My webpage (inc. awards, upcoming events, etc.)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Story & Chick Update

Dave at authorblog really liked a short, true story I posted in his comments recently & asked me to share it on my blog, so here it is...

Years ago I worked for the hydro (electric) company at Niagara Falls. Every morning I had to shoo fishermen out of the Niagara River before they opened the dam & swept everyone over the Falls--not even 200 yards away. Had they even slipped where they were, there'd be no rescuing them. It seems fishermen don't acknowledge danger--even when it's imminent. Now THAT'S fanaticism.
Here's a picture of the wren chicks as of this afternoon. Clearly now we see at least 5, they're much bigger & their eyes are open.

There's been no activity for a while at the brown nuthatch nest, unfortunately. I'm going to spend some time this weekend watching their favorite feeder, hoping to see the adults, at least. Today I spotted a 3 1/2' long snake (most likely a southern black racer,) making its way across our backyard. After it seemingly vanished, Charles & I went out in the yard & discovered it's hole. Perhaps this explains the nuthatches' absence. <:(

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Painting

"Dreams of Glastonbury" study
Acrylic on 14x18" canvasboard (sold)

Monday, April 28, 2008

On Remembering Dreams

If you want to remember more of your dreams, you must make a commitment to consistent effort. You won’t improve your recall if you can’t, don’t or won’t really try to, for whatever reason. Practice truly makes perfect in this. I can’t stress this enough.
Dream recall & efforts toward it are focused in 3 main areas; going to bed, waking up & while dreaming. The last involves lucid dreaming. Although many people believe that lucid dreaming is “controlling your dreams,” all it is, really, is being consciously aware that you’re dreaming during the process. Beginners need not concern themselves with lucid dreaming, however. You need to crawl before you can walk, as the saying goes, & if you crawl enough, you will eventually walk.

On going to bed;
1. Keep a pen and paper (or journal) within easy reach of your bed. You may also want to have a nearby nightlight or penlight, in case you wake in the middle of the night & need to write, but don’t want to get up & turn on a bright light. Alternately, a little, hand-held tape recorder might be good for those mid-night episodes.
2. Use repetitious, positive thoughts about dream recall as you drift off, i.e.; “I will remember my dream, I will remember my dream.”
3. As your mind slips into the hypnogogic stage (pre-sleep,) watch the images that appear as though you’re watching a movie. Remain detached but aware. This is sometimes difficult. Don’t worry much about it, but do keep trying.

On waking;
1. Allow yourself to wake naturally, without such distractions as an alarm clock or phone. Sometimes these things may wake us in the middle of a dream, but the movement involved in turning off the alarm or answering the phone stimulates the conscious mind, which can push the dream out of your memory.
2. For the same reason mentioned above, when you first awaken, don’t move around. Lie still for a little bit while you mentally review what you remember of your dream to set it more firmly in your mind.
3. Write down everything you remember (or tape recorded,) in detail, whether it’s a full blown dream or just an abstract image. This goes for waking in the middle of the night or remembering things halfway through the day—write things down immediately. Even if you set it firmly in your mind, if you don’t write it down, you’re likely to lose it again. On the other hand, if you remember nothing, write nothing. Your dream journal should be associated with dream recall, not with entries saying “I didn’t remember anything.”
3a. Sometimes you can remember more of your dream if you ask yourself questions about what you do recall. If all you remembered was “something about a woman,” ask yourself how old she was, was she inside or outside, what color was her hair, was she calm or upset, etc.? Sometimes the answers to these questions will lead to remembering other parts of the dream.

As previously mentioned, the most important part of remembering dreams is consistent effort. If you try these techniques once in a while, you're unlikely to remember any more than usual. Consistent use of the techniques will eventually retrain the brain to pay more attention to dream recall. After all, "where attention goes, energy flows."

