I spent yesterday with my business partner, Magpy, shopping at the San Francisco Gift Show. We walked our feet off, but it was worth it. We picked up some wonderful items for our Vendor table at PantheaCon, including some very special Balinese mahogany sculptures of Kuan Yin, (hand carved), and some delightful jade cats (I may have to keep one of those). One of the Balinese figures is a sexy, lush female torso - that one could cause a riot. Her nickname is now "BB" for Balinese Babe.
I spent some free time this morning catching up on correspondence and arranged for a phone counseling session on Sunday for a Pagan family in Alaska. (I don't usually do that, but this person is known to me, and it's a special case).
I received a note from Kerr today at Officers of Avalon about his emergency rescue work and a new book he's got in the works:
I spoke with my publisher at Idyll Arbor a few days ago and he expects that we'll be doing the final editing on my safety book for field workers like nurses and social workers later this month. I'm very excited about this book, "When Helping Hurts".
I'll be flying out to Convocation 2006 in Michigan on 23 February. I'm looking forward to it. I'll be conducting a Warrior Armoring ritual with the help of Chris Penczak, Denessa Smith and some local friends. This is an indoor version of the Armoring that was well received at FPG last November. I will also be teaching the Maori Haka (warrior dance) Ka Mate Haka as part of my Warrior workshop."
That sounds fantastic. I'll let friends in that area know about this.
I've corresponded with Chris P. a few times but I've never met him in person. I am hoping to change that at this year's PantheaCon.
I wrote back to Kerr today. Part of my letter said:
A great many Pagans are involved in companion and wildlife rescue work, as well. (I'm trained in both) Full Circle gave our 2006 Gaia's Guardian Award United Animal Nation for their valiant efforts on behalf of companion animals, farm animals and wildlife after Katrina.
If you ever want a trip out to Southern California (and a chance to go to the original Disneyland), check out this Conference on Animal Rescue given by the Humane Society.
Kerr is a former police detective. He and another friend gave me some advice and support with a situation involving a Pagan pedophile last year. I let Kerr know today that the man in question has been arrested. The case against him is solid. He abused several young girls in various states (who will testify, if needed), a staggering cache of kiddy porn was found on his hard drive (discovered using a warrant, during a legal search) and the police have his own confession on tape. The families involved (some of whom are Pagan) are now in therapy and healing as best they can.
Today seems to have a to have a theme. (Oddly enough, they often do, I just have to pay attention). I got to thinking about rescuing: when it helps and, as Kerr notes, when it hurts, (something we often discuss in Spiral Steps) and when there are times we have to rescue ourselves (or at least be ready to do so). On that note: I sent this note out today to our Senior Editor for inclusion in the newsletter, and cc'd various women friends:
Here is something you should know about: Model Mugging is a good, short, self defense program for women of all ages. This is a practical program. A woman should not have to have a black belt in order to defend herself on the street or in her home.
This course can teach a woman (or a man) enough in 6 weeks to defend themselves in a variety of dangerous situations. In 20 hours women learn how to protect themselves from a single unarmed assailant, armed, and multiple assailants. As their site says, "When taught by certified instructors, Model Mugging is the most advanced and safest program available for women, both physically and emotionally."
My partner is a martial artist and he spent several years as one of their volunteer instructors. These days he studies ditch medicine, volunteers for both human and animal rescue groups, and consults on fight scenes for writer friends. (He helped me fine tune a bar room brawl scene over breakfast the other day. I do like a man with skills.)
We're a bloodthirsty family. Our favorite workshop at any WorldCon is "Maim 'Em Right". (The best one I ever went to was taught by Lisa Freitag and featured Elizabeth Moon on the panel. The workshop description reads: "Accurate maiming, murder and mayhem from an experienced physician and mother." Now who wouldn't want to go to that?
It seems every vacation we end up stopping for a car accident (someone else's) or a wounded and/or lost animal. Last Christmas we went birding in southern Oregon. On the way home we came across an accident involving an elderly couple. They were driving home from a trip to Vegas and were dressed more for the casinos than the ridge line. It was late afternoon on a day with pretty constant snowfall. They drove over a high mountain pass, without chains, skidded on black ice, and ended up overturned, hurt, badly dazed in a snowbank on the far side of the road. A trucker and the cop get the credit for helping these two - we came late to the scene. The trucker saw the accident and used his radio to call in a State Trooper. We came by just as the Trooper got to the upturned car (a little black job, which, given the gloom and the snowfall was quite hard to see). My partner and the officer got the couple out of out of the overturned car, stopped the bleeding and checked them both for injuries. (Thanks to their seat belts they had one concussion, bruises, and only minor cuts between them. The car looked very bad - the roof had caved in and there was glass everywhere, so they got of lightly). We helped the couple keep them warm till the tow trucks, fire trucks and ambulance arrived. It made for quite a party.
The truth is, the trucker probably saved their lives. If no one had seen them, they could well have died from exposure. There are no call boxes in that part of Oregon, cell phone reception is hopeless, and the roads are pretty empty. In fact, they closed the pass just after we left it. Next time you meet a trucker, buy him or her a cup of coffee - they save more lives then we'll ever know.
So many of our vacation pictures involve police, firefighters, paramedics,and forest rangers....One of these days I really should start a scrapbook:-)