Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Building the Magnificent Cat Dancing Creations Vendor Booth! Part 6 (Update)

I posted pics of the booth previously. Here are some new pictures of the flowers in their glory!
Snapdragons in the spiral
The flowering spiral.


Daffodils just out at the fountain.

Dianthus in the spiral.
And a new shot of the entrance.

The faire has only one week left to go!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One more love poem from the attic.


Last night you appeared when I most needed you to

You covered me with yourself
Your flesh against mine
Warm and inviting
I was stirred deep into my soul
Love and desire and adoration
All too soon you were gone
The feel of you against me lingered
And the fragrant smell of your flesh
With the knowledge that you love me.

This morning I was low
Feeling lonely with aching head
Again you appeared
Sat beside me, touched my skin and my soul
Brought nurture for my spirit and head
Gave freely of your love
Shared affection, coffee, and talk
There has never been anyone
I so longed to see arrive
So hated to see leave
Nor so missed when she was gone.
But I know that you love me
And that you miss me too.
And it helps.

William RainCrow
about 2007.

A Pair of Poems to my favorite Muse.


She touches me
across the miles
and lifts my heart
I hear her smile
and I grin as well
I hear the catch in her voice
and I know she misses me
as much as I miss her
though it seems impossible
that anyone could.
I sense her breathing
and know that her flesh
yearns for mine
that we both feel the pull.
We will always be joined
in spirit, and that is right.
We long to be joined
once more in flesh,
to know once more together
what we remember so well.
Limbs entwined
Safely held.
To ride the wave of love
heart to heart
soul to soul
until it crests again and again
and we are
once again

By William C. Seward, 7/6/07
For Cat Dancing 


He wrote a hundred poems
And they were good
Then he met her
And none were good enough
All that he thought he knew
About love, and life, and desire
Suddenly fall short
Of his new reality
The things she teaches him
Of how things are
And ought to be
Make him wonder if he has known
The things he had done
The man he was
Fall away
Relics of some other lifetime
The best of them
Only preparation
For what he is becoming.
She is his muse,
His mentor
And his soul mate
It is not easy
To find the path
To awake the shaman
To find the priest
He must have been
And will be again
The warrior path is
Full of challenge.
The butterfly does not emerge
From the cocoon
Without a struggle.
And she is there
The priestess he loves
She sees the shaman within
And welcomes her priest
Into the temple

By William C. Seward, 7/6/07
For Cat Dancing

Another Past Poem.

I wrote this back when I was spending way too much time on the internet in chat rooms.


I didn’t want this in my life,
this glowing siren that takes my days
and haunts my nights.
Taking me places I never wanted to go
along with those I did.
It draws my eyes and fingers and mind
into vortices of time and space.
Hallways and rooms that don’t exist.
Memories of an absent mind.
Who do I meet there,
passing the time in text and speech?
Countless souls lost in a limbo
more dreadful than any Dante could see
in his fevered dreams.
All of the lost, wandering, searching for hope.
What hope?
Hope they know nothing of,
a thing they can’t identify
except to know it’s absence.
Love, or understanding, or acceptance.
Missing pieces in their ever-shifting puzzle.
Constantly morphing from shape to shape.
This, or that, or him, or her.
Is it you? Will you love me?
Or cast me aside?
Am I your piece?
Are you mine?
Can we possibly be each other’s
piece, and peace?
How can we know
if words are lies?
Even the ones that are true?
Especially the true?
I hope
I trust
I love
Perhaps I lose.

W. C. Seward

A Poem from way back.


There is a mesa over there,
see, to the east?
Oh, I know, the locals,
of which I'm one,
call it Pilot Knob.
It's Gabriel Peak
on the map.
It's a mesa to me.

In my youth I heard
the tales of my
great-great grandpa
William R. Seward.
He worked on the fabled
Smithwick Mill
on the Colorado,
not THAT one.
The one in Texas.

On moonlit nights
he'd get his horse
and ride to Pilot Knob
courting lovely Jenny.
The ride was far,
at night on horse.
I think he loved her.

We had Indians, they say.
both deadly and mischievous.
They knew the man
and the horse.
They wanted the horse.

