Entries from blogs tagged with “Nature”
I'm serious. I'm a face book fan and read one friend's report about finding bear scat numerous times the past couple of weeks. Apparently her husband has heard a bear making ghastly bear sounds, the horses are too afraid to come out of the barn, and the family dog has returned home smelling to high heaven and scared.
I'm hearing reports of the bear scat sightings north of Baldwin City and surrounding a several mile area running east and west of a friend's farm. My friend reports her berries are still intact.
So reports of cougars and bobcats may be taking a back seat to bear sightings.
I didn't realize this was bear country, did you?
What's the strangest animal you've witnessed in your own back yard?
Horse Racing Enthusiasts Abuzz for I’ll Have Another’s Running of The Triple Crown - it’s gotta be heart - BREAKING NEWS - IHA scratched because of tendonitis
Like a giant horse fly descending for a feeding, the world of horse racing enthusiasts is abuzz with weather reports, strategies between jockeys, trainers and owners, the fresh horse meat coming into Saturday’s third leg of the Triple Crown, nerves, and jokes such as Letterman’s about his pick for The Kentucky Derby – ‘the horse I picked to win was so slow, the jockey packed a sandwich.’
With IHA’s (I’ll Have Another) winnings presently at $2,693,600 – including first place purses from the last three races he won, Santa Anita Derby, and of course the first two legs of the Triple Crown, which include The Kentucky Derby and Preakness – he wins a mere $600,000 in contrast this Saturday at Belmont when he noses his way across the finish line.
Why such a vote of confidence when only eleven horses have won the Triple Crown in the past 137 years? (Sir Barton, Gallant Fox, Omaha, War Admiral, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Assault, Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed) Because I’ll Have Another has the heart.
I’ve read horse racing blogs and rags about IHA’s eleventh spot coming out of the shoot, how 25 year old jockey, Marion Gutierrez, and trainer, Doug O’Neil, are pre running the race, while IHA rests, beginning today with the assistance of retired jockey Richard Migliore who will assist Gutierrez with strategy. Migliore has personally won more than 4,450 races – many of them at Belmont. (Jockey Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey was their first choice, but he was required to decline because of his position as NBC analyst)
There are those who say I’ll Have Another’s post position, 11 out of 12 (the higher the number, the further the horse has to run to covet the spot by the rail), is no big deal since the Belmont is a mile and a half long race. This race allows plenty of time to compensate for a rough start out of the gate.
IHA was purchased for a mere $35,000 early in 2011. For that amount one can buy 3 nice Harleys, one decent shotgun of English manufacture, a used fifth-wheel camper, or a pre-owned Corvette. In other words, IHA was a damned fine investment. With more than a hundred million wagered on Saturday’s race, breeding fees following his win at more than his purchase price per shot still take some time to add up.
Only 11 horses in the 137 years running of the Triple Crown have captured horse racing’s greatest achievement, winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. None are presently alive. The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978 and 11 horses have managed to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown since before losing at Belmont.
What does IHA get out of a win? Likely a run in the Breeder’s Cup, retirement and stud service on a farm in Kentucky – not a bad life after this past year’s whirlwind ride on the fast track of horse racing.
So while people in the know discuss how if it rains IHA doesn’t have a chance (the race he did lose was on a muddy track), how he has competed against 40 horses to take the winner’s circle this Saturday, and how jockey and trainer are strategizing the running and the winning, it gets down to the heart of one horse on one Saturday in June.
The weather can be perfect, the trainer can be an expert, the jockey can be the most experienced in the field and know his horse inside and out, but it comes down to IHA. We know he is fast, we know he has stamina (this is his third race in five weeks), but does he have the heart that when given his nudge will take him across the finish line first making him the twelfth to take The Triple Crown. There are many who are betting he does.
It was Sunday afternoon the last weekend of April. I had been looking forward to Dixie Lubin's erotica workshop ever since I'd heard about it and immediately had signed up to attend. I was running late, having been at a committee retreat meeting at our local District Two Kansas Authors Club President, Susie Nightingale's house.
