Clementine, how does your garden grow?

My grandparents had a garden and small greenhouse in our backyard. My grandmother loved plants, though I don’t remember any of them being indoors except on our side of the house. My mother shared that love and often kept corn plants in big pots on rollers, Christmas cactus, spider plants, and a pothus in our living room.

Off my grandmother’s back porch was a giant Staghorn Fern that was cradled in its pot in the fork of a woodpecker-measled tree. Nearby was a huge plant that only bloomed once a year at midnight; It had long-necked, flamingo head bulbs that turned into enormous white flowers that glowed in moonlight. It was a special occasion for all of us when they bloomed.

My grandfather kept a Farmer’s Almanac on the table next to his reclining chair. He swore by it so I did, too. It was where I first learned about companion planting, keeping green in your home to reduce stress and breathe better as well as using local wildflower honey to fend off allergies. Folk remedies became an area of interest for me.

Here are a few resources for making your garden grow happy, indoors and outdoors…

Companion Gardening

How plants interact and form symbiotic relationships has always intrigued me. Check out this article on the Farmer’s Almanac site on companion planting before you layout your garden. Some plants help each other, but some plants need to be separated as well.

Rain Barrels

Build your own for $40 with This Old House on YouTube. Tip: Check out local resources first. Here in Berea, KY we have a group called Sustainable Berea that has two tutorials on making and painting rain barrels (under their Resources menu at the top).

Zines a Plenty

All throughout May, as part of the process installation I’m doing at Peoples Bank & Trust at 419 Chestnut Street
in Berea, KY, I’m dropping off zines as little birthday gifts for people visiting the display. For those of you who aren’t local, though, don’t worry. I’m not leaving you out! I’ll be posting the zines here on Clementine’s page as I make them!

As always, thank you for being here. I’m looking forward to sharing all sorts of goodies this month with you in celebration of the release of Clementine’s Garden! xo

Rest in Peace Will, everyone else slow down

We have been going to the same Publix every week for about seven years now. In that time, we have gotten to know at least half of the employees there, some fairly well, some even coming to our wedding next month. We lost one a couple of nights ago to a motorcycle accident that could have been avoided. All so a woman could save herself five seconds getting onto the interstate.

How much time is a life worth to you?

In the whole scheme of things, is your lack of time management skills worth taking someone else’s life?

He was someone’s grandson. He was someone’s friend. He was only 26.

If it were your friend on the motorcycle, would you crowd them or would you give them a wide berth? Does that five extra seconds you save cutting someone off to get on the interstate ramp really matter?

He was wearing his helmet. He was riding responsibly. And, from what we know, it was quick. A fact that I am thankful for. He is survived by his grandfather, his last living blood relative, and my heart goes out to him as he is not doing well at all.

And all so someone could get to where they were going a little faster.

So, today and every day, please be aware. If you see a motorcycle, give them some space and slow down. No destination is worth hurting someone else over.

– – –

Watch for Motorcycles – promotional materials, get the word out!
http://www.smsa.org/motorcycle_awareness/promotional_materials/

Watch for Motorcycles on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Watch-For-Motorcycles/84645176573

The 2009 Calendars are here!

The first of the 2009 Calendars, in this case a small preview of my book The Painted Hand: An Artful Life in Paint and Paper, is up for grabs on Lulu. A collection of some of your favorite collage pieces as well as a few snippets of creative writing will keep you company for 12 months throughout the coming year. Come take a look!

When did lying become a good sales tactic?

We don’t have many solicitors in this neighborhood. Apparently that is because they save up all their worst sales tactics, for that one day when you least expect it, thinking it will get their foot in the door.

Word of advice to solicitors: The phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” does not apply to you and what you are selling.

Last week my daughter and I were eating our lunch on the living room floor, our little picnic ritual, and a truck pulls up in front of the house. The first thing I looked for was a logo – one of the local satellite companies – and I prepped for the knock….but no one got out of the truck. A moment later a man comes walking across our driveway from our neighbor’s house, clue number one that he is going door-to-door, and over the lawn instead of the sidewalk path up to the front door. My little girl goes to my bedroom till he is gone and I call her, our standard arrangement for strangers. He knocked and I opened the door, based on a quick assessment of him…

