Frankly Freddie – A man for ALL seasons (and a calendar too)

Santa CLAUStrophobia:

Fear of fly-by night men who are partial to the color red, use environmentally appropriate transportation and make their employees wear pointy shoes.

This phobia is often triggered by anticipation of shoveling snow and spending time with relatives in closed quarters.   It is characterized by over-spending, over-indulging, delusions of family harmony, leaving cookies and milk out to spoil and . . .  lying to children.

Have a HUMAN(E) Christmas!

Lickingly LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL,

Freddie

P.S.  My Humans say to tell you to have a DOG-GONE

Merry Christmas AND . . .

buy EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT MEN I LEARNED FROM MY CAT 2020 Calendar

It’s the purrrrfect mini size –  6 3/4″ w x 5 1/4″ H

Remember 50% goes to

The Gentle Barn Charity!

Click HERE to get your 2020  mini calendar

Click HERE to get your calendar

Sneak Peek into my Mixed-up . . . media life

Because of my limited energy and never ending search for whimsey I took one of Carla Sonheim’s on-line classes The Painting Techniques of Anne Marie Grgich (Portraits).   Carla is one of our Well Done Women and her classes are filled with experimentation and whimsey.  This one didn’t disappoint.

3 paintings – Mixed media, acrylic paint, collage, markers, pens, pencils, crayons, scratching, scrawling, smushing, doting and dabbing . . .

Anne Marie encourages working fast, loose and intuitively . . . my kinda artist!  She described her technique like frosting a cake – layers upon layers of media building the surface with color and texture. 

We were to work on 6 portraits and keep moving spontaneously between all six.  My work space (concentration & energy) was limited so I did three.

judy

 

 

 

Abdu’l-Bahá writes: “If religion is opposed to reason and science, faith is impossible; and when faith and confidence in the divine religion are not manifest in the heart, there can be no spiritual attainment.5

To have faith is not merely “to know” the truth. True faith is conscious knowledge expressed in action. Bahá’u’lláh states that “The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds…6 On the same subject, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá writes: “it is first ‘to know’ and then ‘to do’.

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Rats Taught How to Drive Tiny Cars (Parenthetically Speaking)

Rats can learn the complex task of navigating a rodent-operated vehicle (ROV) to a desired area, according to new research from the University of Richmond.  (They are not allowed in car-pool lanes which require 2 or more rodents per vehicle)

Dogs don’t need to drive, they have their meals delivered — click here!

A team of behavioral neuroscientists led by University of Richmond’s Professor Kelly Lambert taught rats how to drive specially-designed ROVs.

“The driver compartment of the ROV was a plastic container with an aluminum floor plate and cut out windows spanned by copper bars,” they explained.  (Kinda like a Kia or Fiat?)

“The ROV was designed so that the rat could move the car by touching or grabbing a bar and stop movement by releasing contact.” (No self-driving technology?)

The research involved five young adult male rats (Female rats don’t need enrichment to learn) that had lived in an enriched environment (i.e., environment with interesting objects to interact with) for four months and six control rats raised in standard laboratory housing.

Driving training began when the animals were approximately 5 months of age.  (Legal rat-age to acquire learner permits)

Compared to standard-housed rats, enriched-housed rats demonstrated more robust learning in driving performance. (It’s long been known that standard-house-wives need enrichment too.)

“We found that rats housed in a complex, enriched environment learned the driving task, but rats housed in standard laboratory cages had problems learning the task (i.e., they failed their driving test),” Professor Lambert said.

“That means the complex environment led to more behavioral flexibility and neuroplasticity.”

“Among other outcomes, the research could help scientists better understand the effects of Parkinson’s disease

(The next time you see a rat driving erratically, smile.  They’ve learned how to escape from the lab and go joy riding.)

Freddie’s JOY RIDE – Dog  Driving Bowl – Buy it here on Zazzle! 

Remember, a Dog’s Share of proceeds go to The Gentle Barn Animal Rescue Charity

The Gentle Barn

Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.

http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/psychology/rats-drive-cars-07731.html

paper describing the research was published October 16, 2019 in the journal Behavioural Brain Research.

 

Sneeeek Peeek – Painting my way to THIN

On doctor’s “orders” I’ve been struggling to lose weight.  The biggest problem I’ve discovered is swallowing.  Now that art classes have resumed I think I’ve solved the “swallowing problem” . . . I’m painting . . .

APPETIZER

MAIN COURSE

DESSERT

Haven’t gained a single pound . . . So far so good . . .

judy

Ode to Tom

A Turkey’s Tail

by Freddie

His story is such, so they say

Waking at dawn

he’d peck at the lawn,

searching for bugs,

nibbling on slugs

of which he was particularly fond.

Then a Thanksgiving day, out of the blue

Gobbledy gobbledy gone.

So if  YOU took Tom from off his farm

in the middle of the night

please give him due thanks

for gracing your table.  (It’s  fitting and right).

And for all the bugs and many slugs

which make him an organic delight

Dear Human Beings,

  1. I am thankful that I was not born in places that eat dogs.
  2. I am thankful you are all my best friends and fans.

 

P.S.  I was told to tell you my Human wishes that you things to be grateful for in your life, like me for example.

Don’t ignore this turkey tip!

It’s THAT time of year again for “Cooking with Judy”  Here’s my yearly Thanksgiving post — cuz it’s tooooo good not to be shared!  

img_00131 I have a reputation, among those who know me,  to have an “interesting” sense of humor.  Even though How to Cook A Turkey with 500 degree heat sounds like a joke IT IS NO JOKE.

The turkey comes out brown, beautiful and MOIST.   I’ve done this every year for over three decades and it’s never failed. 
All the people who have tried it do it again and again. . . except for the woman bought a ButterBall Turkey* . . . to see why, keep reading.
 
Ingredients:
10 – 18 pound turkey* and a sense of adventure
 
Directions:
  • Pre Heat oven 500 degrees (this is not a typo)
  • Clean the bird
  • Throw it into a covered container – put on lid or aluminum foil
  • Do not add ANYTHING to the pot and/or the bird.
  • Do NOT baste or look at until time is up  (you will hear burbling, don’t worry, by the time you hear burbling the turkey is dead)
  • Bake (and I do mean BAKE), 7 minutes per pound, unstuffed at 500 degrees FARENHEIT
  • 7 1/2 minutes per pound, stuffed
*WARNING: Do NOT buy any *turkey that has ANYTHING injected under the skin (especially butter!) or the fire department will join you for dinner after you scrub the black soot from your ceiling.
Q & A (I won’t bother you with the Q-part)
  • Yes, it comes out brown and beautiful.
  • No, it is moist and delicious
  • I always put the stuffing in a casserole rather than the turkey – others have stuffed the bird and said it was great.
  • Yes, it will smell like Thanksgiving not like a house-on-fire.
  • No, PETA would not endorse this because it is more humane . . . for the cook
  • Yes! 500 degrees.  It is not a typo
  • Yes, 7 minutes a pound
P.S.  A typical turkey will take a little over 1 hour to bake. The first year I made the turkey this way I had the critter sitting out raw and naked as a J-bird when the guests arrived.
When they found out nothing was in the oven everyone nervously inquired what time we were going to eat.
Made me smile.

 

PEM’s and PEM – How I try to cope

Peggy loves to use multiple exclamation marks when she writes. Probably to her chagrin, I edit them out. I refer to it as PEM’s or “Peggy Exclamation Marks”.

One of the reasons I retired was after seeing clients I was exhausted for days.  Because I felt fine when I was in session I largely ignored crashing afterwards.  Besides I was used to feeling exhausted socializing, exercising or even taking a shower.  

Having been diagnosed with fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue in 1996 I am relatively well versed in research, symptoms and treatment.  However, I just recently came across the term PEM!  I did a double take.

Turns out that, in relation to chronic fatigue and fibro, PEM stands for Post-Exertional Malaise and has nothing to do with Peggy’s excitement.  I was gobsmacked to find a name for what I thought was just a weird reaction, I alone had, to anything stressful, whether positive or negative.

This is how “gobsmacked” looks

How do I explain that I dread taking a shower because it fatigues me.  How do I tell friends I don’t want to get together because “they” exhaust me?  I constantly evaluate cost/benefit of whether any activity is worth hours or days of exhaustion afterwards.

It’s a relief to put a name to my experience:

“Post-exertional malaise (PEM) is the worsening of symptoms following even minor physical or mental exertion, with symptoms typically worsening 12 to 48 hours after activity and lasting for days or even weeks. PEM can be mitigated by activity management (pacing). The goal is to avoid PEM flare-ups and illness relapses by balancing rest and activity.” CDC.gov

Some of my coping mechanisms.  

  • I avoid telephone conversation.  E-mail is one-way – my pace, my time and not as energy depleting as two-way conversations.
  • I watch lots of Hallmark TV moviesthere’s always a happy ending.  Any violence or tension sends my brain into over-drive.  
  • I eat constantly Food gives us energy.  So far all it’s given me is a roll of fat around my middle.
  • I live vicariously through friends and fellow bloggers who travel to far away places. I daydream of moving to live in another country.  My day dream always includes a villa in Southern France with servants. 
  • I try to find humor in life . . . “try” being the operant word.  
  • I never take a daily shower.  I figure the sweat will help the dirt roll off.
  • I take 3 hour naps immediately after I wake up in the morning.

