Time for some self-expression

This month seems to be about getting all the old stuff out, this life, that life, here, there. Let it all hang out and hang loose. Speak up, speak out, speak your mind. Free your soul and lighten the load.

I’m doing some of that myself. Here are two paintings that I just completed that show I am clearing out the cobwebs in my mind — the darker, dirty recesses of my soul. Painting is my process. It’s how I work through the layers. What’s yours? Figure it out, and get to work. Your process doesn’t need to yeild beauty, just understanding and a feeling of easing.

I love this first one — it reminds me of Goya’s Black Paintings, a deeply dark and gritty series of paintings that I spent many, many hours admiring over the years strolling through the Prado in Madrid. I even used to have one hanging on my wall in College. The raw emotion in the series always spoke deeply to me, and where others have seen madness, insanity or grotesqueness, I saw strength, beauty, power and humanity.

“The last time I saw you

You were taken away
Battered and bruised
Torn from my hand
Leaving me broken
Angry and grey.

I went out into the world
Trying to find you
But all I found
was dust and smoke.”

 

This next one is a bit lighter and brighter. Named “Reunion”, it’s all about balancing, above and below, male and female, left and right. The elements, the energies, the essences. Bringing some flow into the world, some ease and harmony.

 

Both pieces are available for purchase in my etsy store, foxravenart.etsy.com

 

Fun at Mimzy’s, a photostream

Early birthday gift, a new sandbox, opened inside during the days of rain, played in without sand. Still Fun. Still Joy. Still Family…

Roses rioting with blooms, like they’ve been here forever. They haven’t. Or have they? Haven’t we all been?

Sandbox makes it outside, under the old cypress tree. Split by lightning, abused by halloween snowstorms, now supported at the roots by love and laughter.

Days of the Dead

This is a new photo series I’ve been working on.  Click on the thumbnails to see the full images.
More to come soon… 

Awesome Strawberry Milk — the Naturally Easy Way!

My kids are big fans of the British show “Charlie and Lola” (oh how the cuteness abounds on that show) and kept asking me what “pink milk” was. Pink milk is Lola’s favorite treat.  I let them try some of the Nesquik pink milk, aka strawberry milk, once at a friend’s house, but I have a hard time buying a strawberry drink that contains no strawberries, and whose only recognizable ingredient is corn syrup, followed by line after line of chemically altered vitamins and preservatives.

Fast forward to this week at my local grocery chain where I was checking out pickles, next to the British and Eastern Euro food sections. In that last section I saw several Vavel products, including strawberry syrup imported from Slovenia. We make our own seltzer at home, so my first thought was how yummy that would be together. I checked the ingredients: wow, just two!! “Strawberry juice, Sugar.”  Oh, joy. When I got home I discovered that it is exactly that, fresh tasting strawberry goodness tasting like I made it the night before by letting sugar sit on a bowl strawberries. Yum, yum yum. The best part? One tablespoon in milk tastes just like the fake pink milk, only not so pink. The kids love it, and get it as a special glass of milk sometimes with their dessert after dinner.

 

Nature, Gardens, and Wildlife

A weekend walk in the park to visit a dam from ca. 1800
Collecting sticks

 

Our watch owl is on guard 24/7

 

Did you bring our peppermints?

 

Peonies rising to join the tulips and daffodils

 

HUGE snapping turtle visited the horses this am.

 

Our 24x22 foot garden is doing well... See thos yummy berry plants in the tubs? mmmm can't wait!

 

Red leaf lettuce emerging

 

onions galore

 

the beloved tire swing becomes a battle arena

 

today's visit to a trout stream at Macedonia

 

Throwing rocks -- SPLASH!

 

 

FDA does something right

Well, the FDA may have disappointed us lately, but now here is a BIG step in the right direction:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/us/antibiotics-for-livestock-will-require-prescription-fda-says.html?_r=1&src=tp&smid=fb-share

The FDA is requiring prescription for antibiotics for livestock, which should significantly decrease indiscriminate usage of antibiotics on factory farms, since most vets will be unwilling to sign off on constant usage for otherwise healthy animals. More than 50% of antibiotics world wide are fed to livestock to enable their crowded living conditions, which also means that many farms will be required to improve living conditions for their animals. Hooray, hoorah!

 

FDA continues to approve BPA use in food containers and can linings

*Sigh*

Yet again the FDA disaapoints. The motto it uses “Protecting and Promoting Your Health” is a joke. I am disgusted by the FDA’s recent response to a court order to decide on the Natural Resources Defense Council’s petition to ban BPA on the grounds that it causes harm even in tiny doses. In last week’s decision the FDA rejected the petition and stood fast in their approval. BPA is mostly produced by DOW, Saudi Basic Industries, and Bayer, three giants whom the FDA is apparently too scared to take on.

The FDA’s own research shows that can linings leach BPA into food. Large, respected studies have proven that BPA adversely affects prostate and mammary glands — including studies by our very own USDA. It isn’t safe, even in tiny quantities, and by now everyone knows it. Yet the FDA rejected the petition and upheld their approval of BPA. Yet another proof that the FDA is too busy pandering to industry lobbies and failing in its promise to protect and promote my health, or my children’s health. It’s disgusting.