Please feel free to share your own techniques & experiences in my comments. I'd love to read them!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Recent Dreams & Macros

Wed., 4/23/08; A bunch of monk parakeets were flying around. Later I was at work, where I often helped a black woman & her children. At one point she pulled me aside to speak with me. In her thick, exotic accent she told me that she’s from Scotland (although her accent wasn't European.) She seemed to take offense at the fact that I’d showed her kids a toy gorilla. I didn’t see the correlation & tried to explain where she’d misunderstood me. Although firm, she was not unkind. We were able to sort out the problem. Then I left to go meet my brother down the street, as I often did. It was nighttime. I stopped in a parking lot not far from work, wondering if I should go back & call him, thinking he might not be at the usual meeting place (for some reason.) I decided against it & continued down the road. I met up with my brother & started asking him about all of us perhaps meeting up halfway between our homes. He wouldn’t even let me say “Panama City” before he started laughing & declining the idea. I got very frustrated, as he wasn’t letting me finish what I had to say. Soon I went to speak to his wife about it, since he wouldn’t listen.

Thurs., 4/24/08; I was going to be late for school. Charles said I didn’t have to go, so I didn’t. I felt a little guilty about it, then realized it really didn’t matter. Then there was something about Nip/Tuck plots happening in "real" life. One included a woman finding a shortcut to Long Island through the back room of a grocery store. Later one of the doors in the shortcut was half-sized. Another plot included people on a ferris wheel with large, rectangular cars. Everyone was supposed to clean their car’s floor, but only those who were 2 to a car did. Another plot involved people starting a new civilization elsewhere. Car racing was involved. After some discussion & before any races, it was decided (through Christian’s urging,) that the woman should be allowed to win the races, as she was best suited to it.

Fri., 4/25/08; I was in the huge bathroom on a cruise ship. Later James Bond was getting married. He & his family were training his fiancĂ© how to fight & be extra safe. A large, round mirror (with a black & dark brown sun-style frame,) went missing from one wall. Then a villain had stolen something of Bond’s or had kidnapped him, outright. He was making an android copy of Bond in a few different stages. One stage involved the early robot going down the yard (on a sunny day,) to pay for a pizza delivery. The villain & some others watched him, pleased with their progress.

Sat., 4/26/08; My work manager asked me to go take pictures with a professional photographer. I was excited by the prospect & told him I was honored to be able to work with him. He was a bit haughty, but not overly so. Later I was inside with D.D. A few others were there. Books for sale were on tables, including “Ring of Gold,” by B.G. Someone in “the industry” said it had all the makings of a #1 bestseller. D.D. wanted a trilogy I’d seen earlier, so I went & got it for him. I put it on a table near a back corner & went to browse more books. I realized that a young man (college aged,) had gone to our books & was taking one of the trilogy. I went back over & took it from his hands, explaining that I was buying those. Although he seemed a bit miffed, I didn’t give him time to argue. Soon J.G. joined us. He had B.G.’s book in his hands. He didn’t expect it to be very good, but he’d give it a try.
All of the (macro) pictures are of plants in our yard. The sun-like flower is orange milkwort & Dave at osage + orange has notified me that the strange pods in the last picture are some kind of sedge.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Carolina Wren Chicks!

I was delighted after work today, when Charles told me that the Carolina wren's eggs have hatched (very recently, from the look of it!) He also took some pictures for me;
Although we're not sure how many chicks are in there, 4 are clearly visible in the shot below. As soon as they fledge (12-16 days,) we're going to try to get our tent out of the shed.
I'm very happy. The chicks are just precious. If we refer to the local birds as our "kids," I guess we're grandparents now...again! Thanks to Charles for being so thoughtful. :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Yet More Recent Dreams

I spent some quality time catching up on filling in the details of my recent dreams. Due to the length of this post, I'll spare you my typically disjointed notes.

