Tiny White Flowers

Tiny White Flowers

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hmmm. . .

Girls Investigating Ghosts and the Supernatural. . .

Seen yesterday, in the C. Market parking lot. I'd love to know more!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

Writer's Day - 23 January 2010

Saturday morning had me awake at 6:30, thinking about the day ahead. Writing day for four poet friends, and I was *do* looking forward to it. Out of bed at 7:15, and I spent the next hour + hunting and gathering:

1 pillow
1 leopard print fleece snuggle blanket
1 pr. LLBean boots
1 fleece sweater
fleece slippers
2 journals
2 poetry idea books
laptop and cord
20 flax seed cookies
1 bowl of flour + rising ingredients
green onions and grated cheddar
1 bag of Staci's pita chips
reading glasses, 1.25
various notes and assorted papers

I know there was more. I was like a camel, ready for a trek across the desert. Only, when I arrived at A's house, I stocked a plate with fresh fruit and granola, a glass of OJ, and camped directly on the sofa, my pillow beside me, my laptop on my lap, and the woodstove going. We were ready to write.

There were four of us: me, A, K, and J. K and J supplied us with many wonderful exercises, and if you want to see what we did (not the end results, but the actual exercises), check out K's blogpost for other juicy details.

We began with a few 3 and 4-minute warm-ups, with prompts, then launched into the good stuff. One of our favorites is the anagram poem, where we all chose a word, looked up anagrams for said word, and wrote a poem from that.

The Anagrammer site: http://www.anagrammer.com/

Our anagram word was: "Separately"

Here are some of the words that could be used in the poem:

Paralyse, parley, parsley, tersely, pearly, lately, etc. You get the idea. If you really want to challenge yourself, end each line of your poem with one of the anagram words. Use anywhere from 10-20 words.

Another great exercise was a DIY poem. K copied off a few do-it-yourself instruction sheets, with anything from building a bird house to how to speak in public, changing the subject of the how-to by switching the word. For instance, instead of building a wall, you would change the word to "emergency," but keep the instructions the same. To find some good how-to's, visit Wiki How.

Or, write a poem from a couple of fortunes. Requirement, you must open and eat two fortune cookies before commencing writing.

You get the idea. . . it's a few hours of reaching in to find your creativity. If you feel brave, share your work in between exercises. Remember to stop for lunch, snacks, a yoga break, a walk on the beach. Here are a few photos of our beach walk:

We wrote from about 9:30 until 4:30 or 5, with brief breaks in between. I got 11 pages of stuff to play with now, and a couple of poems that are nearly done. Well worth it! Oh, and remember to have dinner at the end, and enjoy a glass of wine.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Dance!

DD has been accepted by Western Washington University~


And the First College Acceptance is. . .

Okay, so we've got this big white envelope sitting on our kitchen table right now, with the words Welcome to Western in big blue letters on the bottom of it.

It's not addressed to me.

Any parents out there who hold these envelopes up to the window, scrutinize them under the bright stove light, just to catch a phrase or word to let them know what's written inside? Do I open it, and then say, whoops! I opened this by accident? No. I wait. . .

Deep Breath


I've got my hopes in my Otter box,
my lucky Fortune, too,
my Grandmother/Grandfather spirits in my heart and head,
my shallow breaths. . .

. . .and my sincerest gratitude to all my friends. I gather my energy from you~
Thank you.

Now the bud, waiting . . .

Monday, January 18, 2010

Short Trip to Seal Rock

Today it stopped raining by noon. The wind storm that raced through last night (while I was soundly sleeping) cleared the air, and I was able to walk not-so-nimbly over rocks to get these photos, two cameras dangling from my neck. So much water gushing from the earth!

