About Me

My photo
Sylvia and her house pals Merlin, Peek-a-Boo, Busy Dizzy Lizzie, Nicci and Jenny say: "Pruhmew!" (translated)..."HI!"___________________________________________@..@ >^.".^<________________________________________________________I am a multi-medium artist. I was raised in Fairbanks, Alaska but have spent half my life in Montana. The closest I could get to wild beauty without freezing to death. The subjects that interest me translate individually as to whether I put the subject into a 2-d or 3-d form of art. I find when I embark into the different mediiums, a new idea and or expression will expand into a series of something new and surprising. From paper to waxes/bronze, from woods to metals ex. copper, from water to pastel onto oil and all else in between. I am both formally trained and self trained with the discipline to continue where the former left off. I am always open to new products, especially that which might improve the life expectancy of the materials used to translate my ideas. _______________________________________________________________

Monday, May 04, 2009

Grooming


Grooming
Originally uploaded by mocita
A mocita that is pure eye pleasure. Wonderfull picture of a kitty titled "Grooming" .

Saturday, April 25, 2009

AGES

Shadows linger over life’s ending pages.
Death lead by horses in lethal stages.
Youth once free lies withered in battered cages.
Unfair that scavenging time our soul it engages.
Tear apart earthly flesh of babes to sages.
Fist defiant at the heavens to them my rages.

A Trucker's Load

The trucker taps the wheel listening to the din of the DJ's clamor
Squints his well trained eyes into the formable darkened corridor

The eighteen wheeler's beating rhythms singing a treacherous lullaby.
Bearing great weight from freighters dock onto journey's destiny high.

Experience forges tempered drivers into seeing beyond the moment.
Accidents never experienced but closely encountered emotion spent.

This Behemoth driven by varying touches roaring by calculated inches.
The many below wide mouth to see such adept always near misses.

The dark brings a new set of rules shortening reflexes for any load.
Speed necessary to transport efficiently made difficult on darken road.

Long and arduous this transport filled to brim must go before end.
The long haulers burden of care guarded by weight scales to suspend.

Those who would dare to connect deliveries back to back undaunted.
Falsely filling delivery and truckers log every rule of safety flaunted.

The load safely through by this cautious determined honest soul.
Another day fought for safely by sheer grit bourne on self-control.

Dressed to Depress

The morning woke up and choosing foully not to fully dress for the day.
The ground kept sleeping in an undertow of drenched moss and clay.

Tree trunks stood sullenly belted in downwards trickling water drops.
The sun dulled by shirted gray of threaded heads of murky mops.

Wheat fields stomped by the thunderstorm's shoes with no soles.
Roads bloused in myriads of rutted ribbons with pockets of potholes.

Houses sat clothed in misty shrouds dampening inhabitant’s noises.
Curbs skirting sidewalks draining splattered owners cursing voices.

Birds flitting from branch to limb and onward to some unknown shelter.

Insects hidden underneath greenery fearing another storms slaughter.

Stubborn late dawn gave no notice of the wardrobe it would wear.
The veiled day with its closets raided in shadows thrown everywhere.

Some secret torment causing something to undress in the joyless wet night.
Sweatered in dreary soaked sobs toiling heavily in saddened plight.

All things under sky gloved to shovel away this day's manner of mess.
Morning moodily emptying its vanity defiantly dressing to depress.

Don't tell me sheep are stupid!

Don’t tell me Sheep are Stupid!

The minute the word sheep gets mentioned, about three types of moods emote from certain groups of people who have had the ‘sheep’ experience.

Some people get a smile on their face, others go into a reflex action of hugging themselves in invisible warm woolen coats even though mentioned on a ice cold lemonade only day in summer, while a few emit baas raising their pointer finger saying they have a funny story about smart sheep. Now don’t get me wrong as this isn’t going to be a story like ''Babe'' or ''Animal Farm''.

Some people put a tight frown in that furrowing place between the spot above their nose and just between their brow, give a snort, shrug their shoulders, roll their eyes, in unwavering stoicism, mutter …"Now there is a stupid subject as I raised em, I should know, produce wool and meat, if-en' they don’t die because it’s the day between an even and or odd number right after dawn just in case evening comes on too soon or too quick," inhaling quickly and exude "Stupid Sheep.''

Some people get this puzzled look across the pan of their countenances, while among them are utterances of sheep metaphors like “Wolves in sheep clothing,” “Counting sheep to sleep,” “The Good Shepherd,” are emitted. Someone wants a Bible to look up a parable about sheep, someone unhesitant states “I am a sheep", a mix of others nod their heads in approval. This group clearly has another view of what “sheep” means and the closest they have been to a sheep is the word printed on paper such as the Bible or watching Sherry Lewis with her friend “Lamb Chop.”

