Pause in Blog

Whether permanent or not, this blog is now combined with my other one Alchemy of Clay. http://blackmtnbarb.blogspot.com/
go there, and then follow me over there. The personal and genealogical archives, and Black Mountain NC scenery and my potting life are combined. It's a good thing.

Friday, June 28, 2013

My Sepia Saturday post

This week there are caves over at Sepia Saturday...HERE

I'm sure Western North Carolina has some.  Not where I'm walking these days however.

Here are the closest things I've got...an overhang for a falls or two.


Yes, if you've been reading my blogs for a while, these are pictures being re-posted from 2010.  Dry Falls here (near Highlands, NC) and the little drive-under falls is yet another Bridal Falls.  (There must be 20 or so in this state alone!)

A family disease

Remembering one who fell victim to an addiction a year ago.  My nephew, Zachery Miller.

May his family know peace.

in-memory-of-zach.html

No one's son wants to grow up to be addicted.  Treatment programs work as hard as those with this disease do, and yet it often takes more than families or medical professionals have, and the disease takes young lives.

That's why I stopped working in addiction treatment.  It was too sad.  Too many young lives lost.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

We shall overcome...

If you haven't heard about what's happening in Raleigh, NC every Monday, please do some research on it.

Here's my friend Linda's latest blog.  She is the leader of a Peace Choir of women.  She writes poetry.  I know that this is important to her.  It is important to all of us in North Carolina, and probably for you, wherever you live, in case your representatives no longer represent you.  It can happen in a blink.  And then what do you do?

http://annelindesworld.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-elders-act.html


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fire element...on a dangerous level

Fire can be our friend.  The source of our electrical power is generated by burning coal (which is not the best way to get electricity, most of us would agree.)  Fire does heat our homes and offices during cold weather, and could be a source of renewable energy...with new engineering.  It doesn't have to mean mountains turned into air pollution...the situation we're now living with.

Nuclear power however is a fire energy which I find much more dangerous.  I've been aware of it's dangers ever since I saw Dr. Helen Caldicott give a program (which was surprisingly poorly attended) at the U. of Florida in the 80s.  Did I mention her book of interviews about lots of environmental concerns, "Loving This Planet?"  Check it out sometime.

Here I bring exerpts from New York Times article 6.18.13 about Nuclear Power...namely the Fire Element gone astray. I'm leaving in the explanations about what Strontium-90 and nuclear radiation.  You've probably learned it before, but I wanted a well worded explanation to have as reference.

NYT: High Levels of Strontium Found in Groundwater Near Fukushima Plant


A June 18 New York Times article by Hiroko Tabuchi — 
“High Levels of Radioactive Strontium Found in Groundwater Near Fukushima Plant”  

 — alerted us that Tepco has found strontium-90 and tritium well above their legal limits in the groundwater at the Fukushima Daiichi site:

"Tokyo Electric Power, the operator of the stricken nuclear power plant at Fukushima, said Wednesday that it had detected high levels of radioactive strontium in groundwater at the plant, raising concerns that its storage tanks are leaking contaminated water, possibly into the ocean. The operator said it had found strontium-90 at 30 times Japan’s safety limit in groundwater near its No. 2 reactor, which suffered a fuel meltdown in 2011. The company has struggled to store growing amounts of contaminated runoff at the plant, but had previously denied that the site’s groundwater was highly toxic. If ingested, strontium-90 can linger in bones, emitting radiation inside the body that can lead, in time, to cancer."

Nuclear expert Dr. Gordon Edwards, president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, helps explain the effects of exposure to Tritium and Strontium-90.

20130620-171522.jpg
Dr. Gordon Edwards



Explaining Radiation
During the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster in March 2011, hundreds of different types of radioactive materials were disseminated into the environment.

Like all material things, radioactive substances are made up of atoms. However, the atoms of a radioactive material are unstable, unlike most of the atoms in most of the materials around us in everyday life, which are stable.

Unstable atoms are particularly dangerous.

