Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"We don't waste people..."

From The Pew Forum (via my watchful uncle's email)

May 26, 2009

Indian gay marriage law takes effect in Oregon

by Bill Graves
Religion News Service

A Coquille Indian Tribe law allowing same-sex marriage took effect this week, and two women married Sunday (May 24) on the tribe's reservation in Coos Bay, Ore.

Kitzen Branting, 26, and her partner, Jeni Branting, 28, who now live in Edmonds, Wash., became the first same-sex couple to legally marry in Oregon, though their marriage will be recognized only by the tribe.

Kitzen Branting is a member of the Coquille tribe.

Neither Washington nor Oregon has legalized same-sex marriage, but as a federally recognized sovereign nation, the tribe is not bound by the Oregon Constitution.

"My tribe recognizes the marriage, so that is really important to me," said Kitzen Branting. "Anytime we come to a tribal function, I know my marriage is just as valid as anyone else's marriage."

The tribe adopted a law more than a year ago that recognizes same-sex marriage and extends to gay and lesbian partners -- at least one of whom must be Coquille -- all tribal benefits of marriage. The tribe wanted to work out laws governing child support issues before activating the law. It took effect Wednesday (May 20), said Melissa Cribbins, assistant tribal attorney.

Kitzen and Jeni Branting married in the tribe's Coos Bay plankhouse, a 3-year-old meeting hall built in traditional Coquille style with cedar plank walls. No other couples have inquired about marrying yet, Cribbins said, "but I wouldn't anticipate this will be the only marriage."

Last year, Brian Gilley, a University of Vermont anthropologist, said the Coquille Tribe (which tribal leaders prefer to pronounce KO-Kwell) is probably the first tribe in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

When it was posted at OCICBW, Tracie the Red provided this wonderful quote,

"A Crow elder once said: 'We don't waste people the way white society does.'"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Perfect Poppy Poem

It doesn't exist, the perfect poppy poem, that is. This is the second year I searched without success for it. Poets avoid such drivel; flowers are out of fashion (goddess forbid), and there you have it. Maybe it isn't possible, the perfect poppy poem, that is.

As long as we're alliterating, have you ever seen a more pregnant plant? This is a leek, icon of the warrior, and hasn't our hero gone all feminine on us? This bud has been plump like this a week or more. I've never seen one bloom, so I'm anticipating it with delight. O, sure, I know all about onion buds and flowers. (I'm supposed to snip them off for reason of keeping the bulb fat.)

In fact, here's the ordinary kind in the picture below. Humble to say the least.

What's this then? Another of my leeks, this one who stunningly failed to represent the standing, stalwart hero of the Viking Age, the literature of which had a love affair with leeks.

Sheesh, I can't do onions without a picture of my Egyptian Walking Onions (EWO; see my clearinghouse of EWO links on my right-hand sidebar.)

Every Year the Miracle

Honeysuckle and roses. How can it be that they bloom together every year?

Dad and I are simply in awe each time we step outside the door. My pictures are sad shades of the glowing colors of the roses, and there is no pictorial facsimile at all for the heavy, drowsy, drifting fragrance of honeysuckle.

"But what of the elegant, the exquisite, poppies you posted last year, Angel? And how go the zinnias?"

"Never fear. I'm getting to that, gentle reader. Post pending."

edit: exchanged cloudy morning pic for a new photo taken once the sun (Bless Her golden heart.) sizzled away the clouds; added a sunny photo of the red roses

*Hugs Tim Jones Tight*

Tim Jones shreds me up with his impossible wisdom. No man should be that sane.

He's the man, gentle readers, who Caught a glimpse of Jesus down by the railroad tracks... Read him share how Heaven and Earth are Full...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Making Progress-Lots Still to Do


It began to rain just as we were dumping the last wheelbarrow-full of concrete. It rained hard enough to alter the surface as fast as I could smooth it. Then a drip off the roof developed that persisted in washing out a small pit right in the center of the slab. All in all, we managed, and it was an adventure to add to our stories.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Somehow Marie Osmond Found Her Way Onto My Blog must have been love. Being Mormon (or Catholic or Heathen or Jewish) does not wholly define each or any of us! It's the reason I don't care for the word "religion," because it tends to categorize people into slots. We are so much more, and our individual, personal beliefs so much more subtle and complex than these religion packages. Marie Osmond shows what a classy lady and a good mom she is. Read here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bird Stuff

This set-up of oranges halved and poked onto branches attracts the Baltimore orioles, male and female. They splash the juice and seem to be making a mess, but when they're done, the orange flesh is perfectly excised from the half, leaving the septums of the sections intact.

