Welcome to GIS Butterfly

GIS- Geographic Information Systems (English)
GIS- Global Information Science (ASL)
Butterfly- A colorful insect that flies from flower to flower pollinating and bring joy to the onlooker.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Fall Retreat and Reflection

This is the place I sat last Summer before school started as the most horrific fire of my life wiped out a little over 1,000 homes and 3 fatalities. We had smokey day/ indoor recess for the first month of school. The Carr fire wasn't the end, as the Delta and then Hertz fires merged to the north it seemed as if our community had been surrounded by fires. The news today called it "Fire Scar" as they discuss the effect we will have when the rains begin this week.

The Carr/Delta/Hertz fires were awful and many people lost homes as well as wildlife and all the other effects. We have been left with our faces in shadow, many people I have served at Pier 1 are still in a state of shock and anger for the loss of their possessions. Many others are overjoyed with the simplest thing I could do to help replace a loved piece of china or home decor.

As our Holiday season began their were high wind warnings the first week of November and within a day the entire town of Paradise to the south was gone. Current statistic: Camp Fire
* 151,000 acres burned
* 12,637 residence known burned
* 79 known dead (3 firefighters)
*Missing over 1,000 reported missing persons

The smoke has blown south to the Sacramento area where my daughter is in her final month of pregnancy and then back up her to me. I had my first day off for a couple of weeks and slept almost 24 hours straight. I'm not fighting fires, I am just staying alive in the storm.

Meanwhile, life goes on. The elderly gentleman that I visited with last summer at this house passed away a couple of weeks ago. Ouch.
My nieces' father pasted away last month. Ouch.
I had misunderstanding with a co-worker. Ouch.
I have been working 7 days a week except when I got sick last weekend. I will work seven days a week from Nov.26 until Dec. 21st.

This is my personal reality. It is The Holiday Season from Oct 31st to Jan. 1st, 2019. I don't feel like celebrating. Three years ago I went to a monastery outside of Vina, CA for three days over Thanksgiving break. Father Anthony and the other monks were wonderful in their service and allowance of personal retreat.
This week I am on a similar adventure. I plan to spend the next three days in quiet and rest. I have my needs met and two lovely animal companions in the house and a garage cat as well.
Many people think it is important to show love and giving this time of year. I feel the need to do it all year around. I live to give when I see need.

Kona is mostly outside and Phoebe spends
her time at my feet

Splurged and got a manicure today
Using money I saved from Summer House Sitting I bought a new chair today.
Chas by Pier 1

It was fun to give my Pappasan away today to a coworker. Chas is a much easier way to read and enjoy the hummingbird.

Please hug your loved ones and tell them how much you love them. That is what Thanksgiving is all about. In all things give Thanks.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Bless the Beasts and the Children

Colors of Autumn

    This is my favorite time of year. After the season of Flood and then the season of Fire comes the season of Color. I'm on my 4th week of a 5 week house sitting gig. My friends have been exploring So. America while I have been enjoying the change of the seasons.
     I must admit that at times the past two weeks it was merely trying to survive. I had bronchitis kick in after the last fire. My allergies have been taxed by the smoking forests for over two months. Something in the smoke that I have had to breathe  put my lungs in distress. I am happy to report the air is clear and my breathing is almost normal.
    The other adventure I had was insect bites. Again it seemed that I had so many that I became extremely allergic and resulted in welts that got so large they bruised. I still have bruising that is healing, but no itching for about four days.
    Today we honor Christopher Columbus who we learned in school: "Sailed the ocean blue in 1492."
My school district chose to give the students and support staff a day off, while the teachers were stuck in meetings all day. I have been very thankful to have two days off in a row this weekend. (Aug 12th was the last time my schedule allowed me two days off in a row.)
   This morning as I checked on my temporary abode it was fun to take pictures of some of the wonderful colors of this season. The high temp. is about 75 to 80 degrees and our nightly cools are in the mid 50's. In my part of the country we may not have a freeze until after New Years. 