Him: “Good afternoon ma’am…”
:::I hold up my hand politely to tell him to wait:::
Me: “Just to save you some time, (smile) we aren’t interested in getting cable or satellite, but thank you.”
Him: :::looks at clipboard::: “Well, I am here to disconnect your cable…”
Me: “We don’t have cable or satellite TV by choice and really don’t have any use for it.”
Him: “Oh. Well, we have a REALLY good deal! And…”
Me: :::cut him off politely::: “No, thank you, but have a good day. (smile)” :::close the door:::

Ok, correct me if I am wrong. I was always taught that lying to someone gives them a reason to not trust you. Why on God’s beautiful green earth then would I want to buy ANYthing from you if you just lied to me? Um, explain this logic to me. The company the guy works for may not even know he is doing this, but I think it is sad when people think that making any excuse to talk to you will get a sale.

When did lying become a good sales tactic?

We don’t have many solicitors in this neighborhood. Apparently that is because they save up all their worst sales tactics, for that one day when you least expect it, thinking it will get their foot in the door.

Word of advice to solicitors: The phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” does not apply to you and what you are selling.

Last week my daughter and I were eating our lunch on the living room floor, our little picnic ritual, and a truck pulls up in front of the house. The first thing I looked for was a logo – one of the local satellite companies – and I prepped for the knock….but no one got out of the truck. A moment later a man comes walking across our driveway from our neighbor’s house, clue number one that he is going door-to-door, and over the lawn instead of the sidewalk path up to the front door. My little girl goes to my bedroom till he is gone and I call her, our standard arrangement for strangers. He knocked and I opened the door, based on a quick assessment of him…

Him: “Good afternoon ma’am…”
:::I hold up my hand politely to tell him to wait:::
Me: “Just to save you some time, (smile) we aren’t interested in getting cable or satellite, but thank you.”
Him: :::looks at clipboard::: “Well, I am here to disconnect your cable…”
Me: “We don’t have cable or satellite TV by choice and really don’t have any use for it.”
Him: “Oh. Well, we have a REALLY good deal! And…”
Me: :::cut him off politely::: “No, thank you, but have a good day. (smile)” :::close the door:::

Ok, correct me if I am wrong. I was always taught that lying to someone gives them a reason to not trust you. Why on God’s beautiful green earth then would I want to buy ANYthing from you if you just lied to me? Um, explain this logic to me. The company the guy works for may not even know he is doing this, but I think it is sad when people think that making any excuse to talk to you will get a sale.

Catch up, breathe deeply

After what seems like forever, I am finally getting caught up. Most of last year was spent with one or all of us bed or house ridden, one passing it on to the other as is the way of things in homes with children. There have been a lot of people disappointed in me, a lot of people who knew me and understood, and still more who have been supportive beyond the call of friendship. I think all of us have dealt with snowballs at least once in our lives and but this one created an avalanche. I’ve not given up though and things are getting better each day. I am moving forward.

LITTLE BITS OF WISDOM
A few of the many things I have picked up along the way, that I try to instill in my daughter, have been active in my life lately…

  • You should always be “straight up” with people. Be honest. Whether they will understand or not, your conscience is clear and you’ve done the right thing.
  • Pick your battles. Do what you can to the best of your ability and honor others as well as yourself. Help as much as you can but know when to say no.
  • If it is worthwhile dream, don’t give up.
  • When everything is a priority remember that family comes first. When it is hard to label what is the top priority in a pile of pressing deadlines, always pick the one that will give you the most trouble.
  • Breathe. There is always time to take a moment, close your eyes, and just breathe.

COMPLETELY ENTHRALLED

I own an HP laptop and frequently receives updates from HP including their Personal Again campaign that features some incredibly well-done and creatively inspiring videos. Recently I found Paulo Coehlo’s The Experimental Witch competition that led me, breadcrumbs in hand, to his Alchemist site on HP.

The guitar music that plays on the site has me completely in thrall. I am hooked on it, sometimes leaving the browser window up in the background to listen to it while I write or work. I don’t know that he will actually see it, but I sent him an email on his MySpace requesting the name of the piece or the guitarist and thanking him for his contributions to the creative community. Admittedly I do not own personal copies of his books yet but hope to soon. His stories are wonderfully rich and I look forward to reading more.

PUBLISHED RECENTLY

I have been so busy on this end that I’ve not had the chance to tell you all about some wonderful things that happened recently!