I parked in the lot adjacent the house where I attend poetry sessions twice monthly, let myself quietly in and grabbed the closest chair. Dixie Lubin (one of my favorite poets who has the most lovely open and accepting demeanor) was leading the group of approximately ten women, ages ranging forties, fifties and sixties, in an awareness exercise. The other women were sitting quietly with their eyes closed, faces open and relaxed. Dixie smiled serenely in my direction as I immediately dropped the hustle and stress of everyday life and allowed myself to be carried into another world. She was talking about allowing a rose to unfold within our heart and chest area, as well as in our minds. When I think of rose petals unfurling, I think about a specific body part opening and as we came out of the relaxation and awareness guidance, my writing about my sexuality began to open and unfold.
Writing erotica was an enlightening and profoundly moving experience. As the women took turns going around the table reading what they had written - a blend of fact, fantasy, desire - I learned a great deal about them, myself, social taboos and just how similar all of us are in terms of our sexuality.
Erotica can mean many different things to different people - I tend to look things up in the dictionary, and I noticed another word for erotica is porn (really! hehe), but erotica isn't porn to me. Erotica is the softer side of sex. It isn't just about the thrusts, inserts, positions, numbers, it is about touching another, oneself, love making, pleasuring, titillating, caressing, openness, experimentation, non judgement.....perhaps even going someplace no man has gone before.
So, not only did I learn a great deal about myself, the wonderful sharing ability and life experiences of the other women within the group, but also about what often is missing from our lives. As a Life Coach, I frequently discuss how short this human experience is, how important it is not to allow fear to control and box us in within our lives, how we should put away the judgements we feel toward other people - and often, feel even more harshly towards ourselves.
I shared my erotica writings with male friends over the next few days. I was delighted and surprised when they shared some of their own with me. It wasn't porn, it was an appreciation of the absolutely wonderful sensations our bodies have the capability to feel and assist another to feel. It was an appreciation of the beauty of our sexuality in all its vast ability to give and receive. And, I suspected that if I were to share what was written by the males and females, no one would have known the difference of which sex it had been written.
I've heard a lot of positive media about the book, "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E L James. I have not read it. I don't have the time. I'm too busy writing and experiencing my own erotica.
Please share your own favorite memory of an erotic time (remember this is a community forum with restrictions and young readers).
What have you done to enhance your sexuality recently?
We all have our specific superstitions on what we think will help a winning team, or in today's case, the horse we want to cross the finish line first in The Preakness.
As a four year old living with an aunt and uncle in Ft. Collins, Colorado, it meant I rode my stick pony for days in advance of the race. When that stick pony tripped me up and I landed chin side down on the cement behind our house and had to go to the emergency room for stitches, I demanded my aunt burn my pony in the backyard incinerator. Fast forward three years, I rode my Shetland Pony, Blackie - short for Black Beauty, in preparation of the big races. When he bucked me off and then fell on top of me (I forgot to release the reins as I toppled head first), I wanted my Grandmother to burn him as well. Luckily she did not and told me to get back in the saddle.
More recent years have found me watching The Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes in pool halls, at the houses of friends, even in airports willing to risk missing my flight in order to see which horse crossed the finish line first.
The past several years find me likely to watch and ride from the comfort of my own home. I don my silk burgundy racing shirt, massage and dress my favorite steed (we wear matching bandanas), and begin chomping at my bit in anticipation as the newscasters drone on in pre race information.
So how did I miss the 138th running of The Kentucky Derby? I was dressed for action, ready for the start of the race and already mounted on RoBoCop (my steed of the hour). I was relaxed and confident that today I'd be on the winning horse. I rode through the opening announcements, was beginning to sweat and salivate...then ......we were off and running. I moved as one with RoBoCop, and then it happened, seconds before the race ended, a wrong move and I was in the zone, totally unable to comprehend or look at the ongoing race before me.
Today's safeguards? RoBoCop stays closeted. I'm riding Creative Cause. I can feel Daddy Nose Best breathing hard as he comes up behind me on the inside....we move closer to the rail....Teeth of the Dog begins to nip at Creative Cause's hindquarters.....it only spurs him further ahead...... somehow RoBoCop breaks out of his holding pen and begs me to ride him.....I toss a match at him as I throw my hands high into the air and look in the direction of the winner's circle.
What are your superstitions about winning a race or game? Which horse are you riding to the win in today's race?