Now I know why I edit out PEM’s (the Peggy kind).  Exclamation is exhausting . . .

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t let her kid you, Judy is very successful at finding humor in life, to the delight of us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peggy

I’m so disappointed

When I was in grade school we did “duck ‘n cover” drills. Ducking under a desk and covering your head was suppose to protect us from an atomic bomb drop. It was the height of the cold war between the United States and Russia.

I lived in Phoenix Arizona which was a small (by today’s standards) city surrounded by miles and miles of uninhabitable dessert where many alien spacecraft had been observed.
I prayed that the aliens would land and the entire world would then, out of necessity, come together in solidarity to protect the planet.

Alien Baby, by judy – acrylic on cardboard box

“Weird space object ‘Oumuamua’ was not an alien spacecraft after all, scientists say. The 1/4-mile long rock was first spotted in October 2017 by astronomers peering through a telescope atop Mount Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii. In the weeks after that, other ground-based telescopes around the world and space-based telescopes in orbit continued to monitor Oumuamua (Hawaiian for “scout” or “messenger”) as it zipped through the solar system at about 85,700 mph.”

There was also wild speculation that it came from an alien civilization.

“After a fairly exhaustive search, scientists couldn’t find any artificial radio signals coming from the interstellar objet known as Oumuamua.”

“The alien spacecraft hypothesis is a fun idea, but our analysis suggests there is a whole host of natural phenomena that could explain it,” said Matthew Knight, the study lead author from the University of Maryland, in a news release.

‘”While Oumuamua’s interstellar origin makes it unique, many of its other properties are perfectly consistent with objects in our own solar system,” said study co-author Robert Jedicke of the University of Hawaii. In fact, Oumuamua’s orbit, its path through our solar system, matches a prediction published in a scientific journal by Jedicke and his colleagues six months before Oumuamua’s discovery.”

One theory is that the object could have been ejected by a gas giant planet orbiting another star.

“Even though we know it’s a natural phenomenon, “we have never seen anything like Oumuamua in our solar system,” Knight said. “It’s really a mystery still,” he said.”

Decades later “duck ‘n cover” has been replaced by “lock down drills” for shooters.  The aliens are still waiting for us to figure out how to come together without their help.

judy

The new study was published in the peer-reviewed British journal Nature Astronomy.

Frankly Freddie – CAPTIONIt! #9 & 10 and the WINNERS #7 #8

Dear Freddie Fans,

Create a Caption and I’ll post them to share with all my fans.

To get you started, check out CAPTIONit!  Part I  and CAPTIONit! Part 6 or 7 or . . .?

#9

#10

    *     *     *     *

The WINNING captions from my  And as you know by now, your prize is MY delight receiving entries and YOUR WORLD blogging fame.


#7, The WINNER!!! Shari B-P 

“Left foot, left foot, can’t you tell your left from your right?”


 #8, The WINNER!!! –Joyce K.

Prisoner of Love

Shari, Joyce, human-beings,

You are currently my favorite winners!  Thank you from the bottom of my treat container,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Humor Editor

 

Letter to Lucy

My granddaughter, Lucy, has always loved pictures.  When she was small I lived two hours away so I sent her “letters” in the mail.  Since she couldn’t read I made stick figure drawings. 

This “letter” chronicled a weekend we spent together–building a fort (a common interest of ours), shopping for food, eating dinner with her mom, and playing on the floor. It was the first of many “letters” that still remind me it’s the small pleasures I cherish spending time with those I love. 

Peggy

 

Frankly Freddie – CAPTIONit!, #7 & #8

Dear Freddie Fans,

Create a Caption and I’ll post them to share with all my fans.

Get inspiration – check out CAPTIONit!  Part I  and the  Winner of  #5 & #6 below*

#7

#8

Congratulations Bernice!!!!

*You wrote The WINNING captions (Actually, you don’t win anything except my gratitude for participating and WORLD blogging fame.):

Caption It #5 – Money DOESN’T grow on trees.


Caption It. #6 – Portrait of “Screaming Mimi”


Send me your captions for #7 & #8 . . . . for consideration

Frankly, Freddie

Humorist Editor-in-Chief

Still hysterical – I’m well practiced

1995: The end of life as I knew it:. I began experiencing excruciating burning pain in my hands, arms and legs. In 1996 fibromyalgia was not recognized by the medical community as a “real” ailment. Doctors considered it to be a syndrome: unexplainable, unverifiable and in all probability psychosomatic. Their unofficial diagnosis was “Hysterical Middle Aged Woman’s Syndrome”.

Doctor after doctor, told me, test after test after expensive test came back negative, that nothing was wrong with me and to go home and “Get a life”. Some looked at me knowingly, like we shared a secret “You’re a psychotherapist. You know about psychology” – Wink, Wink. The only reason I winked back was to blink away the tears that were threatening to disrupt the façade that I wasn’t a hysterical middle-aged woman.

I just wanted someone to put a name to what I had. Gynecologists, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, environmental specialists, acupuncturists, immunologists, chiropractors, Yup you are reading right! They are ALL in the plural. I didn’t just see one of each. I saw private practitioners, researchers, and heads of hospital departments. I’m sure each of them wrote “HYPOCHONDRIAC” on their charts.

Over two-plus decades later I’m no longer middle-aged, just hysterical.  I still struggle and some mornings I wake up feeling like a locomotive hit me and the bottoms of my feet on fire even tho the only thing they touched for 7 hours was a sheet.  BUT now that the pharmaceutical companies have realized there’s over 10 million people, in the United States alone and millions more world-wide, with this condition the research is progressing.  

 Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue/ME are finally recognized “officially” as an illness.  The research now points to the possibility these conditions are auto-immune, neuro-inflammatory disorders in the brain.  

Those doctors were right after all — it IS all in my head!

judy

Frankly Freddie, CAPTIONit! – #5 & #6

Dear Freddie Fans,

Create a Caption and I’ll post them to share with all my fans.

To get you started, check out CAPTIONit!  Part I 

   *     *     *

 #5

 

#6

   *     *     *

The WINNING captions from my CAPTION IT! Part II  (Actually, you don’t win anything except my gratitude for participating and WORLD blogging fame.):

#3 -Cheesey CATatonia

and

Who moved my mouse?

#4 – “Taking ZEE Nap” . . . as they say in France

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CCH

Did you know . . . Anteaters prefer termites

Its food consists mainly of termites, which it obtains by opening nests with its powerful sharp front claws. As the insects swarm to the damaged part of their dwelling, it draws them into its mouth by means of its long, flexible, rapidly moving tongue covered with sticky saliva.

  • Their tongue can be flicked up to 150-160 times or more per minute.
  • Giant anteaters have a two-foot-long tongue and huge salivary glands that produce copious amounts of sticky saliva when they feed.
  • They have small spikes on their tongue that help keep the ants and other insects on the tongue while they are swept into the anteater’s mouth, where they are crushed against the hard palate.
  • What we call an anteater’s nose is actually an elongated jaw with a small, black, moist nose, like a dog’s nose
  • A full-grown giant Anteater eats upwards of 30,000 ants and termites a day and also eat ripe fruit if they find it on the ground.
  • The Giant Anteater and regular anteaters have no teeth. Their physical digestion is aided by the pebbles and debris that they consume when they ingest insects.
  • The giant Anteater lives above ground. The anteater finds a place to sleep, curls up, and covers itself with its bushy tail. 

The female produces one offspring per birth. During much of its first year of life, a young Anteater will ride on its mother’s back. It is generally acknowledged that giant Anteaters have a poor sense of sight but a keen sense of smell. Their sense of smell has been estimated to be some 40 times stronger than that of humans.

Frankly Freddie – Guide to World Peace & Goodwill toward All

My 5 simple rules EVERYONE should follow for Peece on Earth

and Goodwill toward Man

  1. Instead of raising arms, raise your leg. No one ever dies from a squirt of pee.
  2. Never bark at strangers, greet everyone with a friendly sniff . . . below their belt.
  3. Raise your tail, not your flag.
  4. Rolling over is not a sign of defeat, it’s an invitation for a belly rub.
  5. Don’t wait for others to scratch your back, give love.

DSCN6116

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT RET

Wishing you a life of treats, back rubs and bowls of plenty.

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Canine Dog Therapist, RET.

“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world.

The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.”

 Baha’i World Faith

 See also: The Hope for Peace and a Prayer.

 

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s SUPERMOUSE!

They created a Supermouse.Superman can see the world in infrared.  Humans can’t.

Mouse eyes, like human eyes, are limited to seeing “visible light”,

which makes up just a tiny portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. 

SuperMouse by SuperPeggy

Researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China

and the University of Massachusetts Medical School developed an

“ocular nanoparticle” that can detect near-infrared light (NIR).