Stable atoms don’t change. They stay the same forever. But a radioactive atom will suddenly and violently disintegrate, giving off a burst of subatomic shrapnel called “atomic radiation”.

The unit of radioactivity is “one becquerel”, which indicates that one radioactive atom is disintegrating every second. One thousand becquerels means a thousand disintegrations are taking place every second, or over 3 and a half million disintegrations every hour.

Living cells are injured or killed by the passage of the subatomic projectiles given off by disintegrating atoms, which may be one of three types, called alpha, beta and gamma emissions.

Gamma emissions are like x-rays, but more powerful. They can penetrate right through the human body. Beta emissions are quite different; they are not rays, but electrically charged particles,
and they can only travel a few millimetres in soft tissue. Alpha emissions are also made up of electrically charged particles, but those particles are much more massive and even less penetrating than beta emissions.

Each alpha particle is roughly 7000 times heavier than a beta particle. Alpha particles can be stopped by a single sheet of paper or by the dead layer of skin on the outside of your hand.

So what are the dangers of radioactivity?

The Dangers of Radioactivity

Outside the body, the main danger is from the penetrating gamma radiation. External gamma rays can cause “whole body irradiation”, although some parts of the body may get the bulk of the dose — the hands, the feet, the gonads….

But once radioactive materials get inside the body, because a person has unknowingly breathed contaminated air, or drank contaminated water, or ate contaminated food, then those radio-
active atoms are disintegrating right inside the body. Such inhaled or ingested radioactive materials are called “internal emitters”, because the gamma rays and beta particles and alpha particles
are now being given off internally, directly damaging internal cells. Occasionally, such damaged cells can turn into cancerous growths many years later. If reproductive cells are damaged, the
harmful effects can be experienced by children or grandchildren.

Decades of careful research has revealed that internal alpha emissions are about 20 times more biologically damaging than internal beta or gamma emissions, per unit of energy. In other words, a given internal alpha emission experienced by a given population will cause 20 times more cases of cancer or genetic defects than a comparable internal beta or gamma emission experienced by a similar population. (This factor is called the “relative biological effectiveness” or RBE.)

Research has also shown that in many cases internal beta emissions are more damaging than gamma emissions of similar energy. In such cases the RBE could be 2 or 3 or more, meaning that beta particles can be 2 or 3 times as biologically damaging as gamma rays.

What Do Tritium and Strontium-90 Do?
Tritium (the name given to radioactive hydrogen) and strontium-90, both mentioned in the following article, are beta-emitting radioactive materials. They give off almost no gamma rays, so they are primarily an internal hazard. Since water is essential for all living things, water contaminated with tritium and strontium-90 will be eagerly absorbed into any living organism that drinks that water.

Strontium-90 is chemically similar to calcium, very important for the formation of bones and teeth, and a key nutrient in milk. So when strontium-90 is ingested, the body eagerly stores it up in the bones, the teeth — and in mother’s milk, where it is readily passed on to the nursing infant. Since strontium-90 has a half-life of about 30 years (that’s the time required for just half of the radioactive atoms to disintegrate) it is easy to see that the beta emissions will continue for decades to irradiate the bones and the bone marrow of the contaminated individual, whether adult or infant. This unremitting radioactive exposure will increase the risk of bone cancer and leukemia (cancer of the blood).

To make matters worse, when a radioactive atom of strontium-90 disintegrates, it changes into an atom of yttrium-90 — another beta-emitting radioactive material. Yttrium-90 is not chemically similar to calcium, and so the body moves it around to other organs inside the anatomy, including the gonads, where reproductive damage can be done.

Tritium is chemically identical to ordinary hydrogen, except that it is radioactive. Since hydrogen is one of the basic building blocks of all organic molecules, including DNA molecules, some of the radioactive tritium that is ingested by a person will become “organically bound” as part of larger organic molecules. The long-term medical effects of chronic tritium exposure are still not well understood and remain the source of considerable scientific controversy.