It was a gorgeous day, although it was shortened by the fact that DS forgot his blood sugar kit and insulin pen. I crammed in what I could before making the hour-long drive back home. It all worked out, and I know where I will return to for more photos soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy Birthday (Stevie Wonder)

Happy Birthday

by Stevie Wonder

You know it doesn't make much sense
There ought to be a law against
Anyone who takes offense
At a day in your celebration
Cause we all know in our minds
That there ought to be a time
That we can set aside
to show just how much we love you
And I'm sure you will agree
It couldn't fit more perfectly
Than to have a world party on the day you came to be...

I just never understood
How a man who died for good
Could not have a day that would
Be set aside for his recognition
Because it should never be
Just because some cannot see
The dream as clear as he
that they should make it become an illusion
And we all know everything
That he stood for time will bring
For in peace our hearts will sing
Thanks to Martin Luther King...

The time is overdue
For people like me and you
You know the way to truth
Is love and unity to all God's children
It should be a great event
And the whole day should be spent
In full remembrance
Of those who lived and died for the oneness of
all people.

pride (in the name of love)

pride (in the name of love), originally uploaded by Nmarie.

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come here to justify
One man to overthrow
In the name of love!
One man in the name of love
In the name of love!
What more? In the name of love!

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resists
One man washed on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more? In the name of love!

...nobody like you...there's nobody like you...

Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love...

M.L.K. Lyrics - U2

U2 Lyrics - M.L.K.

Sleep tonight
And may your dreams
Be realized
If the thunder cloud
Passes rain
So let it rain
Rain down him
So let it be
So let it be

Sleep tonight
And may your dreams
Be realized
If the thundercloud
Passes rain
So let it rain
Let it rain
Rain on him


Photo note:

"Coretta Scott King (April 27, 1927 – January 30, 2006) was the wife of the civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.

She was a noted civil rights leader, author, singer, and founder and former president of the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

She is a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal and the Gandhi Peace Prize.

Childhood and education

Coretta Scott was the second of three children born to Obediah Scott and Bernice McMurray Scott in Perry County, Alabama. She had an older sister named Edythe, born in 1925, and a younger brother named Obediah Leonard, born in 1930. The Scotts owned a farm, which had been in the family since the American Civil War, but were not particularly wealthy. During the Great Depression the Scott children picked cotton with their parents to help support the family.

Though uneducated themselves, Coretta's parents intended for all of their children to be educated. She quoted her mother as having said "My children are going to college, even if it means I only have but one dress to put on.” The Scott children attended a one room elementary school five miles from their home and were later bussed to a high school in Marion, Alabama, nine miles from their home. The bus was driven by Bernice Scott, who bussed all the local black teenagers to the Marion high school, as it was the closest black high school.

Coretta graduated in the top of her high school class in 1945 and enrolled at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Edythe Scott already attended Antioch as part of the Antioch Program for Interracial Education, which recruited non-white students and gave them full scholarships in an attempt to diversify the historically white campus. Coretta said of her first college:

Antioch had envisioned itself as a laboratory in democracy, but had no black students. (Edythe) became the first African American to attend Antioch on a completely integrated basis, and was joined by two other black female students in the fall of 1943. Pioneering is never easy, and all of us who followed my sister at Antioch owe her a great debt of gratitude

She studied music with Walter Anderson, the first non-white chair of an academic department in a historically white college. Coretta also became politically active, due largely to her experience of racial discrimination by the local school board. The board denied her request to perform two years of required practice teaching at Yellow Springs public schools, for her teaching certificate. In her early life Coretta was as well known as a singer as she was as a civil rights activist, and often incorporated music into her civil rights work. In 1964, the Time profile of Martin Luther King, Jr., when he was chosen as Time's "Man of the Year", referred to her as "a talented young soprano."

Family life

Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King, Jr., were married on June 18, 1953, on the lawn of her parents' house; the ceremony was performed by King's father. After completing her degree in voice and violin at the New England Conservatory, she moved with her husband to Montgomery, Alabama in September 1954, after he was named pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.