Following is the list of winners for the KAC (Kansas Authors Club) District Two writing contest:
Prose - Memoir
1st Defining Middle Age - Tracy Million Simmons
2nd Lucky Lee - Susie Nightingale
3rd Rabbit, Rabbit - Cathy Callen
Prose - Feature Article
1st Death of a Small Town - Marsha Lytle
2nd Sunrise, Sunset - Joann Williams
3rd Exchange Student's American Christmas - Lorranine McVey
Prose - Inspiration
1st Random Acts of Kindness - Susie Nightingale
2nd Let Your Avocation Be Your Vocation - Susie Nightingale
3rd Raspberry Conflict - Teresa Oliver
Prose - Short Fiction
1st Pickup Man - G. E. Murray
2nd Supernatural Soap Opera - Steve Laird
3rd Shackled - Joann Williams
Poetry - Haiku
1st Winter Light - Susie Nightingale
2nd Haiku - Diane Palka
3rd Autumn Sunset - Jean Jackson
Poetry - Narrative Poetry
1st Where the High Plains Meet Heaven - Ronda Miller
2nd If Not for the Tears - Ronda Miller
3rd Tip Bucket - Kevin Rabas
Poetry - Free Verse
1st The Walker - Tracy Million Simmons
2nd BBQ, Southern Illinois Style - Iris Wilkinson
3rd Meeting Schnackenberg - Ronda Miller
Poetry - Rhymed Verse
1st Ain't Life Grand, Son? Lee Mick
2nd Is There Anything Else? Ruth Bahr
3rd Author's Soul - Vicki Julian
Congratulations to entrees and winners in this year's District 2 contest. Submissions are currently being accepted for the statewide contest for both prose, poetry and books. For additional information: skyways.lib.ks.us/orgs/kac/contest.ht
You need not be a member of KAC to submit entrees. Please submit all entrees no later than June 15th, 2012. (correction: the address for poetry submissions: Poetry Contest Manager, 214 Lawrence Ave., Lawrence, KS 66049, rather than 219 Lawrence Ave.
I wasn't particularly surprised when President Obama made the statement about his personal feelings on the issue of gay rights. His opinion that they have every right to be happy in a legal marriage along with all the amenities that affords is held by about half the population.
Marriage: the formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.
The above definition is about to change. My interest lies in just how far it will.
Wikipedia definition of bisexuality:
'Bisexuality is a sexual behavior or an orientation involving physical or romantic attraction to males and females - especially with regard to men and women. It is one of the three main classifications of sexual orientation, along with a heterosexual and a homosexual orientation - all a part of the heterosexual-homosexual continuum. It has been observed in various human societies and elsewhere in the animal kingdom throughout recorded history.'
Does our President hold the belief that marriage is sanctimonious to a union between two people only? Do you? I know the word monogamy generally comes up in discussion about marriage - gay or otherwise. Can a bi sexual relationship among three consenting adults be classified as monogamous?
I believe as with heterosexual and homosexual individuals, the bi sexual individual is born with the sexual imprint of who they are and where their sexuality lies. The definition of what we hold marriage to be is about to change.....just how far is the change gonna come.
(This is a beginning blog about an ongoing in-depth investigation about bisexuality that I've been undertaking for the past several weeks. I became aware of how predominate it is, when I went out with a gentlemen several weeks ago who decided to place an ad on Craigslist stating we were a married couple seeking another male to participate with us sexually. For clarity sake, I do not consider myself bisexual nor did I encourage the male's action. I was initially shocked and surprised by the overwhelming response my 'friend' received. I decided to not continue my relationship with my acquaintance, but I have subsequently made contact with several of the gentlemen and have been interviewing them about their bi sexuality. They are all married men)
As most people know the Heartland Institute is staffed and backed by people who are to put it mildly, skeptical about global warming and our species role in climate change. The other month a climate activist admitted getting access to the Institute's e-mails by posing as an Institute board member. The Heartland Institute in response has decided to shoot itself in the foot with an "experimental" set of billboards comparing climate scientists to the Unibomber and other assorted terrorists.
Well the blowback was immediate and the H.I. took down the billboards after even some of their own supporters including insurance companies objected to the campaign. See this article from the Washington Post for details.
A visit to the Institute Website reveals this interesting comment:
Billboards in Chicago paid for by The Heartland Institute point out that some of the world’s most notorious criminals say they “still believe in global warming” – and ask viewers if they do, too. The first digital billboard – along the inbound Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) in Maywood – appeared today.