My Favorites of the the Season

Rusty Mums 

Pink Azalea 

Bountiful Petunias
 flank both sides of the front step
A hidden red geranium

Glories and huge Pomegranates 

Tiny ornamental pomegranate by the pond

Happy to see a flower on the citrus

Ducks enjoying the pond

I have enjoyed the little figs
 from this potted fig

The best sight this week
Mt Shasta and snow

Bless the Beasts and the Children

Dog's natural water dish

My tiny dancer in her dress I made for her birthday
   As I strolled around the yard my Pandora started playing Karen Carpenters 1971 hit song, "Bless the Beasts and the Children". Glendon Swarthout wrote a book by that title that was made into a movie in 1971. My Middle School English teacher read the book to us and it was very disturbing to me. I never hear the song without seeing the final scenes from the book in my mind. The Youtube below has a gentler depiction of what the song can represent and I am glad through the years the disturbing emotions of that reading have faded.
   A few weeks ago a group of colleagues were discussing a child who has issues with his emotions. He cries and feel strongly when things don't go his way in a game. He is considered a "cry baby" by his peers and often does not play at recess with other children.
   I have been observing this child on my own and I see a child who also feels other emotions very strongly. He is polite to an extreme, he feels compassion for his fellow students and he is very good at the comprehension of what is happening in a story. A colleague had said, "Well, I don't know how that kind of kid would have survived in the 1960's."
   I am here to say, "We did." Children and adults were able to say things like, "If you don't stop crying, I will give you something to cry about." We got picked on, in fights, sent to the principle for our unreasonable responses and labeled, "Cry Baby" and worse. Parents might put us in our rooms until we were ready to stop crying and get on with life.
   Today I do know as educators we have so many rules. Confidentiality has been so strict, I even have to sign that I will not give answers to tests even if I am not administering the test. Our conduct with students has so many rules I am almost afraid to give a side-ways hug. Everything has to be talked about so much, we feel we may be talked to death. While there is little time to discuss procedures that replace what use to come naturally.
   I raised four children to adulthood. By God's grace they are all active contributors to their own community and working on bettering the world.  These are children raised by "an abused child" of the 1960's who did survive. I believe my answer was in my faith and hope for a better day. My outlets of music and art have helped to express the pain, by creating song and beauty. I don't know a person who hasn't gone through some hard stuff. What makes the difference is what we do with ourselves after and even during the hard times. 
   "When I was young I use to listen to the radio, waiting for my favorite songs. When they played I sang along, it made me smile." Those song lyrics are exactly what I did in the 1960's and 70's. On KSUE in Susanville, I listened to all the pop songs. I memorized each word and I sing them still.
    From 1980 to 2015 I was in a time of depression and oppression that didn't allow a lot of new material to enter my repertoire. There were church songs and Christian radio songs that I have memorized during that time, but my foundation of pop music from the 1960's and 70's are what comes to mind every day. 
   Today as I heard the familiar words from Karen Carpenter, I felt the lightness as I view the beauty of our fall flowers and foliage.  Beauty from Ashes. Morning to Song.

Bless the Beasts and the Children (1971)

In this amazing Month of October:

May all your cats be flealess,
May all your leaves be free of dog poop,
May all your eyes be smiling, and
May the sun be at your back.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Nothing to Write Home About...

Before I start I must put in a plug for the book I am currently reading for review:
The Year of Living Happy will be available on October 2nd.

My current Crazy World

I don't know where it started, but there was a time in my early years (1970 something), when if a person was asked, "How are you doing?" and the reply would be, "Nothing to write home about."

*According to Webster Dictionary: It is an idiom and was quoted in a book from 1970 Birds of the Trees.

Enough of the Rabbit Trail. I have been off the grid sorta speak..."Oh my another idiom".

School started on August 15th for the children after two days of in-service for me and my coworkers.

We had the biggest fire begin July 23rd and was contained on August 30th. The Carr Fire burned almost 230,000 acres and over 1,000 homes were destroyed. On the heels of this disaster on August 9th  the Hirz Fire began. At over 46,000 acres it has mostly burned forested land, but the worst news of all was the day the  Delta Fire joined up to the Hirtz Fire and they became one.
The Carr fire was contained on August 30th with the final report given on Sept.4th. Sadly that was the day all deaths, property damage and number were filed, but so many lives had been touched it will be years before we heal from this disaster.
The Hirz Fire ended on Sept 12th, but it has the adjoined twin, the Delta Fire, which is only 70% contained and it is estimated that it will continue to burn until next Saturday, Lord Willing.

The largest affect of this fire season to our community was the smoke. Every single human, animal, plant and even the soil have been affected by the smoke and ash. Today was the first day since July that I have been able to see Mount Lassen from Pier 1. I could see the foot hills from my current house setting location.