The uncertainty about the danger of tritium is underscored by the raging debate over the so-called “permissible” concentration of tritium in drinking water. In this Japan Times article, it is stated that the contaminated ground water at Fukushima has a tritium concentration [500,000 becquerels per litre] that is 8.3 times higher than the “standard” [which in Japan is 60,000 becquerels per litre.] But in Canada, the “standard” for tritium in drinking water is 7,000 becquerels per litre, and a recent report by the Ontario Drinking Water Advisory Committee (ODWAC) gives scientific grounds for concluding that this “standard” should be drastically reduced to only 20 becquerels per litre.

So the tritium levels in the ground water at Fukushima may be 8.3 times higher than the Japanese standard, but those same levels are over 70 times higher than the existing Canadian standard, and 25 thousand times higher than the standard proposed by the ODWAC Scientific Advisory Committee.

One of the most remarkable things about atomic radiation standards is how non-standard they really are. The reason for this is simple. All these standards are arbitrary, since there is no such thing as a safe level of exposure to atomic radiation.

And it should be borne in mind that there are many dozens of other radioactive materials in the contaminated water at Fukushima, mostly beta-emitters and alpha-emitters, that are not even being mentioned by TEPCO or by the Japanese government.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy birthday Catharine Clack Rogers, June,1778

Catharine Clack Rogers b. June 23.1778 in Virginia d. 10.30 1850 Sevier County, TN

married to Rev. Elijah Rogers in 1794 (b. May 1774 Farquier County, VA d. 5.11.1841 Sevier County, TN)  His birthday post was in May HERE.

SOURCE: Rogers Family Bible, as transcribed by George Elmore Rogers, Sr. in 1950s. (My grandfather may have mis-spelled her name, as he's the only source that spells Catharine with the second "a".)

I'm learning the ins-and-outs of research.  But the Family Bible was also poorly organized.  Have you ever seen one?  There's a listing of Births.  There's a listing of Deaths.  There's a listing of Marriages.  They often have the same names, and you have to figure out which one was married and put it after they were born and before they died!  I'm transcribing the actual posting in the Rogers Bible for each person as I can get to it.

Catherine Clack Rogers' mother was Mary Beavers Clack (name may have been de Beauvior, Beavier, or Beauville, changed during French & Indian war) born 1.12.1745 in New Jersey, d. after 1832

Catharine Clack's father was Lt. Spencer Clack born 3.28.1746 in Loudon County.VA, d. 7.9.1832 Sevier County, TN. Also from Franklin, Henry & Brunswick Counties, VA and Sevier County, TN. He trained in surveying and military tactics under Gen. George Washington who sponsored him when he joined the Masons.  Representative and Senator from Sevier County from 1796-1832.  Member of committee who drafted State constitution of Tennessee.

Her father (and Henry Rogers, her father-in-law) were thus veterans of the American Revolution.

The further reaches of the branches of the Rogers Family Tree, before those in the Rogers Family Bible were probably completed by a professional genealogist. I have yet to have some connections explained adequately to me, so I continue to look for what are called "Primary sources" like family Bibles, cemetery records, obituaries, church records, census records, etc.

In 1935 an application for Sons of the American Revolution also published connections that I can't find to substantiate relationships.  I am beginning to think there were a lot more folks named Rogers who had these various children than just the ones in my tree.

It is noteworthy here, when talking about records that may not be accurate, to say how nobody is probably falsifying information on purpose.  But the inaccurate records (for instance on Ancestry.com) are often used as research materials.  As these are records that are typed into forms by many different descendents, there are sometimes typos, or differing opinions on dates.  I am also glad to find more accurate information of other web sites where cemetery records confirm birth and death dates of some ancestors (like Find A Grave. com)

An important thing to consider in a woman's life, is her being a mother.  Catharine Rogers had three children who lived to be married, according to the Rogers Family Bible.

Other sources give her another daughter who was the great grandmother to an author in Sevierville, TN who provided some of my research, namely Mr. J. A. Sharp.  A historical library in Tennessee had microfilm copies of his writing, which was very interested in Elijah and Catharine Rogers.  I took notes from the microfilm in 1993.

