Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Week Recipe

Da Vinci's famous masterpiece

I thought this appropriate for all the professed pagans out there, seeing that it is the week before Easter Sunday. If I offended anyone, well, just think about it. Don't you think God can take a joke? There have been so many theories trying to prove or disprove history, who is really sure of anything anymore? Wasn't that what the book The Da Vinci Code was about? Or the story I saw somewhere that Jesus was married and it was his spousal unit that was to his right in the famous Last Supper painting?

Doing a quick image search this morning, I found quite a few stories about and pictures of The Last Supper. Some were out and out ridiculous, like the one for a Francois Girbaud jeans advertisement that the Catholic Church victoriously had banned. Seems that the concept didn't go over too well.

Selling the Girbaud clothing line

Then there was this one for a gambling web site showing the disciples gaming at the dinner table.

Where are the slots?

One of my all time favorites is this "Fast" supper. Playing on words. I can't believe the Catholics left this one alone.

Fast food supper

Someone had to be pretty creative, I thought, to come up with this Star Wars last supper. Luke Skywalker is in the "Jesus" position though. I would have thought sure as hell that Obiwan would have been seated at the focal point.

In a galaxy far far away

Then there's this Lego comparison to Leonardo's original. From what I can find out, Leonardo Da Vinci painted the famous work 1500 years after Christ. What version of whatever did he read or look at to get his idea of what they looked like, how they were positioned and what they might ave eaten?


At any rate, Spring is here in the Northland. This is one of the few times in recorded history that there was NO snowfall in March up here. A balmy 70 degrees today is forecast, yesterday was a pretty nice day bit windy, from the South, carrying the warm moist air. I think I already heard Mrs. Spadoman complaining about the humidity.

All this talk about supper made me hungry. And the change of seasons makes for a change in diet and with the Daylight Savings Time in effect, dinner, or supper if you call it that, time has changed too. I'll leave you with a recipe for a nice looking and tasty light accompaniment, or stand alone, Rotini Salad. This dish develops flavor as it sits and marinades in the refrigerator, so it's okay to make it the day before.

Joe's Italian Rotini Salad

2 Cups cooked and cooled Rotini Pasta, (spiral shaped, can be plain, or in colors)
1/2 Red Onion, chopped
2 Stalks celery, chopped
1 Small can Black Olives
1 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
1/2 Cup, (or more) Shredded Mozarella Cheese
1 Cup cooked Shrimp, Crab or faux Crab (optional)

Mix all together and toss thoroughly with Italian Salad Dressing

Joe’s Italian Salad Dressing

1 Cup Olive Oil
1 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 Cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Garlic powder
1/2 Tablespoon Oregano
1/2 Tablespoon Basil
1/2 Tablespoon Parsley
1/2 Tablespoon Onion powder
1/2 Tablespoon Black Pepper
A little Salt, or salt to taste

Note: Measurement of spices is NOT an exact science, add more oil and vinegar if you over did it on spices, and vice versa.

Mix together and shake well

Pour onto salad, toss well, allow to chill


I had to add this one, It's from Brother Kvatch:

Battlestar Gallactica Supper

Lastly, from my friend Beth over at Beth's Blog. She posted this some time ago. I saved it as I felt these points to Ponder were worth pondering again. Check out Beth's Blog. A lot of good stuff on there, everyday!

Now, Have at these Points to Ponder.

Points to Ponder

Labels: Humor

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Why do you have to "put your two cents in"..but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"?

Where's that extra penny going to?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up like every two hours?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change?

They're going to see you naked anyway.

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?

If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

If Wiley E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride; he sticks his head out the window?

Peace to all

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ruby Tuesday 03/30/2010

Here it is, Ruby Tuesday already. I did Shadow Shot Sunday and had a recipe for Monday, but never got around to it. Quite busy around Spadoville these days. But I reme,ber a time not so busy when me and the missus jumped into the car and headed off in a Westerly direction. We drove right through Minnesota and into South Dakota, veered North and found ourselves near Jamestown, North Dakota before nightfall.