Really, granted there are extremists on both sides of this issue, but I wonder where the H.I. got their data about the beliefs of the world's most notorious criminals. If their opponents do stoop to name calling...do two wrongs make a right?
This is a prickly pear cactus from my garden. It is in a pot but I leave it out all winter since it is supposed to be hardy here in Kansas. Of course with this mild winter and the steady movement north of the hardiness zones due to climate change, the plant certainly was not challenged by this last winter.
retreat: 'the act of withdrawing or going backward (especially to escape something hazardous or unpleasant), withdrawal for prayer and study and mediation, withdrawal of troops, an area where you can be alone, a bugle call, a military signal for withdrawal, a place of privacy, make a retreat from an earlier commitment or activity, pull back, move back, move away for privacy....'
Urban Dictionary - retreat: move forward, progress in self awareness and creativity, the act of writing the best damn prose and/or poetry you ever dreamed possible, to bond with other writers, professional and novice, to enjoy the guidance and camaraderie of like minded and accepting spirits, to delight in the healing and creative aspects of nature, to form new friendships and strengthen existing ones, to become a vessel of newly written material.
Where: scenic Lake Doniphan Conference & Retreat Center, 12856 Doniphan Lake Road, Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
When: June 1 - 3, 2012. Registration forms should be completed and submitted by May 15, 2012, for the June 1-3 retreat.
How much: the one day retreat is available for $65 and includes breakfast and lunch Writers may additionally choose to stay Friday night and/or Saturday nights for an additional fee.
The retreat is sponsored by Kansas Authors Club District Two as a yearly fundraiser, but one need not be a member of KAC to attend. (membership fee is $25 annually)
Background information on KAC:
Kansas Authors Club has several hundred members statewide within the 7 Districts.
District 2 has approximately one hundred members. District Two encompasses the following counties: Anderson, Boubon, Coffey, Franklin, Johnson, Linn, Lyon, Miami, Wyandotte, Osage in addition to Douglas.
The statewide association has been in existence since 1904. The club offers writers from all walks of life the opportunity for a discussion of problems unique to writers. Writers from backgrounds such as creative, technical, academic, journalistic and poetry are welcomed.
Districts offer contests as well as support.
As Susie Nightingale, District Two President, states, "I think the main thing the club provides is networking with other writers and opportunities for improving writing skills."
Well known poet Bill Karnowski will be Master of Ceremonies.
Questions may be directed to Susie Nightingale, District Two President, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (785) 760-1274.
Additional information can be found at: kansasauthors.org "District Two News"
I know the 138th running of The Kentucky Derby is going to take place this afternoon, not this evening. I also know the way my mind works. Years from now, I'll picture all those pretty thoroughbreds running on a blazin fast track under the largest moon 2012 has ever known.
For now, I won't let the reality of a hard rain falling overnight in Churchill Downs, knowledge of a humid, 86 degree day with continued chance for thunderstorms and a questionable run by some of the horses this morning affect that photo finish I have going on in my mind.
Like most people, I have used several methods of picking Derby winners over the years. I've gone from choosing the filly, merely because she was a filly (Eight Belles was a tragedy), to a pick of the horse reminding me most of the stallion from The Black Stallion series, to just picking one based on best personal, and often heart wrenching, story about jockey and or trainer/owner.
This year, I'm going with the alignment of the stars and the moon as to which horse will be pulled into the winner's circle.
Here we go: the Kentucky Derby is a 1 and 1/4 mile race - ten furlongs (and you can bet your mint julep the track will be fast and dry by gate time), the super moon is 221,802 miles from Earth this evening, it is referred to as the Perigee which sounds like pedigree which remind me of thoroughbred......Have I lost you?
Even the names of the ten most likely horses to win (isn't that a larger than average field), seems to reiterate the cosmic connection: Alpha, Liaison, Creative Cause, El Padrino and SaberCat. (that last because I think cats are cool)
So....I may go with the horse in second post position because of all the twos in the above mentioned series of moon and earth and track alignments, or Liaison, because it sounds like it's meant to be, or Creative Cause, as that is what my life is about, or El Padrino - the Godfather should rule on Cinco De Mayo.........ok, the last didn't work.
