant a tunnel was carved in its trunk.

Last year that tree toppled over during a storm. It was estimated to be around a thousand years old.

It – and others redwoods like it – are a testament to how much we are fascinated by these ancient evergreen, but it’s also a reminder of how much we’ve abused them.

“It looked like the redwoods were a limitless resource, that we could never possibly cut all of them down,” said Ranger Alex Tabone. “We needed those for houses and lumber camps, and mine shaft tunnel shore-up poles.”

a person standing next to a tree in a forest: Correspondent Lee Cowan with Ranger Alex Tabone at Big Basin Redwoods State Park in California.

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Correspondent Lee Cowan with Ranger Alex Tabone at Big Basin Redwoods State Park in California. Tabone is a ranger at the very first state park in California – Big Basin Redwoods State Park – about 65 miles south of San Francisco.

It’s been a park since 1902, ever since a photographer named Andrew P. Hill led the first of its kind conservation charge to protect these giants – like what’s now called the Father of the Forest tree.

“It was probably only going to be another six months to a year before all of these old-growth trees were standing in right now, would have been gone,” said Tabone.

While those trees were saved, other old growth groves were not so lucky. In a 1965 CBS News documentary, our own Charles Kuralt reported on the rush to turn some of the last remaining redwood forests either into lumber or to clear them out of the way to make room for a highway.

“A hundred years ago the great original Redwood forest covered two million acres along the California coast,” Kuralt said, “but more than two-thirds of the virgin redwood trees are gone.”

Their loss was lamented even then. One woman told CBS News, “The more you can preserve of this, the better. I don’t think that the world needs any more freeways. Pretty soon you’re just going to end up with a bunch of roads with no place to go on ’em.”

The final tally: 95% of California’s original Redwood forest was logged, wiped clean, leaving only giant stumps as reminders of what had stood here for so long.

And it’s not as if threat is entirely over. Even today, only about a quarter of the coast redwood habitat is protected from commercial logging and development.

Those that remain stand as cathedrals of nature. Some have been here long before Columbus landed in the Americas, and tower some 30 stories tall.

Cowan asked, “What’s it like when you’re here and you see someone that’s never been in a redwood forest before to come here and see this?”

“That’s the best, that is the best,” replied Sam Hodder, president and CEO of the non-profit Save the Redwoods League.

“What do they say?”

“Usually it’s something along the lines of ‘Aaaahhhhhh my God!” he laughed.

a close up of a tree: Lee Cowan and Sam Hodder in a ferry ring of densely-populated redwood trees.

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Lee Cowan and Sam Hodder in a ferry ring of densely-populated redwood trees. His organization’s founders started buying up forest land a hundred years ago, but much of it is younger forests that aren’t maturing as big or as fast as some conservationists would like to see.

“We’re working with redwood forests that have been clear cut multiple times, and are growing back with such a density of stems, that they’re crowding each other out,” Hodder said. “It becomes a thicket of spindly trees that don’t get enough sunlight, that don’t get enough water. … There’s too much competition.”

So, there’s a subtle shift underway from forest conservation to forest restoration – which includes one idea that may have you scratching your heads: logging.

Over the next five years, Save the Redwoods League will be working to thin over 10,000 acres of smaller trees in order to give the remaining redwoods more space, more nutrients, and more light – in order to grow faster.

“Just like in a garden where you prune to accelerate the growth of the dominant plants, you need to thin,” said Hodder.,

But figuring out which of these precious trees stay and which ones go is no easy decision.

“We treat all the trees like they’re the same, but they’re really, really not,” said League scientist Emily Burns. She and University of California at Davis professor David Neale are trying to unlock the genetic secrets of some of the oldest living things on the planet.

Cowan asked, “So, as old as they are, and as iconic as they are, we don’t really know that much about them?”

“They’re the strong silent type,” Burns said. “And so we have to use science to help decode what’s going on with these trees.”

Last year in two labs – one at UC Davis, the other at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore – they began the complex task of mapping the redwood genome, to uncover Nature’s blueprint that is as unique to every tree as our own genetic makeup is to us.

“You have to have a parts lists to understand whether anything is the same or different than it was before,” said Neale. “The parts list for redwoods did not exist.”

