September 17, 2008

Been Painting Again

I set out with a plan to paint some ugly old shelves. Nothing fancy, just paint them white; give them a face lift. So I did that. Then I thought 'why not paint a few quick little flowers on them.' So I did that. But, since my paints are ready to go, paintbrushes standing at attention, tarp already on the floor, why not keep going?' Why not indeed? It's so much fun. :)

Now my bathroom is decorated with tarps, scattered paint pots, and some random-looking pieces of wood and paper adorned with flowers. But I need shelves in my bathroom! Time to get practical and get back to work.

September 10, 2008

Beautiful Places

The Denver Botanic Gardens were beeeeeoooootiful last weekend!

Speaking of beautiful places I've made an addition to my list of favorite places to work: The Old Town Cafe in Erie, North of Denver. Original art, an outdoor patio, fresh garden flowers, free wireless, and a huge bonus: no distracting music! Except for the programming class taking place in the back room it was nice and quiet at 9:00 a.m. last Tuesday. Other signs of high quality - delicious-looking pastries of generous size, and a red plastic dinosaur in the planter by the front walk. (Ask not about the mysterious power of a red plastic dinosaur!)

September 2, 2008

88 Years of Women's Suffrage

I hate chain e-mail and I won't forward it. But this morning I received a compelling e-reminder: women earned the right to vote in this country a mere 88 years ago (in 1920). We should exercise that right. Use it or lose it. Here's that e-mail, slightly edited: "Why Women Should Vote."

"This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago. It was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

These women were jailed in 1917 for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote. By the end of that night they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.' They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thinking Lewis was dead, suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there. For weeks their only water came from an open pail. Their food was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press." President Woodrow Wilson himself recruited a psychiatrist in an attempt to have her institutionalized as "insane."

The message goes on to recommend "Iron Jawed Angels," starring Hillary Swank, depicting the events of the suffragist movement. More importantly, the message asks the reader What would those women think of the way we use, or don't use, our right to vote? No matter which party you vote for, remember to vote. History is being made.

Read more at the Library of Congress and Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.