The Kings had four children:

* Yolanda Denise (November 17, 1955- May 15, 2007), Montgomery, Alabama)
* Martin Luther III (October 23, 1957, Montgomery, Alabama)
* Dexter Scott (January 30, 1961, Atlanta, Georgia)
* Bernice Albertine (March 28, 1963, Atlanta, Georgia)

All four children later followed in their parents' footsteps as civil rights activists.

Civil Rights Movement

Coretta Scott King played an extremely important role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Martin wrote of her that, "I am indebted to my wife Coretta, without whose love, sacrifices, and loyalty neither life nor work would bring fulfilment. She has given me words of consolation when I needed them and a well-ordered home where Christian love is a reality." However, Martin and Coretta did conflict over her public role in the movement. Martin wanted Coretta to focus on raising their four children, while Coretta wanted to take a more public leadership role.

Not long after her husband's death, King approached the African-American entertainer and activist Josephine Baker to take her husband's place as leader of The Civil Rights Movement. After many days of thinking it over Baker declined, stating that her twelve adopted children (known as the "rainbow tribe") were " ... to young to lose their mother."

Coretta Scott King decided to take the helm of the movement herself after her husband's assassination in 1968, although she broadened her focus to include women's rights, GLBT rights, economic issues, world peace, and various other leftist causes. As early as December of 1968, she called for women to "unite and form a solid block of women power to fight the three great evils of racism, poverty and war," during a Solidarity Day speech.

Coretta Scott King was also surveilled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1968 until 1972. Her husband's activities had been surveilled during his lifetime. Documents obtained by a Houston, Texas television station show that the FBI worried that King would "tie the anti-Vietnam movement to the civil rights movement." A spokesman for the King family said that they were aware of the surveillance, but had not realized how extensive it was.

Later life

Martin Luther King Day

After her husband was assassinated in 1968, she began attending a commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to mark her husband's birth every January 15 and fought for years to make it a national holiday.

Coretta Scott King was finally successful in this in 1986, when Martin Luther King Day was made a federal holiday.

Coretta Scott King attended the state funeral of Lyndon B. Johnson, in 1973, as a very close friend of the former president, himself a contributor to civil rights

She was present when President Ronald Reagan signed legislation establishing Martin Luther King Day.

Opposition to apartheid

During the 1980s, King reaffirmed her long-standing opposition to apartheid, participating in a series of sit-in protests in Washington, D.C. that prompted nationwide demonstrations against South African racial policies.

In 1986, she traveled to South Africa and met with Winnie Mandela, while Mandela's husband Nelson Mandela was still a political prisoner on Robben Island. She declined invitations from Pik Botha and moderate Zulu chief Buthelezi. Upon her return to the United States, she urged Reagan to approve economic sanctions against South Africa.

Peace, veganism and other political positions

A long-time advocate for world peace, in 1957, King was one of the founders of The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy.

King called her adoption of a vegan diet in 1995 a blessing. Her son, Dexter, had been vegan since 1988, saying that an appreciation for animal rights is the "logical extension" of his father's philosophy of non-violence.

King was vocal in her opposition to capital punishment and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, thus drawing criticism from conservative groups. She was also an advocate of feminism, lesbian and gay rights and HIV/AIDS prevention.

On April 1, 1998 at The Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, King called on the civil rights community to join in the struggle against homophobia and anti-gay bias. "Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood", King stated. "This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group."

In November 2003 in a speech at the opening session of the 13th annual Creating Change Conference, organized by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, King made her now famous appeal linking the Civil Rights Movement to the LGBT agenda: "I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people. ... But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people."

King's support of LGBT rights was strongly criticized by some black pastors. She called her critics "misinformed" and said that Martin Luther King's message to the world was one of equality and inclusion.

In 2003, she invited the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to take part in observances of the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech. It was the first time that an LGBT rights group had been invited to a major event of the African American community. King said her husband supported the quest for equality by gays and reminded her critics that the 1963 March on Washington was organized by Bayard Rustin, an openly gay civil rights activist.