“It is a daunting task though, right?”

“Yeah, we won’t be able to do it overnight, you know? I mean it might take a few years, but it’s achievable.”

We as humans have three billion pairs of DNA – pretty complicated. But the coast redwood has some 30 billion base pairs.

“But I thought we were the most complex organisms on Earth?” asked Cowan.

“Well, no, you should rethink that!” Neale laughed.

It all starts with the redwood’s cones – and the seeds embedded in them, high up in the canopy, where someone has to make their way all the way up and pluck them off by hand. It’s from the seeds where the DNA is extracted, one scalpel cut at a time.

a close up of a tree: Plucking cones from the tops of redwood trees, some 200-300 feet in the air.©

Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Plucking cones from the tops of redwood trees, some 200-300 feet in the air. Millions of little pieces of DNA, the chemical building blocks of life, are all sequenced, and then fed into a powerful computer. “Basically you take a puzzle and you throw it on the floor, and now you have to put it back together,” Neale said.

The $2.6 million project has been funded by mostly private donations. When it’s done, scientists will have mapped enough of the genome in enough trees to help identify the kinds that are the most resilient and likely to live a nice long life.

“Within a hundred years we absolutely can set these forests on a healthy trajectory where they have many of the characteristics we’re looking for in old growth,” Burns said.

Call it a nurturing nudge from science, all to save what John Steinbeck once called “ambassadors from another time.”

“When so much of the conversation today is about what we’ve lost – the damming of the world’s waterways, the receding glaciers – we have in the redwoods a sense of hope,” said Hodder. “And we can truly leave the world better than we found it.”

a close up of a tree: The "Father of the Forest" redwood tree.

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. The “Father of the Forest” redwood tree.       For more info:

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Boulder Creek, Calif.Save the Redwoods LeagueDavid Neale, College of Biological Sciences, UC Davis        Story produced by Mark Hudspeth.

In order to restore old-growth giants like those in California's Big Basin Redwoods State Park, scientists are studying the DNA of the coast redwood tree and its relative, the giant sequoia.: redwood-trees-promo.jpg

© CBS News redwood-trees-promo.jpg

6 July 2018 Thank you and Poems

I don’t need many words for what I want to say to the God of my understanding other than “Thank you for the rain!” 

A couple of poems from Kyle and my past to share:

Raining Time – Kyle Wygant March 13 2002

Washing away the ground

In a triumphant descent

Littering the sky with muted mutiny

Filling every the very holes

Meant to remain unspoiled

Gushing down the walls of time

Winding, whirling and dodging

Pummeling down on the ledges

Of the newly founded changes

Brought down from on high

To rinse away the tainted soil

While nourishing the newly

Undamaged ground

 

Untitled – 28 June 2006 by Jackie Schmidt

Before me the road is cleared of trees and any vision of the past

The view out of me is blank and clear

Behind me lies the wreckage twisted and sharp

Painful to touch, painful to feel it brings tears easily to my eyes

Sometimes these new days are so bright I am blinded in my happiness

I find at times I cannot believe what unfolds can be real and true

Can these blessings really be for me in all that I have been?

I spread my arms wide and the rain falls

I lift my head to the heavens and sun shines

I kneel down and the earth trembles

I look around me and the walls fall down

All is layed bare and new; the earth scoured clean the lion roars

From behind the curtain of uncertainty the doors of eternity open

Before me now the shadow passes and light is left in it’s wake

The White Tree shimmers in the dew slipped dawn

There are no leaves just shimmering silver

A new Hope for a new time……..

 

Some interesting results here!

18 1 9 14

R A I N = 42/6/3 cycle (of course!)

20 8 21 14 4 5 18

T H U N D E R = 90/9 cycle

12 9 7 8 20 14 9 14 7

L I G H T N I N G = 100/1

5 July 2018 Milk Glass Vase, Watching a Different Sort of Darren Criss, The Practice of Walking (Daily Good)

Hello to you.  Just a quick visit.  I’m really tired.  I haven’t had much sleep the past couple of days.  We had a really nice visit with Kyle’s family yesterday and that of course included lots of furry people too.  It was just nice to get caught up as we hadn’t seen each other in several months.  They understood that it was best to steer clear of us until my cycle was over.  So we had burgers and chicken from the grill, some potato and macaroni salads, the blueberry pie Beth made from scratch and my chocolate pudding pie.  We played  a round of Yahtzee and Kyle and his Dad were the only ones to actually roll Yahtzee’s lol!  There were far too many zero’s on my score sheet but it was so fun to play together.  I like the sound of the dice in the cup when you shake it for your roll lol!  I like my dice shaken but not stirred lool!