Now,.. let me interject into this part of this story …JUST HOW MANY TIMES DOES THE word “SHEEP” appear in the Bible? You don’t have to answer right away or open that great reference book the BIBLE and start counting. Near as I can tell by the nimbers given to us from those who already asked the question, found answers like this: Those who only go by the New Testament say adamantly there are only forty-five. Those who believe that God’s word is good from the beginning of time to the present utilizing the entire Bible and are bean counters announce proudly there are one hundred and eighty nine.

But the devoted student clearly knows that there are over three hundred twenty one thousand, one hundred and eighty nine sheep and counting, …now those with sleep deprivation, stay AWAKE HERE!!!

…I AM JUST GETTING STARTED and still counting!


YEP…there are just about on hundred and forty four mentioned in the ancient times and then when Mathew, Mark, Luke,…and Jesus came along there are just about forty five there. Diferent nterpretations of sheep soon gives way to a deeper study into the entire history written on the pages of the Bible.


Because there are:

Solomon ‘s offering of a sacrifice of twenty thousand sheep at the dedication of the temple, and of Job owning seven thousand sheep before the time when…God and Satin having way too much time on their hands… had taken those sheep away over Satin’s bet about Job,… (along with everything else he owned), …and then God rewarded Job with fourteen thousand replacement sheep, thus doubling the original amount. Oh...Oh... by-the-way Josiah provided thirty thousand sheep for Passover offerings …and the Israelites had seized two hundred and fifty thousand sheep from the Hagrites. Now that’s a quarter of million for those paying attention here. Or… two hundred twenty seven and a quarter bands of sheep.

Now, I have seen as far as the horizon would allow… half of thirty thousand sheep or half of twenty seven bands. Ewes were lambing out and the other half were to lamb in the fall which were well out of my sight. I stood in awe of the view before me. Before my eyes were many proportioned fenced pastures situated at the base of the Belts with thousands of ewes and lambs encompassing a whole three hundred sixty degree radius.

Yes Sir…a truly dazzling and dizzying sight! By comparison the lambing shed wasn’t all that huge but was exceedingly comfortable and warm. A stubbornly patient middle aged shepherd owned all this vision. He had the loyal help of a very beautiful young woman and an army of extra available hands belonging to neighbors when way too many lambs needed to be born at the same second.

I never did ask if that thirty thousand were both ewes and lambs, because on that special day I could have been looking at close to thirty thousand or more considering twins, triplets, quads and only half were present…."Oh my!"….as I thought about the strain of getting lambs to take hold, the milk buckets, the gallons of disinfectant, the paint sticks for the numbers putting ewe and lambs properly together in a place and time. Then there was the daily passing of bum lambs to new owners.

In the spirit and importance of raising sheep there are three important factors that exists whilst facing this challenge. The need of the shepherd, a good herding dog, and the ever presence of the predator. In this part of the country, these are called a rancher, a blue heeler (my preference running to Border collies) and a coyote.

Now, I wasn’t a rancher but I did own a few sheep. I heard all the stories about stupid sheep, sheep die cause they do, and the only positive comment was “Anybody can take care of a herd of cows but it takes a real intellectual to handle a flock of sheep.” Not to be out done by a sheep, I with dedicated fervor asked advice from an experienced Australian/Montana wool grower about what my basic necessities were and took a couple of College level classes from a Doctor of Veterinarian medicine. I bought some white face stock called Rambouillets and when the truck arrived it contained already minute and hours old lambs needing immediate help.

HELP!!!!

I found out quickly the sheep literally looked towards me, the human, the shepherd for help, …food, help!, doctoring, help!,….. Warmth, hugging!, …Oh Lord I do need your help!!…I fell in love with taking care of them in short order. I had became a shepherdess. I have taken care of cows, but right here…I’m telling you…there are huge differences. Sheep speak the quiet language of baa, and do not bellow a long deafening moo. Sheep hooves clink like tinkling bells and do not not squish and stomp. When one nicked you, that sheep hit like a big over-stuffed pillow, unlike a cow which in retrospect, had felt like falling four by four building material.

A sheep…as long as they have a leader, which by some unknown general rule is s not always the same ewe, it is the one who gets the travel or stay thought first, ESP thing going on. Kind of like when a group of women all decide to head to the bathroom together, they rise up moving as one unit. A herd of cows trail in columns some going one way and some determined to hole up somewhere else. Usually in thorn apple brush where rabbits hide well. The word herd does not have the same meaning for a cow as 'flock' has for a sheep.

A sheep has specific daily destinations that goes by the clock. The bold one takes the lead and the group… goeessss. Its like they say unanimously, “we have a routine and we are LATE!! Get on it!!” They take on these momentary quizzical looks upon their faces. You get the impression they are having a stupid moment but in another instant you realize they are unifying the next move on the agenda. A cow moves about individually and only panics when e v e r y b o d y e l s e has left the valley including their own calf.