Crap, does anyone have a coin I can borrow......
Lawrence Public Library Reading April 25th with Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg: 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Dr. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Poet Laureate of Kansas, will be reading this evening, April 25th, at the Lawrence Public Library from seven to eight p.m.
April is National Poetry month and Goldberg will be reading old poetry as well as some new material. I for one can't wait to hear some of her new material. Goldberg, whose book, "The Divorce Girl" will be available from Ice Cube Press in July (preorders can be placed by going to www.icepress.com), will be reflecting on a month of poetry.
Goldberg read an excerpt from her novel, "The Divorce Girl" at The Raven bookstore this past Saturday night, and I'm hoping she will find time to read an additional chapter tonight. The book is referred to as 'A story of art and soul' - it certainly is artfully and soulfully written. Main character Deborah Shapiro, a New Jersey teenage photographer, tells the story of her parents' divorce and where that takes her. A coming of age story about a quirky and extremely intelligent teen, Goldberg has found the perfect medium for Shapiro to convey her story. Giving the main character access to the inner most workings of everyone and everything around her through the use of a camera lens is brilliant. The book is as delicately and intricately woven as life itself as the reader follows Shapiro from one hilarious adventure to another. It isn't just about laughs, however. Goldberg brings the same intelligence, compassion, all encompassing acceptance of cultures and the world at large to "The Divorce Girl" that she does to her poetry.
For additional information, call 785-843-1178. The Lawrence Public Library is located at 707 Vermont St. The reading will be in the auditorium.
Mary Stone Dockery’s Mythology of Touch - a poet to be reckoned with - Reading at The Raven, Saturday, April 21st
If there is one reading you should catch this month (April is National Poetry Month), then it is the one that includes Poet Laureate of Kansas, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg - check out her July release, "The Divorce Girl" www.icecubepress.com, Cassie Premo Steele, South Carolina, reading from her newly released, "Pomeganate Papers", and Mary Stone Dockery reading poetry from a new Woodley Press release, "Mythology of Touch".
I've become a huge fan of Goldberg over the years and have heard her read aloud enough times that I'm able to hear her voice when I read her poems - yes, she is that good. Her poems always leave me feeling like a better person. Though engaging and varied in topic, they are profound, spiritual (in a nontraditional way) and lift me above the human condition. Her absolute love of every living creature, family and Kansas shine through. Even her beautiful sing song delivery lulls me to a peaceful world. She is a healer.
Mary Stone Dockery presents a different style of poetry. Honestly, I wanted to negate it, somehow be able to question how and why someone so young could be winning so many contests (to refresh your memory, Mary won the 2011 Langston Hughes Award), have so many poems in print, and now......a 90 page book of lyrical narrative poetry! Dare I add she is not yet thirty years old?
Mary Stone Dockery grew up in a small town and farming community in NW Missouri, living in St. Joseph and graduating from Missouri Western State University in 2009 with a BA in literature. She married husband Dustin the same year, and they moved to Lawrence because of KU's MFA program. She graduates this May.
Here then are a few lines chosen at random from Mary's Mythology of Touch poem
You have always been cranberry,
soft jazz swaying in front of me
your mouth wings of a moth
carcass that dreams itself
across my shoulder blade.
and an excerpt of a personal favorite of mine...
Almond Milk and Rosemary
...It was another blue bird perched on its marble bath in the backyard then flying away when she whispered its name....another Bob Marley lookalike chaffing his fingers up her thighs and into her, saying, Redemption. It was another bug smashed against a windshield, splattering, oozing across glass, its blackness etching along her ribs, or was that her lung revealed, her kidney, her liver?.....
It was her heart, Mary, your heart revealed. I went to sleep last night trying to think of a reason not to like Mythology of Touch. I woke up filled with new ways to create with words, a new awareness of how words and life can be observed, shared and lived. I have Mary to thank for that.
It's almost 24 hours until I hear Mary Stone Dockery, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Casssie Premo Steele reading at The Raven, 6 E 7th St., Saturday evening at seven. But who's counting.....
Mythology of Touch may be purchased at The Raven, or online from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is 12 dollars spent that will change your world forever.