What is Yahtzee?

Yahtzee

Yahtzee
Yahtzee is a dice game made by Milton Bradley, which was first marketed as Yatzie by the National Association Service of Toledo, Ohio, in the early 1940s. Yatzie was included in a game set called LUCK – 15 Grand Dice Games. It was marketed under the name of Yahtzee by game entrepreneur Edwin S. Lowe in 1956. Lowe is also responsible for introducing Bingo to the U.S. market. The game is a development of earlier dice games such as Poker Dice, Yacht and Generala. It is also similar to Yatzy, which is popular in Scandinavia
This mornings drawing isn’t what I had wrote myself a note to draw.  I was supposed to draw a mermaid for my dear Cindy! I will be sure to do that after I’m rested so she actually looks like a mermaid!  I’m not firing on all cylinders lol!  One of the two milk glass pieces my Aunt Ruth gave me that belonged to my Grandparents made it into things today.  When you think of milk glass do you immediately think about dipping an oreo or something in a glass of milk?  Well there is a type of glass that is actually called Milk glass:

5 July 2018 Milk glass vase that belonged to Grandma and Grandpa Becker Alvarado TX

https://www.countryliving.com/shopping/antiques/g2965/milk-glass-facts/ – a vase like the one I have is actually in this article, valued at about $10.  It’s worth much more in sentimental value of course!
“Opaque Glass originated in 16th century Venice and came in a variety of colors, including white, pink, yellow, blue, and brown. The white variety beloved today rose to prominence during the Victorian era, when 
it was coveted as an economic dead-ringer for porcelain. (The Victorians also get credit for coining the term “milk glass.”) Its production and popularity waned during the Great Depression but saw a resurgence after World War II. Thanks to a frenzy of mass production during the 1950s and 1960s from companies such as Anchor Hocking, Fenton, and Westmoreland, the mid-century finds are readily available today—many for mere milk money. Here are some pretty pieces to add to your own collection.”
—————————————————-
Last night Mom Beth and I stayed up late and watched about half of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story starring Darren Criss (Blaine from Fox show Glee):https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Assassination_of_Gianni_Versace:_American_Crime_Story

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is the second season of the FX true crime anthology television series American Crime Story. The season premiered on January 17, 2018,[1][2] and concluded on March 21, 2018. It consists of a total of 9 episodes,[3] and explores the murder of designer Gianni Versace by spree killer Andrew Cunanan, based on Maureen Orth‘s book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History.[2][4]

I normally don’t like to watch television shows with gun violence or based on real stories.  I used to but with the way things have gotten in this country, I don’t need it in my entertainment too.  This said, this was Darren Criss and Beth and I both have an appreciation for him ever since his role as Blaine on Glee.  While it was strangely delightful watching him dance around in a Speedo at one point, it was equally awful watching him murder people and be the kind of human being he was asked to be for this part.  At least they didn’t do the cardinal sin of showing the harming of a dog (physically.)  Ryan Murphy was at the helm of this production.  You could tell.  He knows how to do character development almost too well!  There were times as I was watching that I squirmed, felt a great awkwardness with watching Darren as Andrew being a sociopath and just never telling the truth.  I was physically uncomfortable, cringed and just felt so mortified for the people being portrayed that had once been alive and how Darren Criss’s character Andrew Cunanan destroyed them.

The last I saw of the show last night was the part that brought Beth and I both to tears and it was enough that I don’t know if I could watch anymore of the series.  It’s when he killed the young architect David Madson.  Ryan really put together a sequence for this that just really brought home the message that David was someone’s little boy once and he was dearly loved.   No matter how his Dad felt about David being gay, he loved him more than anything. 