On March 23, 2004, she told an audience at Richard Stockton University in Pomona, N.J, that same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue. King denounced a proposed amendment advanced by President George W. Bush to the United States Constitution that would ban equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. In her speech King also criticized a group of black pastors in her home state of Georgia for backing a bill to amend that state's constitution to block gay and lesbian couples from marrying. King is quoted as saying "Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriage."

The King Center

Established in 1968 by Coretta Scott King, The King Center is the official memorial dedicated to the advancement of the legacy and ideas of Martin Luther King, Jr., leader of a nonviolent movement for justice, equality and peace.

Final days

By the end of her 77th year, King began experiencing health problems. Hospitalized in April 2005, she was diagnosed with a heart condition and was discharged on her 78th and final birthday. Later, King suffered several small strokes. On August 16, 2005, she was hospitalized after suffering a stroke and a mild heart attack. Initially, she was unable to speak or move her right side. She was released from Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta on September 22, 2005, after regaining some of her speech and continued physiotherapy at home. Due to continuing health problems, King cancelled a number of speaking and traveling engagements throughout the remainder of 2005.

On January 14, 2006, King made her last public appearance in Atlanta at a dinner honoring her husband's memory.


King died in the late evening of January 30, 2006 at a rehabilitation center in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, where she was undergoing holistic therapy for her stroke and advanced stage ovarian cancer. The main cause of death is believed to be respiratory failure due to complications from ovarian cancer.

King was 78 years old.

The clinic at which she passed away was called the Hospital Santa Monica, but was licensed as Clinica Santo Tomas. Newspaper reports indicated that it was not legally licensed to "perform surgery, take X-rays, perform laboratory work or run an internal pharmacy, all of which it was doing." It was also founded, owned, and operated by San Diego resident, and highly controversial alternative medicine figure, Kurt Donsbach.

Days after Mrs. King's death, the Baja California, Mexico state medical commissioner, Dr. Francisco Vera, shut down the clinic


Over 14,000 people gathered for King's eight-hour funeral at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia on February 7, 2006 where daughter Bernice King, who is an elder at the church, eulogized her mother. The megachurch, whose sanctuary seats 10,000, was better able to handle the expected massive crowds than Ebenezer Baptist Church, of which King was a member since the early 1960s and which was the site of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral in 1968.

The current and most living former U.S. Presidents and their wives attended, excepting the Ford family, which was absent due to illness, and Barbara Bush, who had a previous engagement. Numerous other political and prominent civil rights leaders attended the televised service.

King was interred in a temporary mausoleum on the grounds of the King Center until a permanent place next to her husband's remains could be built. She had expressed to family members and others that she wanted her remains to lie next to her husband's at the King Center.

On November 20, 2006 the new mausoleum containing both the bodies of Dr. and Mrs King was unveiled in front of friends and family. It is the third resting place of Martin Luther King.

Controversy surrounding funeral

President Carter and Rev. Joseph Lowery provided funeral orations. With President George W. Bush seated a few feet away, Rev. Lowery, referencing King's vocal opposition to the Iraq war, noted the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. President Carter, referencing King's lifelong struggle for civil rights, noted that her family had been the target of secret government wiretapping. Their comments were met with thunderous applause and standing ovations. Some conservatives expressed dissatisfaction with these comments.

King's fight against homophobia resulted in a funeral protest by Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church, who described King as a "fag enabler" because of her support for gay rights. A group called 'Feminist Outlawz' mounted a counter-protest against Phelps' group.

Recognition and tributes

King was the recipient of various honors and tributes both before and after her death. She received honorary degrees from many institutions, including Princeton University, Duke University, and Bates College. She was honored by both of her alma maters in 2004, receiving a Horace Mann Award from Antioch College and an Outstanding Alumni Award from the New England Conservatory of Music. In 1970, the American Library Association began awarding a medal named for Coretta Scott King to outstanding African American wrtiers and illustrators of children's literature.

Many individuals and organizations paid tribute to King following her death, including U.S. President George W. Bush, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Black Justice Coalition, her alma mater Antioch College.