Thurs., 4/17/08; I was driving at night with others in the car. We couldn’t find our way home. We’d stop for directions, but nothing is open. I ended up stopping at a small gas station/convenience store which seems to be lit up, but they’re not open, either. Soon a cop came by to see what we were up to. I was relieved & finally got the directions we needed. Later I was with a few others at a furniture auction. I was somewhat sad to see one of mom’s hutches there. The man running the auction led us out & we all headed toward L.B.’s. It was in the same area that I was lost in earlier, so I tried to strategize how to get home. I figured if I just keep driving east I’d be okay, but then I realized that some roads may twist & turn & I could end up lost again. We approached L.B.’s house. She had little ornaments on the earthen path--I realized they were like little, stuffed animal birds. They were very cute, so I pointed them out to the others. Her front yard was also decorated with black & white ornaments. We met up with L.B., sitting in a chair on her wrap-around porch. She had made everyone dinner. I had a piece of chicken & some salad. When I finished eating L.B. complained that I didn’t have a hamburger. I pointed out that I did have chicken & salad & that I couldn’t get a hamburger down now if I tried. Others came up to eat & I freed up space for them, joining a few other women on the sidewalk in front of the house. As we walked along, I asked if someone could give me simple directions home. We were near a perpendicular, adjoining road (across the street, forming a “T,”) which one woman told me would bring me back to Pelham. From there I knew I could get home. Soon we joined others, including children, near some kind of frozen drink making machine. Because I was the closest, I was asked to operate it. I made drinks for some of the kids. The first one came out fine; 4 squirts of flavor, then add vanilla ice cream. The next one I seemed to totally forget what I was doing & had to refocus on the task. When it came to be my turn for a drink, I couldn’t decide between a pineapple Julius or a frozen coffee drink. I finally opted for pineapple, but there was no pineapple syrup left. I tried the coffee, but now the machine was off, so I didn’t get a drink. Later I was walking between young black people at a school, going to the other side of the building.

A raccoon came by to steal seed before dark again today.

Fri., 4/18/08; I put on a 20’s style hat & pulled it down low over one eye. A comparison was made between me & a former senator with 3 names (i.e.; First Last-Last.) I looked for a book with pictures of her, so I could see for myself. Later I was among others during a flood. I managed to find higher ground, a hillside that sloped down to the water. I also found a couple of short, childrens’ books about Tinkerbell (with ”Tink” in each title.) The covers were orange & pink. I tried to put them on a shelf with others. Bugs came, attracted to the bright colors. The bottom of the shelf was touching the water already, but I put the books there, anyway. I ran into Peter Griffin from “Family Guy.” He told me Lois was dead. He was scheduled to be shipped off in a crate Lois had been in. I cleaned out the crate, but on second thought, instead of throwing things out, I put them back in for Peter. We saw M.T. coming down the hillside across the water from us. She took a couple of steps into the shallow water, then suddenly fell in to her chest. Peter & I laughed. Later a woman was at a street celebration, acting crazy, as though no one else could see her. The police were clearly trying to arrest her. A car lost control on the road, broke through the barricade & ran her over. I thought it was in slow motion, as she was being crushed under the car onto glass & debris on the street, but it turned out to be real time. Horrified, I looked away. When I looked back, it happened again & again.

6 indigo buntings & a pair of cardinals. All belong to the cardinalidae family.

Sat., 4/19/08; I was with others, walking through a town. Between buildings, I saw a scaled down version of a WWII plane on a stand in front of a building. I pointed it out to others. Soon afterwards, a similar plane crashed in the distance, lighting the horizon with fire. Eventually I ended up in a glass shop run by R.M. M.G. & her daughter were there. I loaned Amber a glass designing kit I had that included an adjustable, white plastic frame. Unfortunately I had to leave moments later, so I had to take the kit back. Everyone seemed somewhat disappointed by that, but I stressed that it wasn’t personal or anything, I just had to go.

A conehead katydid (about 4" long,) on my screen door tonight.

