Sunday, January 27, 2008


In January of 1969, on a Saturday actually, right about this tme of the month it started snowing. And when it was done sometime on Sunday, we had about three feet of snow. And Eugene shut down for a week. Hell, we didn’t even have snowplows. It does not snow that much in this neck of the woods. The snow not only shut down the schools it shut down the U of O. Lucky for me I went home that Saturday, so I didn’t get stuck in the dorm with my bored out of their skulls room mates. Yeah, the students were there, but the instructors couldn’t get in. To make things even more interesting my kid sister came down with the measles. It was an interesting week.


We sort of lucked out this time. It started raining yesterday morning. And it rained, and rained, and rained. Lucky for us, it didn’t start snowing until about five this morning. When all was said and settled we had about five inches. It never went below freezing though, so once it stopped the snow came off the lines and trees. Once it quit early this afternoon I was able to get seed, nuts and suet out for the birds and they were busy all afternoon.


Right now I’ve got my fingers crossed. As long as it doesn’t get too cold, I can get to work in the morning. Sometime. I’ll get there when I get there. And they’re talking about rain and show showers all week. Which is very unusual around here. Last January we got almost now rain at all. And here it is less than a week until the beginning of Celtic Spring. Imbolg starts on February 2nd. Ah, we shall see what the week brings.


Oh, and I was out this morning doing the first get the snow off the shrubs before they're squashed routine, I heard this squealing sound from across the street. The neighbors' youngest is a little boy about two years old. He had the front door open and he didn't have a stitch on. The door closed really fast. Careful kid, you'll freeze something important before you know it's important. LOL


It rained all day yesterday. It rained all night. It was still raining when I was up about five. I woke up to this.

And this.

And a very worried Bandit. What's wrong with my world? It's all white out there. FIX IT! Sorry kid. I can move it, but I can't make it go away.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


It’s still January in Oregon and raining like a son of a gun. Great choice, dry but cold or a little warmer and wet, wet, wet. So it’s time to start planning for the yard. So it’s time to put away the political history for awhile and concentrate on the yard. Gotta plan now, can’t do much digging until March or maybe April. Especially since it’s been so wet. Trouble is, if you wait until you think it's time to do something, it's too late and you're playing catch up all year.


We plan to pull the roses. They’ve been in that one garden since we moved in and that’s over thirty years ago. They are looking might puny. So pull out the variety store specials and replace them with a couple of really good ones. There are some interesting companion flowers that can be planted with them. Delphiniums, daisies, lavender, alyssum, there are some good possibilities. I think we’re going to put a climbing rose on one of the trellises, something else on the other (not sure what) and string the beans between the trellises and the fence.


I’ve been leafing through a book called The Northwest Herb Lover’s Handbook by Mary Preus. She has some really good ideas for themed herb gardens and some good directions on preparing the beds and what goes well in each location. It isn’t all going to happen this year. There is also a small selection of recipes, some fantastic photos and detailed backgrounds on about fifty herbs that grow well in this part of the country. The descriptions include how to use them in cooking and for healing. Surprising how many common plants from dill to lavender to thyme that not only smell and taste good but can help keep you healthy as well. I’m looking forward to being mom’s garden apprentice.


This rose is called Don Juan. It's a dark red climber. But they don't show the foliage, darn.




And this one is called Compassion. It looks pink in the picture but the description describes shades of apricot, copper and gold.



So, I guess a trip to the Rose Gardens near St. Paul is in order around Memorial Day. It's a beautifully shaped bloom, but I guess I'd like to see it doing it's thing before we plant it. Either that or somebody got their pictures mixed up. If this isn't what the website says it is, then I want to know, because it's really pretty.


Oh, and the pictures are from The Heirloom Roses website. They have some beautiful gardens, too.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I don’t want to bore anybody, but occasionally I want to revisit something I wrote earlier. And find that I can’t say it any better than I said it the first time. I can’t believe I posted this almost two years ago. Time seems to fly whether you’re having fun or not.




Two sets of documentaries produced by Jacques Cousteau have been released on DVD. Cousteau Odyssey and Explorations in the Pacific. They take their place with Attenborough’s Living Planet, Sagan’s Cosmos, and Bronowski’s Ascent of Man as the ultimate in reality TV. I admit I have to admire the ad folks skill in packaging programs that are basically staged and convincing us that it’s “real.” But, hey there are centuries of precedent to draw from. After all, the oral and written traditions that came out of the Middle East have been packaged and sold to convince us that they contain the only “truth” about anything and everything.