It was on the return trip, back through Minnesota that we found a rural County Highway that had a scenic designation loop logo. It was in Otter Tail County, MNand it was as advertised, a beautiful scenic byway. We came across many sights. There was Inspiration Point and the town of Vining with all the sculpture. Then there was this row of home made bird houses along the barbed wire fenceposts that seemed to number in the hundreds!

Otter Tail County, MN Scenic Byway Map

I liked this vintage red barn. I have more photos from this trip, but this is the Rubt Red one that gets top billing. By the way, Ruby Tuesday is the brainstorm and creation of Mary T/The Teach, who writes the Work of the Poet Blog. You can get a list of other Ruby Tuesday participants as well as find out how you can join in on the fun.

Hope everyone has a great week.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday # 97, March 28, 2010

Besides being Mrs. Spadoman's birthday today, it is also Shadow Shot Sunday, or SSS as it is so nicknamed here and there. I'm not making any commitments about doing this every Sunday for the rest of the millennium, (or rest of my life, whichever comes first), but I'm doing it today, as I did last week. It's a fun Meme, and it originates from a blog named Hey Harriet that hails from Australia. Queensland somewhere. For the actual rules and guidelines for Shadow Shot Sunday, please go HERE.

This shadow shot was taken two years ago when I lived along the South shore of the Great Lake Superior in a small two room shack we called The Cabinette. It was right outside our window, this Eagle, and I scrambled for the camera and took some shots before it flew away. We oftentimes have seen Eagles in the trees along the shore, and out place was right on the shore. It wasn't very often that we got any camera shots as the comings and goings of these magnificent birds were never predictable.

I wish I could tell you the set up that I used on the camera or that I did some fancy framing and aiming and orchestrated this shot in any way shape or form. All I remember is twisting my body around trying to get the camera to point up at a sharp angle from the window while crawling over the sofa and end table without knocking over the lamp or dumping the pile of books that was there, all the while making sure I didn't move too quickly or make any loud noises to chase away the visitor.

It was an immature Bald Eagle, still brownish in color, not yet grown into the black bodied older one with the white tail and head. The sky was gray. I did not shoot this in black and white. I miss living there at The Cabinette. We had to move away, but I visit the lakeshore often, even though it is 175 miles away from my current abode. By the way, Mrs. Spadoman's birthday keeps me quite busy. We celebrate the eve of the event, and the lead in and out time of one week before and at least a week after. Lucky I have time to post at all!

Peace to all

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Only the Good Friday, March 26, 2010

Can you name the artist of this original work of art?

I posted a YouTube of sorts today. It isn't from YouTube, it was from another site, and it's a slide show. Some beautiful pictures of sunsets, sun rises, clouds and other natural scenes with wording on each photograph. I originally received this from a friend. This particular friend happens to be a very spiritual person. She doesn't send too much in the way of "pass this on", so, I took a long serious look at it. It came to me as a Powerpoint Presentation.

It has an interesting premise. It gives the viewer an example of the population of the earth as the number 100, then puts into perspective how many people are what nationality and race as well as religion. It also breaks down how many are illiterate or sick and how many actually have a computer. All the data based from sources that gather such information. A few frames into it and it puts forth an idea that if we looked at the world this way instead of the way most of the white population of the USA think about the world, we'd realize WE are the ones in the minority, and not only that, WE here in America are definitely a blessed people.

The Grandkids and I had a discussion riding to school the other day about what a blessing is. I tried my hardest to break it down without going into the whole God thing, at least not from a religious standpoint. I wish I had this slide show. It would have made my presentation and explanation a lot easier.

Anyway, the "Good" is that we have it "Good" compared to most of the population on planet earth. Even those that have it bad have it "Good". I mean, and I've said this before, we flush our toilets with potable water. The people on welfare using food stamps can shop in the same store as someone who doesn't need to pinch pennies and check prices. It makes me realize that even though I didn't choose what country I would be born in and what color my skin would be, that I could possibly be blessed to have such bounty, and I'm in the middle class, not the upper class.

But as I think about all of this, and I am heavily into thought and emotion over this, I feel the greater "Good" is that I realize it. I realize how fortunate I am when I think of the people in Haiti, the peaceful people amongst the Palestinians, those who are persecuted in Darfur and other outposts of the world where they do not share in the land of plenty.