100 Days of Monsters. My family and I found Daily Monster, Stefan Bucher’s absolutely addictive video blog, and have been glued to it ever since. We crank the volume up so we can enjoy the sounds of his pens as they glide quickly across the paper. It is fascinating to watch what each seed of ink will become, even he doesn’t know till he does it which makes for a wonderful mystery. Stefan asked people to post little stories about his monsters, what we thought they were doing, who they were, and the madness began. Everyone got involved and the stories rolled in. Incredibly funny stories, emotional stories, off the wall weirdness, and all of them great fun to read. Well, he made a book with a DVD. All of his videos for the first 100 monsters and then some are included. And two of my stories made it into the book. So pick up a copy and read about “Reggie” and “Herman”, monsters 91 and 95. They will be very happy that you did. And if you do, please post a reply here and tell me what you think. I hope you like them both.

Thank you Stefan for your inspiration and your kindness!

Never Forgotten. I am a member of the ZNE network and was able to contribute to a book project for one of its members who recently lost her mother. I encourage everyone to take a look at the book and purchase one for yourself or for a loved one who may need some support or encouragement. I do not received any kind of compensation and am even purchasing my own copy so this is not a sales pitch. My piece is Essence & Longing and is included under the “Healing: The Beauty of the Soul” section in the book. If you do buy a copy, remember to post here and tell me what you think.

BACK IN SCHOOL

Started back to college week before last, totally online, and love it. Wish I could have done it sooner. They have the same accreditation as the local university but without worrying about scheduling, gas prices, or the wear and tear on my vehicle. Val has been in since August, he’s on the Dean’s list, (WOOT You go baby!) and I should be there soon as well. I am working on my BFA in Visual Communications with a specialization in Digital Design which, mostly, is the degree for what I have already been doing for the last 22 years. I have been wanting to finish school though, needed the piece of paper, and wanted to get all of the new software so here I am. I really enjoy the interface, the structure, the whole layout of AIU. And, yes, it takes a lot of discipline. But I will have my degree in 13 months, not four years, and there is something incredibly motivating about that. When I graduate in July of next year, if not sooner, I will be working on my Masters in Education there or finding a school where I can complete my Architectural Design degree. Yup, there is the secret to my handwriting, I was an Architectural Design major previously.

TED TALKS

“Who is this Ted person anyway…” you say? Don’t worry, I said that too. During my Visual Literacy class I was linked to a TED Talk by John Maeda. An incredibly brilliant, very funny man. Maeda spoke of simplicity, applying it to design and everyday life which is something I think we all need to look at. If you get a chance to watch the video, do, it is well worth the time. I have also found the TED Talks to be a fantastic resource. I think one of my favorites so far though has to be J.J.Abrams talking about the “mystery box” and writing.

A NEW SITE FOR ART FOR CURES

Art for Cures has been in need of a site for a while and, though I had started building one, my life and health conspired to keep me from it. After seeing a few site on the Ning network, seeing the resources available and the network’s framework, I decided to build us a home there. Art for Cures is now part of the Ning network and we already have several members there. Looking forward to posting the auctions in the next week and moving forward!

SCRIBBLES, DOODLES, AND SQUIBBLES

We like to hang out in the local bookstores on occasion (read we live there) and I am always on the lookout for new things fir Ysa and I to play with. Not seeing anything I could afford to get this week, or that we didn’t already have, I picked up another Kumon book for Ysa’s homeschool. Ysa and I rummaged around the children’s section a bit and a book accosted me on the way out. Well, it didn’t actually accost me per se, but I am very visual and certain things tend to jump out at me on shelves. In fact when I worked for the bookstores (both BAM and the Noble Barn), I was the one people always came to when they couldn’t remember the name of something. Nine time out of ten I would know it by what the spine or cover looked like and sometimes the “look” of the author’s name.

This time, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was coming home with us.

Scribbles by Taro Gomi is part of a three book series (might be a series, should be) and all three seriously ROCK. The books are almost two inches thick and full of half drawn doodles that you have to finish. It is total creative license, total interpretation, total fun.

…and yes, for those who recognized the name, Taro Gomi also wrote Everyone Poops. hehe

BEING ANACHRONISTIC AGAIN

I’ve rejoined the SCA after a long hiatus and have brought my family with me this time. Val is going Art/Sci, Logan is going heavy weapons, and even my girl is considering it as well since they start youth combat at age seven. She already makes a great shield wall, ran over the last guy. Val has been working on his own medieval chant notation, Logan is making chaine maille again and I have been pouring through patterns and buying fabric in preparation for garb making. It has been way too long since I have been camping so I am really looking forward to it.