We're having so much success with the birdbath in the front yard that I added this one outside Dad's window.

Mother and Father Robin made a ruckus when I almost stepped on their baby. I quickly took this picture and moved away, after which the worried parents calmed down.

I know of at least three families of robins nesting on the property. This nest is in the apricot tree.

Pink: Three Roses and a Peony

The "Nearly Wild" bush variety centered in the grassy island in the driveway. My uncle will remember the layout. Morning sun adds the magic.

And here is the reason for the expense and work of building the rose pergola, which now shades a Rosalina bench beneath it. The rose is "American Beauty-Pink"

Even the ditch is blooming...rough-and-ready roses that were on the property when we moved here ten years ago. All we've done is keep the trees away and let them be.

Peony! Mine are hidden away, but I cut them and bring them into the kitchen in bountiful bunches.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Chills and Thrills

I didn't take this picture. cherokeegirl at Dave's garden receives credit. This is, however, a brown thrasher, the same species of bird which Dad reported taking a "shower" in the bird bath yesterday. We have a pair of them around here, and you'll see one or the other if you spend any time at all on the front porch. None of the pictures I found on the internet did justice to the true color of this bird, which is not brown at all; I'd call it russet.Yes, I'll post just about anything. This is a shot of the scrap lumber stored under the back deck (to keep it dry). You may or may not notice the creature on that two by four. Here's a close-up. Isn't it nice how often animals will wait for me to rush inside, locate my camera and then fumble around several minutes while I try to take their picture? You'll notice that this beauty could, if s/he wanted, stretch the entire width of that 2x4.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Among a Host...

Yesterday, Sunna was gentle on my head. Sif worked with me hand-in-hand. Odin and Hel reserve places for me among the honored, but I think I will not stay long with either of them. I am too much a Thor's woman, and we are more concerned with life, for which death is only the fertilizer.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wizards and Mages

Here are the Mage of Labyrinths followed by the Wizard of Rivergarth first walking through the labyrinth while thunder grumbled and rain threatened, spit, then passed us by.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Label for this post is "utterly random." It is an update to my musings of August 3, Dales-ings.

diminutive suffix, 1314, from Old English -ling a nominal suffix (not originally diminutive): attested in historical Germanic languages as a simple suffix, but probably representing a fusion of the suffixes represented by English -le (compare icicle, thimble, handle), Old English -ol, -ul, -el; and -ing, suffix indicating "person or thing of a specific kind or origin; in masculine nouns also "son of" (compare farthing, atheling, Old English horing "adulterer, fornicator"). Both these suffixes had occasional dimunitive force, but this was only slightly evident in Old English -ling and its equivalents in Germanic languages except Old Norse, where it commonly was used as a diminutive suffix, especially in words designating the young of animals (e.g. g├Žslingr "gosling"). Thus it is possible that the diminutive use that developed in Middle English is from Old Norse.

*edited in order to expand abbreviations

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Two Projects in Completion

--finishing the roof of the rose pergola--

--digging the last posthole for the new fence--

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Watch your step!

I'm still here, actually, just awfully busy. Outside when I can be after housework, trying to keep up with the garden in periods between rains. Reading, too, and writing, but merely notes and an unkempt poem. Al is with me as he took off half a day Friday to help with construction projects. The whole property is one, big construction zone! Watch your step!

It's all a consequence of my guiding theme, my garden motto, for the year. This season it is "bones, bones, beautiful bones," and so I have been working on the "hardscape," garden structures, pathways, fences, trellises, borders, anything that involves bricks, stones or lumber--bones. It's an awful mess, but we ARE making progress despite appearances.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Wisdom of Rainy Days

Water is taught by thirst;
Land, by the oceans passed;
Transport, by throe;
Peace, by its battles told;
Love, by memorial mould;
Birds, by the snow.


Monday, May 4, 2009

This Morning in the Garden...

The yellow iris are blooming, matching the yellow sun. One goddess to another?