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and The Poetry Caravan Cancels Emporia Reading 4-14-2012 due to weather conditions
Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, and members of The Poetry Caravan, has made the decision to reschedule the Emporia, Kansas reading previously scheduled for Saturday, April 14th, at 7:00 p.m. at Emporia State University due to the high probability of tornados and severe thunderstorms forecast to move through the Oklahoma City area and north into the Salina, Kansas regions that evening. Many of the predicted (CNN is reporting a hundred) tornadoes are expected to stay on the ground for a lengthy time period and form after dark.
Goldberg will reschedule the event which called for Art Funding reinstatement for the state of Kansas, as well as readings of BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas Poems and an on-line in concert Renga project, and will announce the date soon.
Saturday, April 14th, READ-OUT, SING-OUT, SPEAK-OUT, ACT-OUT, DANCE-OUT On EARTHCARE Schedule of Events
Well known local poet and educator, Beth Schultz has once again been instrumental in compiling an exciting list of presenters for the fifth annual Earthcare celebration. Presenters will have approximately ten minutes each in which to celebrate good old Mother Earth in about any means they care to.
The following is the list of performers and the times they will perform on the east side of South Park, Lawrence, Kansas, opening with Schultz at nine a.m.
9:00 am Opening: Beth Schultz
9:10 am Sarah Hill Nelson -- Presentation
9:20 am Jean Grant -- Reading
9:30 am Bob Fraga -- Reading
9:40 am John Poertner -- Reading
9:50 am Ronda Miller -Poetry Reading
10:00 am Rick Mitchell -- Reading Rudolf Steiner
10:10 am David Hann -- Reading Stories
10:20 am Roger Martin -- Reading
10:30 am Charles Gruber -- The Directions
10:40 am Ann Haehl -- Story Telling
10:50 am EARTHDAY PARADE
11:40 am Jerry Jost-- Speaking on Kansas Land Trust
11:50 am Cleta La Brie
12:00 pm Mary McCoy -- Reading on Sandhill Cranes
12:10 pm Kelly Barth -- Reading
12:20 pm Laura Caldwell -- Presentation on Kansas Rivers
12:30 pm Group Poetry Reading includes: Iris Wilkinson, Dixie Lubin, Micki Carroll, Kimberli Eddins, Libby Tempero and Louie Gallaway followed by Iris Wilkinson in separate poems
12:40 pm Micki Carroll -- Reading Poetry
12:50 pm Kimberli Eddins -- Reading Poetry
1:00 pm Dixie Lubin -- Reading Poetry
1:10 pm Libby Tempero -- Reading Poetry
1:20 pm Louie Galloway -- Reading Poetry
1:30 pm Eileen Jones -- Compost Demonstration
1:40 pm Eileen Jones -- Compost Demonstration
1:50 pm Daryl Nickel -- Singing and Guitar
2:00 pm Juliet & Isaac Outka -- Dinosaurs & Other Creatures
2:10 pm Sarah & Sophia Walsh -- Lima Beans & Fossils
2:20 pm Lana Maree & The Prairie Moon Singers
2:30 pm Sandy Sanders -- Research on Nature and Children
2:40 pm Thad Holcombe -- Speaking and Reading
3:00 pm Rabbi Moti Rieber -- Speaking
3:10 pm Dan Bentley -- Speaking on Ecosapiens
3:20 pm Stephanie Barrows-- Reading Poetry
3:30 pm Loring Henderson--Reading
3:40 pm Dee Miller -- Kyoto Solar Cook Stove Demo
3:50 pm Stan Roth reading Paul Jantzen
4:00 pm Soka Gakkai International -- Dramatic Presentation
4:10 pm Elm Dance – Led by Joan Stone
(Reminder): Approximately thirty poets gather from across Kansas in Emporia at 7 p.m., Saturday evening, April 14th, at the Emporia State University Memorial Union (Room Lower 048), for a reading of BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas Poems, the ongoing renga project, singing of "Home On the Range" and a request that the Arts Funding in Kansas be restored.
Poetry Caravan Lands in Emporia at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, April 14th. A call for reinstatement of Arts Funding in Kansas
The Poetry Caravan -- poets published in the Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems edited by Poet Laureate of Kansas Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg -- is landing at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 14th in the Emporia State University Memorial Union (Room Lower 048) to give its 20th reading and call for restored state arts funding. Approximately 30 poets will be caravanning to Emporia State University for the reading from throughout Kansas, both to share their poetic vision of Kansas and their collective belief in state support for the literary arts.