Oh, I was also given the honor of being the Shire’s new Web Minister (or Mistress in this case).

My new tagline?

Ana Maria Seaton
ska Ginuivive Alysabaeth Rosewood (Dragonfly or Alysa)
Shire of Amurgorod, Kingdom of Trimaris
“The Dragonfly caught in the Spidered Web.”

Web site for the Shire coming very soon. VIVAT TRIMARIS!

SCRIPTFRENZY

ScriptFrenzy is this month, brought to you by the makers of NaNoWriMo. I toyed with the idea of working on a script I have had in my head for a while now but my time will not allow it. Also, anytime I even consider working on another writing project, my two novels – Moonlight & Shadow and Odonatia – beat me over the head and throw tantrums on the floor begging for attention. My children’s book, Clementine’s Garden, can get away with it though. They don’t beat her up because she is too cute.

WAIT, YOU SAID…ODONATIA!?

Yes I did, you heard me right. Odonatia is fast becoming a novel. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Odonatia is a fiction project I have been working on for about 10 years now. Started as a simple postal issuing authority for artistamps (faux postage), it quickly snowballed (read avalanched) into an epic piece of fiction with real passports, a winery and other goodies coming. Turning very steampunkish. Plans include a daily blog form the island, downloads and other goodies. Looking at a couple of other creative associates that might get involved as well in the future.

ON THE HUSH HUSH

Two major projects going on, one involving my rubber stamp line that is forthcoming, are building up speed and about to take off. Sadly though, and yes I know I am a tease, both are on the “hush hush” right now till I get the okay. I know, stop pouting, I’ll post here as soon as I get the green light. Needless to say both are of incredible proportion and I cannot wait to tell you all.

…well, that is all I can think of for now. (aren’t you glad? hehe) I will be posting scans, photos and a few updates today and over the next couple of days. This week has been a busy one so I have been trying to stay focused and push forward. Hoping this finds you all well and in good creative spirits!

Brightest blessings!

Catch up, breathe deeply

After what seems like forever, I am finally getting caught up. Most of last year was spent with one or all of us bed or house ridden, one passing it on to the other as is the way of things in homes with children. There have been a lot of people disappointed in me, a lot of people who knew me and understood, and still more who have been supportive beyond the call of friendship. I think all of us have dealt with snowballs at least once in our lives and but this one created an avalanche. I’ve not given up though and things are getting better each day. I am moving forward.

LITTLE BITS OF WISDOM
A few of the many things I have picked up along the way, that I try to instill in my daughter, have been active in my life lately…

  • You should always be “straight up” with people. Be honest. Whether they will understand or not, your conscience is clear and you’ve done the right thing.
  • Pick your battles. Do what you can to the best of your ability and honor others as well as yourself. Help as much as you can but know when to say no.
  • If it is worthwhile dream, don’t give up.
  • When everything is a priority remember that family comes first. When it is hard to label what is the top priority in a pile of pressing deadlines, always pick the one that will give you the most trouble.
  • Breathe. There is always time to take a moment, close your eyes, and just breathe.

COMPLETELY ENTHRALLED

I own an HP laptop and frequently receives updates from HP including their Personal Again campaign that features some incredibly well-done and creatively inspiring videos. Recently I found Paulo Coehlo’s The Experimental Witch competition that led me, breadcrumbs in hand, to his Alchemist site on HP.

The guitar music that plays on the site has me completely in thrall. I am hooked on it, sometimes leaving the browser window up in the background to listen to it while I write or work. I don’t know that he will actually see it, but I sent him an email on his MySpace requesting the name of the piece or the guitarist and thanking him for his contributions to the creative community. Admittedly I do not own personal copies of his books yet but hope to soon. His stories are wonderfully rich and I look forward to reading more.

PUBLISHED RECENTLY

I have been so busy on this end that I’ve not had the chance to tell you all about some wonderful things that happened recently!