Mon., 4/21/08; I worked with R.F. for the B’s. They had developed a product that would prevent a person from being tracked by satellite. They were highly excited about it. My shift finished at 7:30pm, but it was 8:00 before I realized it. I went to a garage-like area to leave on my motorcycle. A man stopped me & asked me to help him with a paper problem with his printers. He worked at the hospital & said the computers don’t use Windows. I suspect they do, but I tell him that if they don’t, I can’t help him. Later he led me to a conference room. Soon I realize that I’m in danger; alone & trapped. I left & went back to my motorcycle to leave, but it had been blocked in by all kinds of stuff. Now I’m alone in the building--R.F. & everyone else are gone, most of the lights are off. I moved the things out of the way of my bike & left. Later I learned that a man named Sinn Fein had bought one of the B’s devices & bombed 2 places. I told someone else about it. I watched a motorcyclist on the road. He lost control & crashed into a store (drive-in,) window. The woman working inside pulled him in & started giving him hell, shouting at him & shoving him around. He was a terrorist. Then another woman was talking about terrorists, but I seemed to be the person she was talking about. A man behind me shoved me down roughly & painfully onto a counter with a shotgun, the end of it’s barrel pressed up against the back of my head. 2 other terrorists were nearby. A Mid-Eastern leader was on TV. He looked panicked & is clearly just saying what terrorists are telling him to. Later I was looking at Charles’ X-rays. One indicated a broken bone in his lower arm (near the wrist.) Another seemed to show dozens of metal retainers all along his left arm (from when he broke it in the last motorcycle accident.) Yet later I was at home (which was different than “real” life,) with Charles. There was a ti plant near the top of a staircase. I wanted to move it, so on our way to go to sleep, I picked it up by it’s top. The bottom fell away. I realized I’d probably forgotten to water it for too long, but I thought that if I lined up the pieces & resumed watering, it’d be okay. The top piece seemed to fit over the bottom piece.

More Recent Dreams

Every morning & jot down various notes regarding my dreams, then I typically fill in the details later (when I have time.) Unfortunately, I haven't had time for filling in for most of the past week, so I'm falling far behind. I do have a couple I can share, though...

Sun., 4/20/08; I went to hear President Bush speak via a very informal outlet. Some of us "nobodies" were regulars at these talks. The president sat at a desk across from a small, open room with bench seats along the walls. For the 1st time, a bunch of politicians were also there to see what it was about. I wasn’t dressed for the occasion & was aware of the politicians' disapproval. I took a seat quickly, hoping to turn the attention away from myself.

The theme of social rejection, again. Not wearing the "right" clothes closely mirrors issues from my teen years. Strange how some things never really leave a person...

Last Night's Dream; At home with Charles on Halloween, went to visit a couple of friends (J.L. & J.L.) Costumed people were walking through the streets. Getting ready to leave my friends’ place, I wanted to call Charles to let him know, but I was having problems with the phone (I kept transposing 2 of the last numbers.) I asked one of the guys for help & he said I had to dial my social security number, which made no sense. Regardless of my arguments, he stuck to his story. Eventually I got through by dialing my phone number. I was exasperated on the phone with Charles & had to explain (when I got home,) that I was upset with the phone, not him. Later I was at a mall, where B. & S.G. had a trailer set up on stilts in the main hallway. There were 2 escalators (going up & down,) at one end, & some doors open in the sides, front & back. They were selling T-shirts to benefit S.G.’s cancer surgery costs. Friends were helping them. I went straight to a couch on the floor before their display, curled up in one corner & closed my eyes to sleep. I thought it was probably rude of me not even to say “hi,” but I didn’t care much. Eventually I woke. Charles had bought us each a shirt, paying $20 each for them. I went up into the front of the trailer to see B. & S.G. They looked at my receipt, that implied that we paid $20 for both shirts, which clearly disappointed them. S.G. went to do something, so I spoke with B.G. for a while. Then he told me to go out one of the side doors. I went to the door, but the nearest step on the ladder was fairly far below. Considering my shortness, it was going to be difficult to go this way. As I stood there, figuring out how to do it, Charles was at the bottom. A security guard showed up like he was going to give me hell. Later I ran into R.M., who invited me to go to the beach with her. I’d parked in a nearby business lot & when we got back it was dark & raining. Only a few cars remained & the fence around the lot had been closed. R.M. said she’d open it for me & just as she did, someone driving a small, white pickup truck gunned it, knocking the gate from her hand. She jumped in front of the truck to slow them down, but they mowed her down, instead. I was in my car already & as I went through the gate police were arriving. I wanted to stop on the road outside the gate, but now people were waiting on me & I couldn’t get out of the way. I slowed down & learned now that it was a small boy who’d been hit, which confused me. I left.