"We have been touring the state since last November when Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems debuted, and the Emporia reading, our 20th statewide event, seemed the perfect moment to speak through our poetry about the importance of the arts," Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg explains. As poet laureate of Kansas, she has continued on in her post despite the loss of the largely dismantled Kansas Arts Commission, which previously housed the state poet laureate program. "We come together from many walks of life because arts matter. Through our poetry, and through how our lives are continually changed for the better by what we write and read, we know how essential the arts are in helping Kansans live lives of connection, meaning and joy.
The poets will each read a poem from the anthology, which was based on 150 poems Mirriam-Goldberg curated on the website www.150KansasPoems.wordpress.com throughout 2011 to celebrate the state's 150th anniversary of statehood. The year, the website, partnered with the national organization America: Now + Here, is focused on a renga entitled "To the Stars Through Difficulty" -- a conversational poem in which 150 Kansas poets each write 10 lines as part of one large poem. Poets reading in Emporia will also read their renga portions, and the readings will conclude with all the poets singing a special version of "Home on the Range."
Poets reading include from Wichita: Roy J. Beckemeyer and Diane Wahto; from Pittsburg: Steve Meats and Olive Sullian; from Lawrence: Karen Ohnesorge, Ronda Miller, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Gary Lechliter, Brian Daldorph, Elizabeth Black, Iris Wilkinson, William Jo Harris, Peter Wright, Nancy Hubble and Ken Lassman; from Hutchinson: Bill Sheldon, Jo McDougall and Daniel Pohl; from the Kansas City area: Al Ortolani, Linda Rodriguez, Maril Crabtree, Donna Wolff, Wyatt Townley, Roderick Townley and Thomas Reynolds; from Emporia: Kevin Rabas; from Leavenworth: Rick Nichols; from Topeka: Carol (for Max) Yoho and Eric McHenry; from Salina: Hazel Hutchinson; from Cawker City: Lee Mick; and from Bridgeport: Jackie Magnuson Ash. ` The reading, organized by Kevin Rabas (one of the poets and a professor at ESU) is free and open to the public and will conclude with a reception.
Went to Clinton Lake today to take pictures and enjoy this nice Spring(?) weather. I am going to be really interested in the state March average temperature data. Looks like this month could be a hundred year event. Here is a brief slide show of my pictures from today:
Today I was thinking about how much fun we had last summer on our roadtrip to Alaska and it dawned on me I was busy planning that trip last year at this time. Really, any trip involving many days and miles requires a planning timetable of several months instead of weeks. I read blogs, books set in the north, travel books, Alaska tourist information and maps. Definitely helpful and so exciting.
With the thought that starting early is important, I decided to post the last entry of my Alaska 2011 blog from our trip. Some of the information there might be of interest to those thinking of planning a similar trip this summer. Feel free to visit the link for additional information and pictures.
“We left on July 6th driving a 2001 Ford ¾ ton diesel pickup with 182,099 miles on the speedometer. On the back of the pickup we carried a 2005 850SC NorthStar popup pickup camper. Obviously, we saw no need to have new equipment.
We returned on August 17th after 39 days. The ending mileage was 192,102. Here is the summary.
We drove 10,002 miles, used 666.725 gallons of fuel, averaging 15.001 miles per gallon and $4.522 per gallon for diesel, for a total of $3015.00. (I converted all of Canada's metric figures to keep it equal.) I guess the reason I found these figures interesting is because I saved $3,000 for the trip but with higher fuel prices, I figured that amount would probably only pay for the fuel. Right on there!
We decided to convert $1,500 to Canadian money just to have the cash available. The rate was $1.06 American for each $1 Canadian. That amount of money paid for all fuel, camping fees and Canadian groceries except for two credit card charged fuel fills. At the border, coming home, we had enough change to buy a bottle of Crown Royal at the duty free shop. (It was a small bottle:)
I did not keep accurate records on other expenditures. However, we roughly figured how many nights we paid for camp spots, restaurant meals and misc expenses and $1,000 would almost cover it. (I don't count groceries because we have to eat at home).
So, bottom line, in this (last) summer's economy, it took close to $4,000 for the trip.