Mr. Sharp had also written to my grandfather, saying that his own grandson then lived on the land of the Rogers original homestead in Sevierville.  I don't know how much of the Sharp publication is fact and how much anecdotal, but it is very interesting.  He added a child to Catharine's family that wasn't in the Rogers Bible.  But it is perhaps possible that the people who moved to Texas and started keeping the Bible didn't remember details about this daughter, just the details of themselves, and somehow forgot to include her.  Mmm, what a strange thing genealogical research is.


 
Mr. Sharp told the Sevier Historical Society he was Catherine and Elijah's descendent, and he put a lot of effort into commemorating them.  Since he was in Sevierville, TN, and my branch of the Rogers were in Texas, I am really grateful for his efforts.





There is a DAR chapter in Sevierville for Spencer Clack, Catherine's father.  Mr. Sharp was involved in efforts to create the Memorial Cemetery "Forks of the Little Pigeon River," which is next to a state highway, and he applied for a memorial marker for Spencer Clack (see below).



It may have been there when I was asking about the Rogers of Sevierville, (in 1993) but it wasn't well known, and I never visited it.  And the markers are mostly new, not ones from the actual burials.  That bit of information should be included somehow in Find A Grave, where pictures of markers are available.  These markers are all commemorative, not of the actual graves.  At least that's what I now surmise.  Maybe in a few weeks or months I'll know more.  There is a list of internments that Find A Grave has listed...I wonder how they figured that out if the markers were put up in the 70's.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Solstice dear friends

I don't have a ritual this year for this high holy day of yore.

It may be called Mid-Summer, but the calendar calls it First Day of Summer.


My elder friend from Denmark tells of sitting by the shore late into the night with a bonfire on the rocks or on rafts that floated out to sea.

Apparently other countries do "pole dancing" as well as jumping bonfires.  I've always associated these dances with the May Day or Beltain celebrations.  I must have more Celtic roots than they do.

Whatever you do, try to spend some of the time in a natural setting, with stars overhead, and maybe lightning bugs blinking around the trees and bushes.

And remember all life is connected, so just as the stars shine on us, we can shine to others.




Take a deep breath, smell whatever you have in your environment that feeds your lungs, your spirit.  That's why it's called in-spir-ation.

Happy Solstice.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ah-Ha!

Where have I spent most of my time lately?  Here.  Well, with my various ancestors.  Here James Moore Powell (1791-1868) has a marker in Texas.  He had been born in North Carolina, (the state in which I now live, but nowhere near me).


Here's a census report from Louisiana, giving his wife's name and various children.

I noticed the neighbors (all farmers) were a family by the name of Traylor.  Didn't think much of it until I saw 2 Traylor children listed as living with the Powells.  Then as I noticed one of the Powell children grew up (over various census reports) and she married a man named Richard Bass, there were still these one or two Traylor children being part of the household.

Then when they moved to Texas and I again saw Traylors in the neighborhood as well as the household I went Ah Ha!!

The wife must have been a Traylor.  And by looking at the originals of many census reports back and forth, there she was.  Alabama, Louisiana, and finally Texas, she was Nancy Jones Traylor Powell (1804-1881).  I guessed the neighbors to be her brothers, the ones who had all these other children...and one must have lost his wife or maybe some of the children were orphaned, so the Powell and the Bass families took them in.  This was the way families took care of their own in the old South, and many still do.

I also have guessed some other neighbors might have had a sister Traylor marry and raise her family named Hill.  Haven't got anything that connects these famlies for sure yet.  This mystery solving has certainly attracted my attention.

It wasn't until I was telling a friend how I spent yesterday, that I realized the name sounds like trailer, so these days it might have the new-South connotation of trailer-trash.  I wonder how many people might have changed their names because of that.

And Mary Jones Traylor Powell  was listed with a sur-name for her middle name.  Doesn't that make me think her mother might have been a Jones?  I wonder if I'll find a connection and be able to go further back in her family tree.  Even if I can't, NJ Powell was my grandfather's great-grandmother, who he never knew.