While traveling yesterday, I listened to public radio. The program was about a couple from England who disregarded the whole trash rubbish recycling and pollution problems of the world for years, and then morphed into these people that would accept the challenge unto themselves to use only one trash can, or dust bin as they called it, for all the trash they generated in the course of a full year. They succeeded and are spreading the word about using plastic as packaging and the trash it creates. That program had me thinking too. We have so much, even the poorest unwrap things and generate trash here in America.

I don't know. The "Good" is that I realize I can go farther when it comes to my own back yard, and I can take the next step in realizing the whole world isn't American. Lastly, before I let this go and let you see the slide show, I have been reading a few books lately and going here and there on the blogs. For some reason, it has been called to my attention that many people from other countries view the Americans as obese, or at least fat, generally. As I struggle with diabetes control, I am reading other peoples opinions about times they have traveled to our shores and their observation is that overall, most Americans are victims of gluttony. I am, and I admit it. And I am ashamde that I don't see the harm it can do , no, has done, to me

I got a lot of "Good" things to think about, and more "Good" things that I need to be doing for myself, my health and the Sacred Mother Earth. One person doing one thing one day is how any change gets started. Changes in how we treat ourselves, how we treat our land, and how we treat each other. I learned awareness of that, and that is "Good" for a Friday.

Only the Good Friday is a creation of Shelly of the This Electic Life blog. She makes a "good" point. She says, "The point of this little exercise is simply to look at the world in a different way. When we look for the good, we will see it." Check out her blog and find the link with the simple guidelines for Only The Good Friday.

Here's the slide show. Just click on each picture to move it to the next frame.

Peace to all

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ruby Tuesday 03/23/2010

Here are a few photographs for this weeks Ruby Tuesday Meme. Ruby Tuesday is a creation of Mary T/The Teach, who pens the Work of a Poet blog. You can participate in Ruby Tuesday if you wish. Read the guidelines when you visit Mary's site and join in the fun.

In the meantime, here are my submissions. The first is a tattoo. It's on my right shoulder, and it honors the memory of my daughter Maggie. She was lost in an automobile accident in 1991. She was just shy of her eighteenth birthday. She loved red roses and red lipstick. So there's one of her Ruby Red lips as well.

The Tattoo

Margaret Ellen "Maggie" Spado in 1991

After that, I had to add these two photos I took rather quickly yesterday. The first Robin of Spring around my yard. The same Robin on the ground, then up in the branches of a leafless early Spring larch. Robin's breasts are orange, really, but they are known as Robin Red Breast, so I'll include this harbinger of Spring in the Ruby class for today.

You know that Spring is here....

When we see the first Robins of the season up here in the Northland

Hope you have a great day.

Peace to All

Monday, March 22, 2010

What Is That?

Someone sent me this short video the other day. It is very simple, but carries a huge message. Even the sender, who often sends me jokes, used the word "Serious" in the subject line. It has been out a while on YouTube, so maybe you've seen it before. I had never seen it. It struck me and made me aware in my own life. Take a look. It's a little over five minutes long, but well worth the time.

Have a great day.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday # 96, March 21, 2010

This is another Meme Blog post. Like Ruby Tuesday or Looking at the Sky on Friday. I found some shadowy shots I have taken recently and decided to have some fun and post one of them this week. Not sure if I'll do it every week, but this week, I'm in.

If you'd like to know more about Shadow Shot Sunday, or SSS as it can be called, visit Hey Harriet. If you need the specific instructions and rules for inclusion in this post, you can link to it from Hey Harriet's Blog, or visit it HERE.

This particular photograph was taken in the middle of the day. It was July in Northern California near Fortuna, along the Pacific coast. My son-in-law along with one of the wee ones walking along one of the massive trees that had fallen some years ago. These giants are so huge, they seem to block out the sun at times. I enjoy the way the light of day seems like a portal in the center of this shot.

In the Redwoods near Fortuna, California

We are officially into Spring now here in the States, (SSS emanates from Australia), and the change of seasons should get folks outside more. That will mean many more Shadow Shots and other photography Meme posts. Seems like a fun pastime or hobby for some, and a profession for others. In the meantime, there are quite a few "Shadow" photographers out there already and much of their work is fabulous. Have a look.