Another expense I am not counting toward the total is the cost of shipping our salmon home. It cost about $10.50 per pound. It is our salmon, the fish we actually caught. So many companies put the fish in bulk processing. I appreciate knowing how they were handled. Frozen wild-caught sockeye salmon in stores cost $6 to $7 a pound so it isn't too bad”
When forty-two year old abstract artist Jennifer Rivera put out a call for poetry last year, she wasn't disappointed. With over two hundred submissions, she had more inspiration than she needed.
Rivera, who was named in KC Magazine's Top 5 Best Visual Artists of KC for both 2010 and 2011, says, "....there is a freedom in abstract art that doesn't exist in many other art forms...a marriage between the artist's freedom of expression and the viewer's interpretations." That's a whole lot of marriages, Jennifer!
Self taught artist and mother of three, Rivera is making a splash in the world of abstract art. When asked how a poem is chosen, Rivera states that although she can't pinpoint why one poem may inspire her more than another, she chooses poems that illicit emotions of sadness, anger or joy. She says a poem may even remind her of a specific time or place in her life.
"As an abstract artist, I tend to paint from an emotional place." Rivera says she tries not to visualize the end result as it hampers the process.
Rivera narrowed her selection to twenty-two individual poets, poems and paintings. How many words does it take to inspire Rivera? Poet Richard Twillman's untitled poem is the shortest at a mere thirty words, while Kevin Rabas', "For the Estranged" is the longest of the chosen poems with 214 words.
While many poets plan to attend this evening's premier (SouthWind Gallery, 3074 SW 29th, Topeka, Kansas, 6 - 8 p.m.) there is a VIP reading of the poems by the poets planned for Wednesday, March 14th, from 6:00 - 7:30.
Poets who had poems chosen include: Tom Averill, Dennis Etzel Jr., Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Mary Stone Dockery, Steve Brisendine, Aaron James McNally, Kevin Rabas, Richard Twillman, Nikki Allen, Tim Pettet, Isreal Wasserstein, Al Ortolani, Maria Vasquez, Donna Potts, Elizabeth Dodd, Holly Bonasera, Ronda Miller, Matthew Porubsky, Stephanie Barrows, DaMaris Hill, Danielle Smith, Catherine Malcolm Ellsworth, Maria Vasquez Boyd.
Rivera's art will remain at SouthWind Gallery through March. This is her second poetry inspired series. Last year, she did a similar project in the KC Crossroads Art District. To read more about the artist and view her art, check out her website: www.wix.com/artistjennifer/rivera
For additional information about tonight's premier showing and the SouthWind Gallery, contact Gary Blitsch at 785-273-5994.
Where does one hang such an inspirational piece of art work? I'm thinking the Governor's Mansion.......
The Kansas Sampler Foundation is a non profit organization with a mission to “preserve, sustain and grow rural culture by educating Kansans about Kansas and by networking and supporting rural communities.”
Each year they sponsor the Kansas Sampler Festival the first weekend in May. I’ve never attended this event but have heard so many good things about it. Maybe this year…
Anyway, I received an email recently requesting names of small towns who have recently lost their grocery store. I can’t help them with the request, but it got me thinking about our small grocery store when I was a kid.
We did our grocery shopping in Junction City at Sheridan's because Mom sold her eggs to the small store. I’m not sure on this, but I think the eggs bought most of our groceries. There was a meat counter in the back and a butcher that cut to order. Everyone knew us so it was fun to go into the store. For many years, Mrs. Sheridan was the checker. There were no bar codes, they remembered the prices of everything in the store.
I can’t remember where the candy was displayed in Sheridan’s. I do remember the candy at a tiny store near my grandpa. I think candy was all she had. That was the big deal when we visited Gramps—running to Shelton’s with a few coins for candy.
One of my husband's early, right out of high school jobs was delivering Royal Crown products to small town grocery stores. He said they were all similar. It would be interesting to trace his route and check on the stores. One store he visited was the Skiddy store—down the road from my cousins. The last time we were by Skiddy, it was only a ghost of a building.
Our contribution to a small town grocery store is,O'Bryhim's Thriftway a 4th generation grocery store in Overbrook. It has everything and the prices are competitive. And, they employ local young people who carry groceries to the car.