Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Breastfeeding Cafe

I'll be volunteering for the Breastfeeding Cafe during the month of August. I'm pretty excited about that! I know that many mamas would feed their babies what their babies should have if they had more support. I'd like to help other mama's feed their babies the way nature intended. Nursing my other two was CAKE compared to Ember. I had a LOT of trouble nursing Ember. She was so tiny and pre-term, she had a hard time latching on. Then she got a bottle preference. I cried and cried. Then she "had" to have formula, it made me sick. THEN... we finally WON.

It's hard when you are new. It's hard when it's hard. It's hard when they cry. It's hard when it hurts. It's hard when you work. It's hard when... so many things... but...

IT CAN BE DONE!!! Almost 1000 babies die each year in this country because they were formula fed and not breastmilk fed. This number should be ZERO. No child should go without human milk. Even if it doesn't come from their mothers breasts, milk banks stocked with generous supplies from wonderful donating women should be available. NO CHILD should have to drink formula. The commercial formula industry is making FOOLS OF US ALL while making their wallets FAT!!!!! BOO to artificial feeding!!!

BREASTS were MADE for FEEDING babies!!! (sure they have other great uses too... being the useful organs they are) ;-)

I'll be at the Breastfeeding Cafe on Tuesdays and some Fridays during the month of August. Come see me lactate. Ask me questions. Consider what is RIGHT and what is WRONG.

Rob's House

We call Rob's house, "The Home for Wayward Ravers".
We love Rob. Rob has cool blinky, lighty things in his house and super cool home made ART in his yard.

This is a Merkaba. Oh, and our house in the background. Rob made us a smaller merkaba for our wedding present.

This is a 12 foot tall wind chime that makes me wish I had a yard so I could have one.

Rob also has a TV in his laundry room... 'cuz he has four kids.

Sagan LOVES playing with Rob's kids and LOVES watching Rob's TV and LOVES swinging on his swingset.
Rob has a job, a houseful of kids, a GARDEN, a girlfriend, an active social life and STILL seems to get things done: build art, make sure his yard and house doesn't fall apart, pick up people from the airport, help people hang soon-to-be-dinner deer from the garage beams, come to your wedding in a penguin suit, offer services to teenagers, rebuild an RV for Burning Man... I wish I had a little bit of that energy. And he's NICE on top of it?
I'll say it again:
Rob is the shizzle.

THANKS ROB for letting us squat in your yard for a few days and abuse your hospitality!!!

Next stop? Back to Tooele County. *groan* I wish I was going to Burning Man with Rob. *cries*

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I fixed it

This is Mark! This blogger thing is really nice. It let us fix their layout to show the 500px images I HAD to post this so somebody else doesn't take credit.

PS google hire me, I'll telecommute (blogger is google).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Camping Cats


The cats are home for the day. Scout goes to bed. Script naps and lounges.

Dusk: meow! myow myow myow myow! RAAAW!
Translation: door! yes yes yes yes! let me out!

The cats like to hunt and roam all night. I'd love to have a meerkat manor style camera on these two. I want to watch them be cats.

Every day, home in the morning, out for the evening. They hang around when we start packing up and wait for us to lock them in the camper. There, they sleep while we travel or are gone for the day. They have seen Cabela's parking lot and Rob's backyard. They have been "stuck" in the KOA at Bear Lake and tossed out in Bear Country in Timpanogos. They have been dive bombed by swallows and sneaked up on by snakes.

Script likes to roll in the dirt; she pretends she doesn't want to leave but never runs when it's time to go. Scout likes to yell at you on the trail; making his presence absolute. He doesn't run when it's time to leave, but he might be busy following a field mouse.

They listen to everything. Scout's fur glimmers and Script's eyes sparkle in the sunshine. They sniff the air with their mouth open.


We don't beat them, but sometimes Mark wants to. ;-) Nobody can believe we travel with these cats, but we do.

My cats camp.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Llamafest & Alpine Days

LlamaFest was hot as usual. The llamas were cute as usual. The Lotus Temple was beautiful as usual. Volunteering at llamafest was worth the free t-shirt.

We love the Krishnas...

Happy, HAPPY people.

