Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Natural Beauty

(Image found here)

Trick or Treat!!

This little scamp is really getting into the seasonal spirit! The grey squirrel turned up in the garden of Vicky Freeman's home in Fareham, Hamshire, and made short work of the treats she'd hidden inside a macabre Halloween mask..

From a FB post on my wall.

La Calaca a Day - #31

(Image found here)


In the season leaves should love,
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil

that hangs among us like thick smoke.
Tonight at last I feel it shake.
I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
till they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother's mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings

arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.
"Carry me." She leaves this trail
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual gaze.

Annie Finch, "Samhain" from Eve, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. 
Copyright © 1997 by Annie Finch.  

Samhain blessings to you and yours.....

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Natural Beauty

(Image from here)

La Calaca a Day - #30

(Image from here)


In this house you would come to believe
in ghosts and lives beyond the grave. Here
noises configure themselves into the voices
of those who've gone. "Cyril!" calls a wife
lost to cancer; a dead dog's nametag chinks
against the brass of her collar; the creak
of an opening door, a footstep
on a warped floorboard, and someone
you've loved comes to breathe your name
once again,  and now in Autumn the wind
moaning beneath the eaves, and the small tornadoes
of leaves lifted in frenzied gusts
scratch against the window late at night
like the feeble clawing of all our loves
wanting to come back, wanting to make us
believe that we can ever be reunited.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstorm of the Century!!!

 Note from George Takei
Fans are concerned about Photoshopped storm images being shared to cause alarm, so I verified this one first with Fox News.

Natural Beauty

(Image from here)

Whedon On Romney - Zomney Apocalypse

Today's Animal in Need

Lilo and Stitch are two beloved family dogs who have never bitten, scratched, or hurt any person or animal in their lives, but they are now at risk of being euthanized. The dogs also have the support of Fort Worth Animal Control officer, Harley Davidson, who testified in court that he interacts with the dogs daily and that they have never shown any sign of aggression. Despite these facts, Lilo and Stitch have been labelled as "Dangerous Dogs" and taken away from their family.
Ironically, Lilo and Stitch are facing euthanasia because of a complaint from a person they know and recognize as a friend and a neighbor. According to Lilo and Stitch's owner, Rana Soluri, Lesley Miller adored Lilo and used to play with her, bragging about how sweet-natured and loveable she is. So how did a woman Lilo knows and loves suddenly change her mind and decide that she and her brother Stitch were a threat to her?

You can read the rest of the story here.

A petition is here if you would like to add your name to save these dogs from being killed.


Great news update: After the injunction hearing today, the Temporary Restraining Order has been kept in place and the City of Fort Worth is again prohibited from euthanizing Lilo and Stitch.

La Calaca a Day - #29

(Image found here)

The Healing Time

Finally on my way to yes
I bump into
all the places
where I said no
to my life
all the untended wounds

the red and purple scars
those hieroglyphs of pain
carved into my skin, my bones,
those coded messages
that send me down
the wrong street
again and again
where I find them
the old wounds
the old misdirections
and I lift them
one by one
close to my heart
and I say
Holy Holy.

~Pesha Joyce Gertler~

(Rebecca is hosting La Calaca a Day for the month of October.  You can participate here.).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Today's Animal in Need

At the end of October 2012, Bill and Lou, the hard-working team of oxen for Green Mountain College’s Cerridwen Farm, are scheduled to be slaughtered.

Bill and Lou have worked as draft animals on the school’s farm for over ten years. They have provided many services for the college and are mascots & friends to many students, past and present. Since Lou sustained a recurring injury to his left rear hock, he no longer has “value” to GMC, so they decided to purchase a new team and send both of these oxen to the slaughterhouse to be "processed" (euphemism for killed) for their meat.
Please encourage Green Mountain College to allow Bill & Lou to be adopted by the VINE Sanctuary in Vermont where they can live out the remainder of their lives. They've worked so hard for the college for 10 years and deserve a better fate than ending up on someone's plate!

You can sign the petition here.

UPDATE: Bill and Lou's slaughter has been postponed -- for now. But they're not out of the wood yet -- please keep signing to take action to spare them!

UDATE 11/16/2012:  Received this news today from my friend, Kathleen:

Lou was recently euthanized due to his injury, which as many have pointed out was at least more humane than sending him to slaughter. No decision has been made about his teammate, Bill. What baffles me is why the college didn't simply let the sanctuary take both of them to a safe place where Lou might have been able to recover.