Like I said, I don’t indulge and or relish watching gun violence in most everything now.  When the violent parts happened in the show, I kept saying to Beth, “this is why I like to watch baking and home decorating shows!”  I see someone being hurt, it’s like it’s happening to me.  This said, this scene I am sharing isn’t all about that.  It’s a painfully poignant scene where Andrew is gunning David down and in this process David is transported to one of his most special memories with his Dad.  He realizes he shouldn’t be there again but it brings him peace in the middle of yet another terrifying bit of time with Andrew and just before he dies:

American Crime Story Versace 2×04- Andrew kills David ( Ending Scene)

How do you smudge your soul after channeling someone like Andrew Cunanan?  I see young actors like Darren, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and others who take on these very dark aspects of human nature and I worry about them.  What is the aftercare for their soul after exposing it to such horror?  Even if it is “just pretend?”  I imagine it is probably therapeutic to some degree to be able to “let loose” of the shadow self.  I know when I’m allowed to really yell, scream or release anger I feel better afterwards but how do you bring things back to balance afterwards?  We’ve seen many instances of actors who just couldn’t get back to balance.  It’s very rare that someone can channel such a villain and not implode or explode afterwards.  People like Christopher Lee, Anthony Hopkins, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson and Mads Mikkelsen don’t come along too often!

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
Frederick Douglas

Great article topic from the daily good to share!

http://www.dailygood.org/2018/07/05/the-practice-of-walking/this is one of the most important things in my sanity toolkit.  A 40 min walk is great therapy!

But the beauty is in the walking — we are betrayed by destinations. –Gwyn Thomas

 

The Practice of Walking

–by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee & Hilary Hart, syndicated from heartfulnessmagazine.com, Jul 05, 2018

In the busy-ness of our contemporary life, we are drawn into ceaseless activity that often separates us from the deeper dimension of ourselves. With our smartphones and computer screens, we often remain caught on the surface of our lives amidst the noise and chatter that continually distract us, that stops us from being rooted in our true nature. Unaware we are drowned deeper and deeper in a culture of soulless materialism.

At this time I find it more and more important to have outer activities that can connect us to what is more natural and help us live in relationship to the deep root of our being, and in an awareness of the moment which alone can give real meaning to our everyday existence. Over the years I have developed a number of simple practices that bring together action and a quality of heart-centered attention, or deepening awareness, that can nourish our lives in hidden ways. These activities, like walking, cooking with love and attention, can reconnect us with the web of life, our natural interconnection with life in its beauty and wonder. They can help us ‘declutter’ our outer life and instead become rooted in what is simple and real. One of these practices, which combines action with awareness, is walking.


Walk as if you are kissing
the Earth with your feet.

—Thich Nhat Hanh


I have always loved to walk early in the morning, to sense the Earth at the beginning of a day, to feel Her pulse, Her beauty and magic, before thoughts and demands clutter my day. Waking early, I have a hot cup of tea, meditate in silence, and then, as soon as the first light comes, I walk down the hill to the road beside the wetlands where I live. Sometimes the frost is sparkling around me, sometimes the water is clouded with fog, an egret appearing white against the reeds. This is another time of silent meditation, walking, breathing, feeling the Earth. I try to be as empty as possible, just to be present in the half-light, aware of what is around me. Prayer, meditation, presence, awareness – these are just words for a practice that immerses me in a mystery we call nature. Here the sacred speaks to me in its own language, and I try to listen.

Now I live beside the wetlands, and the tidal water is part of this meeting, this communion. Other times, in other landscapes, it has been rivers and streams, the sounds of waterfowls’ wings, the dawn rising across meadows. Or in forests, a different bird chorus, animals skittering across the path, a deer and her young. Always it is a listening awareness, a deep receptivity to what is around me, an honoring of a world other than people. It is a remembrance of what is essential, elemental, and its nourishment carries me through the day. It is a return to the sacred, sensed and felt, without words or thoughts – a primal consciousness as if of the first day.

