Anna Deavere Smith

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I just finished reading Anna Deavere Smith’s book letters to a young artist.  I really, really liked it.  There is a quote I would like to share from the second to last letter, entitled The World Is Your Lab:

“As you go on this journey, BZ, I cannot promise safety.  I can try to help bring you to a kind of artistic leadership.  And that calls not for safety, but resilience, and breaking molds when you can.  It calls for absorbing this fractious world, absorbing it, sifting through it in your dreams, in your subconscious, in less than obvious ways, and giving it back to a viewer or an audience so that they see the cover of the newspaper differently.”

 

I think this quote really sums up her message of the book.  And I think it’s really what being an artist-of any kind-is.

2017

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Whoa.  It’s really hard for me to believe that it’s already 2017.  I can remember last January so clearly!

Anyway, a brand new year.  What will come this year?  Brand new opportunities, brand new insights, joys, imaginings and changes.  Hope fully those changes will be mostly for the good…

Here, it was gloriously sunny and in the mid 40’s.  A great start to the new year.

I love the new year, January is so nice because you have the entire year ahead of you!  It’s so new!  That’s what’s so inspiring.

This morning, I sneezed.   My mom said “bless you” and I thought, my first sneeze of the year and the first time my mom said “bless you” to me.  Weird thing to think, probably.  😛

This morning I started out doing two loads of dish washing!  Which I never do. I think it was a good productive start to the day. 🙂

Happy 2017!

Happy Holidays!

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Wow, it’s been so long since I posted anything!  Frankly it’s because I haven’t thought of much to say.  I’ll try to give a general update though.

Our animals are good.  Gracie, our calf is getting very large and is so cute!  Meg, her mother, is cranky for no apparent reason other than the fact that it’s winter and she doesn’t have grass to eat.  Maybe also the fact that she is a cow.  ha.  The chickens are good, venturing out because it’s been warmer.  the cat and dog are well.  The dog was outside last night and I heard her yelp.  Later on, we noticed that she has a cut on her leg, but she can reach it with her tongue, so she’ll be fine.

A few days ago we watched Star Wars: A New Hope.  It was my first time seeing any Star Wars.  I liked it.  The first part to that particular one was rather dull, but the second part was much better.

Been reading a lot.

Under the Egg & Gallery by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce

Catherine Called Birdy & Mathilda Bone by Karen Cushman

 

Well, Happy Holidays!

 

 

The Safety Pin Movement

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You may have seen someone wearing a safety pin.  Maybe it was a small one pinned to their jacket, or maybe they had on a very large safety pin, hung around their neck on a chain.

The reason for this sudden interest in safety pins, is based off of something people in the UK did after Brexit.  People wore a safety pin to show their solidarity with refugees and other scared parties of people.

In this time after Donald Trump’s election, many have taken up the safety pin again.  You do not need to be saddened by Trump’s election, you do not need to support Hillary Clinton, you do not need to be old enough to vote, to wear a safety pin.  As long as you support what the safety pin stands for: solidarity with those who are scared, those who will be negatively affected by Donald Trump’s presidency, those who are immigrants, those who have experienced hate speech or hate crime because of Donald Trump’s election.  To show that you are not racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic.

Wearing a safety pin, means that you are a safe person.  If you stand with all those things above, please wear a safety pin.  It is a wordless token, that you are safe.

Thank you.

 

To read more:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/fashion/safety-pin-ally-activism.html?_r=0

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/safety-pin-trump-brexit_us_58251b53e4b0c4b63b0c11a9

Concession Speech

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I like the William Faulkner quote Tim Kaine used at Hillary Clinton’s concession speech:

“They kilt us, but they ain’t whupped us yit.”

 

I liked the whole speech actually.  In my opinion Hillary definitely is not a sore loser and she seemed just as fired up to continue her career, in spite of this set back.

My take on it is that, yes, it’s a set back, but it also is a learning experience.  As Hillary said in her speech “So my friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary, let us not lose heart, for there are more seasons to come. And there is more work to do.”

This is a time to continue our fight, renewed because we tried our best.

 

 

You can see Hillary Clinton’s full speech here: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/09/politics/hillary-clinton-concession-speech/

Poems

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We have been enjoying this lovely poem by Robert Frost:

A Drumlin Woodchuck

A Drumlin Woodchuck
One thing has a shelving bank,
Another a rotting plank,
To give it cozier skies
And make up for its lack of size.
My own strategic retreat
Is where two rocks almost meet,
And still more secure and snug,
A two-door burrow I dug.
With those in mind at my back
I can sit forth exposed to attack
As one who shrewdly pretends
That he and the world are friends.
All we who prefer to live
Have a little whistle we give,
And flash, at the least alram
We dive down under the farm.
We allow some time for guile
And don’t come out for a while
Either to eat or drink.
We take occasion to think.
And if after the hunt goes past
And the double-barreled blast
(Like war and pestilence
And the loss of common sense),
If I can with confidence say
That still for another day,
Or even another year,
I will be there for you, my dear,
It will be because, though small
As measured against the All,
I have been so instinctively thorough
About my crevice and burrow.

