INTO THE CANYON: A Chapter Book for Grown Ups - Chapter 3

Submitted by Virginia Watts on Mon, 05/14/2012 - 17:15


The term skeleton key perhaps stems from such keys' resemblance to a skeletel figure, with the circle at top..., resembling a stylized skull.  Wikipedia

George pulled his hat off and sat down on the rotting wooden steps of the Adobe House.  Gillian had gone off to find a bush or an Andy Gump.  He was exhasted from the heat and the long walk down the trail from the road, and furious with himself for asking her to meet him here.

INTO THE CANYON: A Chapter Book for Grown Ups - Chapter 2

Submitted by Virginia Watts on Fri, 05/04/2012 - 15:13

       Sage, or Salvia officinalis , a wild undershrub, has long been credited as a charm against evil, snakebites, and more.

Clifford’s hands fascinated her when he filled her glass…strong and broad, with an odd scar on the back of the left one. 
“Bad burn when I was a kid,” he said.
“Oh god,” she said.  “I’m sorry for staring.  It looks like that symbol for infinity.”
“Yeah, it does—or a lazy eight.  You okay?”

New Vistas

Submitted by Virginia Watts on Sat, 04/21/2012 - 23:12

Stumbling, tripping, slipping – or how about just doing a face-plant?


When you are in a liminal place, on the edge or the verge or perhaps standing in a doorway, you must be cautious.  Stepping into new space is always something that should be done thoughtfully, carefully, and maybe even reconsidered before you do it.  And I do believe this applies to every age, although maybe age should be part of the equation.

The Silver Spoon Effect: Mitt Romney and the Subtleties of Class Warfare.

Submitted by Ken Watts on Sat, 04/21/2012 - 12:53

The dust seems to have settled over last week's infighting about Mitt Romney's wife—whether she ever "worked a day in her life".

So it's time we took a look past the political games on both sides, and asked ourselves about the deeper values issue hidden in the subtext.

The first conversation, boiled down to its essence, went something like this:

Hilary Rosen: "Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life."

Barack Obama: "That's not fair. Being a stay-at-home mom is very hard work."

Mitt Romney: "How dare Obama claim that women are lazy?"

It's tempting at this point to explain how our political rhetoric became this silly, but that's another post. For exampe: the context of Hilary Rosen's remark. She was discussing Romney's use of his wife as an expert on the opinions of American women about the job market. She was not calling Ann Romney lazy, but pointing out that she had no experience in the job market.

The bottom line to take from this exchange is what both sides agree on: no matter how many au pairs, nannys, housekeepers, cooks, or maids you have to help you, being a stay at home mom is valuable, difficult, and dignified work—completely worthy of society's respect and support.

Which, of course, is why Mitt Romney, like most Republicans, has been such a strong advocate for all of those poor stay at home moms, who didn't happen to marry a millionaire, and have to do this tough job without a staff:

Stand Your Ground

Submitted by Ken Watts on Wed, 03/28/2012 - 16:37

There are many issues intertwined in the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin—race, gun control, the entire question of why the NRA would go out of its way to encourage so-called "stand your ground" laws—but there is one point about such laws that needs to be clearly made.

When a state passes a law which says, as the Florida law does, that a person can use force with immunity simply because he or she "reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent...great bodily harm," it runs the risk of causing the very situation it is trying to address.

Let me explain.

DIY Interior Design

Submitted by Virginia Watts on Tue, 03/27/2012 - 12:22

Whenever I feel a need for a change, I rearrange furniture or clean out cupboards.  When we were first married, this used to cause my poor husband some concern.  He couldn't rely on where the couch or the coffee table might be at any given time.  He pretty much likes things to stay where they are.  I pretty much like to move stuff around.

Reflection on Retirement

Submitted by Virginia Watts on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 23:38

I have been having lots of trouble adjusting to retirement.  I am 70 years old, and I know that I retired when it was time for me to move on to something else.  But so far, I've been so caught by an identity crisis after "quitting" -- that I can't move on.  I quit.  And I had some good reasons for doing so.  But that doesn't mean I'm sure what's next. 

Santorum Has Got Hold of Some Bad Spirituality

Submitted by Ken Watts on Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:32

When I first heard Rick Santorum's recent comments on Obama's "bad theology" I was ready to write a quite different post.

Here's what he said, on separate occasions:

President Obama believes in "some phony ideal, some phony theology...not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology."

“We were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not for the Earth’s benefit.”

As most readers of the daily mull know by now I have a doctorate in theology from an evangelical seminary, and a core topic of my dissertation was the legitimate interpretation of the Bible. Hence all the posts about the meanings of various passages, such as this and this and this.

So, as odd as it might seem coming from someone who currently bills himself as a pantheistic atheist, my first instinct was to expose Santorum's unbiblical theology.

I envisioned a comprehensive analysis of what the Bible actually does say about protecting nature—which, it so happens, is a lot closer to Obama's position than it is to Santorum's.

It would be like shooting fish in a barrel. For a start, check out Genesis 2:15, Leviticus 25:23-24, Numbers 35:33-34, Deuteronomy 20:19, and Ezekiel 34:17-18.

But then I noticed something else—something more basic, and much more important.

Something that helps explains such diverse issues as Republican positions on taxes, worker's rights, voting rights, local democracy, and even contraception.