Halloween/costumes can also represent wearing the "wrong" clothes. "Social security" may point to the social rejection theme, as well (particularly as I know it won't work.)
The 2 "J.L.s" at the beginning of this dream are both male friends, neither of which live anywhere nearby.
My friend, S.G., is undergoing surgery for breast cancer today & is very much in my thoughts.
In the pictures; a great blue heron (top) & 2 mourning doves (bottom.)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Recent Dreams

Tues., 4/15/08; I was sitting with Charles near a line of trees on the front edge of our property (different than in "real" life,) considering installing a small in-ground pool in the front yard. Later I went to the grocery store, where Blue Bell ice cream was on sale for $2/gal. I bought one chocolate & one mint chocolate chip. When I got home I remembered I was out of chocolate syrup. I asked mom to go to the store for some, but then remembered that we had a can of Hershey’s in addition to 2 squeeze bottles (one chocolate syrup, one strawberry.) Later I was outside. 3 luminous, friendly, soft pink beings were hovering around the area. One of them told me how to get a hold of it if I need it. Then mom, I & other people are all going to go somewhere. The woman driving is fond of Ford vehicles. I went out ahead of everyone else, but couldn’t find her car in the parking lot. Then, when I’m across the lot from it, I spot a Ford Tempo & realize that’s the one.

Saying I'm not a Ford fan may be the understatement of the year.

Wed., 4/16/08; I was with Charles at a party or gathering. People were having fun. Soon I decided to get my archery stuff out of my knapsack. Evidently people thought that was rude of me & started leaving the area. I felt badly.

I've had straight longbows in the past & actually used to be a pretty good shot. The more important theme here, however, is that of social rejection.

The top picture is an "artsy" shot of a crow flying in our backyard. Under that's 2 bees on clover & the last one's of a raccoon pilfering birdseed this evening.
All efforts to upload any video through Blogger have proved a frustrating waste of time, so I've redirected my efforts toward YouTube. The 7-second video above was taken just a few minutes prior to the photo above it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Carolina Wrens

Our local pair of Carolina wrens, which I love very much. They're hysterically cheeky & inquisitive. I avoid it as much as I can lately, but today I had to go into our shed. While there I got a picture of their nest, in the folds of our tent. None of the shots came out great, but I didn't have much time (every second mama wren's away the eggs are cooling off);
I'm looking forward to seeing the chicks when they hatch.
No camping 'til Autumn, at any rate!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Recent Dreams & More Weekend Pix

I've been remiss in posting my dreams lately, so here are a few interspersed with more photos from this weekend...

Dogwood flowers

Sat., 4/12/08; I was outside with someone else, standing near wooden-framed fencing. On the other side was a field, wherein 4 women were kneeling on card tables. Later I was in an abandoned factory (like those in the “Saw” movies.) I went through one long room that was so cold there was “snow” (like in a freezer,) on everything, it made me cry & I wasn’t sure I’d make it. I had to step over pipes that ran parallel to one another across the floor every 10’ or so. Past that I came to a room with 2 women in it. I felt like I missed something & tried to rewind the scene (which was on tape now,) but I couldn’t go back. Soon one of the women turned into a man. I left the area with a woman. We had to go back the way I came. Although I had to explore more of the building, learning the layout through repetition like this would help prevent me from getting lost. Going through the cold room again, I saw that the pipes on the floor were bent up & over on one end, leaving a path open beneath them. We took that way. Later I was working at a Punjabi clothing store. Charles came by for a visit & offered to take me out for lunch. A woman also came in. She requested our purses for an experiment that had to do with smells. I asked if I could bring her a different one, as I’m using mine right now. Then there was something about Bender from Futurama. Yet later Krusty the Clown (from “The Simpsons,”) was in a dental chair surrounded by people. They inserted small, plastic, colored sticks (that represented various smells,) deep into his nose. I thought he’d freak out, but he was pretty calm. Yet later, Leela (from Futurama,) was doing vertical practice drills off some kind off a cliff. Then there was a watery area between 2 slightly raised areas of soft, wet ground.