They injected it directly into the eyes of mice. Their study* 

shows that the mice were given “super vision”, allowing them

to see beyond the visible spectrum, without any effects

on their regular vision.

The team ran the mice through a series of water Y-mazes in an effort

to determine whether they could make out visual patterns in infrared

light to find a hidden platform. They trained the mice to associate an

infrared light pattern with the platform and then tested both injected

mice and non-injected mice to see how they fared.Mice that did no

t receive the ocular injections only correctly found the platform 50 percent

of the time, but those with the nanoparticles in their eyes were abl

e to do so around 80 percent of the time even in the dark.

Moreover, the nanoparticles continued to work for up to 10 weeks

without any residual side effects or long-term damage to normal vision.

Because the new technology is compatible with regular vision,

it could provide a new way for mammalian vision enhancement

or even open up new avenues to repair normal vision —

the nanoparticles could be tweaked so they parse different

wavelengths or alter them to deliver drugs into the eye.

*Published in Cell

Fake Snake

Snake

When my granddaughter was a baby, I started keeping old toilet paper rolls, thinking we could make something to of them together, maybe a giraffe or other animal. Our first project was the easiest: a snake. We painted the rolls, then put a string through them. We used a small matchbox for the head. She trailed it behind her, letting it slither around the house.

Peggy

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My Brain on Non-standard Time

“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one.

Each day is a different one, and each day brings a miracle of its own.”
— Paulo Coelho

This morning  I woke thinking that today was yesterday.  This afternoon I thought that today is tomorrow. Holy Toledo! (wonder where that expression comes from?) Time is mushed in my mind.  

If cells in a petri dish can be taught to tell time I need a petri dish.

Cultured Brain Cells Taught to Keep Time

The UCLA findings are the first to suggest that networks of brain cells in a petri dish can learn to generate simple timed intervals.

The ability to tell time is fundamental to how humans interact with each other and the world. Timing plays an important role, for example, in our ability to recognize speech patterns and to create music.

In a three-year study, UCLA scientists attempted to unravel the mystery by testing whether networks of brain cells kept alive in culture could be “trained” to keep time. The team stimulated the cells with simple patterns — two stimuli separated by different intervals lasting from a twentieth of a second up to half a second.

After two hours of “training cells”, the team observed a measurable change in the cellular networks’ response to a single input. In the networks trained with a short interval, the network’s activity lasted for a short period of time. Conversely, in the networks trained with a long interval, network activity lasted for a longer amount of time.

Duke Researchers Find Brain’s Motor Center Keeps Time Too

By measuring activity in the brain as reflected by blood flow, Duke researchers have demonstrated for the first time that the brain’s motor control center also keeps track of time. Their experiments show that in both animals and people, the striatum, a portion of the brain once thought only to control movement, keeps track of timing short intervals, from seconds to minutes.

“In addition to providing the first map of a neural circuit for an internal clock, the results have implications for Parkinson’s disease patients, because the timing mechanism is located within the basal ganglia, which is damaged in people with Parkinson’s disease. The findings also may help define the role of timing in learning and memory, said Dr. Warren Meck, associate professor of experimental psychology at Duke University.”

“We believe timing is the foundation for learning and memory,” Meck said in an interview. He suggests that defective timing mechanisms may underlie some learning disabilities and may contribute to dyslexia. Before these experiments, how the brain keeps track of time intervals in the seconds to minutes range was unknown.”

ScienceDaily

Creative Expression – Running Out

My husband is always after me to exercise. In Southern California it’s difficult to use weather as an excuse so I’ve been using fibromyalgia brain fog rather creatively:
  • “What!? It’s midnight already!? I was just about ready to go for my walk”
  • “Are you sure? I could swear I exercised today”
  • “I couldn’t walk today. I locked myself in.”
  • “What do you mean the doctor stressed exercise?! I swear she said not to stress over exercise.”
I really had a good reason not to exercise when I began to get light-headed on my walks and figured out it wasn’t the heat, lack of food or dehydration. I suspected my heart arrhythmia.  
(It was heart arrhythmia that led to my getting Tullulah, my pacemaker.)
This is a series of pictures I did when I was first diagnosed with atrial tachycardia.  I wasn’t focusing or even thinking about my heart when I was painting.  I painted spontaneously and very quickly.  The only reason I painted 3 was that I didn’t want to waste paint and throw away what I hadn’t used.  About 6 months later as I was putting together a presentation it hit me that these paintings represented my heart.

It’s easy to identify which picture is my heart in normal rhythm and which paintings represent the various stages of arrythmia.
That is the wonder and power of Therapeutic Creative Expression.
Whether it’s painting on canvas, crayons on paper or magazine pictures in a collage we express our unconscious knowing and inner wisdom.

Now that my arrhythmia’s are under control the most exercise I’m getting is running out of excuses.

judy

Why do so many Egyptian statues have broken noses?

The most common question that curator Edward Bleiberg fields from visitors to the Brooklyn Museum’s Egyptian art galleries is a straightforward but salient one: Why are the statues’ noses broken?
(If you don’t want to read the entire article, which is fascinating, we’ve highlighted the answer to the question in blue and red.)

Face of Senwosret III, ca. 1878-1840 BC

Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Written by Julia Wolkoff

Bleiberg, who oversees the museum’s extensive holdings of Egyptian, Classical and ancient Near Eastern art, was surprised the first few times he heard this question. He had taken for granted that the sculptures were damaged; his training in Egyptology encouraged visualizing how a statue would look if it were still intact.

It might seem inevitable that after thousands of years, an ancient artifact would show wear and tear. But this simple observation led Bleiberg to uncover a widespread pattern of deliberate destruction, which pointed to a complex set of reasons why most works of Egyptian art came to be defaced in the first place.

The bust of an Egyptian official dating from the 4th century BC.

The bust of an Egyptian official dating from the 4th century BC. Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y. 
Bleiberg’s research is now the basis of the poignant exhibition “Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt.” A selection of objects from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection will travel to the Pulitzer Arts Foundation later this month under the co-direction of the latter’s associate curator, Stephanie Weissberg. Pairing damaged statues and reliefs dating from the 25th century BC to the 1st century AD with intact counterparts, the show testifies to ancient Egyptian artifacts’ political and religious functions — and the entrenched culture of iconoclasm that led to their mutilation.”
“In our own era of reckoning with national monuments and other public displays of art, “Striking Power” adds a germane dimension to our understanding of one of the world’s oldest and longest-lasting civilizations, whose visual culture, for the most part, remained unchanged over millennia. This stylistic continuity reflects — and directly contributed to — the empire’s long stretches of stability. But invasions by outside forces, power struggles between dynastic rulers and other periods of upheaval left their scars.”
“The consistency of the patterns where damage is found in sculpture suggests that it’s purposeful,” Bleiberg said, citing myriad political, religious, personal and criminal motivations for acts of vandalism. Discerning the difference between accidental damage and deliberate vandalism came down to recognizing such patterns. A protruding nose on a three-dimensional statue is easily broken, he conceded, but the plot thickens when flat reliefs also sport smashed noses.”

Flat reliefs often feature damaged noses too, supporting the idea that the vandalism was targeted.

Flat reliefs often feature damaged noses too, supporting the idea that the vandalism was targeted. Credit: Brooklyn Museum
“The ancient Egyptians, it’s important to note, ascribed important powers to images of the human form. They believed that the essence of a deity could inhabit an image of that deity, or, in the case of mere mortals, part of that deceased human being’s soul could inhabit a statue inscribed for that particular person. These campaigns of vandalism were therefore intended to “deactivate an image’s strength,” as Bleiberg put it.”
Tombs and temples were the repositories for most sculptures and reliefs that had a ritual purpose. “All of them have to do with the economy of offerings to the supernatural,” Bleiberg said. In a tomb, they served to “feed” the deceased person in the next world with gifts of food from this one. In temples, representations of gods are shown receiving offerings from representations of kings, or other elites able to commission a statue.”
“Egyptian state religion,” Bleiberg explained, was seen as “an arrangement where kings on Earth provide for the deity, and in return, the deity takes care of Egypt.” Statues and reliefs were “a meeting point between the supernatural and this world,” he said, only inhabited, or “revivified,” when the ritual is performed. And acts of iconoclasm could disrupt that power.”

“The damaged part of the body is no longer able to do its job,” Bleiberg explained. Without a nose, the statue-spirit ceases to breathe, so that the vandal is effectively “killing” it. To hammer the ears off a statue of a god would make it unable to hear a prayer. In statues intended to show human beings making offerings to gods, the left arm — most commonly used to make offerings — is cut off so the statue’s function can’t be performed (the right hand is often found axed in statues receiving offerings).

“In the Pharaonic period, there was a clear understanding of what sculpture was supposed to do,” Bleiberg said. Even if a petty tomb robber was mostly interested in stealing the precious objects, he was also concerned that the deceased person might take revenge if his rendered likeness wasn’t mutilated.
The prevalent practice of damaging images of the human form — and the anxiety surrounding the desecration — dates to the beginnings of Egyptian history. Intentionally damaged mummies from the prehistoric period, for example, speak to a “very basic cultural belief that damaging the image damages the person represented,” Bleiberg said. Likewise, how-to hieroglyphics provided instructions for warriors about to enter battle: Make a wax effigy of the enemy, then destroy it. Series of texts describe the anxiety of your own image becoming damaged, and pharaohs regularly issued decrees with terrible punishments for anyone who would dare threaten their likeness.”