In shadowed darkness
they'd lie in wait.
For horse and man to come.
They'd whoop and yell
and whip their ponies.
The race was on.

How many times
did they run that race?
How many times
did he win?
I know that he won.
Lucky for me.

That's almost all I know
about William R.
Perhaps that's all
I'll ever know,
or need to know.
It's enough.

On moonlit nights
I stand out here,
watch that mesa
over there.
I swear I can hear
pounding hooves,
a whoop and then
just the wind.

I know he's made it
once again.
I tip my hat
to memories
of old stories
and go inside
to my own Jenny.

Bill Seward
Jan. 26, 1998


I was reminded lately how many Christians use their bible as a spot cleaner. If they don't agree with something, they grab one verse, usually out of context, that seems to talk against whatever it is they don't agree with, and use that to prove their point. I suppose that is at least better than just repeating some vague generalization like "the Bible says that's wrong!" without even knowing WHAT the book says. In that case, they just repeat what someone else has told them it says. Perhaps THAT person was also repeating information they didn't know the true source of either. Knowing your source at least gives you the aura of authenticity, even if it is taken out of context or inconsistently applied.

The particular case this time was about the use of the Tarot. Now, the Tarot isn't mentioned specifically in the bible. There are general prohibitions about hanging out with people who prophesy or do other seemingly occult things. Of course, many of those proclamations were conditional. Like "if you go to this place, don't get caught up with all the weird things they do, don't forget you are God's people!" My rather loose translation, but you'll find that same injunction many times in various words. 

Here's one quote that seems good. In the old testament book of Leviticus, chapter 19, starting with verse 26 “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes." (ESV)   Ooh, that seems pretty explicit against fortunetellers. Let's keep that one around to hit people with.

On the other hand, we might not want to remember the next verses: 27 "You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. 28 You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord."

Hmm, well, we can use part of that against those weird tattooed people. On the other hand, we can keep verse 27 to remind us not to cut off our sideburns or trim our beards. Unless of course, you want to, then I guess we just forget that one. Also unless, of course, you are female. But then, we know, for the most part, in the bible, females are second class citizens. 

You can certainly find more examples for yourself. Many Christians seem to be excellent at picking and choosing which part of their bible they want to apply at any particular time. As I said, spot cleaning. 

Most of those "useful for hitting others over the head with" scriptures are in the Old Testament. As long as they can be used to prove a point against someone they are "useful for doctrine and reproof." (2nd Timothy 3:16.) Of course, if we find something in that old section we DON'T agree with it must part of that old covenant. As in Hebrews 8:13   "In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." (ESV again).

Hey, if you're going to use it, use it all. You don't get to pick and choose. That's what I'm saying. I have not doubt the same can be said for most of the established religions. Christianity is the only one I have experience with. 

Now, every group, of any religious persuasion or none,  has a majority of good honest people who do their best to live their lives to their very best, hurting none, fair and helpful to all. It's just those vocal, screwy few who are the bad apples. When those vocal screwballs get to be in positions of authority, watch out!

I prefer the path of living life deliberately. It is the Avatar path, the warrior path, the shaman path. It has many names.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Don't Wanna!!!!!!