Carolina (or Hermes) satyr butterfly

Sun., 4/13/08; B.L. was driving me to the airport to visit Brave Astronaut (it was my turn to see him.) He stopped at departure display machines that were like gas pumps. Although we were trying to get my departure info, he kept accidentally resetting the machines. I was getting frustrated. Later I worked with the Reno 911! characters as lifeguards. There was something about a woman putting liquid poison onto a cake she was serving others. Later I went on a raid with my coworkers, but I forgot my shoes & had to go back for them. I didn’t get back to the raid in time & the Reno 911! characters accused me of cowardice & a lack of loyalty. Later a beetle crawled onto a piece of cake & died. It disintegrated before my eyes, sinking into the cake. I knew it was poisonous. Numerous people got sick from eating it. Later I was talking with Junior in an in-ground pool with a black business logo at the bottom--it wasn’t his pool. Soon the man who owned it came, but he wasn’t upset with us. Later we all worked at Burger King.

Macro; conical growths on a leaf

Mon., 4/14/08; I rode on train for work related thing. At the end of the line I had problems finding out how to get back home. I followed another woman, who was going back to the same area. Our supervisor wasn’t very helpful. We followed him to a local man’s house. The man was married & killed himself after a little while.

Macro; Spittlebug (or Froghopper) mass (about 1 cm across)

A variety of leaves

Etc. Weekend Pictures

Some etc. photos from this past weekend;
A male eastern towhee, a female cardinal, a blue jay, a mourning dove & 5 indigo buntings.
A red headed woodpecker (the next day we realized there were 2 of them around.)
A macro shot--these flowers (which I have yet to identify,) were about 5mm across.
This anole was kind enough to allow me to get a macro shot of him, too.
We found a hiking path along the Abita River when we were down by the Trailhead. Here's Charles looking up at an enormous slash pine.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Town Monday

The Smithsonian Museum's "New Harmonies" exhibit is in town for this month. It's a traveling exhibit and Abita Springs was fortunate enough to be chosen for it's first stop.
The weather was ideal yesterday, so we went over to the newly opened Trailhead to check out a couple of concerts. First, local musicians played country & bluegrass;
After that we were treated to Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders;
Our historic gazebo (pictured in a previous post,) has been completed and is now open to the public;
To give you a sense of scale, here's Charles on the 2nd story, looking over the concert at the Trailhead;
Most of the Smithsonian's display is set up inside the Trailhead Museum;
The Tammany Trace (mentioned in previous posts,) was built over former train tracks, which used to bring visitors from New Orleans. Click the picture for a readable view;
About the Choctaw, the original inhabitants of Abita Springs. Click the picture for a readable view;

"My Town Monday" is the brainchild of Travis Erwin. Visit his blog to view entries from all over.
Click the "My Town Monday" label below for previous posts about Abita Springs.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Recent Dreams

Thurs., 4/10/08; I was at an animal shelter. Someone famous had been there. The woman who ran the place told us that the person had paid $76 to drop off their cat, & that bought them some privacy, too.

This may be partly influenced be recent news items about hospital staff (& others,) looking into famous peoples' files without need or authorization. It also certainly has to do with the fact that we almost ended up with a cat recently (although another home was found for it.)

Fri., 4/11/08; Capt. Kirk was madly in love with the woman who played T’Pau in the “Amok Time” episode (among others, although she is not that character here.) She loved him just as much, although their affection was elicit for some reason. Later I was watching a movie that was made as though from a camera strapped on a goose flying low over water. Then I was in the water. I waded back to the shore, where I walked right into the ground (it was up to my thighs.) Soon I managed to get back onto the land instead of in it. Someone on the shore had their beloved pet camel with them. Later I was online, trying to post a question. It posted early by mistake, so only part of the question appeared. By the time I posted the entire question, I saw that the partial post had numerous answers, most of which were about relationships/love. Then I was outside at a flea market of sorts, selling my art. I was putting extra copies of “Abita Pines After Rain” (pictured above,) out. A man looking at my work asked, “How much will fit in there before it pushes over the works in front of it? Why put so much out--doesn’t that make it easier for someone to steal?” Trying to explain why I’m doing it, I have difficulty finding the Abita Pines paintings. I show him a teddy bear light switch I’ve painted an antiqued blue, instead. The wall plate was solid, but the teddy bear on it was soft & pliant. Then I found the painting & told him it takes less than 10 minutes to do it. He started dancing me around, singing a song about my dad being a gum salesman. Looking up on a nearby building, I saw him on a billboard.