The college's page (see below) has two newspaper reports with more details -- one from the Boston Globe, the other from the NY Times.

Natural Beauty

(Image from here)

She let go...

(Image from here)

‎She Let Go 

Without a thought or a word,
she let go. She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments. She
let go of the confluence of
opinions swarming around her
head. She let go of the committee
of indecision within her. She let
go of all the 'right' reasons.
Wholly and completely, without
hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn't ask anyone for advice.
She didn't read a book on how to
let go. She didn't search the
scriptures. She just let go. She let
go of all the memories that held
her back. She let go of all the
anxiety that kept her from moving
forward. She let go of the
planning and all of the
calculations about how to 
do it just right.

She didn't promise to let go. She
didn't journal about it. She didn't
write the projected date in her
Day-Timer. She made no public
announcement and put no ad in
the paper. She didn't check the
weather report or read her daily
horoscope. She just let go.

She didn't analyze whether she
should let go. She didn't call her
friends to discuss the matter. She
didn't do a five-step Spiritual
Mind Treatment. She didn't call
the prayer line. She didn't utter
one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it
happened. There was no
applause or congratulations. No
one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing. Like a
leaf falling from a tree, she just
let go. 

There was no effort. There
was no struggle. It wasn't good
and it wasn't bad. It was what it
was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let
it all be. A small smile came over
her face. A light breeze blew
through her. And the sun and the
moon shone forevermore...

The author of this poem is unclear.  A few sites list Ernest Holmes as the author, another Jennifer Eckert Bernau and still another Rev. Safire Rose.

La Calaca a Day - #28

(Image found here)

Smooth Frosting 
By A. Poet

The ideal cake has many traits,
But one you’re sure to like,
Is how the frosting is as smooth
As the buttocks on a tyke.

To get that layer on my cake
I use clean paper towels.
The end result of all that effort
Curves up my sagging jowls.

So if you want your cake to be
Worth many dollars costing,
This advice I’ll give for free:
Be sure to smooth your frosting!

(Rebecca is hosting La Calaca a Day for the month of October.  You can participate here.).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Natural Beauty

(Image found here)

Today's Animal in Need

In observance of National Pitbull Awareness Day:

Adopt a Pit Bull. Pit Bulls are devoted, affectionate and joy-inducing pets with as great a range in personality as any other breed. As with dogs of any breed, not every Pit is perfect for every family.

BSL = Breed Specific Legislation

A Rotta Love Plus


A Rotta Love Plus is dedicated to rehoming Rottweilers and pit bulls in Minnesota, raising breed awareness, educating the public about responsible pet ownership, and advocating for the humane and equal treatment of all dogs without prejudice.

Company Overview
A Rotta Love Plus is a Minnesota based Rottweiler and pit bull rescue.

Their FB page is here.

La Calaca a Day - #27

(Image found here)

Blue Through the Centuries: Sacred and Sought After

However inspired they may have been by the immaculate beauty of the sky and water they saw every day, prehistoric artists had no way to render the color blue with paint. As Heinz Berke of the University of Zurich has pointed out, the famous cave paintings at Lascaux and surrounding sites, which date back some 20,000 years, are notably lacking in blue.