Peace to all

Friday, March 19, 2010

Only the Good Friday, March 19, 2010

Just returned from another trip to the Chicago area. It was a whirlwind affair, less than 48 hours from the time I left until I returned. My nephew is moving in to the apartment condo where my Mom lived and there were a few items of furniture still there that my daughter wanted to have. I went down with a good friend and we loaded up the van. Mom's apartment is now ready for a change in occupancy.

While I was down there, I visited with my sister. She went from providing 24/7 healthcare to my Mom to having an empty four bedroom house. She and my brother-in-law are retired and have been for a while. They find themselves with time on their hands and have a little bit of a problem getting used to not having the monumental task of taking care of another human being at hand. I talked with my sister about this and she seems to be chugging along, but I know besides the usual and expected grief we get when someone close in a family passes away, the void that was created is hard to accept and harder still to fill.

That's where family comes in. My short visit was a pleasant diversion from waking up with nothing to do. And to visit family shortly after a traumatic event was "Good" for me as well. We talked and laughed. Told some old stories and discussed some plans for future visits with other members of the family, like the tentative Mother's Day 2010 trip we talked about. It's right around my birthday, but I'll share my special day with the Mothers out there.

What prompted our idea was a visit to the cemetery where my Mother was interred. Her plot is right next to my Father's place. Dad left us in 1983, a long time ago. Now, my Mother takes the space right next to him. I gotta tell you, the place looked like it was in bad condition. The brownish green grass and wilted flowers first of all, then the turned up ground from the freshly dug grave. No landscaping had been done. It's just too early in the season and the crews haven't finished with their winter clean up yet. Also, no head stone marker had been purchased and placed for my Mother. My Dad's headstone was of the variety that is given out to Veterans by the VA and pretty nondescript.

My sister had the idea of stopping at one of the monument retailers in the area and purchasing headstones for our parents' grave sites. We did just that. She had some idea of what she wanted them to say. I was in total agreement with her wishes. What I found to be strange was the restrictions the cemetery administration has put on certain sections of the place. For instance, where my Mother and Father's plots are, there are only flat markers. The lawn mowing equipment can ride right over them and the work of lawn maintenance is made easier for the landscaping crews. Each plot must have its own stone. Even though Mom and Dad are buried side by side, they must have two separate headstones. We had wondered about a "family" grave marker since they were side by side. No vases can be placed. Even the kind that pick up and turn over and can be stored flush with the ground are not allowed.

Then you look at the cemetery complex in total, there are sections where huge monuments sit alongside small markers, some above ground, some flush with the earth. In the monument salesroom, the gaudiness of the stones was evident. A lot of money to be made by the salesman's suggesting that you loved one would be pleased to have such a beautiful marker with the designated religious symbols and statues aboard. The poor guy can't even sell you a massive stone for thirty grand if your loved ones are in the section with the flat stones. So much for Capitalism at a Catholic cemetery. They make sure that they are the ones that are making all the money.

Anyway, the "Good" that emanated from the whole experience is that for years, I felt we had lost our culture and heritage. When the family immigrated from Italy long ago, the fabric of our way of life in the old country was lost. We kept some of the food things alive in recipes and when served in the ethnic celebrations. Working in America on the railroad was much different than working in the small villages of Europe. Our family landed in the big city of Chicago. Opportunities allowed the sons and daughters to move away from the apartment flat above or the house next door. The family broke up, so to speak, and the American way of life took over. For many people, the way of life that was traditional was lost.

Going to the Catholic cemetery and seeing the graves of so many of my family; aunts, uncles, Grandparents from both my own parents, first, second and third cousins, made me realize that the culture is still there and the burying was a part of it. This is where it all comes together once again. We were born, lived and drifted apart, then reassembled here in these plots and the names preserved by granite markers. It is part of who we are as a people, and in a tradition handed over by our Catholic religion. This is who we are. This is a part of our culture.

