Friday, February 26, 2010

Health promotion
Activities to promote and produce health among individuals and populations

Here is an example of a health promoton activity 
 Amazing seat belt Ad
This is the type of the thing BEST HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN THE WORLD would make.

Gorgeous and riveting.  It is from the UK and the Sussex Safer-roads Partnership.   Nothing like a group of average citizens with fire in their belly and something important at stake + support. In the US we call them a) public service announcements and show them at 2am since they don't sell anything important or, b) A pharmaceutical commercial and then apply our best minds and science into promoting the idea that we are sick and that one can buy(do) something about it.

Note recent CDC reported that despite the increase in "health related" activities such as exercise and diet change (jogging or guilt about jogging and diet coke) that the proportion of Americans that say they are in excellent or good health is falling.  The question, called "self-reported health", asks people who they would describe their health words such as: Excellent, good, fair, poor".  The question has been asked for over 30 years on national surveys and it is a robust little bugger that predict future health problems and death more reliably than almost any lab test or risk behavior.  Tis a little eerie but fascinating.

The ideas we promote the stories we tell ourselves matter.

If you want to know more there is more to tell. If you have thoughts or ideas do tell.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In Vermont there is legislation pending to stop public funding for local schools that are "independent" or that have public and private money. Many of us that use these schools do so via a voucher system which is very popular here. Vermont leads the US in education measures and our system is comprised of students in the second most rural state in the US. Nearly 15% of students (11,000 out of 90,000 total) attend these independent schools in our local communities or in some cases we drive a long way to match the needs of our kids with the school. These are not trivial choices, they are painful, expensive and grinding. We lose friends because it is assumed we have become elitist or angry.

Our little cross section of Vermont-- the families and communities that use local public funds for local schools that are "independent" are as varied as any group can be. We are rich and poor, troubled and gifted, too smart, too slow, too fast, too sensitive, too energetic, .... you know.  And using the best we can do the kids in these situations have some of the best performance measures in the state compared to all other groups.  These schools are less costly not because they are cheap but because their survival depends on living within the guidelines set by the communities as "fair" price.  The cost is capped for the public contribution.

I don't know what problem is being "solved" by this proposal but I don't believe the ones that say it is a way to "save money" or reduce costs.  What is involved is much more complicated and the unintended consequences of this legislation could be not only ineffective-- it can't cut costs-- but disastrous and devastating.  Destroying the livelihood of the major employers in small towns (schools) and hoping to disperse the children into schools we left or didn't choose in the first place will not save money--our town would pay 50% to 100% more per pupil if this legislation is passed.

It isn't about money nor should it be. I beseech the VT legislature, please do not "fix" what is not broken.  We are public education, VT style, and rather than remove this option for the significant minority involved we should explore and expand the best elements and make them available to all VT students.  Ask more questions.

Here is Taylor Mali in "what teachers make" a moving call to activism and I hope a boost for the families driving to Montpelier in the cold dark Wednesday night from all over Vermont to speak with the legislators and who fervently hope to find that we are all ready to listen.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ah, a gift, for you.
A little electro-magno-neuro-cardio-web-based cosmic gift for you whether you be girl or boy (aka honorary girl).   Its a story called "embrace your inner girl" by Eve Ensler

But, first, before you push play to start this brief but stirring video, riddle me this....

What sorts of things might you be doing that if someone said "you do that like a girl" that you would experience this comment as a compliment?

Fill in the blanks....You are  _____ or, do  _____  like a girl.

Enjoy the video, I think you will.

Namaste, salaam, and hallelujah


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Welcome Featured artist Michael Jermyn from Montpelier Vermont

Greetings!! We have our First  Featured artist Gallery and the honor goes to the photography of Michael Jermyn.  Follow the link to this gallery or just click on "return to Gays galleries".  Suzanne Rhodes and I carefully chose from the large selection of  Michaels work so that we could create a two page gallery that would to show off his range from stunning still-lifes, landscapes, and humans.  Please note to get to the second page look carefully at the bottom right for the word "next" or the right facing arrow at the bottom or top of the page to see the second page.   I met Michael when he happened to  be touring Northeastern Vermont and came a display of Gay's photography at the Peacham Historical Society.  We began to talk photography and I expressed an interest in seeing his work.  That was a good impulse.

Micheal's playfulness and willingness to explore the photography "painting" or other treatments creates stunning images.  He has an extraordinary eye for composition and combinations-- combining colors, objects, and characters thus, creating pictures that speak-- pictures upon which stories can be built or that speak past past stories directly to feeling--to the midbrain.

I hope you will take a little time to look at his pictures, and his first web-based show. Tell us what you like, what you would like to see more of from him.  I will say that the printed versions he makes are  more vivid and professional than what the computer screen can show.  In our galleries you can leave comments on pictures or galleries or you can give comments here on the blog (anonymousely or just sign in) or via facebook. I will also put the gallery up on facebook. All artists entering a new medium of exposure can use feedback. Please let him know what you think and which ones interest or surprise you. And let us know if we are on the right track with guest galleries.

Micheal will be the featured artist for at least a month or two and then his material will continue to be available via our site through the gallery index  for at least 3 -6  months.

We will let you know when the next featured artist is selected.  And, please let us know how you like the concept. 


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Welcome guest author Jane Flink from Columbia Missouri.   

The "Raging Grannies" Youtube video (see earlier post) and their rollicking response to CBS "right to life" advertising funds inspired Jane.  She mobilized her inspiration and wrote a wee story called "Gods Idea" and I have included it below.  


God is sitting in the Garden of Eden, contemplating all that s/he has made. “I want another experiment with Persons,” God thinks.  S/he wants to create a tiny Person.  S/he will call it a Baby and Adam and Eve will learn about themselves as they watch the Baby grow to be like them.