     I didn't feel like blogging today. But I'm also in the middle of reading Natalie Goldberg's "Thunder and Lightning". (My current "bathroom book"). Maybe that's why I thought I'd blog about why I don't feel like blogging. Can you follow that convoluted path of reason?
     Maybe it's the thought of, "hmm, if we only read blogs by people who feel like writing, then it's a bit like reading a work of fiction without conflict." Or maybe not. I think my reasoning is a bit suspect this morning. That's part of the reason I didn't feel like it.
     Yesterday we made our more or less weekly trip into Austin. We ran some errands, went to Whole Foods, finally got my late mother's cell phone account turned off (it was on my family plan), I replenished my stock from Microbial Earth and later attended a staff meeting. Cat had a planning meeting for an upcoming Pentacle of Pearl class. Stuff like that.
     Somewhere in the middle of all that we went to eat at one of our favorites, Magnolia Cafe. It's a good place to eat, open 24 hours. 
     We almost always have their Mag Queso appetizer. A really good queso dip with avocado and other good stuff and fresh tortilla chips. I usually follow with Sonora Enchiladas with more queso sauce, my personal favorite dish there. Mmmm, satisfying comfort food!
     One thing you should know, cheese often seems to give me weird dreams. We ultimately got home pretty late, I was exhausted and my back hurt from driving the car.
     I fell into bed, read for awhile to settle my head, as usual. My "main" book right now is "Wizard's First Rule", by Terry Goodkind. It's an enjoyable fantasy novel. I finally put it down and zonked out.
     I had vivid, scrambled, dreams all night long. I often have epic, story dreams that are very enjoyable, like I'm watching a movie I'm in, or reading the story. This time, though, it was like being in a room with twenty televisions going at once, each on a different cable channel. It seemed like many different stories scrambled together seamlessly.          Confusing.
     I slept very late. Punctuated by the usual bathroom trips and one to feed a nagging cat, all done in half-awake state. 
     When I began to wake it was like fighting my way out of quicksand. I had a need to get up. Lying in bed too long causes my back and hips to begin hurting, stiffening up, eventually I just have to get up and get vertical. However, every inch I rose toward waking, I sank back again.        
     That quicksand of sleep/dream had an octopus in it, or that swamp creature from "Lord of the Rings". You know the one at the door to Khazad-dum (I think it was.) that almost got Frodo and the others. A many tentacled beast that kept sending up more arms to drag them back. That's what it felt like. Even nearly awake I kept getting flashes of the dreams I was coming out of, sucking me back. It was a struggle. 
     Finally, I got out of bed with an aching head and body. My brain still feels like it's in molasses. And that's after breakfast and coffee. So, that's where I am now.
     I can't remember a single dream image from that montage of scrambled dreams. Yet, they consumed me all night long. (I know, I know, we typically only dream the last few seconds before waking. I'm talking about how it felt.)
     But, what the heck. I managed to write a considerable length blog about not feeling like blogging. It's all good! Right?
     Have a great weekend! Mine will be spent at the Bastrop 1832 Farmer's Market and Sherwood Forest Faire!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Somewhat Late Gardening

We finally got our garden in today. We're in a rented space, and with efforts out at Sherwood Forest Faire and other such we got a late start on our garden. However, we found that, by the moon, today was a good day for planting most things, besides, last frost here usually lands around March 15, and this year was no exception. So, we weren't necessarily THAT late! 
Soil here is red brick clay, I  mean literally! They make Elgin-Butler red bricks from it just down the road! It really does not lend itself to gardening directly in it.
In the past I've enjoyed gardening with the Square Foot Garden method in raised beds, and that is what was called for here.
Last year we were looking for sand for the Sherwood booth on Freecycle and were given a 6' x 6' sandbox made from 2x8 lumber. We had also been given a lot of 2x4x8'-0 lumber that was used for shipping crates by UPS. I cut several of those in half, combined them with the 2x8x6'-0 lumber and made up two 4'-0x6'-0 raised beds. Cat and I sat down and decided what we wanted to plant and made a plan for the two beds. One more thing, we are both totally committed to gardening organically.
We went over to Bastrop Gardens in Bastrop and got some of their garden soil to fill our beds. Cat also picked up several of the plants we needed. We got organic plants there, and organic seeds at Home Depot and Whole Foods.
It took two trips to get enough bag-it-yourself soil to do the job. The first trip yielded some very sandy loamy garden soil mix. Through some misunderstanding the second trip brought almost straight compost. I mixed the two together and made up a pretty nice mix of garden soil. It really wasn't worth bagging it back up and making another trip, and I think it worked out pretty well. I also put down a layer of pasteboard from some old boxes under the beds to keep unwanted weeds from sneaking in from underneath, as well as keeping the good soil on top.

This bed holds lettuce, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, onions, Swiss chard, Kale, bell peppers, corn, spinach, summer squash, broccoli, carrots, cilantro, and nasturtiums. You can see the strings I ran to mark off the square foot sections. Notice the difference in that soil!