When we make the trek to Chicago for Mother's Day weekend, it will be to view the new headstones, one for Dad, the other for our recently lost family member. We'll place flowers on the grave of our Mother. The Children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren will see the site and learn a little about our culture and heritage. And whether or not I participate in this rite in my own future is irrelevant. It is who we are, a statement, a standard, a sign. I'll show it to my Grandchildren and they will have the knowledge of what most of the people of our family do. That is, gather us and return us back together, side by side, in the ground.

Morbid for an Only the Good Friday post? Maybe, if you want to take it that way, but to me it is a sign that all might still be okay as the family comes together and honors loved ones and has a certain place to do this. That's "Good" enough for me. I accept who I am and who my family is and how we do it, and that's a "Good" thing.

Only the Good Friday is a meme creation of Shelly over at This Eclectic Life. Go pay her a visit, she's "Good".


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ruby Tuesday 03/16/2010

Tuesday already. Seems like the week just flew right by. But what a week in terms of the landscape here in the North country. Last week, when I posted a photograph for Ruby Tuesday, I used a cardinal on the limbs of a cedar tree covered with hoar frost. Now, the snow is virtually gone. All that are left are the largest of the piles at the nether reaches of the mall parking lots and the occasional deep lying ditch protected from sunlight by the shadow of something. It's been above freezing every day and even most nights. Sunshine has ruled, with no rain for a number of days now.

In any event, here are a couple of pictures of some ruby color for you this week. The drum is propped up on a red leather sofa cushion with some of ole Sol spreading its warmth and light. This is a hand drum made from a cedar hoop covered with deer hide. The coloration is from dye made from walnut husks. The rawhide was wet and twisted into a ball and dipped into the solution of dye and cold water, like tie dye. This is the first drum I ever made and is now in the hands of a very good friend of mine from the Bad River Indian Reservation which sits at the South shore of the Great Lake Superior in extreme Northern Wisconsin.

You can read about this particular drum, its origins, and the story of its travels HERE. I will also include a YouTube Video Link of another drum I made for the son of my friend, Zach Hartley. In the video, Zack plays a drum I made at a Hand drum contest, held in 2008 at the Lac Courtes O'rielles Indian Reservation near Hayward, WI

Hand drum and beater on red leather sofa

The second photo is a dream catcher I made a few years ago. The wooden hoop, or frame, was a piece of buckthorn from an early Spring trip out to Rapid City. I was at a small pull-out along US Highway 14A, South of the town of Spearfish, SD. This scenic zig zagging drive winds through Spearfish Canyon, a beautiful roadway studded with pine trees and rocky cliffs. I saw this particular tree and its thick soft pliable green leafy shoots. I clipped one off and made a circular form. I tied the circle in place and placed it in the back window of the sedan until I got home.

Naturally shaped Dream Catcher with glass beads

Soon after, while walking around, I saw this piece of bone. I picked it up and brushed off the sand and dirt and placed that into the car as well. It was literally a couple of years later that I "married" the two of them into this Dream Catcher. I use glass beads as I weave for decoration. This one sported a ruby red bead. While looking through photo archives, I spotted the crimson spot and decided to include the photo in my Ruby Tuesday post for today.

So, here are my submissions. Ruby Tuesday is a meme event started by Mary T/The Teach who pens the Work of the Poet blog. To get the rules and parameters for participation in Ruby Tuesday, go HERE.

If you'd like more information about a drum or Dream Catcher for yourself or for a gift, you can check out this Archived Article from my blog, Round Circle, or send me an e-mail with your question or comment. My e-mail address is in my blogger profile.

Hope Springtime is a pleasant time where you are.

In the meantime, may Peace prevail on Earth

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Morning Sunrise Edition

A butterfly with pretty flowers, playing with shadows

Sunday morning reflections I guess. It’s early, really, if I was in the time I’m used to for the past four months, it’s only 4:45 a.m. But with the Daylight Savings time change that went into effect at 2:00 a.m., we’re right up against 5:00 in the morning. That’s a reprieve for me. In my heart of hearts, I feel I had a good night to stay in bed, asleep or not, until 5 a.m., better still, six. These sunrise shots were taken on a trip to New Mexico a couple of years ago, right about this time of year. The beautiful Caballo Mountains are on the other side of the Rio Grande from where I was camped. I love watching the day brighten inch by inch.