“Early mankind had no access to blue, because blue is not what you call an earth color,” said Dr. Berke, a chemist who has studied the history of blue pigment. “You don’t find it in the soil.” Only with the advent of mining, he said, could sources of blue pigment be extracted.
The first stable blue colorant used in the ancient world came from lapis lazuli, a semiprecious stone mined in Afghanistan beginning about 6,000 years ago. The Egyptians prized all things lapis, combining it with gold to adorn the tombs of the pharaohs, or powdering it into eye shadow for Cleopatra.
But the scarcity of the mineral drove the Egyptians to seek new blues through chemistry. By heating together limestone, sand and copper into the chemical compound calcium copper silicate, they invented the richly saturated royal-turquoise pigment called Egyptian blue. Variants of the recipe were taken up by the Mesopotamians, the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans, who built factories devoted to blue’s production.
In ancient China, chemists created blue pigments by blending copper with heavy elements like barium, lead and mercury. Unfortunately, those same heavy elements were often brewed into popular — and ultimately toxic — elixirs. “It’s said that 40 percent of the Chinese emperors suffered from heavy-element poisoning,” Dr. Berke said.
The Mesoamericans invented the third of the three great blues of ancient civilization, a vivid and durable pigment called Mayan blue that scientists recently suggested could be a mix of indigo plant extract, a clay mineral called palygorskite, and resin from the Maya’s sacred incense, copal.
Whatever its origin, the blue pigment remained rare and expensive until the dawn of the industrial age, which probably explains blue’s longstanding association with royalty and divinity, and possibly why it is a widely favored color today. According to Steven Bleicher, a professor of visual arts at Coastal Carolina University, blue got a big endorsement in the year 431, when the Catholic church decided to “color code” the saints.
“Mary was given a blue robe,” he said, “a dark, wonderful and expensive blue befitting the queen of heaven.”
Over time, Mary blue became navy blue, the color of trustworthiness and authority, of bankers and the police. At this point, navy blue is so tightly linked to the notions of authority, Dr. Bleicher said, that the United Nations specifically avoided the color in designing the uniform of its peacekeeping troops and instead opted for a softer robin’s-egg blue.
As for the color-coding of the sexes, the idea that blue is for boys and pink means girls didn’t really gain traction in this country until the postwar baby boom, according to Jo B. Paoletti, a historian of dress at of the University of Maryland and the author of the new book “Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys From the Girls in America.” Even then, some parts of the South lagged in adopting the strict rules of childhood attire. “I found examples of pink clothing for boys way up through the 1970s,” Dr. Paoletti said.
So, too, should we recall in today’s bitter blue-red, donkey-pachyderm dialectic that just a few years ago, red stood for Marx.

Published: October 22, 2012
Article found here

(Rebecca is hosting La Calaca a Day for the month of October. You can participate here.)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Natural Beauty

(Image from here)

Kitchen mayhem

(Not my stove - image from here, and her story is similar!)

Rebecca over at Recuerda mi Corazon is offering a giveaway - the first cookbook that Muy Bueno has written.  The cookbook looks wonderful - delicious, sumptuous recipes from Mexico, along with beautiful photographs and lovely family memories.  

How to win the cookbook?  She wants a "memory from your savory kitchen life." My near death experience (well, not really - a "could have been near death experience" is more like it!) in 1975 was the first thing that popped into my mind when reading Rebecca's post.

It was February 2, 1975 and I was baking a birthday cake for my soon to be (and now ex) husband.  I was a novice cook and baking was not really my forte - it still isn't.  The cake was going to be a simple chocolate cake, baked in a square Pyrex baking dish.  Two of the ingredients were cocoa and boiling water.

I prepared the baking dish as instructed, put it on the stove, filled up the tea kettle, put that on the stove and turned on the burner.  The stove was electric as were all my stoves when I lived in California (I hate them).

I turned away from the stove and was rereading the recipe.  I found myself in a highly relaxed state - you know the kind where the back of your neck is so mellow that you don't know if you can keep your head held upright?  It felt wonderful and I went with it.  It was so calming that I felt like I was entering an altered state of being, as if my body were dematerializing or disintegrating.  I continued to go with it - it felt so wonderful to be floating in that  place, like Kombu seaweed in the ocean's waves - back and forth, sway and dip, relaxed, so relaxed.  Just floating.

And then - B O O M!!  

Talk about coming back into my body quickly!  

At first, I thought someone had thrown a rock through the kitchen window, but when I looked over at the window, it was intact.  My eyes went to the floor where, to my shock and horror, I saw shards of the Pyrex baking dish smoking and melting into the linoleum.  The 2 dogs came rushing towards the kitchen, barking - I had to act really quickly to keep them from getting into the kitchen and burning/cutting themselves on the hot glass.

When I went back into the kitchen to assess the damage, I was startled to see that there was a perfect semi-circle of glass a few inches from where I had been standing. I stared at it, dumbfounded, noticing how perfectly formed it was compared to the haphazard way the other shards were dispersed through the kitchen.  Between the numerous thoughts of "I could have been killed!  What if that dish exploded while I was facing the stove? What if a shard sliced an artery and I bled to death on the floor?," I slowly realized that I had been protected by unseen energies.

I believe to this day that those energies - spirit guides, guardian angels, protective totems, whatever you want to call them - saved me by forming a protective semi-circle around me.  I believe that the meditative state I was in was part of the process and that the feeling that I was disintegrating was my being shielded from what was about to occur.  I was and am eternally grateful for that protection.

I will never use an electric stove again and have a gas stove that I really love.  I can see the flame and not have to guess which element I actually turned on! No more potential combat zones in my kitchen!