Blue Sky in the North
We have had indoor recess nearly every day since school started. It is hard enough to keep track of my recess duty and five reading groups without the challenge of... is the air quality going to keep us in again...likely so...

However, the past two morning have been amazingly clear. I sat outside and watched the ducks, while the dogs sat at my feet.

Duck Duck and Lucky Duck give me eggs

Giant Gold Fish in the pond

Happy Dogs
There is also a cat at my current local. The 30 pound monstrosity knocks on the front door rather than walking around the house where he has a personal entrance.
Cat that will knock on the door
The dogs and cat love to be with me at night inside for TV time. However, as I don't have TV at home and there aren't that many movies on my list this may not happen as often as the critters would prefer.
...then sit his 30 pound self on my chest
I am enjoying the late summer tomatoes and strawberries. I may get a few pears and there are some squash as well on the vines.

Fresh Strawberries in September
Last weekend was the Shasta County Renaissance Faire and I went to see my son as the great fighter for the Realm in the Savage Lands.
A bit rough after a day of Baulking at Blokes 

Son and Mum
Meanwhile: in a land far away

This Fashionista...
Moved and has been trying out new furniture.

Liking this big girl chair Dad

I am looking to clear skies and cleaner air as we march into the season of Autumn. My favorite Season has gotten better in the wake of our Summer devastation.I told one of my customers that it seems we will all be appreciating the normal fall air and weather as we would the health after an illness. You don't know how precious something is until you have to do without it...especially clean, fresh air.

Shalom ~ Godspeed

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Changes In the Wind

This was the quote on my calendar for the month of September

September 1st and my calendar says, "Day Off". I was really ready for a day off.

August 13th was the day I started back to my school job. After two days of "In-service" the kiddos came back to school on August 15th. We have had a shortage of staff for the  after-school care in my district, so I decided to start working after school again at a different school in my community.

According to a real estate web page called Trulia there are 82 schools in my area. My district has nine schools and I think I have the best of both worlds. My day job is at the largest school where I teach reading to the kiddos in K-5 who need a little extra encouragement. I also get to be a crossing guard in the morning and supervise one recess and the lunch crowd on our patio. After school I take a short drive to one of the smaller campuses and supervise 20 ~ 2nd and 3rd graders to do homework and some fun after school activities.

Last weekend I was fighting my first "kid cold" of the year. I hope it will be the last.  

September 2018 is looking like an adventure with change. I have been house setting a lot since July and I now have a house setting job that will be 5 weeks at one location. The adventure part is living with Chickens, Ducks, Dogs and Cats all in one location. I've cared for all of these animals at one time or another, but this will be a fun and relaxing adventure for me. There is a relaxing little pond with 100's of gold fish that is for the ducks to swim and frolic.

I still continue to work a little at Pier 1.The glitter of Fall is upon us in every corner of the store. Last weekend we brought out a few of last year's Christmas pillows and it was fun to see them get picked up at amazing discounts. (I have a say I was excited that one of them followed me home too.) 
Last Year's Pillow
The Carr Fire is 100% Contained, but the smoke and smoldering is still a part of our day in Redding. As the map shows, the devastation from this fire will be with us for a long time. The Hirz Fire just came up this week and it is another 38,000 acres burning strong above the Carr Fire.

New Fire in upper right
This is my phone map . After 20 minutes of internet searching I could not find a map like this to use. It seems odd that the general public can only find this on a fire website. Google Earth does not show this view online.  The area in Red has been destroyed by the fire.

On July 8th my son took a hike to Whiskeytown Falls:
On August 24th a young woman named Bethany posted this Picture:

Sadly this is our new reality.

229,600 acres of damage. Over 1,000 residences destroyed and 200 more damaged. Many animals lost and there is no accounting for all the wildlife lost and their homes destroyed. Our area is known for the wonderful boating, fishing, skiing and other outdoor recreation. Now we are know internationally as the people with the awful fire damage. I'm not going to get into a political statement here about my opinion of "forest conservation", but this makes me so sad.

Back to the Beginning 

"If we had no change, we would have no butterflies." I am that butterfly in the wind. I have been through many changes and even more lately. A year ago my BLOG spoke of the hurting in my heart from our loss of Taylor. This year my heart is lighter, but there will always be losses to walk through or help another walk through. That is our human journey. Some people have January as a time for beginnings, others it is Spring time and others Summer. For me the new beginning is September 1st.