At least the Hindus understand that there is one Truth with many faces and you worship the representation of God/dess that you are closest to. This doesn’t mean that Hinduism got it all right. Just this one piece of the puzzle. There’s still enough prejudice and discrimination to go around. Mix radical Hindus and radical Muslims, both pushing each other’s buttons with demonic precision, and the results can be and often are explosive. I really don’t know where some the radical Creationists got the idea that the Adversary has time to fake geological evidence supporting an ancient Cosmos. He’s got too many other fish to fry. To many shoulders to sit on whispering “be afraid, stay afraid, you’ll be safer that way.”


I hauled out Joseph Campbell’s Mythos this weekend. One statement from the series has always stuck with me. That Yahweh’s biggest mistake was believing that he was God. Not the best understanding of one group of people had of one face of God but IT, the ULTIMATE, the only GOD. And we’ve been sold this bill of goods ever since to keep the existing power structure in place.


The radical message of love, respect and the Oneness with the true God/dess was co-opted, caged, and made to serve the powers of this world. When you realize the power structures in the world Jesus was born into you understand just how radical the message he brought was. In a world of patronage, slavery and oppression he dared to say that chains could be broken. That the Creator/ress what everywhere, in everything and everyone. That spirits could soar and sing. It wasn’t a question of whether the newest prophet of the truth behind all the masks would be silenced, but how and when. It didn’t take long the clip the spirit’s wings; mute the song and tuck it safely back in its cage.


Funny thing about cages though. The flying feathers grow back, the door gets pried open and every so often the spirit slips out and takes wing. No matter how many fingers the little Dutch boys from the Vatican, Mecca, the various synods and other power groups keep sticking in their cracking dikes; she soars and sings.



In a way this ties into an earlier posting about evangelical pastors breaking ranks and adding concern for the environment to their preaching. When pastors like Joel Hunter started speaking out a couple of years ago the likes of Jerry Falwell had the gall to suggest that their “salvation” might be in question. Calling all Dutch boys; the cracks in the dikes are getting bigger.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Picture is from my Starry Night Backyard program. Best approximation I could come up with for the drive home last night. Granted there's no mountains and not nearly enough trees.

The last couple of days have been clear and cold. Clear enough that I wished I had my camera with me on the drive home last night. Highway 99 runs north/south and the drive home is south bound.

On the trip home I had the sun going down on my right and a huge full moon rising on my left. I got my first glimpse of the Three Sisters in about two months. There’s a gap in the surrounding mountains, so you can see the much taller dormant volcanic peaks even though they’re a good sixty or seventy miles away. I could also see the snow covered lower peaks that surround the taller mountains. It was a beautiful, if very chilly, sight. And a reminder that if those three weren’t dormant, seventy miles away is really next door.

This morning was cold and still clear so I had the moon to watch all the way to work. I think I  get moonrise and moonset like this maybe once a year. If that often. 

At least one or two more days of clear and relatively cold. Cold for this part of the country anyway. It's supposed to be 19 tonight. Need some cold weather to cut down on the bug and snail population. At least a little.

I am not complaining, I know some of our J Landers are in parts of the countrywhere temps like 19 are the highs not the lows.


Sunday, January 20, 2008


Galaxy M51, visible just south and west of the last star on the Big Dipper's handle.

While I find much to sympathize with the pastors I described in my last entry, I suspect that there are a lot things we would not agree on. We may be in the same library, but I don't think we're quite in the same book. You see, I don't believe that God/dess and Creation are separate. Creator and Creation are one and the same. So if there is no difference between Creator and Creation, where do we stand? And if we are all part of the Creator, why do we treat each other like shit?

This was written by Rae Beth, who wrote The Hedge Witch.

I am the gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man

Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal;

and beyond death, I give peace, and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before.


 Nor do I demand sacrifice, for behold,

 I am the Mother of all living, and my love is poured out upon the earth.

I am the beauty of the green earth,

     and the white moon among the stars,

     and the mystery of the waters,

     and the desire of the heart of man.


Call unto thy soul, arise, and come unto me.

 For I am the soul of Nature, who gives life to the Universe.

 From me all things proceed, and unto me all things must return;

     and before my face, beloved of Gods and of men,

     let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite.


Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth;

     for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.


Therefore, let there be beauty and strength,

      and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.


And thou who thinketh to seek for me,

     know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knoweth the mystery;

     that if that which thy seekest thou findest not within thee,

     thou wilt never find it without thee.