A statue from around 1353-1336 BC, showing part of a Queen's face.

A statue from around 1353-1336 BC, showing part of a Queen’s face. Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Indeed, “iconoclasm on a grand scale…was primarily political in motive,” Bleiberg writes in the exhibition catalog for “Striking Power.” Defacing statues aided ambitious rulers (and would-be rulers) with rewriting history to their advantage. Over the centuries, this erasure often occurred along gendered lines: The legacies of two powerful Egyptian queens whose authority and mystique fuel the cultural imagination — Hatshepsut and Nefertiti — were largely erased from visual culture.”
“Hatshepsut’s reign presented a problem for the legitimacy of Thutmose III’s successor, and Thutmose solved this problem by virtually eliminating all imagistic and inscribed memory of Hatshepsut,” Bleiberg writes. Nefertiti’s husband Akhenaten brought a rare stylistic shift to Egyptian art in the Amarna period (ca. 1353-36 BC) during his religious revolution. The successive rebellions wrought by his son Tutankhamun and his ilk included restoring the longtime worship of the god Amun; “the destruction of Akhenaten’s monuments was therefore thorough and effective,” Bleiberg writes. Yet Nefertiti and her daughters also suffered; these acts of iconoclasm have obscured many details of her reign.
Ancient Egyptians took measures to safeguard their sculptures. Statues were placed in niches in tombs or temples to protect them on three sides. They would be secured behind a wall, their eyes lined up with two holes, before which a priest would make his offering. “They did what they could,” Bleiberg said. “It really didn’t work that well.”

A statue of the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut wearing a "khat" headdress.

A statue of the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut wearing a “khat” headdress. Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Speaking to the futility of such measures, Bleiberg appraised the skill evidenced by the iconoclasts. “They were not vandals,” he clarified. “They were not recklessly and randomly striking out works of art.” In fact, the targeted precision of their chisels suggests that they were skilled laborers, trained and hired for this exact purpose. “Often in the Pharaonic period,” Bleiberg said, “it’s really only the name of the person who is targeted, in the inscription. This means that the person doing the damage could read!”

“The understanding of these statues changed over time as cultural mores shifted. In the early Christian period in Egypt, between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, the indigenous gods inhabiting the sculptures were feared as pagan demons; to dismantle paganism, its ritual tools — especially statues making offerings — were attacked. After the Muslim invasion in the 7th century, scholars surmise, Egyptians had lost any fear of these ancient ritual objects. During this time, stone statues were regularly trimmed into rectangles and used as building blocks in construction projects.”
“Ancient temples were somewhat seen as quarries,” Bleiberg said, noting that “when you walk around medieval Cairo, you can see a much more ancient Egyptian object built into a wall.”

Statue of pharaoh Senwosret III, who ruled in the 2nd century BC

Statue of pharaoh Senwosret III, who ruled in the 2nd century BC Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Such a practice seems especially outrageous to modern viewers, considering our appreciation of Egyptian artifacts as masterful works of fine art, but Bleiberg is quick to point out that “ancient Egyptians didn’t have a word for ‘art.’ They would have referred to these objects as ‘equipment.'” When we talk about these artifacts as works of art, he said, we de-contextualize them. Still, these ideas about the power of images are not peculiar to the ancient world, he observed, referring to our own age of questioning cultural patrimony and public monuments.”
“Imagery in public space is a reflection of who has the power to tell the story of what happened and what should be remembered,” Bleiberg said. “We are witnessing the empowerment of many groups of people with different opinions of what the proper narrative is.” Perhaps we can learn from the pharaohs; how we choose to rewrite our national stories might just take a few acts of iconoclasm.”
This article was published in partnership with Artsy, the global platform for discovering and collecting art. The original article can be seen here.
Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt” is on at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St Louis, Missouri, from 

Did you know? Octopuses: not alien, and very cool

Octopuses, which for the record is the correct pluralization of octopus. (It can also be octopodes, since the word is Greek in origin, but never octopi.)

Blue Bloods

“For starters, octopuses have literal blue blood. There’s a common misunderstanding that human blood is blue inside your body when it’s deoxygenated, but that comes from the fact that your veins look blue through your skin. Deoxygenated blood is still very red because of the iron-based mechanism by which our bodies transport oxygen molecules. Octopuses said ‘no, thanks’ to iron blood, though, and swapped in a copper-based protein that binds oxygen instead. It’s more efficient than iron in the cold, low-oxygen environments that most octopuses live in. It sure does make them spookier, but they’re not alone. The ocellated icefish has clear blood and there are lizards that run green. Both are from Earth.”

octopus on rock

An octopus just hangin’ out, Pixabay

Octopuses’ brains are in their arms

“Two-thirds of an octopus’ neurons reside in the long appendages (tentacles). This decentralized way of thinking means that even severed arms can “think” for themselves, or at least respond to physical stimuli and try to escape whatever is trying to eat them, which is why people die from trying to swallow live octopus arms only to find that the arm is still fighting back (a reported six people die this way on average each year in South Korea, where the dish is popular).”

Intelligent 

But their peculiar approach to brains hasn’t stopped them from ranking among the most intelligent creatures that we know of. Octopuses regularly use tools, solve puzzles, and generally cause mayhem by sneaking in and out of their enclosures. They also sometimes accessorize by hopping inside old coconut shells and using them as little mobile homes, all while looking more stylish than most humans.

Suckers and 3 Hearts

As they travel, they also taste everything that they walk on since their suckers are all sensory organs. You’d think that would motivate them to swim everywhere, but unfortunately one of their three hearts has to stop beating whenever they swim, which is quite tiring and means that many octopuses prefer to stroll. Their other two hearts provide blood to the gills, but that third heart circulates blood to the central organs.”

“The main organs reside inside the octopus’ bulbous head (called a mantle), which contains no bones. The only truly hard part of an octopus is the beak, which is basically its mouth. This means that the critters can squeeze through almost any opening as long as it’s bigger than the schnoz. Everything else is negotiable.”

Short Life

“But perhaps the weirdest thing about octopuses is that, unlike many of the other highly intelligent creatures populating our planet, they don’t live long. Some live just six months, others a few years, and most males die shortly after mating. The females last long enough to protect their clutch of eggs, during which time they slowly starve to death.”

https://www.popsci.com/octopus-aliens#page-2

Frankly Freddie, Doggone Good Dog – Remi, fashion hound

Dear Freddie Fans,

Remi is a consummate human-trainer.  After a lot of trial and error Lyn, his human, finally has learned exactly when it’s time to eat, time to walk and time for treats.  Remi has also taken on the task of helping her be charitable.  Every week he takes her to a Senior Care Facility.

As a reward for Lyn’s good behavior Remi took her to the Annual La Chien Fashion Show because he was walking the runway . . . wearing a priceless couture fur coat.

This show helped raise money for no-kill shelter, pet adoptions and pet rescue programs. 

Remi is certified by the AKC as a “Canine Good Citizen” and a Certified Therapy Dog and now adds runway model to his resume.  Being a working canine can be exhausting . . .

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield,

Exhausted Roving Reporter

Click below to read more about Remington

The Tail of Remington.

I love Lucy – Painting Party

My granddaughter has always loved to do art–draw, paint, use play-doh, make things from cardboard, glue “treasures” onto paper (her definition of “treasure” is quite broad).  For her 4th birthday party my daughter planned a mural project.

Materials & Supplies

  • A looooooooong piece of butcher paper or painter’s paper (hardware store)
  • Tempera paint, it’s WASHABLE or Water-color washable markers, several containers to put along the paper
  • Brushes, lots – you can use sponge brushes – buy them in packets at hardware stores (they’re cheaper)
  • Plastic palettes for them, to use for mixing colors, available at Aaron Brothers, Michael’s and elsewhere
  • Baby wipes, rags, paper towels (a hose) for clean-up

Possible Themes to Paint

You can just let the kids loose (meaning paint anything they choose – which they will probably do anyway . . .) or tell them to paint:

  • A Happy Birthday picture to the birthday child
  • A birthday present they would like to get and/or give
  • Self portrait
  • Portrait of the birthday child

Where and When

  • Garage floor, patio, driveway
  • After they have a a chance to run around a while

The kids all had a blast and Lucy had a party souvenir.

I might do the same for my own birthday.  The only hitch is my friends are too old to sit on the driveway.

Peggy

 

Doggone Good Butterflies

When monarch butterflies wing their way south to central Mexico each fall, they use the sun to ensure that they stay on course. But how they head in the right direction on cloudy days has been a mystery.

 

It’s not unusual for animals engaged in long-distance migrations, including sea turtles and birds, to use an internal magnetic compass to get to where they’re going. But whether monarch butterflies have a similar ability had previously been unclear: Some studies had found weak evidence for a magnetic compass, while others found none at all.