Ironically, the actress who played T'Pau was Celia "Lovsky." (I didn't find this out until after I had this dream.)
Selling art at a flea market is certainly inspired by a new market in our area that I've applied to (despite my natural hesitation, considering past experiences.) It's on the 19th & I'm still awaiting an answer from the "Art for Madisonville" people. The "Abita Pines After Rain" painting takes more than 10 minutes, of course.
My father was a lawyer (& later a judge.) Although he & mom were among the first pitchmen on TV, he never sold gum, to my knowledge.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

LND; Blessing Bush & Books

I was inside, looking at a small area filled with pagan-based stuff. I wasn’t interested in much, although I did look through the books. President Bush came through the area, to my surprise. I looked at him & he smiled & nodded at me. A young man went over to him, to discuss things he could do to increase his popularity. He spoke with an air of extreme self-importance. He asked if the President had ever been blessed with incense, but was searching for an archaic word for it. In the context of his sentence, I offered, “Censer.” He seemed offended that I’d deign to interject. I didn’t care--he was a presumptuous idiot. I turned back to the area of pagan-based stuff, which had many more books now. One of them was about making sandstone jewelry. Some of the polished stones in the photo were lovely. I figured I could do something like that. Some of the new books were “Dragonlance” novels. I wasn’t interested in them.

My recent dreams about cults & pagan things likely point to spiritual issues, most likely my disdain for superstitions of all kinds.
Considering it's related to President Bush, "censer" could be seen as "censor."
The sandstone is here because I was reading about it in a field guide last night.
I read a few Dragonlance novels in the past. I don't read much fantasy/sci-fi anymore. I tend to stick to non-fiction these days.
The photo was taken at the Flatwoods. There's a single, false "tree" in there--do you see it? (Click to enlarge.)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

New Visitors to the Hermitage & LND

Pair of pink-striped oakworm moths.

Last Night's Dream; I was with others in a neighborhood. Later a Punjabi man was making a boat (like a canoe.) Then he worked on hand-dying a fabric to cover the shell with. The dye had 2 ingredients, then he mixed honey in with it. The resulting color was a sky blue.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Coot & Recent Dreams; Cults

Sunday night’s dream; I was with others. We survived a deadly storm. Later I was having dinner with others outside on a street. A bus came by & picked us up for tour of the local area, which I’d recently moved to. The road we were on curved to the left. A large body of water was to our right. I was on that side of the bus, so I was able to see a whale’s fluke slowly submerging. I was bummed that I didn’t bring my camera & wondered why I hadn’t thought of it. The road curved to the left again. A little way down on the right was a gravel side road. The tour guide said it lead to a park area (that I hadn’t realized was there.) The bus dropped us off back where it picked us up & I got into my car to go home. I followed the same route the bus had taken, hoping to stop by the park for a quick look. Unfortunately I passed the gravel road in the dark (it was nighttime now,) I saw it too late to turn. I figured I could see it some other time & continued on to the end of the road. It was on one side of a river. I lived on the other side. The river had been frozen, allowing people to walk across, but now it was thawing. I left the car to check it out. There was only a little bit of ice left on the banks of the river. The bulk of it was completely melted. I realized that R.M. was driving straight for the river & tried to stop her, but it was too late. She was in the car, submerged in the water, but I could still hear her yelling for help from inside. I went in & opened the back door, which made the car surge back up in the water. It took her a few moments to get out, during which I was still concerned that she won’t make it. She implied that opening the back door was more hindrance than help, but there was little else I could have done. We got into my car. I thought there might be a route across the river through the park, so we drove the entire tour bus circuit again to get there. I drove slowly in the area, being careful not to pass it again. All of the locals were there, dressed in similar clothing, but so were R.M. & I. We realized that the area was some kind of cult compound. I asked people for help, but they didn’t seem to understand that we needed to get across the river. Under a tall overpass one woman told the others that she thought CNN should be removed from their TVs. I looked toward the river, but there were no bridges to the other side from the park, after all.