I love the contrast of these pictures...On one side of the highway in Spanish Fork, Utah is the Krishna Lotus Temple

Directly across the street from....
Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses
I stood in the same spot and turned 180 degrees for those two shots...
Ahhh the diversity of Utah.

We stayed near Diamond Fork for a night before going to American Fork Canyon for three nights.

There was a kid that was killed & eaten last year in this canyon. Sadly, another story of taking snacks to bed with him. In a tent. :-(
I don't think we could PAY Sagan to take food to bed with her when we are up the canyons, much less get anywhere CLOSE to sleeping in a tent. She is deathly afraid of running into bears. I keep trying to tell her that all she has to do is not take food to bed with her and make lots of noise. She doesn't believe me. 

We saw no bears but DID see a young bull moose. By the time we went back to the camper for the camera and binoculars... He was gone. :-(
Lovely canyon.
Mark's commute is still under 1 hour. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My little Artemis...

The blog you are about to read shows my OWN "redneck" side... I don't consider the shooting sports and hunting to be redneck PER SE... and certainly not a white trash pursuit, as guns are usually used in only domestic disputes or pawned for a six-pack in those cases. Regardless, some people believe it to be so. The art came from my deep woods southern upbringing... which hopefully you will all understand that I was taught to be a way of life and sustainability; as well as being taught a great respect for nature and life, including the protection of my own...

Sagan is my little Artemis. She is wild and free. She is brown like a biscuit and her hair is always scattered. Her knees are scraped and her heart is full of love for the animals and nature. She is stealth and observant. She runs with the wolves (or wildcats as the case may be) and feeds the seagulls. She inspects the insects, she protests injustice and is genuinely concerned about global warming.
She takes archery class, which she LOVES and is GOOD at.
I gave her a pocket knife when we first started this adventure. She uses it often.
Today she asked me to teach her to shoot. *hearts*

We used my Daisy single shot pellet gun for this job. I was 6 when my big brother bought me one, she's now 10, but not a minute to late on her "lessons". She asked, therefore, it was time.
I went over the basic points of safety and mechanics. I showed her how to aim and shoot her target. I modeled the action.
Sagan loaded a pellet, pumped 5 times, aimed, squeezed the trigger and.... DING!!! One shot, one kill. Wow. My daughter takes after ME!!!! Second load, aim... DING! Right on! Every single shot made it's mark. She's better than me. I am proud of her talents. I will not worry for her in this world, seems she's going to be alright. :-)

Artemis...Goddess of the Moon

The Moon is the celestial Mother
I am daughter of the Moon
Devoted to Artemis.
My blood is Amazon
My life is Amazon.
Servant to my Nation
and to my Sisters.
I am daughter of the Moon.

Artemis did not consort with or bow to the rule of men.

Artemis-Moon Goddess
Artemis is one of the principle Goddesses of Greek mythology. She was the daughter of the God Zeus and Leto. She was chief hunter to the Gods and Goddesses.

Goddess of hunting and wild animals especially bears.
Artemis was also the Goddess of childbirth, of nature, and of the harvest. As the Moon Goddess, she was sometimes identified with the Goddess Selene and Hectate.

Artemis was a Virgin Huntress; the Greeks called her the Huntress of Souls. She protected the wild places and animals; to her was known the deep places in Nature where one could rest and regain strength. Violence for itself was abhorrent to her, yet she was swift to deal out punishment to offenders, especially those who threatened or harrassed women.

The Amazonian Moon Goddess, she was worshiped at Ephesus, her entire torso covered with nurturing breasts.
Artemis' bow is symbolic of both the crescent Moon as well as of inner self-esteem, of an exquisitely tuned inner tension.

Artemis swore an oath of the Gods, swore by the beard of her father:
"I shall always be a virgin and live on summits of the great Sierras, hunting in the forests: O grant me this"
Her father nodded in approval. Now Gods and mortals call her by her thrilling name, the deer-slaying-hunter, and she is pure of marriage and erotic love.

The Amazons were especially devoted to the Goddess of hunting, Artemis. Granted, Amazons did worship Goddesses associated with hunting and war, but many also appeared to have worshipped other Goddesses as well.