While my fingers continue to heal and I do my exercises instead of pottery, (and I've got more pottery than I know what to do with anyway,) the computer has become my pal.  I know these people have been gone for over a hundred years.  But their bones that lie in those graves carry the same DNA as I have, and they have given me the gift of curiousity as well as creativity.  Don't you know that's carried genetically?  Why not? So this is where I'll be for a while.





Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Water, the element

WATER: One of the elements which provides a balance for our living on this little blue marble spinning through space...along with earth, air, and fire according to ancient traditions (from Western Europe or Native Americans).

Freshwater Limited ...
The Freshwaters Illustrated Mission is to educate diverse public audiences about the life, study, and conservation of freshwater ecosystems through illustrative science-based efforts, and to provide illustrative resources and services to scientists, educators, and media specialists.
The FI Vision is to help inspire a world that is more conscious of freshwater life and more sympathetic to the cause of freshwater conservation.
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Hidden Rivers: a film series about the vibrant waters of Southern Appalachia

Hidden Rivers is Freshwaters Illustrated's forthcoming short and feature film series about the vibrant waters of Southern Appalachia.
 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clean Water for North Carolina

A nonprofit organization promoting clean, safe water and empowered, just communities through community organizing, advocacy, education and technical assistance, with offices in Durham and Asheville.


Moral Monday June 10, Raleigh, NC
I started asking about water around my area.  And there will probably be many other organizations concerned about it.  There should be.

I'll start checking on air, earth, and fire,  the other 3 necessary elements next, and will post some of the things I find to share with you too.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Demonstrations with aging hippies

Have people heard about Moral Monday's in Raleigh, NC?  Many people are so disgruntled by the Republican majority in all the branches of North Carolina government who are slashing things right and left.  This demonstrating is a direct result of this.

The Charlotte News Observer has this coverage:


— Researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill fanned out among the throngs of demonstrators outside the North Carolina statehouse Monday in search of demographic information.
Since Gov. Pat McCrory described the demonstrators as “outsiders” to Republicans gathered earlier this month at a Charlotte convention, participants of the Moral Monday protests have worked to let the GOP leaders know that their mass protests are homegrown.
Elizabeth Benefield, a 53-year-old professional fundraiser from Raleigh, stood by her 17-year-old daughter, Emily Grace, a rising senior at Broughton High School.
“I want the legislators who are intending to roll back our rights to hear our voice and know we’re not in favor of it,” the elder Benefield said, holding up her handwritten “Raleigh Is In The House!!” placard. “There’s too much at stake, and justice will always prevail. They can pretend not to listen, but we cannot be silenced.”
Many in the crowd gathered in the grassy Halifax Mall outside the legislative building held up signs with their home towns or ZIP codes listed.
Gray Newman, 49, a Mecklenburg County employee who said he thought McCrory would bring a more moderate political philosophy to the Capitol, hoisted a small placard with the numbers 28227, the ZIP code for Mint Hill, Newman’s home.
For the seventh Monday since April 29, a growing crowd of demonstrators gathered late in the afternoon outside the legislative building to raise voices of dissatisfaction with the Republican majority’s legislative agenda.
Reflects state population
Fred Stutzman, one of the eight UNC-CH data collectors, did a sampling of the crowd asking 316 people their ZIP codes, race and age. Their findings showed that five of the respondents were from out-of-state and 311 were from North Carolina, overwhelmingly from the Triangle area but also from such metropolitan regions as Wilmington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Asheville and Charlotte.
The average age of the protesters, according to the UNC researchers, was 53, with 25 percent under age 36. Sixty percent were female, and the racial breakdown largely matched the 2010 Census findings – 79 percent were white, 17 percent African-American, 6 percent Hispanic and the rest were Asian, Pacific Islander, Indian or other.
The Rev. William Barber, the head of the state NAACP, which has organized the weekly events, (italics mine) described the crowd as a diverse representation of the state. He railed against the contentions that several thousand people gathered on the Halifax Mall lawn outside the Legislative Building were outsiders.
“We are outside the influence of [Art] Pope,” Barber said describing McCrory’s budget director and influential political contributor whose organizations spent $2.2 million in 2010 on 22 state legislative races –18 of which his supported candidate won. “We are outside the influence of the Koch brothers. We are outside the influence of the Tea Party.”
The demonstrators were hoping instead to wield influence in North Carolina and change the tide of policies and votes rolling out of the GOP-led legislature and executive office of the governor.
Arrests nearing 500
Eighty-four demonstrators were arrested by the N.C. General Assembly police on Monday, bringing the total since April 29 to more than 480.
“McCrory and all of those Republicans are voting in lockstep for things that are going to hurt the people of North Carolina,” said Jennie Deloach, a 64-year-old, retired IT worker from Chapel Hill. Deloach said the main aim in joining the protests is “getting the word out.”
But Moral Mondays aren’t about convincing legislators their laws are harmful – they don’t listen or care, she said. Instead, protests should focus on reaching people who aren’t completely informed.
Duke theater professor Jay O’Berski joined the line of people intending to get arrested. O’Berski, a 21-year North Carolina resident, said he had not been to a political protest since the Iraq War, but the “cocktail of meanness” happening in the legislature prompted him to turn out. “It’s starting to branch out,” he said.
Holly Jordan, 29, a teacher at Hillside High School in Durham, said she decided to get arrested on Monday because she was thoroughly upset with the education policies and budgets proposed. She knew that some of the Republicans had described their naysayers as “aging hippies” and “outsiders” who considered it “en vogue” to get arrested.
“They’re talking about these aged hippies leading this thing,” (italics mine) Jordan said. “If it’s en vogue, aging hippies aren’t the people to lead a ‘trendy thing.’ This is a wide and broad movement.”
Future voters listening
Several Democrats from the state House of Representatives were among the throngs outside and inside the Legislative Building.
Rep. Paul Luebke, a Democrat from Durham, noted: “Each week, more and more people come from outside the Triangle. It’ll be smaller in other parts of the state, but it’ll b a force in the elections throughout the state.”
Luebke said he doubted the demonstrations were having an effect on his Republican colleagues but that they were effective in grabbing the attention of unaffiliated voters.
“The unaffiliated voters are typically less interested in politics. They need a spark to get them more involved in thinking about policy,” Luebke said. “These rallies lead those who are less involved in politics to say, ‘What’s going on there in Raleigh?’ ”
As an even larger crowd is expected next week on the last Monday before unemployment benefits are drastically curtailed, Democratic legislators said they were buoyed by demonstrators upset by the same Republican policies troubling them. “It shows that we do have some support,” said Rep. Carla Cunningham, a Democrat from Mecklenburg County. “This is a movement, but it belongs to them. It’s grass roots.”  Blythe: 919-836-4948

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/17/2971229/more-moral-monday-protesters-arrested.html#storylink=cpy

 I am citing and quoting an entire article in a newpaper.  Do I have to ask them directly in order to do so...do you know?



Monday, June 17, 2013

family gold

It's a matter of values.

Gold, pearls, glittery stuff for women to wear...nah.  I looked through my family pictures for a woman posed with such, and there wasn't a one.

So I finally decided what my family values is different than the meme at Sepia Saturday this week. (Click the link to see what others have come up with on this theme.)



I gather from the pictures of my family that these are the values we share: 

  • Smiles.
  • Cute babies.
  • Loving groups that gather for various occasions (supposedly anyway, but it's the value that counts)
  • Marking events in our lives.
  • Nature's beauty, whether in flowers, scenery, or water shorelines.
  •  Any combination of the above.  









OK, these are family heirlooms, and have been given to my heirs...a high school ring of my mothers from Jefferson High in San Antonio, and her step-father's wedding ring.  They aren't very valuable to anyone else, but they're gold at least! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Where would be best to post a wish to all the fathers for their special day?  Of course here, where I bring my ancestors to share in celebration of their lives.