Let's watch the sun rise, shall we?

Yesterday was exhausting. I didn’t really do much. That’s part of my problem. If I did some activity every day like take a walk or ride the bicycle, I’d have more energy. But I haven’t been doing squat. Yesterday had me getting out of the house and traveling to St. Paul to visit my good friend Steve at the J&S Bean Factory Coffee Shop. I had a big brew bar Sumatra coffee and drank it down to the bottom, then refilled my cup with the Sulawasi, a flavorful Indonesian coffee that Steve hasn’t had for a while, from the coffee of the day urn.

These are the Caballo Mountains along the Rio Grande River near Hatch, New Mexico

Turned out there was a small meeting, and I happened to be there for it. It was all people I know. The meeting was a planning meeting for a ceremony event that will take place over Memorial Day weekend. I turned out being at the right place at the right time. I also ran into some other friends that I haven’t talked to for a couple of months. It was good to catch up.

They were hard to see, but there were flocks of geese flying over the mountains this particular morning

When I got home, I found furniture had been moved around and things adjusted here and there to accommodate some house guests we’re going to have for a while. I hung around the house and just kind of sat there doing nothing. Part of the lack of enthusiasm for living life to the fullest is because of the weather. Gloomy these days, but above freezing and the snow is melting at a rapid rate. But even though it was above the magical 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it was damp, and even the thought I had of working in the garage to organize my workbench fell to deaf ears.

Ole Sol, peeking out, brightening up your day

Busy is the byword for the next couple of weeks though, so I was thinking I’ll lay low and take it easy today. Since I’m up so early and I gained, (or lost, depending on your point of view), this hour with Daylight Savings Time, I think I’ll get dressed and go out for breakfast. I haven’t been in a seedy diner in the wee hours for a long time. Usually good for some mind fodder, watching the late night/early morning crowd blend together. I fantasize and romanticize about diners all the time anyway. Maybe I’ve stayed away from the Urban Jungle too long. I might need a fix. After all, I am from Chicago. I just live in a small town in Wisconsin.

There, that's a sunrise, eh?

I’ll be volunteering at the food shelter on Monday, then to a long whole day doctor visit to the VA on Tuesday, complete with blood test and ass chewing for not having better diabetes control. After the doctor, I take off in my van for Chicago to load up and haul home furniture from my Mom’s apartment. It will be reutilized by my daughter and her family, with a small portion going to the other daughter. Upon return on Thursday, and after the unloading, I have meetings in the evening and on Friday night, with another volunteer session Friday morning.

While all that is going on, the Grandkids are off of school for their Spring break. Mrs. Spadoman will fill in while I take care of my schedule. I wouldn’t have planned all this stuff if I knew the kids would be off of school. I didn’t look at the calendar. But it will work out, we’re a team here to some degree.

Cactus bathed in early morning sunlight

After six in the morning now, the actual daylight that we’ll be saving won’t be around until a little before seven a.m. But the NOAA seems to think that we’ll be in the mid fifties and sunny today. Maybe that motorcycle needs to be started and warmed up a bit. I mean, I can ride in fifty degree weather. Just got to watch those shady spots and the deeper puddles where the snow piles are still oozing water onto the road.

You folks have a great day. Be kind to each other. Be kind to yourselves. It all starts there you know, inside, in the heart.

Peace to all

Friday, March 12, 2010

Only the Good Friday, March 12, 2010

Maybe we'll return to the desert this Summer. This scene from last years trip to Utah

I’ve been absent from the Only the Good Friday posts for a while. The meme Only the Good Friday is a brainstrom of Shelly over at This Electic Life blog. Just had other things on my plate, or my blog, and didn’t do the Friday thing. Not that there wasn’t anything “Good” going on. I’m sure there was, and not just on Friday either.

To me, the best “Good” thing happening right now, this Friday and every day this week, has been the melting of the snow up here in the Northland. It has been a slow melt. There was a lot of snow on the ground on March First. Now, large patches are muddy ground or brown grass with a green tinge. The largest of the piles in parking lots and next to driveways are but small mounds, and these in the areas on earth where the sun doesn’t shine directly because of the earth’s rotation or the trees and the shade they create.