Artemis...Virgin Huntress, goddess of wild places and wild things, the Huntress, Maiden, Bear Goddess, Moon Goddess, Hunter of Souls, shape-shifter. In Ephesus she was called Dea Anna, "many-breasted", and was the patroness of nurturing, fertility, and birth. In Greece she was sculpted as tall, slim, lovely, and dressed in short tunic. Her chariot was pulled by silver stags. She roamed the forests,
mountains, and glades with her band of nymphs and hunting dogs. She acted swiftly and decisively to protect and rescue those who appealed to her for help and was quick to punish offenders .

The Amazons(Moon-women), who were loyal to Her, worshipped one aspect of Artemis(the New Moon phase). As Goddess of the Hunt, she carried a silver bow and was accompanied by a stag and her pack of hounds, the Alani. she could bring destruction but was usually benign. The sixth day of the New Moon was hers. Defender of women who were harassed or threatened by men. Acorns and wormwood were sacred to Her.

Patroness of singers, protectress of young girls, mistress of magick, sorcery, enchantment, psychic power, women's fertility, purification, sports, good weather for travelers, woodlands, the hunt, mental healing, wild animals, mountains, woodland medicines, healing.

I sing of Artemis, whose shafts are of gold, who cheers on the hounds, the pure maiden, shooter of stags, who delights in archery.....Over the shadowy hills and windy
peaks she draws her golden bow, rejoicing in the chase, and sends out grievous shafts.....when she is satisfied and has cheered her heart, this huntress who delights in arrows slackens her supple bow and goes to the great house of her dear brother Phoebus Apollo, to the rich land of Delphi, there to order the lovely Muses and Graces.
The children of Zeus and Leto, she and
Apollo were born on the
island of Delos. Both are associated with the bow. Apollo is said to use the curved bow and Artemis uses the silver bow. She is one of only three who are immune to the enchantments of Aphrodite. A friend to mortals, she dances through the countryside in her silver sandals giving her divine protection to the wild beasts, particularly the very young. She rides her silver chariot across the sky and shoots her arrows of silver Moonlight to the earth below.
Artemis' Familiars/Totem Animals
Wild animals, dog, stag, guinea fowl, hawk, quail, horse, cats, wolf, antelope, bear, bull, deer, goat, bee and unicorn.

Now for something a little more civilized...

Tuesday is always a busy day for us. This week involved archery class for Sagan. She really enjoys it. While she and Forest did that, I took the mounds of laundry to the laundrymat for washing. Easy enough, right? Well, my diapers always take twice as long as the rest of my laundry to dry. Sigh. Well, the NICE ones take twice as long to dry… the old school ones take no time at all. The pros and cons of old school/new school.
Next on our agenda was ARTrageous Tuesday with some of the homeschoolers. Praise the goddess of compassion, Kwan Yin, that we travel close enough to the city to even be a part of these things. We went to the Utah Cultural Celebration Center for an all-local artists sculpture show tour & sculpture activity. Ahh… a breath of fresh air and civility. Even though we live in a camper, I still crave the finer things in life. More about that hierarchy of needs… Art comes from a society that has ample time and after meeting survival needs to MAKE art. Although sometimes it shows the human condition and struggles we all face, sometimes art is just… well… beautiful. It triggers emotions, often brings a sense of well-being. I wonder if the have-nots, in their struggles, if they would take more time to create (or view) art, if they would soften a little? I wonder if it would help in the social problems and/or solving them? Would they embrace life in a new way? Would they find appreciation in the beauty all around them, instead of making their ugly world even uglier? I know that poor quilters of old worked their crafts because they needed blankets and often salvaged old clothing and rags for their beautiful creations. They worked their much needed items with love and care and creativity to make an ordinary household item into an extraordinary one. They were rewarded with warmth AND aesthetic beauty. Anyway… on to the tour….

Simple Yet Elegant Elephant:

One of several animal sculptures:

A horseless carriage horse:

A demon like thing:

This piece was amazing. It was made from fired glass with netting or something fired in with it:

I like the simplicity of this one too. Even in that simplicity, triggers a sense of warmth:

I absolutely LOVED this one. It was probably my favorite... next to the glass one above. Loved it so much, I had to take a few!

