Tuesday, July 31, 2007

OK, and a story...

Remember, this blog was supposed to contribute nature to the blogoshpere, and also share with you my journey towards a greener life...meaning, I'm not there yet.

So, here's the story.

Scheduling issues made it impossible for our entire family to go camping together this summer, so I decided to go anyway with 8yo and 10yo. However. Once we got there I discovered what I don't know about camping. Like, how to open a can of tomato sauce when you've forgotten to bring a can opener.

But wait, I found this thing on my leatherman. Can I make it work for me? YES!
I felt pretty clever until I realized that this is how it's supposed to work!

Just sharing some nice photos...

Here's one, also from Samuel P. Taylor State Park:

Monday, July 30, 2007

Spent some Beautiful Days outdoors

I've been blog-absent, and outdoor-present lately. Here's where I've been:

This is the Pioneer Tree Trail at Samuel P. Taylor State Park, just north of San Francisco. The Pioneer Tree is a 500 year old redwood tree that is hollowed out by fire, but still living. Inside the tree is a comfortable two-room home for some lucky hobbit. This is the view from the living room:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More on Choice and Beauty

Salon.com has a great article on the 2 1/2 candidates who accepted the invitation to speak at the Planned Parenthood meeting last week. My favorite quote is this one, from Elizabeth Edwards (the 1/2 candidate):

"I know the art and theater of politics. There are times when you have to position yourself just to be heard," she said. "But there are also issues that are so important ... that to try and position yourself out of it is to lay down the mantle of leadership. Women's lives are at stake, and our lives are not fodder for compromise."


The Official Beautiful Day Rule Flower of Choice
(found high up in Yosemite)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hey Hey! Ho Ho! We Want Access to Birth Control!

Last week, Congressman Pence (of low common sense) introduced an amendment to the Labor-HSS bill that would exclude Planned Parenthood from receiving any Title X funds.

Jargon explanation:
  • The Title X program provides funds for family planning services for low income women.
  • Planned Parenthood provides family planning to low income women.
  • Of the 5 million women who receive Title X funded services, 3 million of those patient visits are provided by Planned Parenthood.
  • Planned Parenthood also provides primary health care, including cancer screening, to underserved women.
  • For many low income women Planned Parenthood is their ONLY source of health care.
  • Title X funds are never used to provide abortion services.

The amendment was defeated, by what is considered a large majority: 231-189.

189 legislators voted for this amendment???

89% of Americans support increased access to birth control....but...what? They forgot to tell their legislators? Or maybe their legislators forgot to ask? I mean, eeuuw, you'd have to mention sex!


And in a twilight zone of coincidence, Pence introduced his amendment while 200 or more Planned Parenthood employees were gathered in DC for a conference.

This crappy camera phone picture shows a group of Planned Parenthood supporters shouting for (gasp) access to birth control, while congress debated the amendment inside the building across the street. Notice the PT Cruiser passing by with the 2 1/2 foot high JESUS letters on the side.

The driver of the JESUS car was not an anti-choice counter-protester; he was just passing by, handing out t-shirts that said "JESUS" in modest 10 inch high letters.

One of the protestors took a t-shirt and put it on. She said, “What would Jesus do? He’d be out here with us!” From what I’ve heard about Him, she’s probably right about that!

“Hey hey, ho ho. ‘He’ wants access to birth control!”


And to further 'fess up, ... I was in DC when all this took place, and was headed out to meet BAC for a friendly blogger dinner as the protesters started organizing. I called BAC, and we decided to protest first, eat later.

The police came by and watched us, and I thought, “Oh, how nice. They’re here to protect us from anti-choice crazies.” But no, they were there to tell us to leave; we didn’t have a permit, so we couldn’t stand there in a group.

Seasoned protester that she is, BAC warned me that it used to be that the police would warn you several times before arresting you, but these days they often arrest people after only one warning. I asked what happens if you get arrested. She described a two hour process of getting taken to Anacosta, booked, and released after paying $50. We both agreed we could take that chance, and we did.

I must say, I was kind of disappointed, though, because we did not get arrested. How I'd love to come home and tell my friends and neighbors, "I got arrested for defending access to birth control."

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Redwood Tree Haiku

I spent a Beautiful Day riding through the forest today, with NO CAMERA, damn it. So on my way down, I composed a haiku to give the idea:

"Billions and billions
of stars"...No, of Redwood Trees.
Nisene Marks State Park

Thorne commented on my last post that she has a new Haiku page where you can submit your own original (or found) Haiku at her site. She has a collection of SPAM haiku that is not to be missed!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Saw a great t-shirt today

It said,

Hiakus are easy,
but sometimes they don't make sense.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Summer Reading

Just finished Michael Tolliver Lives, which I was so excited about and … I loved it. I had a few doubts along the way, but I’m glad I stuck with it. Such a beautiful, charming, heartwarming story. Made me cry two or three times! Armistead Maupin claims the book is not book 7 of the “Tales of the City” series, but it is as good as.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

A Mommy Moment

As little feet get big and start to walk away,
Mom feels the sad side of happy.
Why the heck can't I put a blank line here? HA! Found a way.
It's summer and school's out, and I am getting to spend a lot of time with my kids. And it's good times, too; no homework hassles, lots of Beautiful Day outdoor time, lots of time to love. But man, they are growing up!

8yo doesn't need me to read to him anymore, and made potato gnocchi from scratch for the family the other night.

Shy 10yo got back from her first week at "away camp" all aglow, wanting to go back next summer.

12yo embarks on a three week trip to England tomorrow with some school classmates and a couple of amazing teachers. He doesn't even seem nervous.

14yo speaks with a deep voice, and sleeps in a lot. Once awake he is working on becoming power-tool-dude-the-second. He built some stairs that actually work.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007

Why Jim Wallis gives me the creeps

Yes, he’s got better values than the religious right.

Yes, it's great that he wants to reduce poverty.

But the Presidential Forum on Faith and Politics he recently organized and broadcast on CNN scares me.

We are supposed to have no religious test for office in this country. And yet his presidential forum put the three leading candidates on trial in front of a “special panel of religious leaders.” Eeuw. Kind of like the Inquisition, huh?

The whole set-up made me squirmy, not to mention the questions that were asked: about the candidates’ greatest sins! About the content of their prayers! Today it is the candidates in the hot seat of judgment. Tomorrow it could be me, a citizen.

It didn’t help that all three candidates are Christian, and every panelist who asked a question was Christian. I am not a Christian. I’m not very religious at all. But I have deeply held beliefs and values, and faith that my life has meaning. I would make a good president if I were so inclined.

This nationally broadcast presidential forum left me feeling like an outsider in my own country…even in my own political party.

So, what am I going to do about it?

I’ll sign the petition at First Freedom First in support of

real Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State.