Mahatma Gandhi

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My mother and I just discovered this very interesting website/blog http://www.becomingamish.net                                                                                           written by Jeff Smith, who also wrote the book Becoming Amish.  About a modern family who decides to convert to the Amish way of life.  I haven’t read it yet, but I have it ordered from the library.

My mom and I were reading the blog section of the website and he had several quotes, among them this little one by Mahatma Gandhi:

“There is sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.”

                               -Mahatma Gandhi

Just think on that for a bit. 🙂

Tidying

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I have been tidying like crazy and the time I’m not tidying, I’m doing important things or reading about tidying.

 

Did you know that you use about 20% of your possessions about 80% of the time?  That means you could get rid of a all your things except a fifth, and not really notice much of a difference.  I mean, you would notice the lack of clutter, but you probably wouldn’t miss any of it.

That seems pretty crazy.  But, at least to me, it’s totally believable.  A lot of us keep so much stuff on hand, though we hardly use any of it!  Think back to the stone age.  All you would have had, would be the bare necessities.  One, maybe two sets of clothes- all you needed could be carried on your back.  WOW!  These days we’d be lucky if our stuff would fit in two truckloads!

By all that, I don’t mean that everyone has that much stuff, or that it’s a sin to have a lot of things.  Everyone is different.  I might be able to get by with five or so long sleeved shirts and four pairs of shoes.  But someone with a different lifestyle or different age, might need only two long sleeved shirts or might need ten or more pairs of shoes.  It all depends on what you need.

 

My dad is rather messy.  It’s hard for my mom and I to get him to take care of his clothes (they lounge all over the floor).  That’s just him.  My mom and I are very neat people.  His messiness annoys us, and our neatness annoys him.  That’s just our needs and personality differences.

Some people love living in a rather “messy” house, while others want every surface to be bare.  You don’t need to make yourself uncomfortable.  Just try it for a while and if you don’t like having a barer living space, that’s fine.  You know what’s best for you.

Another great thing about tidying is that it’s easier to clean when you have less stuff.  I asked my mom what her goals for her bedroom are and she said “dust free.”  Then said “less brick brack.”  I told her that once you have less brick brack, it’s easier to dust, since you don’t have to pick up a million little decorations to to get at the surface.  You don’t have to dust all those decorations either.  Once you get rid of things, cleaning is so much easier.

Maintenance is, of course, kind of hard, but if you do a bit everyday, like a ten minute pick up of your things every evening, then your surfaces stay tidy.  You also have to keep unnecessary things from coming in, like gifts.  Those are hard.  It’s not the gift, but the thought that counts.  Let me say that again: It’s not the gift, but the thought that counts.  You can keep that little bag of candy or that wrapped up necklace that you’d never wear, from getting comfortable.  Pass it on to another person who would enjoy it much more.  Don’t feel guilty.  The giver wouldn’t want the gift to sit around gathering dust.

I think that maintenance is a small price to pay for having a tidy home.

 

Color

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Aah.  I love fall!  The colors here are great…not peak yet, but close.  I hope you all are enjoying fall as much as me!

Got rid of a chicken today.  I didn’t really want to, but we don’t have enough room in our coop for all our birds, so I gave her to a friend.

Doing some good writing lately.   🙂

Gracie is acting more and more like a goat.  She lives with her mom and two goats, so you can kind of see why.  We are hoping to sell her soon-ish.  Preferably to someone with a small farm who wants her for something like what we do.  Also preferably close by, so we can visit her.

 

Adios!

Catch Up

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I have been so busy lately!!  Everyone is good, the calf, Gracie, is getting so big!  The chicks should be called teenagers now.  Ha!  I wish there was a word for that …chickagers?  Or teenchicks?

Well, anyway, I’ve seen 24 Trump signs, 7 Hillary signs and two Bernie signs.  My dad told me that Hillary isn’t focusing on yard signs this year.  She’s trying to reach out to people instead.

On our way to church a few weeks ago, we saw this sign hanging in someone’s yard from two trees it said “For the first time in 40 years I will not vote.  There is no lesser of two evils.”  My mom wants one.  I have no comment.

Well, we are making stir fry for dinner, and I need to help my dad… My mom is loading the kiln for a bisque firing, tomorrow.  He needs some assistance…  🙂

~Jonah