For behold,

I have been with thee from the beginning,

      and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.




The Weather Channel has a feature called Forecast Earth. They do stories a lot of stories but the emphasis is on climate change and problems caused by drought, water shortages and the like. One of the stories this week featured two of nearly sixty evangelical leaders who have dome togther to support the Evangelical Climate Initiative. They include pastor of mega churches, scholars, a fairly wide range of church leaders. I was able to find a link to an interview with one, Joel Hunter, who pastors a large church near Orlando Florida. These church leaders see caring for the environment and the people in those environments as part of their ministry. That they’ll have to account to God for their action or inaction. The Orlando Weekly had an excellent interview with him that was published a couple of years ago.


What was really interesting was the recorded reactions of evangelicals who don’t agree that climate change is a pressing problem. Honestly, as much as I think that these folks are sadly mistaken I would like to know how much editing was done for the program. Because these guys sounded so lame. Especially the “God promised after the Flood that he wouldn’t do it again.” Well, yeah, he did. Didn’t say anything about preventing us from doing to ourselves. Frankly, after listening to some of these people I was starting to wonder where the pods were hidden. They sounded that out of touch with what's happening in the world.


And there was the dorky guy with the nerdy glasses and the philosophy degree who really didn’t see why a few degrees increase in temperature was such a problem. For cryin’ out loud where have you been for the last five years.


Since the seventies and the rise of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority and Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition the term evangelical has been co-opted by the most conservative wing of American Christians. I’m sure that there are a lot of things that these pastors and I would not agree on. But, we’re finally hearing other voices. That being pro life foes beyond being anti abortion and pro business. It’s always amazed me that when it’s time to change business practices to help the environment it might cut into profits and hurt the poor and shouldn’t be done. But when corporations outsource jobs concern for the poor is nowhere to be found. When corporations like Monsanto attempt to patent seeds and tell farmers "you buy your seed from us, period" I see no concern for anything but the bottom line.


Hopefully we're seeing a new generation coming on line in time to do some good.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Another little bird visting this afternoon. Even tinier than the goldfinches. They're usually insect eaters but they were hitting the suet cakes.

Busy little feathered fellows enjoying themselves. A pleasure to see them. e'll have to keep things supplied this week, they're predicting weather even colder than we've been having, but without the fog. Please without the bloody fog.


Had a flock of little newbies in the yard this morning. They are so tiny, maybe a little over four inches long.

There are only spots for two at a time. But they do check out the other feeders too. But this is a totally remarkable shot if I do say say. To actually catch the wings in flight.

I do believe these are lesser goldfinches. They are so tiny. And they flit around so quickly. There'll be a dozen one moment and non  the second, and then they're back.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Pumpkin’s meme from Carpe Diem-Sieze the Day

1.   What is your name? Jacklyn Sue Heaton.  Which translates out to Jackie at work and Sue to family.

2.   How old are you? I could say “old enough to no better” actually just turned 58.

3.   Where are you from? Born in Eugene, Oregon, raised in Oakridge, moved back to Springfield in ’68. Springfield is just across the river from Eugene. Haven’t gone far.

4.   Do you smoke? No

5.   Do you drink? Alcohol, no. Don’t care for the taste. Do drink tea and the odd cup of coffee.

6.   Do you have a family?  Please explain, if yes. Depends on how you define family. There’s my mom. I have two sisters and they both are both married. I have five nephews.

7.   What are your hobbies? Reading, computers, photography, baking, knitting.

8.   What is your favorite ice cream? Chocolate, I didn’t know there was another kind.

9.   What is your favorite animal? Cats. I like dogs too, but cats use litter boxes and they don't have to be walked. That comes in very handy this time of year.

10.  Do you wear glasses? Yes, since fourth grade. Can't see past the end of my nose, literally. Finally graduated to bifocals last year.

11.  What nationality are your ancestors from? Mixed bag. Scotch, Irish, English, Welsh and German.

12.  What color is your hair? Was brown, now silver gray and brown

13.  What are you wearing now? Bathrobe and slippers

14.  What is your favorite color? Dark blue. The dark blue you see in the sky after sundown.

15.  What teacher do you remember most from your childhood? That’s a toughie. I was lucky, and had a lot of good teachers. Probably Mr. Egink. He was my eighth grade science teacher. Good teacher but he was very tall and had a very deep voice. And he had us all well and truly buffaloed for about the first week. That’s when we discovered he was really a big teddy bear.