So my wishes go to my sons, Marty,and Russ, who have fathered 6 children between them. Thanks for making me a grandmother!


Russ


Marty

And to Doug and David, for giving me my sons...good fathering in those gifts.   

Doug, thanks for all you have done for our amazing wonderful men.   

Doug


You really missed the boat, David, for not sticking around to be a father! 


Thinking of my own father, George, what a gentle person, and how his fathering must have been hard at times.  I was certainly a child to test his patience.  But I loved learning little tricks of creativity from him as he worked in his "shop" in the basement in evenings after a full day's work.


Then I must also remember his father, also George, who was a sweet, intelligent and talented person.  He supported his sons who grew into men, as well as built several houses from the ground up.   He also kept track of some genealogy in the 50s which kept it available for the next generations.


George Rogers, Sr.

How about his father too? He was W. Sam, and died before he had a chance to raise his children.  Another single mother who stepped into the role of both parents, and had her husband's sister and brother-in-law become guardians of her children.  I don't know why or how that happened, or what it meant to my grandfather.

I will stop here, before investigating my mother's father, Bud, who also died young.  Do I give credit to Frederick who only lived 3 years after he became a step-father, and never got around to adopting her? Her mother was a single-mom much of her life also.

There are so many things we have as reminders of our own choices in our lives when we look at ancestors.

There haven't been that many of my own ancestors who were warriors.  Some were in the Civil War, the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War... those who died in conflicts, or maybe lived beyond them to raise their families.  

I think there's definitely a strain of courage that shows in my family's fathers...as well as the great burden of responsibility for their families.  I hope the joys that children and mothers can share have proved worth it for them all.  

I believe they were all creative men who built with their hands as well as their hearts, structures in which to live as well as relationships which survived beyond their own lives.

Thank you, Daddy.






Monday, June 10, 2013

Honoring of goddesses



The Goddess is inside me, is the earth…the dignity and honor in all women and the female energy in men.  The Goddess is the real center of creation in many guises, and has many names. 
– Hope Kasley Rendell Harvey

 The French Broad River behind Highwater Clay Co., Asheville, NC




Let us learn to skillfully draw good out of what would otherwise cause us harm.
St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier
Embrace the World



If planetary peace seems beyond our reach, recall: Miracles are natural when we rely on the Source of All to carry our burdens with us. Then, even peace is possible.
Nan Merrill with Barbara Taylor
Peace Planet: Light for Our World




 The Goddess is where we all begin, where we all end, and everything in between.  We all come from Her, we carry with us Her spirit and energy, and then we return to Her.-  Karen London­­­


Saturday, June 8, 2013

A train of thought from history

A Sepia Saturday sharing.
Come over there (the UK for lots of them) and see what others have posted for this theme.



A hospital train kitchen.  Mmm, I can't think of a single photo that I have which would relate to this theme.

So I shall go trolling along in old photos and see what is available anyway.  I don't have as many treasures as some of those who post here.  But I am glad to share what I have.

My great grandfather on my mother's side was a conductor on passenger trains from the earliest times in Texas. 


An old map of the railroad which went through San Antonio, where my great-grandparents lived most of their lives.

My grandfather on my father's side made a nick-name for me, which I always thought might have something to do with a particular train name..."Sunshine Special."  


CharlesHerman Miller (Mueller) was born 18 Jul 1868 in Mecklenberg,  Schwerin, Germany.  I don't know exactly when he came to the US, but by 1900 he was in the census for San Antonio, TX.  He married Eugenia Almeta Booth and had 4 daughters, the oldest of whom was my grandmother in 1898.  He died in San Antonio on 7 Nov 1946.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Truth and harmony

We are indeed fabulous creatures/beings.  

Somehow we thought of Truth.

And not just recently but waaaay back when.

Yesterday I also appreciated that we thought up harmony and music.  It does give life more meaning to have these great thoughts.