I could by my clock know exactly where in the pasture they were, or that they would be back at a precise time at the mineral pans in a polite line, checking out the feeders (just-in-case I got generous), and then right on cue rest in the shade of the sheep sheds. Later while some had been looking to go out but not wanting to be rude, waited patiently for a more knowledgeable leader to say “ Its time”. No one stays and no one goes out to their part of the pasture like a cow does.
A cow herd can be found taking up every square foot of a pasture as if saying this is mine, you are way over there. Sheep tell each other,…“Hey…its good right here, and there they all are!” A cow doesn’t eat Canadian thistle …unless they-absolutely-have-to. A sheep goes directly to it, wrap their little tongues around those horrible barbs and relish every sweet sugary bite.

Ouch! Got weeds. Hire a sheep.

Sheep have one special ritual concerning the lambs which I rarely missed. The ewes would eagerly eat the special feeds put into the troughs in the middle of a designated safe area. They stood on forked out straw between solid board fences and small open buildings, protecting them from the horrible spring climates and coyotes. The lambs wouldn’t go to the troughs with their mothers, but would flock tightly together and in one joyous unit, run earnestly and nearly silently, around and around the feeding ewes until exhausted. The mothers eating quietly, unconcerned. I would sit against the fence in the evening light and watch this event. Their teeny hooves ever so softly tinkling on the occasional stone, a whooshing sound just above a whisper in the evening light. No baas. A white silent wooly blur circling counter-clockwise and like a carousel, a youngster here and there leaping high in the fray. Then it was done as quickly as it had started. I never questioned whether this was stupid...or not.

I never question God’s devices that make me truly happy. My day was done. I would go and fix my supper followed by my border collies Kippy and Skye. God picked a spectacular beast to have us use as an example.

When you stop looking at sheep as being pretty stupid, perhaps in the process of looking for a positive side to sheep behavior, you may find out just where or how the shepherd, the sheep dog, the coyote, the parable, the metaphor all fit together.

Recently I sat on a horse two different days working feverishly to get about one hundred and eighty four cows and calves to go in a singular direction, home. The two owners of theses same critters opted to drive a rig and the other to train a sensitive green three year old colt while trailing the cows back to the homestead. The second day turned out to be a tiring and slow process. Two volunteer able riders missed a sign in the fog and ended thirty some miles away on the south side of Snowies. That day, when my endurance and pain threshold hit max and nothing about the cows and calves could not have irked me more, we arrived back at their home pasture and so did those lost riders. The cows had ambled and ate all the way which was nice for them and certainly didn’t walk off any summer fat. They were not at all a tired lot and had gone forward and backwards slowly all day as if they been in an enclosed pasture.

The final few hundred feet were parallel to a fence and with a facing gate that put the cows right pass a flock of stone still sheep who had spent the summer closer to home. The sheep stood by, unmovable, passively looking towards us all. The cows entered the gate and plodded on into an adjacent pasture. When about half the cows had ventured through the gate, ever bawling for wayward calves, the sheep exploded forward running to the near corner of their lot that linked the gate. The sheep’s little pure white noses stuck out from rain muddied and grayed fleeces, heads bobbing up and down, other heads held high emitting baas of acknowledgment, all searching for some type of opening. It was obvious to us that they recognized those long lost cows, and were saying “Where have you guys been all summer and can we join you?” The cows gave absolutely no notice, no askance looks of suspicion, no moo how-do-you-do, well maybe…a look or two…that could have been interpreted as “Stupid sheep.”

Those sheep not to be put off by any unforgiving fencing material, in one fluid movement did an about face in perfect military unison, down to the last ewe and lamb, ran one eighth of a mile down to a mid-gate that would allow them entrance into the pasture the cows had entered. The sheep appeared spunned, spindled, and knitted together as they ran full throttle with only their fannies faced in our direction. At that far away gate their heads again bobbed up and down. Then in determined unison they turned their little white faces silently towards us,… their shepherds, with gazes that clearly begged to let them go into the pasture with the cows. We sat or stood looking back at them laughing at this obvious show of intellectual sheep behavior. I stated loudly “Don’t tell me sheep are stupid”.

When that wooly group realized we were not going to open the gate, a look of disappointment actually appeared on their faces. They stared steadfastly at us for a while and then slowly all their faces swung to looked at the cows now settling in. I left. Those sheep made me feel badly that I could not and would not accord them this favor. I felt neither like the shepherd, nor a wolf. Just a tired border collie having finished my job.

The moral of my story near as I can surmize is this: It seems to me at any given time in life ones position changes. One moment we are shepherds, another we could be the sheep dog, and way to often, the wolf. So one needs to listen very, very, closely to what God actually meant when he talks to us about his flock of sheep.

The stories and poems on this blog are subject to copywrite laws. e-mail sharpepamj3@gmail.com for permission to use in part or any fragment of or the whole of the text of these stories. These stories are for your enjoyment with the explicit purpose to archive western experiences which can become lost if not written or orally passed on.