16.  What are your pets and their names? Three cats. Lucky, Misty and Bandit.

17.  What is your favorite food? See the entry about ice cream. Anything as long as it’s chocolate.

18.  What is your job? I work for a large car and RV dealership. I’ve finally decided what I really do is herd paper. Lots and lots of paper. Lots and lots of paper.


Thursday, January 17, 2008


This week's Oregon Field Guide reminded me of one this state's little known treasures. And an answer to that so called Creation Museum back in Kentucky. If you have a fast enough computer hookup I believe you can watch the video on the website. They have a new feature this season that has streaming video of each episode.

Anyway, it's the John Day Fossil Beds in Central Oregon. There is a newly created National Monument interpretive center with displays of mammalian fossil finds. Apparently the John Day area has one of the best fossil treasure troves in the country if not the world. At least for animals living between say twenty to thirtyfive to forty million years ago. They were caught in the periodic ash flows from the many volcanic mountains and fissures. If you're ever out this way, stop by and be amazed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


We take two newspapers and sometimes I wonder what universe some the special editors are hanging out in or what they’re sniffing. It must be some seriously good shit or a galaxy far, far away.

It’s morning (well, it’s not morning now, but it was when I read the paper) in western Oregon and it’s January. The temperature outside is about thirty degrees, give a take a couple. It’s dark. It’s foggy. We’ve barely seen the sun in days. And when it does come out we’re lucky if it hits fifty degrees in the afternoon. I feel like a mushroom. And what does the food section offer me as an alternative to my nice warm oatmeal with cinnamon, raisins and blueberries? A beautiful, icy, cold, fruit smoothie.

I’m still shivering. And hey, chucklehead. Do have any idea what frozen fruit goes for in the store? Yes we have frozen blueberries in our freezer. That’s where the berries in the cereal came from. They were delicious. Especially after they thawed out and warmed up. We grew them. If we hadn’t grown them we would have bought them last summer and froze them. Same for the blackberries, strawberries and raspberries. And I’m not wasting those precious Oregon berries in a blender. Sacrilege.

I’ll save the smoothie (good use for the culls) for August. For mid afternoon when it’s about sixty degrees warmer outside and the sun is shining.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Finally, a break in the weather. It rained through most of December and we've had four inches already this month. This part of the northwest is one big soggy bog. It does look like we're going to get a break for a few days. In spite of the gloom there are few things breaking through or haven't given up.

The evergreen huckleberries are putting out their first buds. Some very nice red buds.

The winter pansies are still hanging in there. Even if they are lookiing a little weather beaten and a little rough around the edges.

The bergenia is one of the first bloom in the springs. Putting out a few buds even in the middle of January. Saw the first of the tulips peaking through the ground. Sort of a tentative bit of leaf peaking through to see if it's safe to come up. A few sunny days and the crocuses will start to peak through too. Not before time. There was actually a little tornado up Vancouver Washington ay last week.

Monday, January 7, 2008


On the down side it’s been chilly, rainy and sort of snowy. At least we haven’t been flooded out or blown away. Several other journals have posted this meme, it’s kind of fun. And a little hard. Sometimes it’s hard to just find one word. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />




1. Where is your cellphone? Buffet

2. Boyfriend/girlfriend? Neither.

3. Your Hair? Graying.

4. Your Mother? Gardening.

5. Your Father? Deceased.

6. Your favorite thing? Books.

7. Your dream last night? Forgotten.

8. Your favorite drink? Tea.

9. Your dream car? Running.

10.The room you're in? Livingroom. (ok, might be two words)

11. Your Ex? None

12. Your fear?  Heights

13. Your favorite number? None

14. Where were you last night? Bed.

15. What you're not doing right now?  Working!

16. Muffins? Cranberry.

17. ?   Huh?

18. Grew up in?  <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Oregon.

19. The last thing you did? Typed.

20. What are you wearing?  Bathrobe!

21. Your TV?  On.

22. Your Pet or Pets? Cats.

23. Your Computer? Laptop.

24. Your life?  Lived.

25. Your Mood? Contemplative.......

26. Missing Someone? Sisters.

27. On Your Feet?  Slippers.

28. Your car? Faithful.

29. Your Work? Regular.

30. Favorite Flower? Lavender.

31. Like someone? Single .

32. Your favorite color? Navy.

33. When was the last time you laughed? Now.

Of course it would be hard not to laugh when watching MASH reruns.