After the sun last week, we got the rain this week. Not pouring rain, not a downpour, just a nice slow steady cadence of rain, washing the streets of salt and sand residue. That’s really “Good” for us motorcycle types that want to get the bikes out. Those streets and roads need to be cleansed a bit of all that loose debris in the turns. The first rains make the roads slick and oily when the water mixes with the leftovers of winter maintenance. The rains make such a difference.

Skateboards and Bicycles. As you can see, plenty of sunshine and plenty of snow to melt

There is plenty of mud. Care must be taken to get the boots off before stepping into the house from outside. The areas around the dogs are trampled down and thick mud holes are all around them. They don’t seem to mind. The dogs just walk right through it all to greet the kids or get to the hand that’s feeding them. The cats are a little more careful, but the paw prints show where they’ve been walking on the counter and my desk. That may not sound so “Good”, but what is “Good” is the process of the seasons making a change.

Electric Scooters

I find it a pleasure when Spring turns to Summer and then to Fall and back again to Winter. Each season having a reason. Spring is the rebirth. This is the messiest, but it is the best. Trees come alive after being dormant. Leaves pop out, flowers push up from the Sacred Earth Mother, sap flows from the ground into the limbs and the branches feed us with fresh oxygen.

Our best friend Sonya paid us a visit. Sonya is from Colorado. It was very "Good" to see her

The streams swell with water from the rain and the snow melt and clean themselves out, sort of like a cleanse that one would take to clean out the intestines, a flushing of the old and mold to make room for the “Good” stuff.

Man intervenes with the clock change this weekend. Spring ahead. At 2:00 a.m., the official time for making the adjustment, we’re to move the hands of time ahead one hour. We lose 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. It never exists. But we now have daylight well past 7:00 p.m. And that gets later every day! Up North where I am, it’s light until 9:30 in June. Twenty Four hours of sun in the Northern reaches of Alaska.

Kids like hanging around Papa when he works on his motorcycle

But the “Good” is that now, oldest Grand daughter walks to the school bus in daylight. Not in darkness like she did all Winter. Seemed so early to leave the house in pitch blackness. Soon, the birds will be singing loudly by 5:00 a.m. She’ll have company along with her on the short jaunt to Kennedy and Short.

Yes, it’s all “Good” except where it floods. That’s not so appreciated in those neighborhoods, especially when there are injuries and any loss of life or property. But people can get prepared. They usually know if a Spring flood is coming. Not like a flash flood that strikes without a warning.

I like what’s happening outside these days. Not that I didn’t like parts of the Winter, but it was long and kept me inside looking out, wishing for something to do. Time to get outside and assess the situation. That’s “Good”

Peace to all

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

History of War

Replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

While visiting Truth or Consequences New Mexico last month, I wandered over to the new Veterans Memorial that was erected there. The project has taken a few years and a lot of donations to complete. One display that stands out is the replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall, complete with names. It is smaller than the one in Washington DC, but it is exact. The day I went there, it happened to be the anniversary of the date I returned home from Vietnam, and the day I got out of the Army. A forty year anniversary.
I went to the wall and went to the panel where the name of a dear friend is printed. I touched his name. I was surprised at the lack of strong emotion. I was actually sad that I didn’t break down and cry. Maybe I’m all cried out about Vietnam. Maybe I’ve healed enough to just accept my involvement in Vietnam as part of who I am at this point of my life. Whatever has happened to me, I accept that too. I still honor every name on that Sacred Wall.
I walked around the grounds and went inside the small museum. On the walkway, there is a star shaped path. Along this path every so often lies a granite stand with a slab on top that tells of a war the United States has fought in. As I look at the yard in total, I see a heck of a lot of these granite slabs. I walk around and discovered something.
As I read the name and dates of each war we have been in, I start to see a theme. It is no surprise that these wars could have been avoided. And just like the war we are now engaged in in Iraq, we started them.
I took a photo of every one of these plaques. As I read the reasons for the wars being mentioned on the granite slabs, I make mental note.
The War of 1812
US declared war on Britain as a result of long simmering disputes.
Mexican American War
An undefined and contested border.
The Civil War
Northern States against Southern states over States rights, taxation, imbalance of trade and slavery
Spanish American War
Control of Cuba to protect the sugar plantation interests from Spanish control.
Philippine American War
Filipino people didn’t want to be colonized by the US after winning freedom from Spain.
World War I
Germany didn’t like that we traded with England as a neutral power. They attacked the shipping convoys with submarines and the US joined forces with Britian.
World War II
Help the Allies stay free from the oppression of Germany, and revenge the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan.
The Korean War
The US gave military help to South Korea.
The Vietnam War
The plaque gave no reason for this war, just that we were in it. Supposedly, our involvement was to keep South Vietnam from Communist control.
US Forces in Beirut
After a terrorist bomb explosion, we sent troops to avenge the event.
Invasion of Granada
Attack of this island to keep a government in control that was sympathetic to America’s agenda.
Invasion of Panama
The US backed a coup to depose elected President Noriega.
The Persian Gulf War
US attacked Iraq forces as they tried to seize Kuwait.
Attacked this country because they were thought to have weapons of mass destruction and believed they would attack the US
Attacked Afghanistan to seek out and destroy Osama Bin Laden, the perpetrator of the 9/11 attack on US soil