It turns out the butterflies do use Earth’s magnetic field as a type of backup navigational system.

A paper published in the journal Nature Communications finally puts the issue to rest: The famous black-and-orange butterflies do, in fact, use a magnetic compass.

Researchers also found the reason for past conflicting evidence: The insects need ultraviolet [UV] light, which can penetrate cloud cover to power their magnetic compass—some of the previous studies didn’t provide the requisite illumination.

Butterflies may look fragile but evidence suggests otherwise:

  • North American painted ladies lay their eggs in the deserts near the Mexican border.
  • The orange butterflies, called painted ladies travel annually from the deserts of Southern California to the Pacific Northwest.
  • The butterfly, which is frequently mistaken for the monarch because of the similar colors, can move as fast a 25 mph and can go for days without stopping,

  • It can migrate up to 2,500 miles over mountains, seas and deserts and can travel at a much higher altitude than other insects.

  • The painted lady is one of the most pervasive butterfly species in the world and is found on every continent except Antarctica and South America, according to National Geographic.
  • Scientists estimate the migrating  painted ladies number in the millions.

 

The Biggest Little Farm

Since writing and illustrating a children’s book Maui and His Back Legs and creating images for MAXyourMIND and this blog I have a new respect for illustrators who do it for a living.  It’s fun creating pictures but takes a lot of imagination, hard work and time.

Jason Carpenter, Jason-Carpenter.com, is an Emmy award winner for animating “He Named Me Malala” about Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai.  He and his wife Rachel are friends of my daughter.   

Running animals, from “The Biggest Little Farm”

Jason did the animation for a new movie “The Biggest Little Farm”,  a documentary about a young couple (and a dog), with no farming experience, just big ideas  who aspire to grow animals and crops in sustainable, healthy ways.  I went to see it because I know Jason, not knowing what to expect.

 I rarely recommend movies but I loved the film and agree with the reviews:

The premise is simple:

John & Molly buy 200 acres of arid land outside of Los Angeles.  The film follows their successes and failures as they work to develop a sustainable farm, relying on critters like goats, worms, owls, a pig named Emma and cayotes (among other things) to restore the eco-culture. 

The cinematography was spectacular and images of wild-life and arial photography delightful.  I was particularly impressed to find was suspense, human aspiration and learning from failure in a film about a farm.

I have no doubt you will be inspired, as I was, to see it is possible to align with our earth’s ecosystem and live in harmony with nature rather than destroy it.  So I’m spreading the word.

Take a look at the trailer:

 

Frankly Freddie, Caption It! Part I

Dear Freddie Fans,

I’ve had a lot of time on my paws lately since P&J have not been walking with me because it’s been “raining”. (They are very delicate and don’t like to get their hair get frizzy or their tootsies cold.  However, It rarely rains in Southern California.  I suspect they turn the lawn sprinklers on.)  So I’ve been amusing myself by imagining what the captions SHOULD have been on the pictures they draw.

Play along with me please – Create a Caption and I’ll post them to share with all my fans.

To get you started, here’s a few from my Canine & Feline Friends (who wish to remain anonymous so their humans don’t know they’ve been on the computer)

#1 Mouse and Mouse

“YOU ate my cheese!”               “Prove it.”

Who does your whisker extensions?

***

#2  Mouse & Eleph

“Try washing it in hot water”

Post your captions in the comments please, I don’t do e-mail.

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CCH

Certified Canine Humorist & Roving Reporter

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Published Author

 

Well Done Woman – Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters

Carolyn Thomas writes an award winning blog My HEART SISTERS on women’s heart health.  I “discovered” Heart Sisters when I was diagnosed with atrial fib and have reposted many of her informative posts.  

At the height of her career Carolyn had a “widow-maker” heart attack, named FOR the fact that most having this type of cardiac incident die.  To our benefit, Carolyn survived and is a patient advocate, speaking, writing and listening, to hundreds of women with their own stories on My HEART SISTERS.  

Carolyn is the author of A Woman’s Guide to Living With Heart Disease*

Carolyn Thomas, a WELL DONE WOMAN** with a BIG HEART

ct-palecolours-photomania.jpg

Here’s Carolyn, in her own words (with a few edits, rearranges & colors by me, JW):

“. . . in May 2008, while working at the Victoria Hospice and Palliative Care Society, I became a member of an exclusive club that nobody ever wants to join:  I was hospitalized for a myocardial infarction caused by a 95% blocked coronary artery – what doctors call the “widow-maker” heart attack.”

Until then Carolyn had been . . .   “just your average active, outgoing PR person, a longtime Run Leader at the Y’s marathon clinic, involved in a number of community and professional organizations – all while juggling a fun and busy social life with close-knit family and friends.”

“But here’s the frightening part of this story: two weeks earlier, I had actually been sent home from the same hospital’s Emergency Department with a misdiagnosis of acid reflux, despite presenting with textbook Hollywood heart attack symptoms like chest pain, nausea, sweating, and pain radiating down my left arm. “You’re in the right demographic for acid reflux!” was the confident pronouncement of my E.D. physician.”

“I left hospital that day feeling supremely embarrassed and apologetic because I’d made a big fuss “over nothing!”  I continued to suffer increasingly debilitating symptoms for two full weeks (but hey! at least I knew it wasn’t my heart!) until symptoms finally became so severely unbearable that I again sought medical help – this time to a revised diagnosis of “significant heart disease”.”

“I later learned (while attending the WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium at the world-famous Mayo Clinic) that, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, women my age and younger are seven times more likely to be misdiagnosed in mid-heart attack and sent home from Emergency compared to our male counterparts presenting with identical symptoms.

I call my blogging “cardiac rehab for my brain”

“Since 1973 (when I was just a tiny baby), my work background has been in journalism,  communications and public relations. I’m a refugee from the Niagara Falls area to the balmy west coast of Canada; I’m the author of two travel books and one book about living with heart disease;  my little garden won a national garden contest from Gardening Life magazine; I once had lunch with His Royal Highness Prince Edward  (yesthat Prince Edward); and many years ago while I was a student at Queen’s University, I accidentally smashed our old Buick into the station wagon owned by “The English Patient” author, Michael Ondaatje. And that’s just about as much fascinating trivia as the average person can possibly stand knowing about me.”

“I have two grown kidlets who, luckily for me, both live here in their hometown . . . and my first grandchild), the ever-so-sweet happy girl, Everly Rose, born in May 2015.”

Back in 1997, I made what the Victoria Times Colonist called at the time a “riches to rags” career move when I decided to abandon the expense account world of corporate public relations in order to do something socially meaningful for a change. Thus I was able to round out my three decades of PR experience in corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors – ranging from Mercedes-Benz to the Salvation Army.

My very first “Pinot & Prevention” audience, 2008

My very first “Pinot & Prevention” audience in 2008

“I launched Heart Sisters blog in 2009, mostly just to help publicize my free “Pinot & Prevention” presentations on women’s heart health I started doing after returning from that Mayo training.  It’s now grown like Topsy, with over 15 million views so far from 190 countries! “

“My writing’s also been published internationally, including in the British Medical Journal.  And in 2014, the BMJ invited me to be a Patient Reviewer for cardiology papers submitted to the journal for publication, part of their innovative peer review process.”

*”Johns Hopkins University Press approached me in 2015 to ask if I’d ever considered writing a book based on my HeartSisters blog articles. Thus began a two-year adventure culminating in my book called A Woman’s Guide to Living With Heart Disease” (ask for it at your local bookshop or order online and save 20% off the list price by using the discount code HTWN when you order!) “or Order directly from my Canadian distributor, Brunswick Books.

WELL DONE Carolyn! WELL DONE

      *      *      *

We hope you enjoy and perhaps are even inspired by the series to celebrate women who, in our estimation, are “well done”.  

**What’s a “Well Done Women”?

  • She has weathered decades of life experience.
  • She’s navigated life changes – whether by choice, chance or necessity –  learns and continues to adapt.
  • She contributes to the world in diverse ways, small or large, sharing her values through social causes, charities, or caring for people, the planet & animals.
  • She is curious, creative and open to learning or having new experiences.

Sneek Peek into my sketchy, messy life – painting mirrors life

Perhaps because I was a psychotherapist, the human form and face is what draws me (pun intended) as art subjects.

There is an interesting process in painting that mirrors our human progression:  Start with a sketch, fill in the darks and lights, correct, edit, change colors, redo, undo, fill in more detail and continue with more redirection and correction.

Each of these studies has layers and layers of acrylic paint.  Traces of the colored layers are still visible . . .  like all humans . . . 

I should take more pictures to chronicle the changing layers.  Here’s a glimpse into two stages

I finally run out of steam . . . or interest . . .  declare it done and move on to the next challenge.  Like my life

judy

Whoa is me (no complaints, just the facts – parenthetically speaking)

Unbeknownst to you, who read posts, on MAXyourMIND and CURIOUStotheMAX, you occupy an important place in my ever shrinking life. 