King's body was returned to Atlanta and carried through the streets on a horse-drawn carriage to the Georgia State Capitol as the crowd threw roses at the casket and a lone bagpiper played "Amazing Grace";

Coretta Scott King became the first woman and black person to lie in state at the Georgia State Capitol.. King's body also lay at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church (where her husband was pastor).

By presidential proclamation, flags were flown half staff on February 7, 2006, the day of King's interrment..

The beginning of Super Bowl XL was marked by a moment of silence in memory of King and Rosa Parks, who died the previous year.

A proposal before the Atlanta City Council (as of April 2006) would rename Atlanta's Simpson Street/Road after Coretta Scott King. The road bisects the Vine City neighborhood, a long time residence of Coretta Scott King and, earlier, the King family.

Congressional resolutions

Upon the news of her death, moments of reflection, remembrance, and mourning began around the world. In the United States Senate, Majority Leader Bill Frist presented Senate Resolution 362 on behalf all U.S. Senators, with the afternoon hours filled with respectful tributes throughout the U.S. Capitol.

On January 31, 2006 following a moment of silence in memoriam to the death of King, the United States House of Representatives presented House Resolution 655 in honor of King's legacy. In an unusual action, the resolution included a grace period of five days in which further comments could be added to it.


Mrs. King was not without her detractors, particular concerning the King family's handling of her husband's estate. The licensing of Martin Luther King's speeches has caused concern about the reasoning behind limiting their availability. Mrs. King was also involved in the decision to demand licensing fees before the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity could begin fundraising for its project to build the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial on the National Mall.

[edit] R"

Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This photographer tells us about this piece of art:

"Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

While driving through Morristown, New Jersey, you might consider visiting Saint Margaret Church, located on 6 Sussex Avenue. The Catholic Church was built in 1968 with beautiful stained glass windows. Remarkably, an awe-inspiring window of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is on the right side as your enter from the front. The prominent stained glass window is certainly notable!

The following poem is written in honor of Dr. King and his legacy of striving for equality and peace:

Tribute to a King

Freedom fighter in words of flaming love
Passionate zeal of soul through humbling marches and dreams
Unlocking the gateway to civil liberty
Announcing a legacy of social equality amid hands of joy and unity
Proclaiming peace and harmony on behalf of posterity
Messenger of the Lord into footsteps of Calvary—

By no means forgotten—

Resurrected in spirit and seated among the elect
Hero and saint of God’s heavenly kingdom
Champion of Christianity and Martyr of the 20th Century—
The great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

© Loci B. Lenar

Tribute to a King (Poem) was registered in December of 2003 though the United States Copyright Office with certificate number TXU 1-149-847.

For news connected to Christian unity with biblical insight, please visit the following link: www.christian-miracles.com/drkingasignfromheaven.htm

The image is posted in the photo gallery of NJ.com at the following link: photos.nj.com/photogallery/2009/03/tribute_to_dr_martin_l...

Copyright 2008 Loci B. Lenar


martin-luther-king, originally uploaded by discoverblackheritage.

A beautiful photo of a beautiful person.

Photo note:

"Martin Luther King, Jr., Montgomery, Alabama, 1956

To know more about the African American experience, visit Discoverblackheritage.com, the Black Heritage Travel Guide."

Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., originally uploaded by p-duke.

Photo note:

"salute, on a snowy martin luther king jr day. Ogden, Utah"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crossing My Fingers, Taking a Deep Breath

Roller Coaster 05, originally uploaded by PI (Unresolved).

* * *

Wow. This has been a strange week. In fact, this morning I told my beginning Pilates class that my life is strange, and then I corrected myself and said, "no, actually my life is normal." They smiled, knowing I'd gotten it right.

The term "roller coaster" seems appropriate for the way some days move. That goes, too, for emotions and physical well-being, but I think that goes without saying. My rocky week began with a nice Sunday morning listening to Prairie Home Companion, imagining relaxing further with the crossword, Sudoku, and Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe

But it soon became evident that it wasn't to be, as not everyone in the family felt the same way. Next thing I knew, I was furiously cleaning house, and in tears. I won't explain much, just that the issue of the cat box (what, we have a cat box?) came up, and, well...

