Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Well, we made the move and now we have bought a house! Though still finalizing details, all appears to be moving in the direction of a January 2006 closing. We feel so grateful to be able to make such a purchase ~ a simple yet lovely home on 7 wonderful "acres of North Idaho paradise" (as the listing agent claims!). The location is a quick minute from where we live now - just down Sunnyside Rd., right across from large parcels of Forest Service land and the bird sanctuary. The land contains both woods, pasture and lawn. It feels just right for our little family!
Here are a few photos. We will have plenty of space still for visitors, so please come and visit.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Time passing...simply slipping away. Though it may appear there have been few considerations of late, this is surely not the case. Perhaps more than my novice mind could handle. But all is well in these northern woods and we are getting back on track. So for starters, a few photos of recent travels to Maui with Shannon's family and our first grand snowfall here in Sandpoint.
For those awaiting a small social-political recommendation, please watch "Wal-Mart: the high cost of low price." Astounding what these folks get away with. And if you want to borrow mine, just let me know!
Monday, October 24, 2005
Ready to come join us?
Friday, October 21, 2005
We are still finding time for play -- most of it centered on family recently. Momma Linda came for a long weekend and we took her on a car ride through beautiful scenery in nearby Montana (see photo). We also had Deb and the boys come up from Spokane ~ Noah has mastered his unicycle with fine finesse and Jack is reciting memorized poetry right from the heart! We have been down to see Marilyn at the big purple house and she has graciously welcomed Java into her home as if he were her own (she seems to delight, as most do, in observing Java watching t.v. and chasing shadows through her den!)
I have been enjoying the fall colors set in. The 6pm light casts a glorious glow on the yellows of the birch and aspen. The air has the crispness of a changing season in it ~ nice to feel against my skin on morning Java walks up the hill behind our home.
Things we are looking forward to:
Using our new Schweitzer season ski passes, our trip with the Barnes' to Maui for Thanksgiving, the first big snow, possible babymaking, Christmas and Hannukah with Deb, Ed, Jack and Noah, and a fantabulous week in Oaxaca celebrating the New Year with our dear friends Lara and Melissa! We have so much to be grateful for!
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
In the next scene we shoot, I will be a school principal -- go figure, a wife, a mother, a principal...I guess that is why they call this "acting!"
The film should be edited and ready by spring 2006 and will play at our local film house, The Panida Theater. I am sure there are tickets left, but you may want to buy early... ;-)
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
I recommend the event to everyone -- it was quite powerful to be surrounded by so much "survivor" energy! You can read more about the foundation here: http://www.komen.org/
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
As I understand, the merchandising teams travel to Europe to find the next-best trend and then sends it to our design studio in New York. There, they come up with a CWC version and work with in-country fabric sourcers to determine what materials are needed and what is available. In the past, they then farmed it out to middle-men buyers who would commit to getting the garment made (completely unregulated as to where and how they do so). The product would arrive in bulk miraculously in some warehouse in Jersey and then be shipped to our stores to our customers' delight.
Today, however, the process is changing. Our Sourcing department is not only trying to replace the middle-men and go in-country themselves to do business with the factories -- they are also requiring transparency on the part of those buyers who remain to disclose where the products are being made, including what factories are used. This then allows CWC to actually see the methods of production, to tour the factory floors and determine whether or not they meet certain health and safety standards. It seems like such an obvious part of doing business, yet this view into the "buyer's sourcing" has not previously been scrutinized.
We talked for over an hour about cultural relativity, "First World" arrogance, and the need to be conscientiously cautious when building relationships with the factories overseas. It occurred to me that so many of my own perceived horrors about "Latin American sweatshops" are very tied in with my own ignorance about blue collar factory work and my own myopic denials of class privilege. I appreciated our discussion about our culture's obsession with material consumption driving the changing landscape of global manufacturing. I also was struck when Kelly reminded me that was not so long ago that his grandfather was working in unregulated coal mines in Montana right here in the USA, underpaid and underprotected.