I’ll explain:

If you are a recent blog follower you may not know I struggle with a chronic condition – fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue.  I look fine (except for the weight I’ve gained self-medicating on food) and when out and about I am reasonably coherent and polite  Few people would know:

  • I avoid interacting with others and lead a relatively solitary life because normal stimuli is a stressor and triggers even more bone-deep exhaustion, whole body pain and brain fog.
  • My feet burn from walking
  • My gums hurt from chewing
  • I retired largely because I would be out-of-commission for days after seeing clients
  • I regularly have appointments with 4 different medical specialists plus 5 irregularly (the appointments are irregular, not the specialists)
  • When depressed I cry at dog food & laundry commercials.

I was diagnosed in 1986 when the “condition” was considered by doctors to be psycho-somatic – not real, just something I “thought” was wrong with me and psychiatric treatment was needed.   

judy by Judy

As I’ve gotten older (and of course, wiser) my system responds more and more negatively to all kinds of stimuli.  Just reading, watching, listening to strife, mayhem, pillage or plunder (whether fact or fiction) as even pleasurable activities, like being with friends, can trigger days of physical and mental exhaustion.  I could go on and on about all my “symptom-stuff” but it depresses me to write about it (a symptom not talked about because it requires psychiatric intervention, just like all the doctors believed). I’m not complaining (I save that for my husband and close friends – aren’t they the lucky ones, irony intended).

Why then am I yet again writing a post about fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue?  After reading Ron Davis’ story I decided it was a small thing I could do to help raise awareness for National Fibromyalgia ME/chronic fatigue day.   

Click here:

Ron Davis pioneered technology that fueled the Human Genome Project. Now his greatest challenge is curing his own son.

Ron Davis’ son Whitney is on the extreme end of the spectrum whereas I mirror just a teeny bit of his journey on the mild end of the spectrum.  

Whitney was functioning as a photographer for a good portion of his young adulthood until his ability to withstand any outside stimuli increased and his functioning declined.  He is now bed ridden, fed through a feeding tube and all sensory input – sight, sound, touch – triggers an overwhelming, debilitating cascade of symptoms.

These types of “conditions” are beginning to be researched (now that pharmaceuticals have realized there are millions of people afflicted world-wide and million of dollars to be made).  Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions. The disorder affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. and 3-6% of the world population. 

I thank you for being a part of my life (a much bigger part than you ever knew), helping me keep my brain working, my sense of humor in tact (if not in bounds) and give me a reason to contribute in some small way.

I say a Baha’i prayer every day and thank God for what he hasn’t given me.  I’ve been blessed and unbeknownst to you, you are all a part of my blessing.

judy

Hysterical Middle Aged Woman’s Syndrome

Difference in reactions to Pacemaker & Fibromyalgia

If you want to know more about these invisible illnesses you can read.

http://www.fmaware.org/

https://medlineplus.gov/chronicfatiguesyndrome.html

Links to WorldWide ME/chronic fatigue Organizations”

 

Freddie’s Friday’s Fantastic Finds

NOT Freddie, Male ModelDear all my dearest fans,

SInce retiring Peggy & Judy (hereby referred to as P & J) have not been able to keep me in the style in which I prefer to be kept.  Gourmet doggie treats, doggie day care and trips to the salon are not, so they say,  in their Social-Security-check budget (Social Security, it seems, is neither very social nor secure . ..  for canines).

I thought about crowd-funding but have settled on T-shirts.  They require no ironing and are user-friendly (the T-shirts as well as P & J).

Please buy my T-shirts. click here zazzle.com/store/curioustothemax.  They make wonderful Canine Companion Clothing for all  dog and human-walking.  I promise to use all the proceeds for MY DOGGONE GOOD.

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CCE

Certified Canine Entrepreneur

https://www.zazzle.com/store/curioustothemax

Struggling to surrender to life

My biggest struggle is to not struggle.   The more I struggle to push through fibromyalgia fatigue, and stay engaged in life, the more fatigued I become.  After over 2 decades of living with a chronic condition struggling has become a self-defeating habit.

judy

Soul Pancake “. . . brought in people ages 0-100 to answer some of life’s big questions. In this episode, we asked people “what are you struggling with right now?” From homework to depression, one thing rings true: humans, at any age, are struggling with something.

What about you, what are you struggling with right now? Share your experience in the comments section if you feel up for it.”

 

Peek into my Painted LIfe – Life Imitates Art

Taking a painting class as well as life drawing.   Because of a class schedule mix-up, the class is oil PORTRAIT PAINTING – a bit more advanced than I am and I use acrylic paint which is a bit trickier for portraits.  Luckily the assignments are using photographs which are already reduced to 2 dimensions, making it a bit easier. 

The teacher, mercifully, explained that paintings go through ugly stages and with each layer of paint the image gets a bit more refined. 

It occurred to me that in life we go through ugly stages before we become more refined.  Like paintings we all have layers and layers of “stuff” beneath the surface of what others see. Here’s a Peek at mine (painting that is, not life):

He’s not quite finished . . . like life, the closer I look the more I find that needs changing, tweaking . . .  and like my hair . . . re-coloring . . .

judy

Judy’s “Psycho-Logical” Mind – How to live in the present moment

I always smile when people tell me they want to figure out how to live in the present moment.  My response is – it’s impossible not to live in the present moment, the present is all there is . . . this very nano-second in time.   

Full Disclosure

I’m simultaneously blessed and cursed.  I remember very little of my past (including yesterday) and have difficulty thinking about the future. I have to concentrate to plan ahead, only have goals if they have been imposed and my sense of time is . . . if it weren’t for the sun or the clock I’d have no sense of time . . .

My brain doesn’t “think” whole thoughts but rather gathers impressions, patterns, concepts.  When whole thoughts, words, come out of my mouth (or the computer keyboard) it’s the first time I’ve heard them.

It’s not that I practice living in the present moment . . . it’s simply how my brain is hard-wired.  If your brain is similarly hard-wired you know exactly what I’m talking about.  If your brain is wired differently you may be goal-oriented, remember details about your childhood, even be prone to anxiety and stymied about what I’m trying to describe.

Why it’s called “peace of MIND”

It’s our THINKING that focuses on the past or the future.  The measure of our peace of MIND is determined by how much we are able to focus our thinking in the present.

That’s largely why meditation, reading, sewing, exercise, painting . . . doing anything that captures your attention as you experience it creates the “flow” where past and future are not in your thoughts.

 Every time we think “should have”, “could have”, or “would have” we are THINKING about past experience. Every time we become anxious or fearful we are THINKING about a future, which may or may not happen. 

Maybe your reaction is . . .  that doesn’t make sense, for someone who spent decades as a psychotherapist analyzing, dissecting, bisecting life’s experiences, expectations and beliefs.   

“One hours reflection is worth 70 years of pious worship”

Because we are a composite of all our past choices and experiences, thinking, reflecting on the past is important IF our focus is to learn and grow.  Reflection about our past or future, without learning, is not usually helpful when we stay stuck in  “shoulds”, “coulds”, “woulds” or “what if’s”.

Irrespective of what happened yesterday or last year and what may or may not happen tomorrow, the present moment is all you have, however, your brain is wired. 

Reflect on that.

The HeART of Spirituality

GOD’S ART – POINTILLISM

“Each of these 48,741 dots represents a galaxy.

Each galaxy is a collection of billions of stars. The stars themselves trap untold planets, asteroids, and possibly even life in their gravitational clutches.”

cmass-0

“But this image, which is just one-twentieth of the night sky, is a mere pinprick of a window into the universe. The universe is thought to be 93 billion light-years wide. The width of this image is 6 billion light-years.”

Read the entire article, click HERE

 Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image.

Pointillism used the science of optics to create colors from many small dots placed so close to each other that they would blur into an image to the eye. This is the same way computer screens work today. The pixels in the computer screen are just like the dots in a Pointillist painting.

 

Peek into my Sketchy Life – Nudes, neck down and neck up

I’m getting a bit bored with pencil and charcoal . . . I seem to bore easily . . . so

Charcoal on paper, 10 minute sketch

Charcoal & pastel chalk, 10 minute sketch

. . . .I’m trying to break out of my sketchy rut and not be so preoccupied with getting exact likenesses.  It is an ART class . . .Acrylic Paint on canvas board, 7,031 hours & 24 minutes

This actually is a pretty good likeness of the photograph.  The woman had a black eye but I swear I’m innocent.

This was an experiment pasting collage paper on the canvas and then painting over the paper – creates texture and FUN.

judy

A WELL DONE WOMAN – Carla Sonheim

We hope you enjoy and perhaps are even inspired by the series to celebrate women who, in our estimation, are “well done.  

What’s a “Well Done Women”?

  • She has weathered decades of life experience.
  • She’s navigated life changes – whether by choice, chance or necessity –  learns and continues to adapt.
  • She contributes to the world in diverse ways, small or large, sharing her values through social causes, charities, or caring for people, the planet & animals.
  • She is curious, creative and open to learning or having new experiences.

 Carla Sonheim, a WELL DONE WOMAN.