Fortunately, the latter of the half of the day was redeemed with a walk on the Buck Lake trails with the whole family of four of us. (See photos from previous post.) And the rest of the week followed suit, which brought us to last night, and pre-college angst from DD, and getting to bed way too late.

A good friend and I talked about being female in the thick of things (I won't elaborate, you just fill in to suit your needs), and having a teen age girl in the house as well. The energy can be staggering, if you think about it.

So, this morning I needed toothpicks to hold my eyes open. I went off to teach my two classes, and went directly home. And, in my email box was a message. I won't say what it was. Maybe not for awhile, anyway. And maybe not ever. Let's just say, I'm hopeful. The roller coaster is heading back up.

Be well.


Photo note:

"A small series of that same roller coaster at "La Ronde" on St. Helens island (Montreal)."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Photos, Dear Abby, Volunteering

Yesterday was not the relaxed day I'd planned it to be. Somehow, cleaning crept into the picture, right before the PHC monologue. And by the time Stuart Mclean came one, well, I was in a tizzy. Fortunately, the day was redeemed halfway through by a walk on the Buck Lake trails, and pizza at Bella Luna: one large half & half Galactic Greek and Cosmic Combo. DH, the kids, and I. It was good.

Here are some pix from yesterday, after it got better:
Lower Hawk's Pond

Lately I've been thinking about volunteering again. I used to help with our church group, and others, to feed some 200 homeless people in Seattle, which I did for about 2-3 years. I miss it, and am thinking I might do something like it again soon. And because my thoughts often coincide with things I read, here's what Dear Abby had to say today:

DEAR ABBY: Many people in the world appear indifferent to human suffering and the serious problems our planet is facing.

I am appalled when I see TV shows about food contests in which mounds of food are piled in front of each contender, who then wolfs down enough to feed five or six people.

Evidently the audience enjoys the spectacle. They cheer and applaud the winner as if he was a hero. Do they never think about the millions of people who are starving? I would appreciate your comments. -- PRAGMATIST IN N.Y.

DEAR PRAGMATIST: No, I doubt they consider that while they are stuffing themselves, others are literally starving, nor have I heard that the sponsors have donated a portion of the proceeds to feed the hungry.

This Thanksgiving my local paper featured a color photo on the front page of a family celebrating at the beach, pulling a large turkey out of a fryer. Below the fold was another one, this of a woman in Sudan, sitting by a roadside, obviously undernourished, trying to sell her only goat so she could provide for herself and her family.

Closer to home, food banks are struggling and American children depend on school nutrition programs for survival, while audiences view eating contests as entertainment. And that's more obscene than any X-rated movie will ever be, in my opinion.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Food for though~

Friday, January 8, 2010

In the News - H&M and Wal-Mart

Saw this article this morning on Yahoo while making my rounds. Sigh. Hopefully this is another good learning opportunity.

H&M and Wal-Mart destroy and trash unsold goods


Cynthia Magnus holds up unworn, destroyed clothing she found in the garbage. Photo by Suzanne DeChillo/New York Times

Cynthia Magnus holds up unworn, destroyed clothing she found in the garbage. Photo by Suzanne DeChillo/New York Times

This week the New York Times reported a disheartening story about two of the largest retail chains. You see, instead of taking unsold items to sample sales or donating them to people in need, H&M and Wal-Mart have been throwing them out in giant trash bags. And in the case that someone may stumble on these bags and try to keep or re-sell the items, these companies have gone ahead and slashed up garments, cut off the sleeves of coats, and sliced holes in shoes so they are unwearable.

