June 2007

Monthly Archive

Garden Pics, and a Reminder

Posted by on 22 Jun 2007 | Tagged as: children, crosspost, garden, stidmama, Uncategorized

This was posted on one of my other blogs first…

While I have been away, things have been happening! Managed to make some new cards for the teachers as summer presents this year. Need to make a couple more and then I’ll post a couple pics on my business site.

Got one kid promoted from one school yesterday, here is a pic of stidmatt with stidgmere afterwards. Isn’t he handsome!

Here for your enjoyment are some pretty sights from the front door… and a reminder that I am not maintaining this blog very frequently now that stidmama.com is up and running.

Ciocia Judy in Seattle

Posted by on 18 Jun 2007 | Tagged as: blogposts, friends, fun, stidmama, Uncategorized

Well, my Babble friend, Ciocia Judy (that’s pronounced chuh-chuh) and I met up on June 16 for a day of non-stop talking and touristing. From noon to eight, we talked, ate (lunch and supper bookended our visit), strolled and enjoyed the day. My stidfamily came along too for part of the day, and we had a wonderful time. Here, in pictures, is our journey:

the ship Judy traveled in

ready to eat!

a pretty fence in the park opposite Pike Place Market

everyone but stidmama smile!

stidmatt and friend...

the market when it's quiet

One of the many decorated pigs around town

the sculpture outside the Pacific Science Center

A couple of other pics can be seen at my frappr page.

We had such a great time!

And don’t forget to listen to the babblecast

How to make a Marble

Posted by on 08 Jun 2007 | Tagged as: art, blogposts, fun, Interesting Websites, Uncategorized

Militant Playtpus has a cool post with a video that shows how marbles of all kinds are made.

My mother gave me a wonderful glass marble a few years back. Now I know how it’s done!

Thanks again, Mother.

Garden Pics

Posted by on 08 Jun 2007 | Tagged as: blogposts, Gardens and Life, Uncategorized

I actually took these a couple days ago, but only just found the cables I needed to connect the camera (story of my life). Here, for your enjoyment, a few of the pics from the garden this last week.

Roses by the front door (lovely, but no scent):

A small magnolia between the old-fashioned tea roses:

California lilac (the flowers are like little bottle brushes, and the bees are constantly buzzing around when it’s in bloom):

The newest garden bed:

I hope to get the newest arbor in place and take a picture this weekend. It’s a little big, so I can’t move it by myself, and I need to try it in a couple different locations before we actually set it. I would love to get more structures in the garden this year. I have a pile of whips to make into a woven fence around the front garden, and someday… a few benches and swings.

Always a plan for the next project.

School Projects are Fun!

Posted by on 08 Jun 2007 | Tagged as: blogposts, children, Kid Activities, Uncategorized

Here are a couple pictures from G’s presentations Wednesday Evening. If you click on one, it will send you to the Picasa Album and you can scroll through all of them there. Then use your back button to return here.

About half the class showed up (most in costume) to present their work on a specific person from the American Revolution. G was Gilbert Motier, the Marquis de LaFayette.

This is the Marquis, with his dear friend, George Washington:

And presenting his life story to my relations (Tom, my mother, and M close to the camera):

From the rear (this shows how long the coat was — it fit perfectly for a few days!):

And up close, with his motto and a picture painted when he was in his 20s in the background:

He really threw himself into this effort, learned a lot, and (most importantly) had fun.

I had fun, too. We have been practicing bits of French, and talking about the battlefields and the personalities involved in the revolution.

History is FUN!

Rain

Posted by on 04 Jun 2007 | Tagged as: blogposts, Gardens and Life, hope, Uncategorized, weather

It’s raining today.

All last week, it was hot — high 70s and low 80s — which for us is end-of-summer weather, not end-of spring!

I am glad it is raining. The clouds do a far better job of getting ALL my plants than I can do right now. I fear I have lost a few of my plants while I was sick last week and unable to even step out the door. I hope that the marjoram (which is easily replaced) will prove to be the only real casualty.

Yesterday, my darling Tom got up early, before the heat, and finished preparing the bed where I wanted to put my new magnolia. M dug the hole, and we got it settled in. I will take a few pics of it later, when the rain tapers off.

And a few pics of my lovely red rose by the front door. It bloomed on my birthday, and it just gorgeous today! I love it when my plants come into their own.

