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Morning Sun Dance

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It sometimes is very hard to convince someone that what you see is really so.  What I have seen are icicles on the pines.     We are in Florida so this was  difficult for those close to me to believe .   This morning I ran for my cell phone which I do not clearly understand and took several photos  like this one.  In awe of this morning’s sun dance,  I bend at the knees easily.  There was nothing else to do.   Click on the photo several times to get different views of the sparklers.   And you can guess the Christmas Card for this year.

If you click on the photo once it will come front and center.   Click on it again while front and center and it will fill your screen.   If you scroll up and down you will get different views.  This will work for almost all of my photos.   It will be great fun.

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A Toast From My Heart

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Let us drink in

the sight of each other

and let loose

those preconceived dreams

keeping us from

breathing in the essence

of the New Year.

With these we will face

a blessedness comparable to none.

Come,   drink and be merry.

We will welcome one another

forever more and be glad.

Salut!

Photo by Joe Hallissey Sr.

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Trading Wall Quilts

For my readers who have requested a photo of Maria Wulf’s wonderfulDSC_1615 wall quilt that she had offered to trade for one of mine,  this is the marvelous quilt.   I love it and do not tire of looking at it.   I find new images all the time.   She is a gifted artist as well as an accomplished poet and captures everything floating through her mind.   It is a wonder that she manipulates her sewing machine as easily as she does her pencils and her brushes.    And her chisels, for she sculpts also.  You will find her and her blog at www.fullmoonfiberart.com

I am fortunate to have this Freedom Woman wall quilt.   We had traded on September 28th of this year.   I have hung it on a door in my workroom which houses me most of the hours of the day.  So Maria’s quilt is at home with me.   And I thank all of you for asking to see it.  If you click on the quilt it will come forward to the middle of the screen.  And if you click again at different parts of the quilt,  they will be detailed for you for a closer look.   In fact if you click on my photos and also the quilts I feature they will come forward to the middle of your screen.   And several clicks will bring details closer.   I can fill up a screen with my beloved evergreens by clicking.   Or bring snow to my eyes from winters past.   I am grateful for many things modern technology has brought to me.   And this is one of them.

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My God And Me

DSC_1146Be Still . . . . . . . . .

Be still, this too shall pass
and let me tell you why.

The blue waters you take for granted
may dry up…….
and the grass beneath your feet
will crunch like
your breakfast cereal.

You may not live to see
another snowfall you have grown to love.
You may not see your sensate world
covering its sins
with the damask cloth
used on holy occasions.
But this too shall pass.

The faces of your private world
you have grown to cherish
will disappear from view.
You will miss their nearness
and will go looking to fill
the void they leave.

But I tell you,  this too shall pass.

For when you realize that I
would take nothing from you
without giving something back,
I know you have learned your lesson well.

In its place will be
a knowing that in another world
what you have earned
can never pass away.

That is my gift to you.

 

(2012)   (My God And Me . . . a book in progress)
photo by John Hallissey

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Best Ever Oatmeal Cookies

It was almost three quarters of a century ago that I was relegated to the kitchen at the age of 12 years to cook for my farm family because I could not work in the fields.   I became sick (turned green) in the sun and my mother took my place in the fields and I,  her place in the kitchen.   Her brief directions were exactly that,  brief.   I learned quickly.

We took farm journals and farm newsletters and I scoured them for recipes.   One of my favorite recipes was an oatmeal cookie recipe that the family loved and especially my brothers.   The clipping in my scrapbook of recipes is brown with age and I think it has gone into public domain because it is so old and no name was attached to the article.  It was also a time when cookies were not a snack but a valuable part of the day’s calories.   It was also a time when children worked their chores and when the days were longer in the summer,  had some time to play.   This was a time for dreams and ideas and experimenting.   This was a time when the word ‘boring’ was not part of the language.  Because we knew that if we could not find something to do,  an adult would soon find that something and it would be work.

The recipe can be doubled  because the numbers are easy to remember.   If you decide to double make certain you have a sturdy mixer.   If you don’t, it is safer to do small batches  like this one.   You cannot go too wrong, (if at all) with this.   A minute longer in the oven makes them crisp,  too soon out and they are chewy.   Both conditions excellent.   A glass of milk is a fine accompaniment.   I made these this week and I had forgotten how good they are.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Ingredients:

1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs   (added one at a time)
1 and 1/2 cups sifted flour   (I scoop the flour and shake the cup to level)
1/2 tsp salt    (I never add salt when I use baking soda.   I just never do)
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups oatmeal  (quick or regular)

Mix in the order given and drop by teaspoons.   Do not bother shaping as these spread during baking.   Bake on ungreased cookie sheets until light brown.   (approximately 10 minutes depending on your oven but watch because they brown quickly in the last minutes)  Wait a minute before removing from pan.   Move to racks or waxed paper on counter to continue cooling.

Good food is something everyone understands,  no matter the age.   They will think you are a genius.