A small tragedy, this tomato plant (no. 16) snipped off an inch above ground level as though felled in the night by a Lilliputian lumberjack. I have no more replacements, although I could get one next time I go out. If I leave it alone, it will recover, growing new leaves and eventually catching up, but the wait might be too agonizing for this gardener.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Continuing Love Affair

My love affair with things that are small, secret, quietly lovely or silently remarkable continues unabated. I posted pictures of this delicate fern unfurling last year, and here I am again, enthralled both by its form (fascinating) and colors (achingly subtle). If I think about it too long, I'm positively overcome by the mechanism, the movement, of a fern uncoiling.

Delicate flower on a plant as hardy as they come. The contrast interests me. This is the only shade of columbine in my garden, because it's the one variety tough enough to return on its own year after year. I'm a sucker for plants that are both beautiful and independent!

Here are those Stars of Bethlehem that had me awestruck back in February. A few of them are blooming, this one beside a volunteer poppy. This spot was supposed to be new grass, planted in the vacancy left when I moved the garden east, but it was so thick with poppies that I decided to leave off mowing until after they bloom.

My close-ups are abysmal, I know. Sorry about that. You may be able to distinguish the two plants here. The heart-shaped leaves are the American Redbud. They sprout up everywhere, and if you don't move them before they're about 8 inches high, they have already grown a tap root nearly 2 feet deep, making them difficult to dig out. This redbud's companion is poison ivy; those are the notched leaves. I'm not particularly sensitive to it, but Al is, so the chore of removing it falls to me. Although if it were not for Alan, I'd probably just leave it, because it doesn't bother me, and the leaves are stunning red in the fall. By the way, the long, knife-like leaves are of faded daffodils. All these had to be moved when I was digging out bricks.

Pre-Construction Pictures

These are my obligatory pre-pictures of the work I'm doing to replace the walkways behind the house. I've removed almost all of the old brickwork. That patch I'm standing on in the last picture is the last of it to go. Next step is the framing in, which will include digging out the dirt in areas where I have to expand and scrounging up enough 2x4s to do the job. I'd hate to have to buy any.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Rheinwood Hearth: Walburg 2009

Siegfried Goodfellow

Heathen Ranter (Siegfried Goodfellow) is a brilliant thinker and writer. His only flaw is that he can't title a piece properly even to save his life. Take the name of his blog, for instance. Heathen Ranter, it's atrocious and completely fails to represent his thoughts or his style. His most current post is titled, "Big Guns Do Not Always Win Out." Again, the genius of his essay is betrayed by his lousy title. Now, I understand he uses this "Big Gun" metaphor as a thread of consistency through the work, closing, in fact, with "Those who carry big guns may lack it where it counts, you know what I mean?" Nevertheless, he's not giving himself enough credit for statements like this...
Because phenomena can be difficult to describe, and patterns may sometimes take sophisticated techniques to fully identify and bring to the surface in good resolution --- hey, but none of that is very "flashy", is it, and if your entire intent is to engage in a little display-behavior with your homies, not so interesting --- certain phenomena may require fairly involved and nuanced apparati to lock down, and it is always very easy to knock down someone else's scaffolding if your entire intent is to knock down.

Goodfellow mentions Obama in this essay, appropriate because the two display similar modes of practical analysis guided by an underlying philosophy of benevolent justice and hope. They are both dreamers, but reaching for the stars with their feet firmly planted on a ground of intelligence cultivated with knowledge and nourished with a bit of wisdom.

I can only conclude he has a blind spot when it comes to titles, because there's no reason for the failure, otherwise, when he can express himself as in the following,
If you're caught up in debunking, congratulations! You've come into the "terrible two's" of critical thinking, where you've just learned that you have the ability to say "no" to anything and everything you want in the world. Congratulations! But just remember, while you're in this phase, don't be surprised if some of us treat you for exactly the intellectual age you're demonstrating. Because critical thinking involves a lot more than simply the ability to say "no". You've got the "critical" part down, but you've left out the "thinking" part, which involves deep contemplation, rigorous intellectual engagement of one's intuition and pattern-recognition skills, and the ability to revisit topics again and again regardless of their level of "proof" or "disproof", because many, many times, important nuances, partial truths, and sometimes even whole truths, are left by the wayside to fall in the cracks in the midst of debates which are less respectful mutual inquiry and dialogue about differences than polemics.

My only reason in pointing this out today is that I needed an excuse to highlight his blog and some catch to send my readers over to view it. I've only been reading him a short time, but I'm deeply impressed. Even when I discover myself quibbling over a minor point here or there, I always learn, and he makes me think on a deeper (better) level than before.