At the end of the conversation, he directed me to the Business for Social Responsibility website and told me that I might find some interesting reading material there -- so I pass this on here: http://www.bsr.org/CSRResources/FeaturedResources.cfm#50904
Just a few more things to consider on yet another day at the job.
I went to the gym this evening and looked at the "balance board" that I see every day and I heard a voice inside me say, "You can't do that." So, of course, my next move is to prove myself wrong -- alas, within seconds, I was thrown up into the air and down onto the ground, flat. And though no one saw me, I was embarassed and in pain, lying on the ground next to this seemingly harmless piece of wood and plastic. You just never know what is gonna get ya, do you?
The other night, Shannon and I had a lovely dinner at our friend Rafe's house and I found it fascinating that we rode the journey of conversation through French hip hop music, to kismet relationships, to Big Bud tractors -- here are some visuals for the novice city slicker: http://www.meissners.com/pages/bigbud.html I can't quite tell you what it is like to be taken into hysterics by a man telling 900 horsepower tractor stories. I must be transforming beyond my own imagination living this Idahoian exisitence.
Dad was visiting this week, and Shannon and I got to take him to see March of the Penguins at the local art film house. Now, if that does not leave you with some questions of purpose and existential musing -- come on -- can I really say that there is no god when these penguins have marched for centuries again and again in order to fulfill their innate sense of duty and obligation to progeny and dare we say "love?" Can it really be true that the baby penguin -- freshly hatched -- can find its one in five hundred dad by the unique sound of his vocal calls? The story of these animals is unbelieveable. A testimony to perseverance, teamwork, commitment and faith. It was a lovely post-engagement film to see with Shannon by my side.
Now, I settle in for the continuing saga of Mormon Fundamentalist murder mayhem and a hefty dose of kitty love from Peep and Sam. These are the simple pleasures of life in the country.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
I have had many considerations of late on the aftermath of Katrina, portraits of the displaced, our national racism, dear president Bush...
But to my surprise, a wonderful and transformative event took place on our trip to Banff and Lake Louise this past weekend...Shannon proposed to me! The glee of this moment was as grand as the mountains by which we were surrounded at 9,200 feet high! So, I thought I would honor the week with some uplifting news and leave the heavy critique for future considerations...here are some photos of the amazing day!
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
http://www.rickross.com/reference/polygamy/polygamy65.html -- Bountiful, BC is rather close to our new home. We may have to make a trip soon!
The book poses deep questions about the zeal of fundamentalism, religious patriarchal hierarchies, abuse in the name of God and the interplay of church and state. It is not lost on me that the U.S. is sending troops to their deaths overseas to stamp out Islamic fundamentalism, at the same time turning a rather blind eye to the abuses of various churches right here on our soil...
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Our friend Carla came to visit and we took a gorgeous hike up the highest peak in the Idaho Cabinet Mountains. Lovely views and great stone art up top. The girls were so excited to be up top, they were dancin'!
On Sunday, we took a long, but lovely drive to Christina Lake in Canada to meet Shannon's relatives -- definitely worth a stop if you are in the area: http://www.bcadventure.com/adventure/explore/kootenays/boundary.html
Friday, August 26, 2005
Or their website: http://www.americanapparelstore.com/?gcid=c3010x054
Of course, they are using sex to sell...ah well.
My intention is less to stir the pot internally and cause rebellion -- but more to get a better understanding of the complexity of "First/Third World" dependencies when it comes to manufacturing. I also care to avoid the comfort of ignorance -- to be at least somewhat accountable for the decision to work within a corporate setting and the impact it is having. I want to know when the earnings are announced and the stock jumps 4 points in a day that this is not at the expense of many other lives. Perhaps I already know the answer to this truth...perhaps I already do know that this is the case -- but I want exposure to the details. I realized yet again the other day that I pay taxes to a government that I really do not know -- that I am ignorant as to my participation in what the U.S. does around the world. Such powerful collusion that keeps that average "American" dis/mis-informed...
So,there will be a few postings coming on the subject. I was ashamed at my first visit to Wal-Mart recently -- only underscored today reading this article: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/walmart.html
I am continuing to consider "accountability by participation" and the complexities of it all. More soon.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Sunday, August 14, 2005
A few recent highlights:
Check her out -- she is an AMAZING fiddler from Cape Breton. What a show! http://www.nataliemacmaster.com/
Shannon and I met a slew of new friends this week, which bodes well for our future and continued enjoyment of Sandpoint.