This is a practice that has been with me since my teens – when I first started to meditate I also needed to walk. It was not taught or learned, but came as a need, a way to be, an antidote to much of the world around me – a world of people and problems, demands and desires. When one foot follows the other and the day has hardly begun, it seems these demands cannot touch me, as if I am immersed in something simpler, more essential. Placing each foot on the earth is a practice, but a practice that comes from my own roots, not a book or a teacher. Later I came to hear it called “walking in a sacred manner,” and it is sacred, a return to what is sacred. But it also is deeper or more primal than any purpose. Nature speaks to me and I listen. Nature calls and something deep within me responds, and I just need to give it space. I am part of a life far greater than any ‘me’.



The Earth gives us sustenance: the air we breathe, the food we eat. She is generous in so many ways, even as we forget Her and abuse Her. But there is also this deeper nourishment, this invisible, intangible giving. My early morning walk is a communion – if I am receptive, it is a wine drunk deeply. It comes through Her landscape, moss dripping from the trees, white and pink blossoms welcoming spring, the cry of a sea bird. Those first rays of sunrise are always a blessing. I do not understand this with my mind, but my soul feels it, needs it. Once again we are back at the beginning, in that elemental world we never truly leave. Our present culture may have forgotten it, disowned it, covered it over, may pretend we no longer need this communion, but my soul and my feet know otherwise. This is the landscape of the soul as much as it is the wetlands stretching towards the ocean. But it is also any landscape we walk. A walk on city streets is made of the same elements: feet touching ground, the rhythm of walking, breathing, the same sky overhead, the wind touching the face.

I would like to say it is easy, but so often I have to remember to reconnect, to empty the clutter of the coming day from my mind, my everyday thoughts. I have to stay in a place of awareness, sense my feet, feel the air, listen. I have to remember that I am not separate but part of everything around me. I have to push aside this great myth of separation, the great untruth. We are the air we breathe, the earth we touch, the same one life, alive in so many ways. We are the Earth awakening in the early morning, just as we are the buds breaking into color in the spring. To be fully alive is to feel how we are part of this embracing mystery. My morning walk is a remembrance, a reconnection, experienced in the body and felt in the soul.


So often I have to remember to reconnect,
to empty the clutter of the coming day from my mind,
my everyday thoughts.
I have to stay in a place of awareness,
sense my feet, feel the air, listen.
I have to remember that I am not separate
but part of everything around me.


Walking Practice


Walking reinforces our connection to the Earth, one step at a time. Attuning to the rhythms of one’s feet, the swaying of one’s arms, the in and out of breath, the ways walking moves us through time and space, helps develop this relationship, reminding us consciously and unconsciously just how much a part of nature we are. Nature is cyclic and rhythmic, and walking – when we are not focused on where we are going – attunes us to this non-linear reality.

Walking practice is perhaps best begun alone, when the intimacy of nature’s communication can be sensed without distraction. Just as when we meet a lover in the early part of a relationship, we do not want to share that meeting with others. Choose a time when you can be alone, when listening, hearing, and sensing can take place. Perhaps the start or the end of the day, before life’s clamoring takes hold or after it lets go. Lunchtime or an afternoon break from work might be more difficult, but if that is the time available, then make sure the walk is long enough for you to let go of work thoughts or tensions of the day.

Turn off the cell phone, or better yet, leave it at home or the office. There is a way that the vulnerabilities that come with being alive have been squelched by our daily-life safety tools, like cell phones. If you can be without the protection and constant access they provide, try it. Social media will not miss documentation from your walk.

Find a park or a path through quiet woods if you can. Let the rhythm of your steps soothe your mind and create a space for listening. Feel how your feet connect with the earth, how the air moves through your lungs. Follow your attention as it is drawn inward and outward both – to the inner movements of your body and to the feeling of warmth or cold, the sight of birds, the sound of a distant plane. Let your thoughts and impressions move through and out, as part of the natural rhythm of walking. Just as we come back to the breath in silent meditation, return your attention to your feet and their meeting and letting go of the ground.

Commit to walking every day if you can. Walk without expectation, with an attitude of openness and gratitude. If you feel a longing inside you – a need to connect, a desire to be closer to nature – let it motivate and guide you.

The nineteenth-century existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once wrote in a letter to his niece, “Every day, I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.”


Syndicated from Heartfulness MagazineLLEWELLYN VAUGHAN-LEE & HILARY HART explore the contemplative, spiritual value of walking in Nature, and share with us a simple walking practice.

 

 

 

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