And one more.
We dream while we sleep, of fabulous adventures that we could never imagine while awake.  As well as thoughts that come unbidden like my first thought of today, the joy that human beings have the concept of Truth.

I am sure my atheist friends will say humans came up with these ideas as we evolved.  For me I must think that there's some guiding principal, a force if you will, which has helped us know about these wonderful things.

So my thanks to the great creator of ideas!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Demons vs angels

I am inspired today by Helen Caldicott's book "Loving This Planet, Leading Thinkers Talk about How to Make a Better World."

I went to sleep after selecting some people's interviews that I knew the names.  Daniel Elsberg, Martin Sheen, Lily Tomlin.  The other activists, journalists, environmentalists will be tomorrow.

What is most striking for me is the problem that's identified over and over, that the buck is where the problem is.  Money power.  That politicians are corrupt because of this.  That corporation's leadership is corrupt because of the almighty dollar.  That none of them listen to real people and real issues because their ears are plugged with gold.

So it has ever been.  But there have been ways somehow to get things accomplished in the world.  Somehow money has been made by doing good...rather than avoided in order to make money.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Paradigm shift

I'm coming out...to be part of politics...where my mind and heart lead me.  A paradigm is the overview that everyone has of their lives (and a culture also has one).  My current one is very comfortable, and it's time to tear some corners off, and move into looking at things differently.


That was the result for me of a discussion about diversity, where the participants represented mostly the same opinions.  There was the personal question of how do you really act/feel when around people with different race/religion/abilities/sexual orientation/etc.  Having race as the diversity issue that brought this up, our mainly white group diverged early in how these "tolerant people" may have to find boundaries as to what they can and cannot tolerate.  (They probably already have them, the question is will they consider moving these boundaries as a result of this discussion.)

For me, the leap will be to get into current events again.  I want to remove my rose colored glasses and stop protecting myself from knowing about, thinking about, and feeling about the political climate. I've been hiding where I was "safe" but realized I had no power, no voice, and no representation, so just wouldn't think about things.  My goal isn't to be able to speak or not, but to begin to listen again to the most unpleasant avenue of discourse.  


I am choosing environmental issues as the platform on which I will begin my baby steps in this walk into the "room" where our democracy is in action.


I haven't chosen which issue to begin with, but am starting by looking at sites that cover the gamut of environmental issues, as well as letting the "news" back into my living room.  It won't be the 6 o'clock news however.  I am not watching TV at this point, where I waste time either muting commercials or not paying attention to news about "fluff events".  I will stream different shows on my computer, choosing those topics in which I think I can listen, make my own opinion, and perhaps make an eventual stand.


I have always supported my friends in their social action.  I just haven't taken part beyond my backing of issues from afar.  I'm pretty lucky to have these friends who know a lot about different things.  They will be invited for tea or coffee and conversation, so that I might learn what has been done locally, and by like-minded people.


But the like-minded-ness is also something that I wish to move a bit away from.  I believe (at this moment in time) that I need to communicate/listen to those who don't think the way I do, who might disagree with me.  There sure are a lot of them, I'm positive. And I feel that they have a lot of political clout at this time.  That's why I want to look at the issues that impact me that politicians are attempting to manage.  Water quality and rights of use.  Mining, drilling, etc of metals and non-renewable resources.  Air quality standard changes.   What's happening abut renewable resources.  What's happening about endangered species?  What's happening about nuclear power?  Health issues related to what? Global warming taken seriously how?


OK, this is lots, and as I said, I want to focus on one thing at a time.  I'm glad to have Sarah Vekasi as my friend, since she's not only an activist, but an Eco-Chaplin, looking how people who are environmental activists need to take care of themselves. (Check out her website here.)

This decision of mine is not to just live more  environmentally-consciously.  This is an attempt to move beyond a comfort zone regarding a particular environmental topic into one where controversy exists, where I can feel passionate about taking a stand, and maybe understand that this one-as-yet-to-be-chosen-issue is worthy of my time and efforts.  

I'm listening if you have something you think I should really know about...