We also found a wonderful location for a new Java joint by morning, wine store by night which I think would be a fabulous gig for Shannon! It is operated in conjunction with the local art/film house, the Panida Theater. Anyone want to invest? We were thinking we would host "Stay out of Starbucks Sundays!" Stay tuned!
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Watching it made me long for the days of active theoretical discussions about Foucault, about power structures and about "exposing the apparatus." It made me squirm a bit to find myself back inside the corporation; and, at the same time, asked me to consider how Coldwater Creek is attempting (to the extent possible given its corporate imperatives) to create structures to give back to it employees. HOWEVER, and this is one big however, I am disquieted this morning in my imaginations of the environments in which our clothes are being sewn, the cottons are being harvested, the dyes are being processed...it recalls the Sweet Honey and the Rock song, "Are My Hands Clean?" Listen here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000000MF5/qid=1123775115/sr=8-3/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i3_xgl15/103-7925046-0377421?v=glance&s=music&n=507846
Of course, my hands are not clean -- for even if I am not working here, training managers to sell more of our clothes and serve the customer with grace -- I still wear products produced by corporations, still eat foods manufactured by corporations, buy gas, pay utilities, purchase cds, drive a car...so you see the ubiquitousness of it all...right back to Foucault's "subtle madness of Western institutional logic."
Have a nice day!
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Some things, you just can't fight.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Then there are the moose...one of the greatest automotive hazards in the area...http://www.mooseworld.com/
We are trying to work with Shannon's brother, Chris, on more appropriate early child education for his son Watson...
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Recollections of the dream that I awoke to in which my house in Seattle was falling into its foundation -- How things change when we are not there to see them -- Impermanence -- A house of cards tumbling -- Illusory control -- Deconstruction -- The fleetingness of youth -- play -- playing cards -- When did playing cards arrive on the scene...
So, to spare you the whole journey: http://i-p-c-s.org/history.html
Family reunion of the Barnes gang -- Buddy and Bonnie hosting kids and grandkids to a lovely weekend of fun, sunshine, food, wine, chatter. This will be the same gang that will travel together to Maui for Thanksgiving.
Buddy was center stage with the wine tasting on Sat. night. We sampled an array of Tandem "Peloton" wines -- Pinot blends from 2001, 2002, 2003. Opinions varied, but the 2002 seemed to prevail. We learned that the Cabernet is the "king" of wines, while merlots are more the red-headed stepchild...go figure, I love merlots.
Friday, August 05, 2005
...the way of love is not a subtle argument.
The door there is devastation.
Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom
How do they learn it?
They fall, and falling, they're given wings.
A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden's beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.
"Rumi was born on the Eastern shores of the Persian Empire in 1207 (in the city of Balkh in what is now Afghanistan), and finally settled in the town of Konya, in what is now Turkey. His life story reads like a fairy tale. A charming noble man, a genius theologian, a brilliant sober scholar, meets a wandering and wild "holy man" by the name of Shams, and almost overnight is transformed. It seems that the universe brought these two opposing characters together to remind us for eternity that it is never what you expect when it comes to personal transformation. It is impossible to know where your next inspiration may come from, or who will become the conduit for your transformation. For Rumi the life of mystics is a "gathering of lovers, where there is no high or low, smart or ignorant, no proper schooling required." Rumi and his spiritual friend Shams left an undying legacy of the way-of-the-heart triumphing over pure, cold logic." --Shahram Shiva
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Here is a mini-tour of our living digs. We are 8 miles out of Sandpoint proper, 6 miles away from Coldwater Creek. We love our home and the surrounding area. We have our own little beach cabana down at the lake; and we are walking distance to the bird sanctuary.
Shannon has become adept at mowing the great lawn...I am becoming the family cook. The animals are exploring new ways of being. As Shannon often says, "There is nothing else I would rather be doing and no one else I would rather be with..."