100 Days of Monsters. My family and I found Daily Monster, Stefan Bucher’s absolutely addictive video blog, and have been glued to it ever since. We crank the volume up so we can enjoy the sounds of his pens as they glide quickly across the paper. It is fascinating to watch what each seed of ink will become, even he doesn’t know till he does it which makes for a wonderful mystery. Stefan asked people to post little stories about his monsters, what we thought they were doing, who they were, and the madness began. Everyone got involved and the stories rolled in. Incredibly funny stories, emotional stories, off the wall weirdness, and all of them great fun to read. Well, he made a book with a DVD. All of his videos for the first 100 monsters and then some are included. And two of my stories made it into the book. So pick up a copy and read about “Reggie” and “Herman”, monsters 91 and 95. They will be very happy that you did. And if you do, please post a reply here and tell me what you think. I hope you like them both.

Thank you Stefan for your inspiration and your kindness!

Never Forgotten. I am a member of the ZNE network and was able to contribute to a book project for one of its members who recently lost her mother. I encourage everyone to take a look at the book and purchase one for yourself or for a loved one who may need some support or encouragement. I do not received any kind of compensation and am even purchasing my own copy so this is not a sales pitch. My piece is Essence & Longing and is included under the “Healing: The Beauty of the Soul” section in the book. If you do buy a copy, remember to post here and tell me what you think.

BACK IN SCHOOL

Started back to college week before last, totally online, and love it. Wish I could have done it sooner. They have the same accreditation as the local university but without worrying about scheduling, gas prices, or the wear and tear on my vehicle. Val has been in since August, he’s on the Dean’s list, (WOOT You go baby!) and I should be there soon as well. I am working on my BFA in Visual Communications with a specialization in Digital Design which, mostly, is the degree for what I have already been doing for the last 22 years. I have been wanting to finish school though, needed the piece of paper, and wanted to get all of the new software so here I am. I really enjoy the interface, the structure, the whole layout of AIU. And, yes, it takes a lot of discipline. But I will have my degree in 13 months, not four years, and there is something incredibly motivating about that. When I graduate in July of next year, if not sooner, I will be working on my Masters in Education there or finding a school where I can complete my Architectural Design degree. Yup, there is the secret to my handwriting, I was an Architectural Design major previously.

TED TALKS

“Who is this Ted person anyway…” you say? Don’t worry, I said that too. During my Visual Literacy class I was linked to a TED Talk by John Maeda. An incredibly brilliant, very funny man. Maeda spoke of simplicity, applying it to design and everyday life which is something I think we all need to look at. If you get a chance to watch the video, do, it is well worth the time. I have also found the TED Talks to be a fantastic resource. I think one of my favorites so far though has to be J.J.Abrams talking about the “mystery box” and writing.

A NEW SITE FOR ART FOR CURES

Art for Cures has been in need of a site for a while and, though I had started building one, my life and health conspired to keep me from it. After seeing a few site on the Ning network, seeing the resources available and the network’s framework, I decided to build us a home there. Art for Cures is now part of the Ning network and we already have several members there. Looking forward to posting the auctions in the next week and moving forward!

SCRIBBLES, DOODLES, AND SQUIBBLES

We like to hang out in the local bookstores on occasion (read we live there) and I am always on the lookout for new things fir Ysa and I to play with. Not seeing anything I could afford to get this week, or that we didn’t already have, I picked up another Kumon book for Ysa’s homeschool. Ysa and I rummaged around the children’s section a bit and a book accosted me on the way out. Well, it didn’t actually accost me per se, but I am very visual and certain things tend to jump out at me on shelves. In fact when I worked for the bookstores (both BAM and the Noble Barn), I was the one people always came to when they couldn’t remember the name of something. Nine time out of ten I would know it by what the spine or cover looked like and sometimes the “look” of the author’s name.

This time, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was coming home with us.

Scribbles by Taro Gomi is part of a three book series (might be a series, should be) and all three seriously ROCK. The books are almost two inches thick and full of half drawn doodles that you have to finish. It is total creative license, total interpretation, total fun.

…and yes, for those who recognized the name, Taro Gomi also wrote Everyone Poops. hehe

BEING ANACHRONISTIC AGAIN

I’ve rejoined the SCA after a long hiatus and have brought my family with me this time. Val is going Art/Sci, Logan is going heavy weapons, and even my girl is considering it as well since they start youth combat at age seven. She already makes a great shield wall, ran over the last guy. Val has been working on his own medieval chant notation, Logan is making chaine maille again and I have been pouring through patterns and buying fabric in preparation for garb making. It has been way too long since I have been camping so I am really looking forward to it.