Mirror placed under this figure, made for nice presentation. You could then see it from all angles without effort:

Random fragmented face:

And finally, Sagan and Forest doing their own projects with a medium much like plaster of paris/paper mache/clay…

Recipe for VERY HARD, sandable, paintable, non-fired modeling material:
Equal parts of:
Blow in attic insulation (like “cocoon green fiber” brand from Home Depot.) A huge bale costs $8.78
Dry sheetrock joint compound-also from Home Depot. $7.22 for an 18 lb. bag. (45 minute set time is good)
This stuff is a bargain when you price the Dick Blick Instant Papier Mache @ $64.99 for a 20 lb. bag!!!
Mix above ingredients. Add water a little at a time until mixture has the consistency of stiff cookie dough. (too dry is hard to model, too wet will fall off any armature)
A squirt or two of Elmer’s glue for good measure. ;-)

Press firmly onto any armature you have, smoothing as you apply so it bonds together. Cracks will allow for breakage after drying. Allow sculpture to dry thoroughly. You can sand and paint!!!

It's a Dog's Life.

The other morning I was awakened to a woman in the campsite across the way screaming at her dogs, who, for some unknown reason *eye roll* had wandered off. I say screaming... What she was doing was screaming, cussing and THROWING ROCKS at the poor things for "running away". Once she had rallied them up with their tails between their legs and still running from her back to their campsite, she began kicking them.

Ugh. I went out the door and yelled something like, "Hey, you know that kicking your dogs is now a felony in this state!" Her response was, "Why don't you mind your fucking business you stupid hick!!!"
Now I've been called a lot of things... however the pot calling the kettle black was something that was a real mind bender for me... at least in this case. I was pretty much blind with rage at this point. I jumped back with, "hicks are people who kick their dogs!" Yeah, I'm sure that would turn her around to be a loving pet owner... not. "It's none of your business!" She says to me. "You just made it my business by kicking those dogs!"
Pointless argument, as you can see here. They packed up and went away. This bugged me all weekend. Hell, it is STILL bugging me. It made me angry with the locals. It made me angry at the helplessness of the situation. (sure, animal cruelty has been made a felony in this state, BUT... are the local cops going to laugh when I call them? What am I actually supposed to DO in a case like this?) I know what I wanted to do. All groovy lovey peacefulness left me and all I wanted to do was cave this white trash woman's skull in. Yep. I wanted her off my planet. I suddenly have become extremely bigoted and hateful to these "locals". All of my political correctness left the building... I hate ignorant white trash red necks.

There, I said it. No I don't feel better. I had a certain warmness for the locals until that day. Suddenly all my compassion was gone. These people didn't want it better. All the education in the world wouldn't help them. They CHOOSE ignorance. With a large garbage bin 40 feet away, they throw their garbage in the fire pits, bottles, cans, plastic... all of it. They poke at the baby birds in the nests,

they sling-shot the seagulls, they drop cigarette butts all over the ground,

plastic bags to blow around in the wind, park their ATV's in the NO MOTORIZED BOATS reservoir to leave gasoline and oil rainbow slicks in the water. They cuss the neighbors when they are reprimanded for obvious wrongs... Someone help me not hate. Tell me what it takes to live at peace in a world of ignorance and hate. I come from the rural south where there are a LOT of people JUST LIKE THIS. I moved. How can I make a difference in a world that I have little impact on? I can look past people with no teeth (hierarchy of needs) and I can look past someone that didn't breastfeed (lack of support) and I can even look past a cigarette butt on the ground (pick it up or hand them an ashtray) BUT...How does one deal with people like THIS?

There IS a separation of the American Classes... I don't know how to smooth or blur the edges though. After dealing with this woman, I don't know that I want to. I just want to stay VERY FAR AWAY from them. Thus and alas, the cycle continues... :-(

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

100 degree Days

Wow, the days can get away from me quickly! So much happens in the course of a few days, and I keep wanting to share it. Sitting down to write about it takes away from doing MORE of it!!!

The 4th weekend kept us in the water, watching the local town parade, catching crawdads, enjoying time with our friends, contemplating fishing (not actually fishing though ;-) haha) meeting some really interesting people and visits from friends & family. Whew!
Ember got her first taste of overheating. Seems she carries intolerance for heat just like her mama. A really nice local guy fetched us some water and we soaked her down to cool her off. She was red and splotchy and wasn't looking so good.