This unsettling discovery was made by graduate student Cynthia Magnus outside the back entrance of H&M on 35th street in New York City. Just a few doors down, she also found hundreds of Wal-Mart tagged items with holes made in them that were dumped by a contractor. On December 7, she spotted 20 bags of clothing outside of H&M including, "gloves with the fingers cut off, warm socks, cute patent leather Mary Jane school shoes, maybe for fourth graders, with the instep cut up with a scissor, men’s jackets, slashed across the body and the arms. The puffy fiber fill was coming out in big white cotton balls.”

The New York Times points out that one-third of the city's population is poor, which makes this behavior not only wasteful and sad, but downright irresponsible. Wal-Mart spokeswoman, Melissa Hill, acted surprised that these items were found, claiming they typically donate all unworn merchandise to charity. When reporters went around the corner from H&M to a collections drop-off for charity organization New York Cares, spokesperson Colleen Farrell said, “We’d be glad to take unworn coats, and companies often send them to us."

After several days of no response from H&M, the company made a statement today, promising to stop destroying the garments at the midtown Manhattan location. They said they will donate the items to charity. H&M spokeswoman Nicole Christie said, "It will not happen again," and that the company would make sure none of the other locations would do so either. Hopefully that's the final word. [NY Times][Huff Post]

Hung Liu - Artist

A good artist friend of mine (we were in art school at the U. of Washington years ago), posted this wonderful video on her Facebook page. I found it very worth sharing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday Musings

I'm guessing this post will be short. I'm short on patience, time, energy. In general.

Yesterday was crazed. Well, actually, much of the past week has been crazed. The bright spot was New Year's Eve with friends. We had good friends over, and a friend we don't see often, who lives on his own, and gets feeling a little isolated. So, we introduced them, and the conversations that ensued were quite worthwhile. And, this lonely friend went on his way feeling a little less so.

*** A couple of days later our good friends took him out to enjoy some local improv. It went well. We were happy to hear that.

Okay, it's interesting how just a little writing can often lighten a mood. Just gotta do it more often.

So, back to yesterday. Well, back to last week, Tuesday specifically. We took the car in, as the heater hasn't worked in two years, and the transmission needed working on. We hoped that by taking it in well before New Year, we'd get it back quickly. Not so. Instead of looking at the heating system first, they took it apart to check the transmission, discovered they didn't have a basic part, and next thing we knew we were looking at getting it back the following Monday. Yesterday.

Now, I'm not a car mechanic, and I don't want to go into all the little details on this. Let's just say we hope to get the car back tomorrow evening. Or Friday morning. That way I wouldn't have to miss my poetry group, which might well be my best link to sanity at this point. It's tough being carless. I get to drive DH's truck, which holds 3. We are a family of 4, so that makes things interesting from time to time, like getting three of us to the ferry.

Yesterday our new mattress and box spring arrived. We replaced our old ones of 16 years. I'm not sure how great they are at this point - we still need to go through the breaking in period (the matresses breaking us in, more like), and then we'll decide how good a decision we made. And because of this, I'm not rushing out to claim the "free" camcorder yet. Not till we're sure. I did okay, not perfect, but I think that was partly due to anticipating last night's test run.

So this meant clearing away clutter from passageways leading to the bedroom, removing pictures from the walls of the stairwell, noticing how dirty the walls look and scrubbing them. Vacuuming, vacuuming. Lots of dust collects under a bed. On the good side, I did find the missing bathroom curtain in my stuff, and put that up.

After washing dishes, I settled in to watch PBS's This Emotional Life, which was very engrossing. I missed the first 20-30 minutes, which I gather was an intro of sorts, and the section on anger. I caught up on the reports on anxiety, ptsd, and depression. Interesting that I'd never really though of depression as being a physical disease, with mental effects. Makes sense, as the hippocampus is reduced in those suffering from depression. It seems that some of the meds actually spark cell growth and brain repair. I knew that on one level, but not to the extent of what I learned last night. It was a very engaging, informative program. And, as an anxiety sufferer, one in a seemingly long line of them, it was 'good' to hear, once again, that I'm not alone, and that there are actually things that can help. It was also good to hear again that you don't have to think you should be able to "fix" you condition by yourself, and that it is really okay to rely on help. Having reminders of that, once in awhile, is necessary.