I am anticipating new understanding of myself as I walk through the crunching leaves of Autumn. I look forward to our amazing rainy season.  I love the cooler evenings to sit outside and leaving my window open as I sleep.

Namaste~ DeenaButterfly on emojidex

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Hidden Treasures in Dark places

By now most people in the United States with a TV or computer have heard of the Carr Fire and a great many people around the world. I don't have TV or a computer, but with my phone I still could have been well informed.
I have lived in the Redding area since 1985, I raised my four children on the boarder of Shasta and Tehama Counties. Three years ago my son and I moved into Redding city limits. Last Thursday he and my oldest daughter were evacuated from their homes. We are thankful to report that the fire was stopped only a 1/2 miles to the West and North and the spot fire that was 5 houses away was put out without much damage to their little block of homes.

This was the fire map released this morning

In the summer of 2013 I spent about 40 hours of my summer working on the base map for the GIS. That is where I got the name: GIS-Butterfly. The information I collected and applied to this base map was what the first responders use when identifying a structure. It makes me proud to know that I was able to help in a small way.

There is no doubt in any of the minds of those living in Shasta County that this was a "Hellish" experience. A few weeks ago, we had had our 10 days of 100 plus heat days and were grumpy about hot winds and homeless people asking for handout at all our grocery stores. I say, "WE", I may not have said it out loud, but I can't say it doesn't gross me out to see a man dig through my trash can in front of Pier 1 every day.

Four days after the fire began and I don't know where all those sad people living on the street of Redding have gone. The streets are almost empty, because of the smoke. 519 structures have been reported destroyed and 35,000 people are evacuated. I am at a loss as to what I should do next...

My church is inside the evacuated part of Redding. The fire has been stopped from going farther into Redding City limits and Redding City Church is saved. However, we could not meet today and were invited to Little Country Church for worship today. It seems the grumblers didn't stop when the homeless disappeared from the streets, then it was said, "Why aren't the mega churches of Redding opening their doors?"

Today Pastor Rick at Little Country explained how the program works:

* Red Cross is in-charge of all evacuation housing, they open each "Registered" location as needed
* First Responders are in-charge of their own supplies and personnel needs
* Salvation Army is second after Red Cross

Our animal shelters have so much food they are sending it away. Everyone wants to help, but you need to go through channels. Little Country has been asked to be a 24 hour rest place for Fire Crews. It was 113 degrees one of the days of the fire.The clouds provided by the fires have cut the temps to 105 the past two days. The Red Cross is opening up each Church, School and Large Building in the order that they see fit.

Do you need help or have resources to give

Not to say that private organizations and individuals can't do their own thing too. Just don't show up without asking at Red Cross, they have a process to volunteer. If you want to help in the local church community Little Country has an application for volunteers and if you need assistance

Doulas in Shasta county stage a diaper give away at Kid Kingdom

Farmers donated Produce to a Red Bluff Shelter

A friend of my daughters bought a truck load of water and
said that he would deliver on Facebook

Thank You for Your Service


My car may look like this,
but take a second look at the Fire Fighter

Law Enforcement
The Young People Who Did This:

Fire Fighters


+First Responders

National Guard
My son-in-law left home to
help with the evacuation Patrols

New Beginnings

A woman spoke at church today who had lost her home. She has two teenagers. She said, "God has been in control through this entire week. He set things ahead 7 years ago to begin the friendship to the folks that we are staying with..." Jokingly she added, "The honey-do list is gone for my husband and I don't have to worry about the laundry getting done." Times will be hard for these folk, but God has refined them in the fire

True Super Heros

You can see plenty of crazy, scary pictures of fire and smoke. There are awful pictures of destroyed neighborhoods and smokey skies. I just want all who read this to know Redding is strong. We have a great faith community working together. We have great people who claim no faith, but are working for the greater good. We love our community and the resources that we have to share with the world.
I pray for the Phoenix of Redding to rise from the ashes.

We are a blessed people. 🦋

Spa Deena is still on the road

I continue to house-set and care for my friends homes and animals while they vacation.
Next week I plan to have the finished product ready to mail for the Em's "BIG 02". 2/19/18