August 28, 2011

It's Official!

I GOT THE JOB!!  The job I wanted, the job I convinced my new employer to create for me, the job where I work from home, travel, and get handsomely paid. The job that's not only in my chosen field - Animal Welfare - but which gives me the opportunity to expand my sphere of influence to something more in line with my sphere of concern. Hell yeah!

To all of you in blogland who have supported me, encouraged me, and cheered me along:

from the bottom of my heart!

August 22, 2011

in that little world

I dreamt last night that I was back in the giant late Victorian era farmhouse where I lived for 10 years. The house was beautiful, spacious, had many of its original architectural details, including cast iron fireplace surrounds, original hearth tiles, beautiful over-mantels with original beveled mirrors, solid wood doors, plaster was magnificent.

It was also falling apart, and hadn't been updated since it was new - so, no central heat/air, no insulation, original (or at best, very very VERY old) wiring and other words, it was also a mess. A magnificent mess.

This isn't the Glendale house, but it could be...
I loved it, though, and didn't care at all that it was in such bad shape. It was on 365 acres, 1/4 mile from the nearest neighbor but only 20 minutes from town, and because it was such a mess, the rent was cheap. I mean really cheap, as in $200 a month. It was perfect for us while we were there. With 2 stories, 4 bedrooms, 2 "parlors," a formal dining room, eat-in kitchen, and front and back hallways wider than most rooms in newer homes, it was like a giant dollhouse. The possibilities were practically endless. I had more fun decorating and rearranging that house than I've had in any other, before or since. Which was what I was doing in my dream - deciding how to rearrange.

I was specifically working on 3 different sitting rooms, and thinking to myself "We don't need 3 sitting rooms, this is ridiculous. But we have all these empty rooms - so I may as well have fun with them!"

Truth be told, I do love sitting rooms, and probably would have 3 if I could. The requirements: the room must be comfortable, well-appointed with places for books and pots of tea and flowers and candles, have adequate lighting for reading, but options for lower light too, be tidy, but ever-so-slightly disheveled...a bit of shabbiness is preferred. A sofa with pillows and a blanket for napping, and a fireplace or open-flame heater are bonuses, but barely...they're very nearly necessities.

Still, the best and most important thing about any place we would call "home" is those with whom we share it...
 There is a magic in that little world, home; 
it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues 
never known beyond its hallowed limits.
 ~ Robert Southey

August 19, 2011

to be anything or nothing

91 years ago today, after a 72 year battle, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America was ratified, effectively granting the vote to women. Our fore-mothers had to fight for a right we take completely for granted today - so completely that nearly 40% of us don't even exercise it.

The brave and ballsy women who put everything on the line for us - generations of women they would never know - deserve our respect, our gratitude, and our remembrance. They did more than just make banners and march. They were loud, vocal, agitators, troublemakers - and they paid dearly for their actions. Many were imprisoned, and when they went on hunger strikes, they were brutally force-fed.

But they did not give up...


 They kept marching, singing, protesting, agitating, until they won.
Registering women voters

We're the fortunate ones,  born in a country where the hardest work for gender equality was done by our ancestors. In other parts of the world that's not the case, even today:

"In many countries, women are not entitled to own property or inherit land. Social exclusion, “honor” killings, female genital mutilation, trafficking, restricted mobility and early marriage among others, deny the right to health to women and girls and increase illness and death throughout the life-course." — Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization

Despite the progress made, the work started over 200 years ago - before this country was a country - isn't finished. Did you know that the "Equal Rights Amendment" ("Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."), written in 1923 by suffragist Alice Paul, was passed, but still has not been ratified?

"The ERA was introduced into every session of Congress between 1923 and 1972, when it was passed and sent to the states for ratification. The seven-year time limit in the ERA's proposing clause was extended by Congress to June 30, 1982, but at the deadline, the ERA had been ratified by 35 states, leaving it three states short of the 38 required for ratification. It has been reintroduced into every Congress since that time."  (source)

Take a minute to look back, to say thank you, and then to look ahead at the work still to be done. They did it for us; now let us do it for them. (Click captions for more information on these amazing women to whom we owe so much.)

Frances Wright
Ernestine Louise Rose
Lucretia Mott
Sarah Margaret Fuller
Matilda Electa Joslyn Gage
Lucy Stone
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
& Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Alice Paul was portrayed
 by Hilary Swank in Iron Jawed Angels.
Elizabeth Freeman
Carrie Chapman Catt

Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.
                                              ~ Susan B. Anthony
For a more complete list of famous Suffragists, see here.

August 18, 2011

only this moment

This Uncertain Summer is almost over.  Next up, September, which brings:

  • A new job!
  • The 11th Anniversary of the day I married my unlawfully wedded wife.
  • And a VERY BIG birthday:

Begin doing what you want to do now.  We have only this moment, 
sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake.  
~Marie Ray

August 15, 2011

the folding of the wings

A dear old friend passed the other day. Passed as in died.

It had been years since I'd seen her, even though she only lived an hour away. I spoke with her a couple years ago, and meant to make - and keep - plans to get together, but never did.  A few months ago I got word that she was terminally ill, and even though there was part of me that wanted to go see her, wanted to say goodbye, there was another, obviously stronger part that just...didn't.

So I didn't.

And now she's gone beyond the veil, and I hope she forgives me for being such a terrible friend. Or not a friend.

The fact is I really am a terrible friend.  I'm not sure why, but I am. I don't stay in touch, I go incommunicado for years at a time, I don't call or write or visit...and yet, for some reason that I don't comprehend, people still love me, and rally 'round to offer support when I need it, and miss me when I'm gone (which is always).

There will be a celebration of my friend's life later this week, at the home she loved so, for the people who love her. As much as I want to be there, I think I forfeited that right by not visiting when she was alive.

I love you, Georgie.  As long as I can I will look at this world for both of us.

George Anne Egerton
April 6, 1931 - August 11, 2011
Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words in silence.
I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light you on your way.

~ Rabindranath Tagore

August 11, 2011

removes the rough edges

We watched the movie Cinema Verite last night. Have you seen it? It's based on the true story of the Loud family, who were the "stars" of television's first reality show in the early 1970s. This film tells the behind-the-scenes stories of what went on during the taping, which is interesting enough. For me, though, the real fascination was the set and costume design (and watching Diane Lane; she was phenomenal).  I was awash in nostalgia by the time it was over.

That said, there was some really great design in the 1970s...and some that was truly hideous. I'll let you decide for yourself how these images measure up.

Is this little perv looking up her skirt?! I think so!
(Speaking of pervy...)

Random '70s guy

 Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days. 

~Doug Larson


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