When her boys were young she taught art in their elementary school classrooms. Carla explained, “There I was tasked (happily!) with keeping the lessons both fun AND instructional, and when I began teaching adults a few years later, I continued this approach as I found that many people felt nervous about drawing especially… it helped to keep it FUN! From those two teaching experiences Drawing Lab was born.”

She and her husband Steve live in Seattle, Washington, just 10 minutes away from their three beautiful grandchildren.

Carla Sonheim helped jump-start my (judy) drawing.  Years ago, I took her on-line class “Silly” and have followed her on her blog and taken other classes since.

By Carla Sonheim

___________________

Here’s Carla’s response to the question of how she deals with feelings that “. . . art isn’t important and what the hell is art good for?”

” . . .My answer has three parts:

  1. The short answer, I think, is that the artwork I create isn’t really good for anything much at all. A few people might like it and enjoy it, but in the grand scheme of things, the artwork I make doesn’t matter all that much. Most of the time it just goes in drawers!
  2. On the other hand, it is ALL that matters.
  3. Or somewhere, anywhere, in between, depending on the moment and my mood.”

By Carla

* * *

Chinese writer and artist Gao Xingjian wrote (and this is from memory, so I might get it wrong): “An artist never changed the world; self-fulfillment is the best he can hope for.”

“I think this quote speaks to the first part of the above answer, where I feel that artwork I make — the actual drawings and paintings —  really aren’t that important.”

“It’s very likely that my work is never going to be collected by art galleries or museums, and most of the artwork I make is never going to be seen by more than a few people. So why do it?”

“BUT! We’re forgetting the PROCESS if we think that way.”

“The actual making of artwork provides me with three things:

1. “When I draw or paint, I feel better. I feel calmer, happier. I’m doing something I like to do, which makes me a happier person, which makes my husband and the rest of my family, happier people.”

2. “When I draw or paint, I am solving problems and challenging myself, and there is satisfaction in that… humans love to learn!! A side benefit… these problem-solving skills I can take into the rest of my world, such as running the business or navigating a friendship.”

3. “When I draw or paint, I either have something I like at the end of it that I can share or something that goes into the scrap drawer to be painted over later… a physical piece of work.”

“You can see that the artwork itself is just one of the three things above, just 1/3 of the benefits! The other two things are arguably ways that you would encourage anyone to spend their time doing — doing something they love and learning new things.”

* * *

“So that is what I mean when I say that making art is “ALL” that matters. It is something I love and it is the thing with which I choose to spend the bulk of my “learning” time. In other words, making artwork is my way of being in this world, interpreting it, trying to make sense of it.”

“Other people do it through sports or exercise, science, business, homemaking, cooking… we all have our things that we do that seem both frivolous at times (even cooking, does it matter in the grand scheme of things whether to use regular salt or sea salt?), but serve as the conduit through which we live our lives.”

“Therefore, it is “everything.”

“I learn from drawing and painting that life is full of paradox. There is duality in everything… we both love and hate, we both must be gentle and firm, etc.”

“For example, when I draw, I have to hold two seemingly contradictory things at the same time: I have to try and be gentle with myself and at the same time try and improve/get better (which means that at some level I know there is room for improvement, which is where the gentleness comes in).”

Collage Lady, by Carla

* * *

Finally, even though I know the above is true in my head, I get off track on a regular basis and feel dumb about all of the hundreds (thousands?) of drawings I have in drawers and what have I done with my life?!!

I find life wonderful, but I also find life very hard.

I do have clinical depression and, though it is mostly managed, it kicks my butt some days.  So sometimes I don’t do well at all with the feeling; I cast about.

Other days, when I’m feeling better, I can reach out to a friend and they can help remind me that I am okay just as I am, whatever I do with my time is my own business (as long as I’m not hurting people) and that taking an hour to draw a silly animal today is really okay.

Sometimes I read books by other creatives on the “why of creativity”… “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield and “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron are two that have helped me…

Mostly I try to remember that the feeling that I suck, my artwork sucks, life sucks… will pass. It always does (with the help of medicine and people around me… and drawing and painting).

And I’m pretty sure that the fact that I feel bad about all the art sitting in drawers is just a substitute for feeling bad about myself IN GENERAL, and that if I can continue to work on that (paradoxically, THROUGH making my artwork), the rest will take care of itself.

Collage Bird, by Carla

How to Be Mindful While Eating Chocolate (Parenthetically Speaking)

Chocolate Meditation by Peggy

“Mindful eating is eating with intention, attention and awareness. The purpose of eating chocolate is pleasure. So when you are eating what you love, give it your full attention and love what you eat.” 

  1. Become aware of any feelings of guilt. (If you dwell on guilt when it comes to chocolate please skip this meditation and see a therapist).  
  2. Sit down to savor your chocolate choice without distractions.
  3. As you unwrap the chocolate, listen to the sounds and notice the aroma. (If you are an experienced meditator, buy a bag of unwrapped chocolate to go directly to the heart of the meditation)
  4. Take a small bite, then pause. Become aware of the textures and flavors on your tongue. (After the small bite, eat  the entire bag and focus on the subtle differences between gourmet and gourmond).
  5. As you begin to chew, notice how the flavors, textures and aromas change.
  6. Notice pleasure.
  7. When you have fully experienced your bite, swallow, then pause to notice how long the flavor lingers. (If you’ve already swallowed in step #4 return to step #1.)
  8. Slowly repeat steps #4 through #7 until your treat is finished.
  9. (Next,  make a batch of homemade dark chocolate for tomorrow – for optimal results meditate every day.)

Peta, a Green Global Trekker, shared her easy recipe for healthy chocolate.
www.greenglobaltrek.com

“Add just enough coconut oil to get the cacao to being liquid. Approximately 2 tablespoons of oil to each cup of cacao, but as with the maple syrup it’s definitely trial and error and according to taste with the maple syrup. Can you tell I’m not the measuring type?”
  1. Raw cacao powder mixed with organic coconut oil. (approximately 2 tablespoons of oil to each cup of cacao)
  2. Add a pinch of salt.
  3. Add organic honey or maple syrup, to taste.
  4. Use freezer trays – put an almond, a piece of date, a cranberry, whatever you fancy, in your chocolate, then spread the liquid mix over the top.
  5. Freeze and pop chocolates out, “eat right away as they do melt quickly.”

Any questions . . . ask PETA!

www.greenglobaltrek.com

Peta and Ben in Goa, India . Check out their travels.  It’s a great blog

Ben and “not Peta”

Peta Kaplan

Peta was born in South Africa and Ben was born in France. After twenty plus years living in the U.S., when their four sons finished high school and left home for college, they quit their jobs, sold most of their possessions and launched Green Global Trek adventure.

Peta is a painter, yogini and animal activist.  Ben is a strategist, personal and corporate “trajectory consultant” and sculptor.  Both are both committed environmentalists and increasingly focused on discovering solutions and advocating for climate adaptation.

Frankly Freddie – Doggone it Buck, I must squeal on you

Dear Freddie Fans

Buck Westerfield is my cousin . . . by marriage, not birth.  He’s a very nice cousin, but I’m a bit alarmed to receive this picture of him.This is Buck chewing a pig’s hoof . . . it’s very concerning. I’m particularly fond of pigs.  They are as intelligent as canines and only roll around in the mud because they are not allowed in the house where it’s cool.

If you don’t believe me, read what ThePigSite has to say.  And if you don’t believe a site devoted to HERD MANAGEMENT HUSBANDRY PIG DISEASE AND WELFARE  who can you believe?

1. “Newborn piglets learn to run to their mothers’ voices, and can recognise their own names by the time they’re 2 weeks old. Sows have even been known to ‘sing’ to their young whilst nursing.”

2. “Adult pigs can run at speeds of up to 11 mph, or in other words, they can run a seven-minute mile.”

3. “If you’ve ever suggested that someone was ‘sweating like a pig’, then you’d be wrong. Pigs have hardly any sweat glands, and one of the best ways for them to cool down is to wallow in all of that glorious mud. Click here to learn more about pig anatomy.”

“4. A pig’s squeal can be as loud as 115 decibels – that’s 3 decibels higher than the sound of a supersonic airliner.”

5. “And when they’re not squealing, they’re talking. Pigs communicate constantly with each other, and more than 20 different vocalisations have been identified; from wooing a mate to saying ‘I’m hungry!”’

6. “And when they’re not either squealing or talking, pigs will eat almost anything – including human bones. In 2012, a farmer in Oregon, America, was eaten by his pigs after having a heart attack and falling into their enclosure. By the time a concerned relative came looking for him, only his dentures were left.”

7. “They may be indiscriminate eaters, but pigs are also highly intelligent and incredibly social animals. When kept in a group they will snuggle close to one another, and prefer to sleep nose-to-nose. Studies have also shown that, much like humans, they dream.”

8. “And dreaming isn’t the only way in which pigs are similar to humans – their genetic makeup is also very close to our own. Because of this, stem cells from pigs are being used by scientists to research cures for human diseases. To track the cells once they’ve been injected, Chinese geneticists have crossed a pig with a jellyfish, producing piglets whose tongues and trotters glow fluorescent green in UV light.”