Speaking of my birthday, here is the cake my mother baked for me. I am resorting to putting on only the candles above the decade I have attained… don’t want to burn down any buildings! The kid lighting the cake is G, I am on the right, in extreme profile.

my bday cake 2007

Tanforan

Posted by on 03 Jun 2007 | Tagged as: blogposts, editorial, politics, Politics and War, social justice, Uncategorized

Warning, this one is more deep than my normal posts, and probably unsettling. But I think it needed saying.

Tanforan was the name of a horseracing track in California. Then it became a waystation for people of Japanese ancestry prior to their internment in concentration camps in the United States. It was mentioned in the San Jose Mercury News on June 2, 1007. The headline was picked up by the newsreader I use from Google. Tanforan was one of seventeen assembly centers. From those places, people were sent to 12 Relocation or Isolation Centers…

It got me thinking…

All along the West Coast was the exclusion zone, where people of Japanese ancestry were not welcome. A map is available through Wikipedia Map. The people who were shipped out included babes-in-arms and their U.S. born parents, and elderly people whose sons and grandsons were serving in the army. People forcibly relocated — without compensation or assurance of the security of their homes and possessions. Some people died while they were gone. No one knew when they might be allowed to return home. Most who survived returned to homes and businesses that were gone. Stolen while they were away, or lost to the ravages of time.

Minidoka was the concentration camp closest to Washington state, where I live. In southwest Idaho, it was about as far in climate and culture from the lovely green and fertile valleys of Western Washington as one could get. Another close one, at Tule Lake in northern California. Nothing like home, in any sense. I haven’t been to either — they are desolate, remote locations where I have had no need or desire to travel.

It was a shameful era in United States’ History. A good summary is at Wikipedia.

I remember thinking as a child, as I read books about the forced relocations — by Germans and Soviets — of people before, during and after the second World War, how awful it must have been to be forced to move, with no idea where you were going or when (or if) you would come home. How frightening to be a child, to lose your friends and your home. How sad to be an older person, to watch everything you had worked for taken away.

As a child, I didn’t know that the same thing had happened in my own country. As an adolescent and young adult, I learned about the camps they had put Japanese Americans in, but it seemed hazy, and far away from the more publicized and dramatized horrors of the Nazis. The difference was that (as far as I know) we didn’t pretend to “arrest” them on trumped up charges. And we didn’t force them to provide free labor or kill them when they couldn’t. And we did, eventually, allow them to return without being overrun by liberators… but it took more than 50 years for the government to apologize for abusing its authority, for incarcerating innocent people with no trial, no right to appeal.

In the United States, we are taught that people are people. Even at the time these forced relocations were taking place, we were supposedly a free country, where people had certain rights and privileges based on their status as citizens or permanent residence… The color of one’s skin, the place (or places) one’s ancestors left, the religion they or their kin practice… none of these are supposed to determine whether a person is good or bad.

But, apparently, they did. And do. It has always happened to a greater or lesser extent: “driving while black” has caused many people be pulled over by the police, parents have long cautioned their children against marrying a person outside their cultural or racial heritage. But those were largely unmentioned, unwritten, unsanctioned things. At various other times in our history, minorities and recent immigrants have been openly harassed or legally restricted as to their movements and activities. As a child I read about these times, but was under the impression they were over, that our government (and our people) had learned better.

Obviously, not.

Less than a hundred years ago the government justified using lethal force against poor (often recent immigrants) people who went on strike or formed unions to demand better working conditions. Less than 70 years ago they incarcerated entire families, entire communities, based on their presumed relationship to another country. Less than 50 years ago the pledge that children say in school was amended to include the words under God in an attempt to weed out atheists…

Today we are openly asked to scrutinize people based on their clothing, their accents, their places of origin, where they worship or send their kids to school. We are asked to report any suspicious activity to the authorities. But what is suspicious to me, might be simply a difference. We are being taught to view difference as suspicious. Speaking differently, worshiping differently, dressing differently. There is harassment of people who are different by both individuals and people in the government. We are told, this sort of vigilance will make us safer.

Make who safer? Who is us? People who work? People who have bank accounts? People who own their own homes? People who have families? White people, rich people, protestant Christian people? I don’t choose these categories out of the blue… in the past these have in fact been protected, privileged classes of people, above suspicion until proven guilty. Not so for poor people, people of color, Catholics, Jews, atheists…

And I wonder, where will it all end?