“Where will I put this Baby I will create?” God wonders.  “I could hide the Baby under a large cabbage leaf in the garden and when the Persons come out to gather food, they will find the baby.  But will they understand what a Baby is if they find it under a cabbage leaf?”  And God says, “That is not a good idea”.

I could drop the baby from the sky, God thinks, perhaps from the beak of some large flying bird.  But the Baby, as I envision it, would not withstand the fall to earth.  “So that,” God says, “ is not a good idea.”

God thinks longer.  “Perhaps I should first create a council of elders, made in the form of Adam, and when they open their council meeting lo, a baby shall be in front of them, and these wise elders can decide what to do with it.  But for all their wisdom, will they understand what a Baby is, and what a Baby needs?  God thinks it likely a council of elders would find a Baby only something more to argue about.

God’s mind roams over his/her creation. “I could give the baby to Adam, but he is always jumping and plunging into streams to swim and climbing tall trees.   Adam might not understand how to grow the Baby to become a Person, male or female, as I have created them.” 

As God is thinking, Eve strolls down a path near the place where God is sitting. She has built a raft to cross a stream to gather berries and along the way she finds a young rabbit, one of God’s newer Creations. Eve is playing with the rabbit, feeding it bits of lettuce from the garden and she and the rabbit roll over together in the soft grass.  When the young rabbit grows tired, Eve nestles it against the hollow of her throat. Carrying the rabbit, Eve finds a soft tussocky place under the shade of a tree and she and the rabbit curl up together, and they sleep.

God loves them all -- s/he loves the cabbages and the high-flying bird, and Adam and the Council of Elders, and Eve and the little rabbit and so it is  hard to know where to put the Baby he is planning to create.  S/he looks again at Eve and the rabbit.  When she found it in need of play and food and sleep and love she gave the rabbit all of them. The Baby God is thinking of would need all those things, not just for an afternoon; not just in cabbage season; not just when high-flying birds cared to carry cargo, or when councils of elders sat down to disagree. For the Baby, God wants love that will never die.

Finally, God decides.  He gives dominion over the animals to Adam.  But he gives dominion over the Baby to Eve, to carry inside her body until it is strong, until God himself can breathe life into its nostrils and make of it a living soul.  When God tells Adam about the animals, Adam leaps with joy. But when he gives the Baby to Eve, her head is full of visions of the blessing of life given and the sadness of life taken and the need for a love that never dies.

The sun closes down the day, casting shadows of blue and gold and God sits quietly, looking with satisfaction over all her/his Creation. “The one about the Baby,” God thinks, musing  –“that was a very good idea,”

The End....

Abortion politics is nasty business and unsteady ground.  It has divided and hurt us for so long.  In the middle of Jane's story I felt suddenly disorientated as if air was rushing into my mind bringing me a sense of space.   Into this space came laughter and its near companion, compassion.  We need all the questions, all the wisdom, and all the humor that we can muster for this collective heart-sore. 

Then, Jane added in our email exchange, "At any rate, God's decision carries everything I believe about how necessary and delightful and strong and needy and merciful and fun-loving and caring women are, and I have thought, since my first pregnancy, that God was a pretty wise old guy to put the Baby where he put it.  And if there are times when Woman finds she cannot give the Baby what it needs, and must part with it, I believe with all my heart that abortion is her decision and hers alone -- not only do I believe that, but I think God believes it, too. All those televangelists can't fool me!"

Thanks for being the inspiration for something i have long wanted to write!"    Love, Jane 

Ah but the honor is mine....Love Sharon 
Thanks to the Salonistas in Missouri and to other warm hearted strong minded women who have inspired us to continue to explore, talk, and listen.

Vote now for your preference

This gorgeous creature is the Large Wood nymph butterfly, cercyonis pegala. She is swathed in orange day lilies, with a touch of red lipstick, wearing jewels made of orbs of golden pollen (look closely). She reminds us as Gay did to 'brighten up'!

Which version do you prefer OR think that she would enjoy as a card?
#1) Imitate nature or
#2) Wear Bright colors

To see the original, unadulterated version click on this link:


Thursday, February 4, 2010


Red is the color of love, 
the color of blood, and the light of the day as it rises and sets

What a beautiful jacket!
Wear bright colors!
Oh, and notice the necklace, her daughter made it for her :)

Thanksgiving a few years back with Ila Irwin and Karl Krause + friends. I miss her.

Raging Grannies- This one is for Gay and her fine friends
Choice was an issue Gay believed in all her life and it is SO FUN to see some ladies fighting back!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Salonistas, I am trying to learn to put things on the blog for you (and others). This is for all who love language and wondered where the question marks have come from as people talk.

Natalya McDonnell and Shadow
January 31, 2010
Announcing the newest member of the McDonnell Parrish menagerie
Yes, we said "NEVER, NO HORSE EVER"
From never to ok is route that is hard to explain
but here we are
Natalya is ecstatic, speechless, squealing, joyful, over the moon
Fortunately, she (Shadow) will stay at her home barn with Patty and Bruce where she will be happy healthy and well cared for and we can stand firm on our final line in the sand, 

Monday, February 1, 2010


The Field Sparrow

A bubble of music floats
The slope of the hillside over;
A little wandering sparrow's notes;
And the bloom of yarrow and clover,
And the smell of sweet-fern and the bayberry leaf,
On his ripple of song are stealing;
For he is a chartered thief
The wealth of the fields revealing.

— Lucy Larcom

See more Nests and nestlings  
in Gays pictures or try one of my new favorites
Birds bathing and fitness

Do you think I should submit this one for calendar?