One thing that did really speak to me, even though I've never experienced it, was the different world of two men suffering from ptsd. One, after 30 years (he was in Viet Nam), sought yet another treatment, which, happy to say, worked this time. He was so happy. The treatment? Sessions in which he had to face over and over again his nightmares until he got to the point where he could deal with them in a different light. The other man was younger, had a wife and two little kids, and couldn't hold a job. He would relive the same awful moments over and over as well, but didn't seek treatment. He said he wasn't afraid of facing his visions, but that he wasn't ready to deal with treatment. The first guy wisely said that being macho doesn't get you anywhere. You've just got to let that go, and get the help you need. He said he'd gotten his life back.

To learn more about the program I watched:


and on Facebook:


Oh, and one of my favorite Saturday morning shows on NPR - Car Talk


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Okay, that went on longer than I'd expected! I'm off to make dinner. I feel better now. Thanks for listening~

Friday, January 1, 2010

M. Ward Requiem

Just one more for today: M. Ward Requiem

A video I first saw on a friend's site on Facebook. I love the quality of it~

[Portrait of Robert Burns, Ayr, Scotland] (LOC)

Photo / Artwork note:

[Portrait of Robert Burns, Ayr, Scotland]

[between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900].

1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color.

Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., catalogue J--foreign section. Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Photographic Company, 1905.
Print no. "13092".
Forms part of: Views of landscape and architecture in Scotland in the Photochrom print collection.

Burns, Robert,--1759-1796.

Format: Photochrom prints--Color--1890-1900.

Rights Info: No known restrictions on reproduction.

Repository: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

Part Of: Views of landscape and architecture in Scotland (DLC) 2001703567

More information about the Photochrom Print Collection is available at hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.pgz

Persistent URL: hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsc.07528

Call Number: LOT 13407, no. 017 [item]

Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne, original Scots verse

Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
sin auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie's a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.


Happy New Year!

Well, we made it. And it was good. We celebrated with friends, and spent hours around the kitchen table with good food, canned goods opened and enjoyed, and cordials from the summer uncorked and allowed to breathe. We invited a friend who would have spent the evening alone. We are blessed knowing he now feels more welcomed into this community, that there are others who share his world views, and who enjoy his company. We are blessed with those sorts of opportunities.

And this morning I put together two submissions, one that was sent successfully, and one that is ready to go with the journal's Submissions Manager is back working. Perhaps Monday. No problem - my goal was to get one submission out on the last day of 2009, which I did, and on the first day of 2010. Goal accomplished. My acceptance ratio was slimmer in 2009, and part of that might be due to my choice of journals, and also to the fact that a huge portion of my subs went to book contests.

A few days ago I got a fortune in one of my cookies which foretold of something good. I won't say what it was until I find out what will happen. It's a mystery.

I hope you all were surrounded by love as the Old Year became the New. A sense of resurrection, of rebirth. The circle of life keeping on. My friend who loves to cook made a big pot of beans with sliced sausage and black-eyed peas. Circular things are good luck in Philippine culture. Makes sense to me. She also made a fantastic Brussels sprouts dish, and of course those are round, too. I served pickle slices and round crackers. Before they are cooked, cranberries are little round gems.

A tradition in my family on my dad's side was to eat a New Year fish (sugar) cookie, so DD made the cookies, and I gave them scales and mouths. Some had chocolate chip eyes, and others saw through round red hots.

My cat is happy to have quiet restored this morning, however. She was very "close" today, trying to share the small space of pillow next to me while I read yesterday's comics and attempted the Seattle Times sudoku.

* * *

On a sad note, our Gecko, Sam, passed away sometime between the Old and the New. We will probably bury Sam in the garden outside the kitchen window, which was the view from the terrarium. We'll miss you~

* * *

In closing, a round ornament, for luck. May you all experience goodness this coming year!


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