9. “Aside from their life-saving abilities, the pig is also associated with fertility and virility in China. This has led to statues of pigs being displayed prominently in the bedrooms of Chinese couples who are trying to have children.”

10. “And finally, we’ve all seen pigs wallowing in the mud, but how about swimming in a crystal clear sea?  On the uninhabited Bahaman Island of Big Major Cay, that’s exactly what they do. A population of wild aquatic swine rules the island, and many have taken to swimming out to the boats offshore, in the hope of being rewarded with a tasty snack.”

Frankly Freddie – Dog O’ Blog, Phineas

Unlike me who is very paws-on, Phineas prefers to manage his blog, doodlewash and all the affairs of his humans, Charlie & Phillipe behind the scenes.  Cleverly, Phineas has assigned Charlie to do all the work and be the front-dog. 

Water-color by Charlie

I suspect that Charlie tends to click the “publish button” without Phineas’ editorial approval.  Why?  Because almost ALL the pictures of Phineas are Charlie’s water-color paintings of him rather than photos.

Also, Charlie has jumped to some conclusions about Phineas that we canines would NEVER assume about humans. 

Cases in point (I quote Charlie):

“Since he was a rescue found growing up on the tough streets of Topeka, Kansas, we assume he must have a very small town view of the world. This, combined with his rather wrinkled brow that makes it seem like he’s always a bit irritated with something and judging you, led to us deciding he’s also an extremely ultra-conservative Republican.”

Phineas maneuvered Charlie with the very clever ploy that all us smart canines all know:

” . . . this little Basenji has had a wonderfully unique personality from day one. I still remember going to the shelter and seeing a scraggly little dog with hair so coarse it would almost hurt to touch it. I sat down on the floor of his pen to get to know him and within seconds, he leapt into my lap, rolled on his back and stared up at me. If I was at all undecided, it was clear that Phineas had already made the decision for us. I looked down into those mischievous brown eyes that seemed to say, “Dude, let’s get the hell out of here.” And so we did.”

Phineas getting comfortable with Duckie

“Creative” is Charlie’s “gig” . . . we canines just know how to get comfortable

“His first bit of time spent in his crate, he tore the stuffing out of his bed, which doesn’t seem odd for a dog who is bored. However, after pulling out all of the stuffing, he then re-stuffed it into a different shape, which he found to be more desirable. It felt good knowing I had a dog who was also creative. Though already one and half years old when he arrived, he had the energy, curiosity and enthusiasm of a puppy. It seriously wore me out and made me crazy some days, but I couldn’t fault him as these were also traits we shared.”

Water-color by Charlie

Charlie, Charlie, Charlie . . .you are suffering from human naiveté –  Phineas doesn’t “ASSUME”, he KNOWS.

“Phineas has quite a rich and complex life that’s quite easy to overlook while simply watching him snoring on the couch. When we have dinner parties, it’s referred to as Phineas Café, not because he actually cooks anything, but because he thinks he owns this restaurant. And he will go up to each guest and won’t leave until they tell him the dinner was wonderful or at least satisfactory. Indeed, his demeanor seems to say that he owns this house and all of its inhabitants as well. When I published my recent book, we imagine Phineas saying, “Oh, no! I’m an author now! How much can one little dog do?” He takes credit for everything that happens in our lives, and assumes he must be in charge of it in some way.

Charlie O’Shields, Owned by Phineas

“I’m Charlie O’Shields, and I live in Kansas City, Missouri.I started doodlewash in July 2015 to capture little bits of the world in ink and watercolor. Even though I hadn’t picked up a pen to sketch in over 20 years and I’d only just used watercolor for the first time that day, I got super excited about it, and well, Doodlewash was born. (What’s a doodlewash? Click here!)”

“My posts are actually my art journal. . .  paintings . . . all typically created in the precious little hour I’ve carved out for myself on a weekend or weekdays after work and before dinner!”

“You can also log into this site with your chosen social media provider and join the club! Doodlewash Club, to be exact. A totally free to join watercolor community where you can get your own artist profile, share your work in our global watercolor gallery, interact with other watercolor artists around the globe, and much, much, more!”

 

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Editor-in-Canine, Roving Reporter

 Jessica SORTING LIFE’S ISSUES WITH JESS. 

She is hosting Dogs of Blogs, of which I am one.

Freddie’s Dogs of Blogs Posts:

Day 22

Doggone Well Done Dogs – Day 1

Freddie to the Human rescue

Dogs of Blogs – Day 2-1/2

Phineas earns his badge of distinction

Frankly Freddie – Dogs of No Blogs, Day 2-1/2

Dear Freddie Fans,

Doggone Good Dogs* Buddy and Cookie Klenner

Alas, neither owns a blog. 

They must ask their human why they are being deprived of having a public forum.

Can you tell which one is Buddy and which one is Cookie?

Freddie’s Dogs of Blogs Posts:

https://wp.me/pLGhj-aT0Day 22

Doggone Well Done Dogs – Day 1

Freddie to the Human rescue

Dogs of Blogs – Day 2-1/2

 

*What’s a “Doggone Good Dog”?

  • She or HE has weathered years of human’s life experience.
  • She or HE has navigated changes – whether by choice, chance or necessity – and continues to adapt to human idiosyncrasy.
  • She or HE contributes to the world by caring for humans, both female and male.
  • She or HE is curious and open to having new tasting experiences.

Frankly,  Freddie

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT RET

 Jessica SORTING LIFE’S ISSUES WITH JESS. 

She is hosting Dogs of Blogs, of which I am one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

model

International Women’s Day – March 8th

The world is moving towards legal gender equality — but it’s moving very, very slowly.

“Only six countries currently give women and men equal rights, a major report from the World Bank has found.
Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden scored full marks of 100 in the bank’s “Women, Business and the Law 2019” report.”
  • The United States scored 83.75, placing it outside the global top 50.
  • The United Kingdom achieved a score of 97.5
  • Australia scored 96.88
  • Germany measured at 91.88

“The rate of progress means that, by CNN calculations, women won’t achieve full equality

in the areas studied by the World Bank until 2073.”

But countries in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa averaged a score of 47.37, meaning the typical nation in those regions gives women under half the legal rights of men in the areas measured by the group.
“The study aimed to “develop a better understanding of how women’s employment and entrepreneurship are affected by legal discrimination,” highlighting “how women must navigate discriminatory laws and regulations at every point in their careers, limiting their equality of opportunity.” It did not measure social and cultural factors, or how effectively laws were enforced.”
The criteria analyzed were:
  • going places
  • starting a job
  • getting paid
  • getting married
  • having children
  • running a business
  • managing assets
  • getting a pension
(Those were broken down into questions such as: “Can a woman travel outside her home in the same way as a man?” and “Is there legislation specifically address domestic violence?”)
Overall, the global average came in at 74.71 — an increase of more than four and a half points compared to a decade ago. But the score indicates that in the average nation, women receive just three-quarters of the legal rights that men do.
“If women have equal opportunities to reach their full potential, the world would not only be fairer, it would be more prosperous as well,” World Bank Group Interim President Kristalina Georgieva said.
“Change is happening, but not fast enough, and 2.7 billion women are still legally barred from having the same choice of jobs as men.”

In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UNDay for women’s rights and world peace.

Internationally, purple is a colour for symbolising women. Historically the combination of purple, green and white to symbolise women’s equality originated from the Women’s Social and Political Union in the UK in 1908. Purple signifies justice and dignity. Green symbolises hope. (White represents purity, but is no longer used due to ‘purity’ being a controversial concept.)

The 2019 #BalanceforBetter campaign runs all year long. It doesn’t end on International Women’s Day.

The campaign theme provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action, with #BalanceforBetter activity reinforced and amplified all year.

https://www.internationalwomensday.com/About

Frankly Freddie, to the Human Rescue – Dogs of Blogs, Day 22

Dear Freddie Fans,

My human editors P&J have been derelict in their assignment to post a dog-a-day for the Dogs of Blogs*.  Being ever the resourceful roving reporter I am helping them getting a leg-up in their well-intentioned endeavor . . .  22 days worth of dogs.

The Sarasota Dog Walkers walk large squads of dogs during their midday pack program. At the end of each walk, a group photo is taken.

Not Freddie

*Jessica SORTING LIFE’S ISSUES WITH JESS.  She is hosting Dogs of Blogs

Freddie’s Dogs of Blogs Posts:

Dogs of Blogs – Day 2-1/2

Doggone Well Done Dogs – Day 1

Sneek Peek into Judy’s Sketchy Life – NAKED NUDE DUDE

Copy writers have always known “headlines” grab your attention.  Disasters, murder and mayhem seem to garner a lot of attention.  Fortunately we have not experienced much mayhem, no murder and our disasters are rather mundane.  The only thing left to get you to click on our blog posts are Judy’s nudes.

Charcoal, 10 minute sketches

My nudes are a bit miffed they don’t get the same attention . . .

Peggy