Thursday, October 28, 2010

TRick-o-treat for Unicef

You know how it is: you don't want your own children to eat all that candy they pick up on Halloween. So, why hand   out candy at all?
Do something good for children of the world. 

Support Unicef campaign to purchase clean water!
Have your children collect coins for Unicef.
Go to any Toys-R-Us store, or search Unicef on line for stores where collection boxes are distributed, and arm your children with a good cause.

When they get back home, offer them fruit and fresh veggies to celebrate their success!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Signs of the time.

It's campaign season!
Signs are appearing on many lawns, even in places with no lawns.

Here, in Oregon, we already have our ballots. We vote by mail and we, hubby and I, and our daughter and her hubby in the next county, have attended debates and fundraisers, rallies and presentations.  We are ready to cast our votes today.

The actual deadline is not until November 2nd. But why wait?

The choices are clear for us.
Do people actually wait until Nov. 2nd to make up their minds? Do people actually study issues and listen to debates? 

How do people really choose?

I do know that even my youngest child is ready to vote.
I guess we must have done something right as parents.

Do vote.
Even if you are disgusted with the choices. Make a choice. 

Don't let others steal our right! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Do not go gentle..."

Memoirs are not for wimps!

They are the last word of dying men.
They stand for eternity, trees planted on firm ground, overlooking the abyss.  Memoirs are the last will and testament of those who are brave enough or crazy enough to take pen in hand and committ their thoughts to paper, to eternity.

Or so I thought!

Lately, I've been reading memoirs written by twenty-something, people who have had about a fourth of their lifespan behind them.  They wrap up their experiences  in a big fat ribbon and call Julia Roberts to play them on the big screen.  Julia will evoke all sorts of personalities from all the movies she has done, and voila', we have a rich banquet of characters to satisfy all hungers.

I believe President Carter's White House Diaries and his memoirs are the words of a man who had a presidency that was misunderstood, or over-critical. Why, even his party was fighting him.  Yes, he needs to set the record straight, explain himself, explain the situation he found himself in, explain the country at that juncture.

Memoirs are as real as the photographs we take. The background, what came before and after, what is not illuminated, these are elements manipulated by the writer.

A memoir like Stephen Elliott's The Adderall Diaries adds another layer to the mix.  It is a self-study: "This book (is) functioning as an external memory I go over every day."  (p.102)
Memoirs are more important to the writer than any thing else he/she writes.  Memoirs pin down experiences and feelings revisited and re-interpreted.   An impressive process!

Everything we produce is a part of us.  Memoirs are the most transparent.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day: Water.

This is Garrison Lake, a freshwater lake fed by numerous streams of pristine beauty smack in the middle of Port Orford, between main street and the Ocean.  To the South, is Hubbard Creek,  our main water source.  To the North,  the Elk River sports some of the best fishing in the West.

It rains six-eight months here.
We are water-logged most of the time.

But this town has a  dirty little secret.

Our municipal water, after it's processed and stored, is lost by 50% before it reaches its residents.  Our delivery system is ancient, leaky, broken.  Our pipes need repairing before the town can grow and prosper.  We have had this problem for a long time.

To replace this infrastructure the town needs to float bonds or tax its one thousand inhabitants, most of whom are part timers, vacationers. Nobody wants to take on a debt of fourteen million dollars to repair the water system. Everyone wants an easy,  inexpensive solution. 

We have water. We just can't deliver it!

There are many towns like ours up and down the coast, in remote areas, in places that once were bustling with fisheries or saw mills.  Many of these towns no longer have fisheries or saw mills.  Without jobs and commerce, these towns have dried out.  Their tax base cannot take on major changes. Now, most of them are havens for retirees looking for peace and natural beauty. Retirees, usually on fixed income, do not vote for bonds or taxes.

Clean, potable water is the first thing a town needs to deliver.
When this need is neglected, we can't survive.

For discussions and articles on water and other environmental issues visit:
This was written for Blog Action Day October 15, 2010.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Foreclosed in America.

Sign on the door: “Per me si va”*

The road was paved with gold and precious stones

At every step a sign, don’t look behind!

Everyone, get your chance, come to our shores

Move to America.

The words spoke of freedom and vast prairies

Wild rivers, new horizons

Land-a-plenty, with no fences

Discover America.

We rode toward Paradise, toward Zions

And all the way out West

Following Lewis and Clark and many moons

Settling in America.

Wife, children, a cabin milled before winter rest

Heartaches, lost limbs, broken bets

Woods to conquer, nests to upset

Making it in America.

When husband’s hand was amputated

And a medical debt cleared the house

And the horses, and all our future gutted

While fully mortgaged in America,

All the signs were in a strange prose

No art or science helped, no music or history

Not even Braille, Hebrew or Morse.

The only way to be American.

I knew nothing of promissory notes

Just things I could eat, carrots and cabbage

And a language without Kings and Toads.

Who knew I’d be foreclosed !

In America?

*Dante, Divine Comedy

Sign at the Entrance to Hell

“Through me is the way to…”



Friday, October 8, 2010

Life's full of Surprises!

These beauties were planted last May, papaveri from Italy, poppies of rich-red splendor.  All spring plantings, in the Northwest weather of 2010 became molded or eaten by slugs. My garden was planted three times with vegetable starters and seedlings.  Even then, I have very little to show for all that money and work.

When I saw these Italian seeds on the rack at 101 Nursery,  I took them home with hope.  I chose an elevated spot next to a struggling fig tree.  I know, what is this obsession with Mediterranean fruit and flowers?  I know, I can't resist  lemon, orange, fig and persimmon trees, even if   70 degrees is our hot spell.

 I'm hopeful!

The lemon trees developed scabby infections, were treated and re-treated, but I still lost two of them.  The fig trees are barely showing signs of life. The persimmons have died once, and have resurrected from their roots, showing promise.

These beauties, however, these stunning Poppies remind me of the wheat fields back home in Italy, where hundreds of them appear year after year among the golden heads of wheat, swaying with the wind, pulling your eyes to the fields.

I'm glad these beauties are mine for now.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Our next car? Not!

Saw this at the Cranberry Festival in Bandon.

Can you believe the gumptions of this owner?  Right here, among environmentalists, folks who  hug trees, burn trash with permits, are the first to establish bottle recycling,  set up Marine Reserves voluntarily,  set up fishing quotas and land management guidelines. 

A Wilderness Assault Vehicle at a Cranberry Festival?

Seriously, he is lucky to leave the parking lot with his scalp on!