Sunday, August 30, 2009

Book Mobile

This is our new library. It comes once a month on wheels. They can fit a lot of books inside. More than you would think possible. We don't think it comes often enough. We go through library withdrawal out here in the sticks. I hope they don't mind when we check out forty books next time. I could go crazy reading the same book every night for a month.
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It's Finished

Remember that quilt I was trying to finish before the baby was born? Well... I did it. I finished it a week before the baby was born and it got placed in its rightful home atop the bunk bed for my oldest daughter. All those negative comments my readers left about how I would never finish it in time really motivated me to get it done. Last night it got initiated into childhood with glittery silly putty. Silly putty sticks to fabric and doesn't come off! Help! does anybody know how to remove it?
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Friday, August 28, 2009

Images from a morning walk

Our flower garden in full bloom

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These murals are found on the community center. I was glad there was a ladder propped against the side of the building. It gives perspective on the size of the paintings. I wanted to share the amazing art work from my community.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

September Birthday

We have two September Birthdays in our family. One has already committed to sharing her birthday money!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bargain Shopping

While at R.E.I. this weekend I ventured into the garage sale room. This is a sale on items that have been returned by customers and then sold to the public at a discount. None of my girls have sleeping bags and when we go camping we stuff them into an older one my husband had before I met him and bring along lots of blankets. This bag retails for $59.95 but at the garage sale I got it for $9.73. The only defect I could find was an X on the back in permanent marker, and I had two girls who both wanted to use it. I did make sure the zipper worked while in the store. Once I was at the Gap Outlet and bought a sweatshirt, then found out at home the zipper was broken. I think we hit the jackpot!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Pendleton

The figure in the center of the blanket is the warrior who is wearing a rayed headdress that symbolizes spiritual support for his quest. At the top and bottom of the blanket are the petroglyphs. Each petroglyph has its own identity and legend.

The colors are also representative. Rust is for the basalt cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge, Tan is the warm, sweet earth that reflect the landforms that guide the Great River. The shades of blue depict the waters of the Columbia River; dark blue = the deepest part, medium blue = swirling eddies, and pale blue = shallow water where the fish fan the gravel with their tails to lay their eggs. Yellow and Orange are the spiritual colors of the warriors quest.

Spirit Quest

I recently received a Pendleton Blanket entitled "Spirit Quest". My current residence is along the Columbia River, the river that once brought salmon from the ocean, the lifeline of the Native Americans who live here. The Coulee Dam was built during the Great Depression under a public works project of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Now the salmon are permanently blocked from migrating to their spawning grounds in the upper Columbia Basin. The dam negatively affected the Native American tribes who had to relocated their settlements and graveyards. Kettle Falls was once the primary fishing grounds for the Native Americans. I drive to Kettle Falls to get my groceries. There is a lot of history behind these little towns.
And now back to the original reason I started this post... the narrative about the "Spirit Quest" blanket.

For centuries, Columbia Gorge tribes honored the Great Spirit with petroglyphs to record the important figures, events and visions in their lives. Throughout history in the Gorge, Salmon runs developed , tribes evolved and the Gorge of the Great River became a major crossroads to fish and trade.

Most remaining petroglyphs date back 1200 to 1500 years to the high point of an art producing era and are still visible today on the basalt cliffs where the back waters from the dams have not covered them. Some petroglyphs represent shamanistic tales of the ancient ones which protected and guided the spirit world.

The Spirit Quest blanket commemorates the ritual of young braves who would seek out their own destiny through a vision into the spirit world of their Creator.

According to tribunal legend, as a young warrior developed his spirituality in his adolescence, he was sent alone on his Spirit Quest to a sacred, secluded place without food or water. He waited until the vision came to him - sometimes in the form of a human or of an animal.

Depending what appeared to him, the warrior gained the power to become a great hunter, leader, healer or provider to the People; and if he endured the trial of his Quest, he was rewarded special power, protection and a direction through life.

The vision was often etched onto rocks at the place of the quest to record the experience. If the Spirit left a token, like a feather, it was worn with other sacred objects and returned to the Earth with the warrior.

Once the vision was apparent, the warrior returned to the Elders of his tribe to present his direction. They could either grant the Vision or, if they felt it was not accurate, they could deny it. Often his name was derived from the direction the Elders agreed upon. If the power of the Spirit was lost or weakened later in life, the Quest was again employed.
-Pendelton Woolen Mills