.This one has lettuce, purple pole beans, corn, garlic, egg plants, summer squash, carrots, spinach, nasturtiums, cilantro, chives, and broccoli. I love the raised bed, square-foot system, as nobody walks on the garden soil and it stays loose. No tilling required! Most of the time you don't even need a trowel, just poke your hand or finger into the friable soil to make a hole for the seed. Soil compaction is a huge problem in any garden, or farm for that matter.

Both together look like this.  I planted large bamboo poles to hold up green plastic fencing to keep out four legged critters, mostly our own cats, chickens and the occasional bunny. This pic makes it look rather weird, but it's more substantial than that. We can just drop the fence to pick or work the garden and pull it back up again afterward. If it looks a bit temporary, well, it is!

We also make use of several tires to plant tomatoes and a few other things in. We took old tires from our pickup, cut off the side walls, and filled them with dirt and compost. For several years we've planted tomatoes and onions in them. These three have four types of tomatoes, sage, basil and bunching onions from last year in them. I've found that tomatoes work just as well or better planted elsewhere than in one of the "community" beds. They take up a lot of space on their own, and benefit from being accessible from all sides as in the tires.
Location-wise, the tires and beds are on the north side of our mobile home and a storage shed. They get full morning sun. I feel they will be protected from our hot afternoon sun this way, as well as the drying, scorching effect of the hot south winds we get all spring and summer. I'm convinced those hot south winds are a major factor in gardens getting dried out and too hot too soon around here. We'll see how that works out. I'll also be mulching everything tomorrow to keep that moisture from getting away.
We still have a few more tomatoes to obtain and plant, but that's it for now!
Garden organically! It's important for all of us, and not just because we need to stay away from GMO foods the corporations want to shove down our throats! Organic is better for us, and the planet. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Late Breaking News

Perhaps I'm seeing the first tremors of the job market improving. I at least got a call from a temp staffing agency with a job possibility over in Buda. Who knows? My last full time job was in Kyle. Only 57 miles or so according to Yahoo, but it involved an average of an hour and a half each way of commute. It was wearing out both me and the car. I was leaving before daylight and getting home wiped out after dark. It was a paying job, yes, but they never did follow through with promised pay and work conditions. In the end it just wasn't worth it. If they hadn't had a layoff, I'm not sure I would have lasted much longer anyway.
So, now to consider a job in Buda? Well, maybe. It's only a few miles closer. But if I can get the right amount of pay, and wangle a few days of telecommute each week, it might be worth it. I certainly do need the pay, there's no doubt about that.
We all find ourselves doing jobs we'd rather not be doing until we can do what we'd rather do. I had a nice talk with Krysten, the lady from the staffing agency. She asked about my Permaculture certification and I spent some time educating her about that topic. So many people still don't know about Permaculture, it's a pleasure to talk about it. It's a good part of what I'm able to do at my weekend stint at Bastrop 1832 Farmer's Market vending products for Microbial Earth Farms. It's great, and audience who are already interested in gardening, food, organics, and so on. I get to talk to lots of them about Permaculture, compost, even Sherwood Forest Faire! Microbial Earth is a good company with great products. Compost, compost tea, composting setups for outdoors and indoors! Yes, indoors! It's a good opportunity to handle a good product line while talking to people about sustainability.

Of course, we've still got four weekends left of the Faire. Turnout has been a bit down this year. It's a bit weird. We had such good turnout last year, which was the first year. We have great word of mouth, great advertising, more acts and vendors, even really nice weather. Where are the people?
It's a beautiful Renaissance Festival, and so convenient to Austin. Maybe they're all waiting for Spring to be official!
Come on out, everyone! We've got world class full contact jousting this year! Great music! Wonderful local artists selling their wares! Close-in parking and wonderful shaded grounds! Nice camping! Great people! Join us!

So, whatever the job situation holds in store, I'm staying plenty busy with other things. Maybe I'll even get some writing done soon! Oh, wait, I'm putting in our new square foot garden beds here at la casa. Okay, maybe writing will wait some more.

It's growing time!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Daughter Melanie on YouTube!

For her French class, I believe! You go girl!
No, I don't understand a word of it!