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Lessons Need Repeating

catsSometimes things happen and one does not know quite how things either took a decided turn or what we did to make something happen.   It seems that since I decided what I wanted to do with my wall quilts,  life happened or intervened and Poof!  my plans went astray.   I relearned several things though.   One is that if something is meant for you,  you will not be able to avoid it.   And secondly,   if it is not meant for you,  nothing you do will make it happen for you.   That sounds like a fatalist,  but it is not meant to be.   If you consider yourself a worthwhile and integral part of this world or planet,  then you know you are not  an incident that just happened,  but a predetermined spark put here precisely in this time and space.   And that means that a  Somebody or your God has you in sight and life is indeed a challenge but a treasure as well.   I also learned that perseverance means a great deal.   Even when you think that if you straighten up your back will crack.  It simply means that the question is being put to you,  how hard would you work or keep at something till knowledge is yours,   or when would you know to quit and at what point.   I speak as if Somebody is in charge and to answer that question means that you have to do a lot of footwork.   It is a challenge and worth it.   But the truth is that  it is never too late to start the footwork.  I finally finished this first Christmas wall quilt,  a bit smaller than first thought,  but finished.   It certainly tested my Christmas state of mind.    But it is for sale and if you are interested,  let me know here.

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New Surroundings

photo (5)To those of you who have been following my blog and wondering when or if I would  return,
we are now established in our new surroundings in St. Johns, Florida.   Driving into the southern parts of these United States from West Virginia down,   I could only find one word to describe my beloved evergreens in profusion.  Wow! oh wow!   Wow!   I did not know that evergreens were indigenous to the area but oh my,  the highways are picture perfect in their upkeep with the evergreens marching in line as if in parade.   The Skyline Drive was magnificent along with the Blue Ridge drive once fog lifted.  We had a long time family friend  drive us so we enjoyed the trip as much as two aging passengers could.   And also traveling with us was our aging golden retriever.   He did better than the three of us.

It has taken a bit of time to set up all electronic equipment but we are good to go.   I hope to get on a regular schedule again soon and share with you what it is I have learned on this greatest of all journeys,  the one we call our life.   Our greatest contribution is what we can bring to every day, and if need be,  dipping even deeper into the well of who we are.   We know we are better than our oftentimes childish behavior and we only have to prove it.  Now I embark on the last quarter mile home and I wish it to be rich in those things of Spirit.  I hope I can make your days a reflection of only my best ones.   Join me.

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SMALL COMFORT

In the case of young women who have cracked glass ceilings,  I wish to remind them that generations of women have prepared partners for them who wish to parent their children.  That there were women free of commitments or those who shrugged those commitments  to do what they felt was theirs over the years  was a miracle of sorts.  There were others who had to care for their commitments and could only dance in place.   It is a larger picture than one generation and several lifetimes in the making.  The lone voice of Betty Friedan started the  uproar to the top floors and it was the shoulders of the generations of women our young women today have used as a staircase to the upper floors.

SMALL COMFORT

In waves, the moans
of the conscience stricken reached the heavens.
In waves, across the lands,
reaching tidal proportions,
the laments were cradled in the clouds;
due in time to wash across the hearts of the unborn.

The cries of why? why? and why?
were epidemic as they swept the Great Mind
and lodged in its bosom.
The gods, bewildered, wondered why (themselves)
the questioning continued when in ages past
man learned so well.

But now the ‘why?’ from woman’s lips
demanded an answer
to soothe her breast grown bloody with irritation;
a cancer eating her insides,
moving earth as well as heaven to answer.

‘I said’ no longer was sufficient for the rising tide
of an ego too long suppressed
and not to know its day.
No longer sufficient to walk in shadow,
when knowledge, full blown was hers.

The ‘I said’ no longer held terror
from either God or Man.
‘I said’ no longer could be used
to keep suppressed the horror in the cry
falling on man’s ears.

The children vanished from the hearth
and woman rose, unafraid.
No more the reason of hunger or cold
from winter’s snow to cover the babies’ heads,
as she found her head immune to pain
inflicted by mindless gods, both earth’s and heaven’s.

Too late she knew, but all in due time.
For progress, such as it was, had reason to bed.
The heel must first strike the ground
before the foot implants.

She did not know the muscle she had
to carry life’s burdens,
nor the control it required to balance it all.
Unknowingly, the ballet performance

was exquisite.

Sept. 1987

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Kiss The Moon Winner

I am pleased to announce that the winner of the drawing of Kiss The Moon is Luanne Thulstrup who is from the Northwest.   I wish to thank all those who entered and viewed my work.   And I wish to thank Maria Wulf for her generous offer to speak of the drawing on Full Moon Fiber Art.com.    She touches many people in ways we can only scarcely see.

And to all of you who found my work to be interesting and with a bit of surprise I do hope that you will continue to be visitors and to bookmark me.  I will be running drawings now and again for my books and a possible wall quilt at times.  Comments I especially look for because it is a way for me to judge what group responds to what I have written.

I especially want to encourage the broadening of our premises.   In a world with so many challenges,   we need broader foundations upon which to build our spiritual need of brotherhood.   It may be on our shoulders that this responsibility falls.   There is no doubt that we are equal to it.   Again,  I thank all of you,  and special thanks to Maria.

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Poetry Book Drawing

Kiss The Moon Book Cover

Cover

This week there will be a drawing for the book of poetry called Kiss The Moon.   The number picked will be at random and I will announce the winner on Friday.   So when you comment on whatever post you like or have thoughts about,   I will be notified and I will put names in a container and the name will be drawn.

This is the first time I have done this and Maria at fullmoonfiberarts.com has been my encouragement.  I know there are many of you who like my poetry and perhaps you will be the one to be drawn this week.   The names through Thursday night will be eligible.

I am looking forward to the response from my readers.   I have enjoyed your e mails but you must go to http://fromanupperfloor.com to register your name and comments.   You will have four (4) days to do this.   The second printing cover of my book has slightly different printing, otherwise the art work is the same.   And most of the poetry on my blog is in the book.  Good luck to you.

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