Wednesday, January 30, 2008


More wildlife

What is this bird? I've seen this kind twice recently.


butterfly quilt

I sent this off to Martha yesterday, having finally finished it.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Cowries and Snakes

Our friends, Tim & Cindy, who visited from Indiana didn't get to have as warm a vacation as I had hoped, but there was an occasional break in the clouds. It was enough to cast a shadow once in a while, lay by the pool and relax, and to walk on the beach while wearing our COATS! It was also enough to bring out this lovely creature (some might disagree) who slithered across the road in front of my golf cart:

You can guage the size of this guy by checking out the electrical box in the 2nd shot. I tried to get a video but was too awed by seeing the thing.

This morning was to be an especially low tide (tomorrow is the full moon) so even though it was in the 40s when I woke up, and despite my lingering (and leaving) cold, I layered my clothes and walked to the beach. Surprisingly there were not many shells - at least not up to my collection standards - and I mainly walked and was enjoying the beautiful morning.

A Minnesota couple were at the north end of the island, and I was more interested in chatting with them than the shells. Nice folks, and they were finding cool shells. I took a turn from the high tide line of shells toward the water's edge - and WOW! Right there was this beautiful COWRIE SHELL! The Minnesota people had been there since SUN UP! And they had not seen this amazing shell. I was so excited! Oh wow! Oh wow! I showed them, they were impressed. I was thrilled.

This is the 2nd time I've found a cowrie - totally surprised both times - and in almost the exact same spot. This one today is slightly smaller but in better condition than the one I found last year. It is definitely going in the glass case.

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Monday, January 07, 2008


"American Jezebel: The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, the Woman Who Defied the Puritans"

One of my favorite shops is the Goodwill Store. The fun finds there are toys, wine glasses, dishes, books, and a potty chair. Florida Goodwill stores are amazing, a fact I discovered years ago when we searched for cheap, overseas travel clothes (that qualified for downright ugly, too). I think they are so good down here in Florida because of the shifting population (transient) and perhaps because older people typically get rid of their stuff when they move, or, since they are older, die. (Just our observation - I have no proof, but eventually older people do that.) All their stuff ends up at Goodwill.

Last year I found a recommended book, "The Good Book," by Gomes. I was so glad to read some thoughtful insight into church history and current interpretation, and I was also glad that I only paid ten cents for the book.

A few weekends ago I went to the Bargain Barn, which is the bin section of stuff that didn't sell fast enough in the regular Goodwill store. I picked up the book titled, "American Jezebel," and took it home.

I love reading history books, and early American history, including the colonial era float my boat. This book really shows just how oppressed women were in colonial days, and I wouldn't want to live in those times. Here are starters:

I read how Anne had 14 children who lived to adulthood, and she had more who died before reaching that point.

Anne and women of her time had no voice in affairs of church or state. NONE! Also, they were not recognized as education-worthy. (See above for the importance of women.)

No rights for women's property ownership or inheritance.

"There was and is no written account of most women's lives then, save their birth, marriage, and death dates," - page 116

Anne, specifically, was convicted and IMPRISONED because she led women's meetings that were also attended by men, and she opposed the local church and their ministers. She was convicted for what she thought about and for what she spoke about to the women in the community. Until her public trial, which was judged by an all-men council, she had not spoken publicly about her beliefs, and it was at that point that she was convicted and later sentenced to prison!

Then Governor Winthrop (1637) opposed a written code for law. Instead he brought charges, then that set a precedent and served as law. (I don't know what this system is called.)

Can you imagine living in a community like that?

We currently have the primaries for the 2008 Presidential election going on, and the growing support for Huckabee actually scares me. I don't want a fundamentalist preacher heading our government. I don't want anyone like him speaking for me, a college graduated, Christian woman who has gained, by written law, the rights to work, live, own property, marry who I want, and decide if I will have babies. (Well, I'm a little too old for that, but it's only been in the past 100 years that birth control has been available to women. Considering I'm 55, that is just two times the years of my life.) I don't want Pat Robertson (or others like him) setting up a theocracy for our country, based on how he believes it was intended. (The signers of the Constitution had even changed from the Puritan era of Massachusetts.)

(I don't necessarily think Huckabee would go back to colonial rule of law - but I do disagree with the fundamentalist view that a Bible-based theocracy would be ideal.)

I'm still reading about Anne Hutchinson's life, and I doubt I'd want to hang out with her for very long. She had a very different life than mine. But I applaud her for all that she stood up for and for all the words that have been recorded of her life.

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