Last night’s dream; I went to work security at a large building that housed a cult. You had to be buzzed in & they took away all modes of communication (cell phones, etc.) I was posted in the main lobby, near some elevators. When my shift was over I went outside, but I didn’t have a car or a phone to call anyone to pick me up. I wanted to get back inside to use one of the administrator’s phones, but I was having trouble. I had to get to work at another post, but it was looking like I wasn’t going to make it. At one point I managed to sneak into an administrator's office, but a woman caught me & made me go back outside. I went to another area of the building, where a strange man was hanging out.
This picture of an American coot was taken at Fontainebleau State Park a few months ago.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Some of Yesterday's "Visitors to the Hermitage"

A rat bastard, a cardinal, 2 mourning doves & a towhee.
2 indigo buntings. I was so excited to see them again I nearly fell off the deck. (They first showed up last April, but a week later than this year. Ultimately we had a total of 5 of them for a couple of weeks. I hope someday they'll decide to stay.)
This cottontail rabbit was HUGE & loved our delicious clover.

In other news, a Carolina wren (possibly the same one that nested in our chair,) has made a nest in the shed. There are at least 5 eggs in it, too. It's on our tent, so we won't be camping any time soon.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

LND; OCD & George Clooney

Something about a waterfall. Later I was on the phone with a female friend. I told her I was going to eat something. She had some kind of OCD about it, however, & freaked out, giving me heck for even mentioning it to her. As a result I assured her I was going to eat something else. I got a couple small pieces of cake & a third thing. As I was trying to calm her down, I looked toward a plant I had on a stand nearby. It was in front of a window, just on the other side of a burgundy colored wall. It started to move downward, then picked up speed. I yelled to whoever was on the other side of the wall that they were knocking over my plant. There was no response, so I got off the phone & went to intervene. George Clooney was on the other side of the wall, picking my plant up. He asked me who was on the phone. I told him & he seemed somewhat upset, as though I were cheating on him or something. I assured him that I wasn’t.

Virtually everything here is related to "real" life;
1. Last night I was visualizing the waterfall layout in the painting I'm working on.
2. I recently spoke to a female friend on the phone.
3. A friend's OCD came up yesterday.
4. Small pieces of cake are regularly available at work (one of our patron's is a wonderful baker & brings us treats every week.) I also threw a couple of old pieces of cake out for the birds yesterday.
5. George Clooney was on "The Daily Show" the other night.
Of course, George & I don't have any relationship in "real" life & I'm not cheating on anyone or anything (nor do I intend to,) so he certainly represents some other part of my Self here. Part that's "putting on an act," possibly...
Although I used to have plants on stands, they've since been transplanted into pots that don't fit in the stands, so I don't use them anymore. Besides that, last month I bought fertilizer for my houseplants & for our ligustrum bushes, outside. The houseplants are responding admirably, at least.
I seem to be trying to reassure others in this dream; trying to calm my OCD friend down & speaking with George. I'm trying to keep the peace, to make others happy.
The picture is of one of "our" beloved brown-headed nuthatches. The birdhouse on the tree in the background is too low & close to the feeding area for actual use. Considering the raccoons & opossums (& foxes, when we first moved in,) that frequent the area, I don't really encourage birds to nest around our house. We're in the middle of a large forest, so there are numerous, safer places to be. Regardless, I'm delighted that the nuthatches decided to nest along our driveway. They're still active there & I look forward to seeing their offspring.

Friday, April 4, 2008

LND; Painting & LA History

I was working on a painting that had a yellow & black background. At the same time I was watching a TV show about Louisiana history. It seemed that Louisiana’s stance on slavery was the main reason for the Civil War. The painting was coming out pretty cool.

I started a new painting while watching TV last night (although the painting wasn't yellow & black & the TV show wasn't about Louisiana history.)
Pictured here; a pine warbler, occasional visitor to our feeding area.
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