Let's see... The local 4th of July Parade.

Sagan petting a miniature horse.

This float says, "Abstinence=Independence"

It has two 16 yr. olds up there getting married. I think the message is: "It's better to get married at 16 than to have sex unmarried." Uhm... or something... I'm not sure how abstinence=independence OR how getting married=independence. This float cracked me up on a few levels; that's why I have a picture of it. hahaha It was the county club for the prevention of teen pregnancy. Maybe if it said, "Responsibility=Independence" or "Education=Independence" It might have left me in agreement. I just know that it's an unrealistic approach to humans & sex.

This of course is the Dead Animal Float... No small town parade is complete without a Dead Animal Float.

We met Brian in our campground. We noticed he was uber brown and wearing a skirt and looked pretty hammered. I told Mark that he was obviously on foot/backpacking. I wasn't sure whether he came out of the mountain or off the road, but I knew he looked hungry.

Turns out that Brian is walking, yes I said WALKING from New Mexico to Oregon where he wants to buy some land and live free from Babylon (the modern world). He wears only natural, hand woven fabrics (burlap bag skirt) and eats little more than corn and whole wheat flour. He wouldn't take the backpacking food we offered him, although he did share our tortilla chips with us. He won't accept rides, and won't travel on Saturday. He stayed for a few days resting up and writing and reading. He spoke of physics, and science and religion and many topics.

He was mostly interested in living like Jesus. Best I could tell, he was doing a better job than every Christian I ever met. The county cops picked him up and sent him over here to the reservoir. It's a good place for him to rest up before more traveling through the desert. He said he wanted to go to the library and find the geologic makeup of Oregon. In about 5 minutes we had it pulled up on the internet and printed out for him. He accepted it graciously. He knows that it's next to impossible to get away from "babylon"... in this case, it was very helpful to him; something about calcium in the soil. Conflicted in some ways, very sure in others. Interesting fella, to be sure.

We woke up today to the swallow babies learning to fly.

I'm glad they will be off on their own. Scout would love to eat them all for breakfast. He slept through the flying lessons, he'll have to settle for kibble this time.

We were visited by a wild horse this morning too.

It came down from the mountains and wandered around the fences looking for a way down to the reservoir for a drink. Shaggy mane and lean body, she wouldn't let us near her, she even stomped at me as I tried to get nearer. She did find a way around the fencing and drank her fill. She then wandered back up into the mountains. Coolest thing I've seen in a while. I am wondering where the rest of the herd is. I don't know that they travel alone. This horse was definitely wild and seemingly alone. I wasn't able to get a really good picture, she just wouldn't let us get that close.

A few of the other interesting pictures I've taken this week. I don't know why all of a sudden I have this thing for Macro shots. I'm proud of these though.

I spend a LOT of time using the "flyspanker" on these. I hate 'em.

The Gulls Like these.

Utah State Bird=The California Gull

The locals call them "rats with wings". I still think they are a sight to behold.

We are loving the reservoir, but will probably move at the end of this week.
We will be back. We like it here A LOT. It's just about time to change scenery for a while. I'm going to miss that water.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Today, as we were beading 4th of July jewelry to sell in the campground, Sagan asks out of the blue, “Should I stop asking questions about life, and just start living it?”
Needless to say, I was floored.
I asked her, “Well, what are the benefits of asking questions?”
She said that when you ask questions, you learn more and more, and it might give her a clue as to what her purpose is, and why she is here.
I asked her, “What are the negative aspects of asking questions?”
“I might just worry and not enjoy ANYTHING. I'm just afraid of taking the wrong path."
I explained that most paths do not dead end, and that you can ALWAYS change course if you don't like where it's going.
I told her that maybe there was some kind of balance in there somewhere. That her “purpose” today may be different from her “purpose 10 years from now. I told her I never saw any wrong in asking questions, but I saw nothing wrong with “just living” either, because in “just living” many questions are answered. Sometimes even things you didn’t know you wanted to ask, you find answers to.
What a deep mind for a 10 year old. I see her doing amazing things.