Oh, I was also given the honor of being the Shire’s new Web Minister (or Mistress in this case).

My new tagline?

Ana Maria Seaton
ska Ginuivive Alysabaeth Rosewood (Dragonfly or Alysa)
Shire of Amurgorod, Kingdom of Trimaris
“The Dragonfly caught in the Spidered Web.”

Web site for the Shire coming very soon. VIVAT TRIMARIS!

SCRIPTFRENZY

ScriptFrenzy is this month, brought to you by the makers of NaNoWriMo. I toyed with the idea of working on a script I have had in my head for a while now but my time will not allow it. Also, anytime I even consider working on another writing project, my two novels – Moonlight & Shadow and Odonatia – beat me over the head and throw tantrums on the floor begging for attention. My children’s book, Clementine’s Garden, can get away with it though. They don’t beat her up because she is too cute.

WAIT, YOU SAID…ODONATIA!?

Yes I did, you heard me right. Odonatia is fast becoming a novel. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Odonatia is a fiction project I have been working on for about 10 years now. Started as a simple postal issuing authority for artistamps (faux postage), it quickly snowballed (read avalanched) into an epic piece of fiction with real passports, a winery and other goodies coming. Turning very steampunkish. Plans include a daily blog form the island, downloads and other goodies. Looking at a couple of other creative associates that might get involved as well in the future.

ON THE HUSH HUSH

Two major projects going on, one involving my rubber stamp line that is forthcoming, are building up speed and about to take off. Sadly though, and yes I know I am a tease, both are on the “hush hush” right now till I get the okay. I know, stop pouting, I’ll post here as soon as I get the green light. Needless to say both are of incredible proportion and I cannot wait to tell you all.

…well, that is all I can think of for now. (aren’t you glad? hehe) I will be posting scans, photos and a few updates today and over the next couple of days. This week has been a busy one so I have been trying to stay focused and push forward. Hoping this finds you all well and in good creative spirits!

Brightest blessings!

“Abled”, not disabled

My family and I religiously watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition (EMHE). We don’t have cable, by choice, so we stream it via ABC’s site on my laptop. The design crew, the builders that get involved, the thousands of dollars donated by CVS, Sears, and other companies make the show a definite feel-good experience but the families that they help are the true inspiration. Seeing the communities pour out their hearts and their time each build, seeing the emotions on the designers faces and even the contractors, makes us all want to sign up to help for the next build to pitch in and help. (Researching that, we’d really like to.)

I know, I know, there is a lot of criticism over all the commercial hype, the flashing of logos every 30 seconds from the companies who are involved…you know what, who cares? CVS came in and PAID OFF one families medical bills and gave a full ride college scholarship to the father! If they want three seconds of advertising time or their logo to get flashed around LET THEM. More power to them, I think it is fantastic to see someone care enough to get involved. Knowing how much the companies have donated, seeing the extra mile some of them have gone, the contractors included, they have made it a point to actively be part of the SOLUTIONS instead of part of the problems in this world and have earned our support.

The other thing I hear about EMHE is that “they could help so many other people if they donated all that money to charity”. I think what they are doing is so much better though, short and long term. What they are doing is empowering people to make a difference in their communities and inspiring others, like me and my family, to do more in ours. It’s like a virus of compassion and I think it is so much better than just throwing money at someone and hoping it goes to where it should. I think being inspired to ACT and create CHANGE in your life and the lives of those around you is much more beneficial. People donate money to charity everyday (and bless them all for it) but to actually get out there and make something HAPPEN…that’s even better.

Abled, Not Disabled

One of the episodes this week is the story of Patrick Henry Hughes and his family. Patrick was born with no eyes, cannot walk, has limited mobility with his arms yet can play the piano with a depth and beauty that is seldom mastered by the sighted. I was thrilled to get the chance to hear him and share him with my family. Patrick is a complete person, complete and whole and vibrant and he has touched everyone who has come in contact with him. He is a brilliant musician and now, with the help of ABC and EMHE, has his own recording studio so I am hoping to find that he has released a CD. (So far not found one so let me know if you hear anything.) His outlook was amazing and, though I have never met him and most likely never will, he inspires me.