(My kitchen during the Christmas holidays, 2011)

Today's Animal in Need


Comments Due November 16, 2012.
Please note that BLM will be holding a public meeting on the capture/removal plan on October 30 at 6 p.m. in John Day, Oregon at the Grant County Airport. More info here
Known as "Timber Horses," the wild mustangs in the Murderers Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) and Wild Horse Territory live deep amongst the conifers and ponderosa pines in the Malhuer National Forest in eastern Oregon. Descendants of Native American horses, New World Iberian breeds and horses that helped early settlers develop the West, these mustangs are genetically distinct from other Oregon wild herds thanks to their isolated geography.    
Despite the uniqueness and small size of this herd (an estimated 213 adult horses on 223 square miles!) , the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning to remove 113 of these horses in 2012 and 100-150 additional horses over the next two to three years from their homes on the range in the Murderers Creek HMA.

You can send a message by going to this link and filling in the information - it's easy, it's quick, it's painless!  Thank you!

La Calaca a Day - #26

(Image found here)

Gentle whinnying
Caballo de los Muertos
Your nose ~ still velvet

(Rebecca is hosting La Calaca a Day for the month of October. You can participate here.)
(Haiku by blogger)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Because I need a laugh...

A friend posted this on my FB page!

Natural Beauty

(Image from here)

Today's Animal in Need

Mission Statement

Welcome to the website of Orangutan Foundation International (OFI)! Here you will learn about the Great Red Apes, orangutans, and what OFI is doing to study and protect them and their only habitat, the tropical forests of Borneo and northern Sumatra.
The mission of the Orangutan Foundation International is to support the conservation, protection, and understanding of orangutans and their rain forest habitat while caring for ex-captive orangutan orphans as they make their way back to the forest.
Furthermore, OFI educates the public, school children, and governments about orangutans, tropical rain forests, and the issues surrounding orangutan and forest conservation and protection.
You can find more at OFI's website or FB page.

La Calaca a Day - #25

(Image from here)

Me eschuchas ahora??

(Rebecca is hosting La Calaca a Day for the month of October.  You can participate here.).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Natural Beauty

(Image found here)

Today's Animal in Need

PLEASE NOTE: Since Lucille is going out under HRU's contract, potential homes must be located within a 6 hour drive of Chesterfield, NJ due to home checks/transport, etc. Please call 609-481-8561 if seriously interested. 

Lucille is FREE if approved as is Cookie's Kid, Jessica, and Mr. Stingray. Other HRU horses are just $100 to $250 if approved.
URGENT- HOME NEEDED (NJ): Lucille A. is a 13 y/o ~15hh STB mare (Camtastic) who made almost $300,000 on the track (harness), record is 1.53. Her first race-age foal is now two years old and recently took 2nd at Freehold Raceway. Papered and not bred this year. 
HRU purchased Lucille back from the Amish when her owner sold her- she's currently in quarantine, but needs a home ASAP as HRU is overfull.  
No fee- HRU contract required to protect horse and adopter.
Home must be located within a 6 hour drive of Chesterfield, NJ.

Lucille is very sweet and not yet started under saddle. Serious inquiries only- call 609-481-8561. Please share!
To find out more, please see Horse Rescue United's FB page or website.

La Calaca a Day - #24

(Image from here)

La Llorona Martini

YIELD: Makes 1 drink
This intoxicating drink was inspired by a Halloween night when I was using dry ice in a punch bowl. The eerie trail of wispy smoke created by the dry ice looked like the long, flowing gown worn by La Llorona. La Llorona, according to ancient Mexican folklore, was a beautiful woman who drowned her children to be with a man and when he wanted nothing to do with her, she lost her mind. In the afterlife, she walks up and down bodies of water, wailing and looking for her children. It’s a conversation starter for a Halloween party, but you can skip the dry ice for a yummy drink year-round.


3 ounces Pisco Brandy
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
Crushed ice
Dash of Angostoria bitters
Dry ice (optional) (see note)


In a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice, combine brandy, juices, and sugar. Cover, shake vigorously for 15 seconds, and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with a few drops of bitters. Add some dry ice for a spooky effect.
Note: Dry ice is quite safe to use in drinks, but you should not touch it. Wait for the ice to melt before actually drinking it as it can burn your skin.
Although this recipe doesn't call for Tequila, I couldn't resist the putting those calaca bottles in this post!  You can find the recipe and image of the drink here. The blog post is worth the read, too.

(Image from here)

(Rebecca is hosting La Calaca a Day for the month of October.  You can participate here.).