All laid out, war measured in deaths and wounded, all neat and orderly, like that;s the only thing that matters, the body count.
I guess they call World War II “The Good War” for a reason. As history states, the Nazi’s were hell bent on taking over the world and eradicating the Jews. We helped defeat them, but by the same token, the warfare in the Pacific against the Japanese has been under scrutiny.

Makes me sad to see it and think about it this way. I want to be from a country that doesn’t make their might be their leadership and power, but instead leads by example. The Spanish American War is a good example. Attack them to protect corporate interests invested in sugar plantations.

Now, so many years, and so many lives lost and changed forever, we are still at it. We won’t let down for a moment. Imagine, (Thank you John Lennon), that we stood down and forgave the people that we call our enemies. Funny, the Native American people did that. That’s why they will never be defeated. Persecuted and treated unfairly for all time, but not defeated.

Also funny that the plaques don’t mention the wars fought right here in this country against the people who inhabited it when the US took over, conquered and occupied, the home lands of the Indian tribes.

I had a conversation with an old friend the other day. A Native Elder. I met him on The Longest Walk II in 2008. We became friends. He told me that he wasn’t an American. He is a Dakota. Plain and simple, to the point. His people didn’t want the civilization that was forced upon them, forced in a way that stripped them of their rights, their hunting grounds, their land, their water rights, their way of life, their religion, their language, their dignity, their heritage, their culture and their hair.

Imagine again if we just all got along. If materialistic conquest wasn’t the goal but to live in harmony was? To have enough of what we all need to survive and not compete for “stuff”. TV would be replaced by Elders telling stories of their past. School would be learning how to get along with others and following a code of honor that relates to the natural world, the land and water, Mother Earth, and the Universe.

There isn’t much talk about conquering the sun and the sky, the Moon. We haven’t gotten up there to wreak havoc on the Moon yet, have we?

I have tried to get rid of the shame of having gone to Vietnam and fought for my country. Sometimes I feel like I understand it and I can hold my head up and be proud, but I don’t today. I see the reasons for the wars we fight and can’t see the wisdom or righteousness in it at all. Then I think, I was a part of that. I could have laid down my rifle and gone to Leavenworth prison, but I didn’t have the courage to sit in a cell for 20 years. I stayed and did their bidding instead. Coward. My only redemption is to find right from wrong and admit it, forgive myself and ask for peace.

I ask for Peace for all

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ruby Tuesday 03/09/2010

Ruby Tuesday is a theme started HERE, at MaryT/TheTeach's Work of the Poet blog. Simply post a photograph you have taken with red in it somewhere. Go to the Work of the Poet Blog to enter your URL and say that you are participating.

Here is my photo today. Couldn't help but capture the ruby red cardinal in the snow flocked cedar tree outside my front door the other day. It was a natural.

Enjoy your day. I hope it is filled with Peace.

This ruby red cardinal was easy to spot the other morning