Another inspiration was a local Lexington, Kentucky artist by the name of Jessie Dunahoo. Jessie is 75 year old, blind, deaf, and completely amazing. He loves sewing textures together and makes incredibly tactile pieces of art. ABC had contacted Latitude, a Lexington-based arts organization that works with people with disabilities, for a local artist to contribute to the family’s home and Jessie spends three days a week there. My ex-husband’s family lives in Kentucky so I am hoping we can make a side-trip to Latitiude next trip up. I would love to meet Jessie and tell him how inspiring he has been to me.

We’re Complaining About What?

We all do it. We complain about really stupid stuff. Stuff that we don’t even remember what we were complaining about the next day. There is so much we take for granted, so much we overlook until it is gone and then, EPIPHANY, we wish we’d recognized it at the time.

I’ve been laid up sick for the last few weeks and have missed being able to create; I’ve not even had the energy or inclination to doodle or journal, that’s pretty bad. The littlest things have been tremendous effort, things that I would normally multi-task by the dozen, and yet I really have no right to complain. None. I have friends who battle cancer for their lives every day, friends who are terminally ill…and me, I have a roof over my head, food in my kitchen, Lymphedema to make me appreciate small comforts, and a bed to sleep on at night.

So why do we complain? We’re spoiled. All of us. We have running water, electricity, indoor bathrooms. Some don’t. A lot don’t. And it isn’t just an overseas problem, a problem in someone else’s backyard. It’s here, in OUR backyard. There are homeless HERE and not just because they don’t want to work or would rather get a handout than make the effort. I hear that so much and it pisses me off. You don’t know them, you don’t know their lives, and while, yes, there are some cases out there like that it doesn’t gives us the right to look away and ignore it. It doesn’t give us the right to sweep it under someone else’s carpet and just avoid it till it goes away. That could be you. That could be me. Life is ever-changing and no one knows what comes next. We are all on the same ride and it is up to EACH ONE OF US to help make the journey a little better.

Just One Person

One person, that’s all it takes. When one person makes the decision to GET INVOLVED, to take action, it inspires another to do it too. Pretty soon you have a lot of one person, people, all singularly making the decision to help. That’s all it takes. Inspiration.

One of the people who inspires me is Chelise Stroud Hery, one of the groups is ZNE. A ZNE member, a stranger to most of us, lost her mother unexpectedly and 68 people, SIXTY-EIGHT, showed up and donated art for a collaborative book (yes I am in it) that Chelise put together in FIVE days…my hat is off and my hands are applauding. If more people made the decision to ACT, just get out there and do SOMETHING, I think this world would be a much better place to live in. And they are, I see inspirations online and locally all the time, and it is about time. Technology has lent it’s hand to it as well. The fact that the world is a smaller place with all of us being able to bridge the distance digitally is amazing in itself. (And bless the ones who keep it all working.) So when you get overwhelmed and you think that one small act on your part can’t possibly make a difference…it does to someone, it does to a lot of people.

Spread compassion like a virus. One ripple affects the sea…

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November…

“Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot. “

If you have recently seen V for Vendetta, or if you live in the UK, you might have a clue as to what I’m talking about. Today is Guy Fawkes Day, and “Bonfire Night”, observed all over Britain for hundred of years. More recently, today is celebrated as a kind of ‘don’t believe-everything-you-see-and-hear’ reminder all over the world having been brought to the forefront of our sense by the movie V for Vendetta bringing this national holiday to the big screen.

After watching the movie we just sat there, moved to outrage and that sense of awe that the original Matrix left you with when it first came out. A quote from Harry Potter, of all things, ran through my head, about making “the choice between what is right and what is easy.”

The original comic by Alan Moore, V for Vendetta is hailed as a literary marvel among comics. V’s “speech” (posted below) is not in the original comic, but was placed in the movie for a more eloquent introduction to the character.

For more information about the movie and Guy Fawkes, a very good source can be found here. This site also has a posting of Valerie’s letter. If you have seen the movie you know who she is.

I will leave this posting with some words from V. At one point in the movie, a favorite for fans it seems, V…played BRILLIANTLY by actor Hugo Weaving I might add…took a decided stroll through the world of iambic pentameter with his little “V speech”.


Evey: Who are you?
V. : Who? Who is but the form following the function of what and what I am is a man in a mask.
Evey: Well I can see that.
V. : Of course you can, I’m not questioning your powers of observation, I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.
Evey: Oh, right.
V. : But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace soubriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona.
Voila! In view humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the ???????vox populi??????? now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin, van guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.
The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it????????s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.