Thursday, November 17, 2016

Winter is Coming - Cards, Protests and the Homeless

I'm heavily into holiday card making and having so much fun! Yesterday before my weekly chat with Aearwen, I cleared some space and started work on the envelopes. I wasn't sure how it would work passing through my printer to apply the addresses, so I tested the first one, and it worked really well. You could probably have heard my relieved sigh all the way to Shirebound's house in far away California. I was good to go.

I was afraid that the envelopes wouldn't survive
the printer, but my test one worked beautifully!

All things considered, they went quickly. They are embossed and then colorized with distressed inks. I did the inking portion while talking with Aearwen. By the time we wrapped up at hour later, my thumb was dyed a dark purple/green from handling the ink pads. The color seems to be embedded, so I'll be colorful for a while. The envelopes are SO CUTE! I'm dancing on the moon. I just love it when a spark turns into a reality that I didn't even envision a week prior.

See that swath of white in the center of the map? That's the
"Winter Weather Statement" that's espected to hit the
Dakotas and Minnesota within the next 48 hours. Today
is beautiful and warm, tomorrow will be ooky. 

The first big snowstorm of the season will be tracking across the Dakotas and on into the upper portion of Minnesota and Wisconsin over the next 24-48 hours. Although I'm thinking about sweeping the snow off my car and driving on slippery roads with drivers who haven't faced longer stop times and less secure footing for months, I'm also thinking about those whose outdoor lives are about to change.

The tribes have been gathering peacefully. They pray, they chant,
they sing, they support each other. The government has set
dogs against them, threatened them with weapons, arrested some
of them, and assaulted others. As with most protests in my life,
I'm totally on the Indian side in this one. If I didn't have a shop
to run, I'd be out there too, freezing in tomorrow's snow alongside them. 

There are a lot of people at Standing Rock protesting the abrogation of Sioux treaty rights by the oil company who wants to exercise their right-of-way and put a pipeline through lands under stewardship of the Sioux people. Members of many different tribes have joined the protesters in their peaceful protest, including several personal friends. It's going to start getting hard, now. The weather will mean great hardship for those camping out on the flat prairie lands. These people will need your prayers and support now, through the spring, more than ever. Would you like to know a little bit more about the protest? Just follow the link.

The statistics are frightening.
20%-40% of all homeless youth identify as LGBT.
Many homeless youth have either
been kicked out of their homes or aged out of foster home
programs and have nowhere to go. This is NOT the
way to treat children and young people. Actually, of
course, it's not the way to treat anyone of ANY age. 

My thoughts also turn to the homeless - those homeless by choice and those homeless by circumstance. The northern states are harsh places to be homeless in the winter. We lose people to the weather every year. Too many of them are LGBTQIA youth who have either run away from dangerous home situations or been kicked out. Although shelters exist, they are always filled quickly, and there are few that offer shelter during the daylight hours. We need more places of safety, especially for homeless teens.

Winter in Minnesota means pond hockey with backyard and neighborhood
outdoor skating rinks for pickup games. Here's a Minnesota back yard
rink. Just a few kids getting together to skate after school. 

So, despite the fact that many people look forward to putting on their hockey skates and their cross-country skis, I look at the snow with some dread. The season of winter joy can also be a season of great pain.

Happy Thursday to all. Project Runway tonight, so hopefully I'll have ample time for a recap for you in tomorrow's blog. Have a wonderful day, and be kind.

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