MILK

Bloged in Gay,Political by mark Tuesday November 25, 2008

I hope every person living sees the film. . . . MILK .

26milk

THE link is to the NEW YORK TIMES review of the film. Harvey Milk was an inspiration to me even…..just at the time I’d been promoted in the company and moved to the bay area.

This movie is classic now especially considering the battle for civil rights we face, Rodger and I, and millions of others in a battle for equal rights as U.S. Citizens. DO NOT think this won’t effect you if Prop 8 is allowed to stand.

natasha forces comment requirement

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Tuesday November 25, 2008

Sorry, diary friends …………….

I LOVE comments……………I love knowing I’m surrounded by friends……….and most comment by e-mail.

However, even with the Akismet SPAM control software, ONE spam sender: Natasha22 has invaded this space.

Temporarily I have to make sure the comment is valid and it may not post until I permit it. Sorry for the invasion of the I-world spammmmers.

I’m a Momo no Mo

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Saturday November 22, 2008

On my resigning from the Mormon Church over Prop 8:

I just had to comment on a feeling that’s been growing inside me since I sent my “resignation” letter to the Presiding Bishop’s Office in Salt Lake City last Monday. I never really thought it through, but the need to formally separate myself from this organization has been growing for years. Their mammoth political effort to engage in a civil rights battle against people like me in California and Arizona finally brought about the action to disengage. Up until this time, I have regularly bitched and moaned and made light of the dogma this Church takes serious.

Here’s the point:

Since sending that letter, the very elements of what Mormon Spirituality, or all Spirituality for that matter have been surrounding me. No matter that others may not see this, but I am experiencing something by simply following what I used to be taught: “Follow the Spirit” I formally resigned and the calmness, peace, have followed. I am NO longer angry about anything they do. I am SO strongly surprised about what good this action has led me to feel. I’m not even angry at the big brother who voted for 8. Most cool.

SO. What does it mean? For the first time since becoming inactive in Mormonism, I am feeling the “spirit” of light and peace they used to preach about. Hm. I have removed my Mormon History books from the shelf. They’re being recycled for the good of all. This doesn’t mean I’m getting “religious”. It means I’m listening to my heart. It’s a nice feeling.

Nov Happenings

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Wednesday November 19, 2008

**On Tuesday I had the pleasure of introducing Michael and Missy Stucki our favorite “farmers” and owners of MILLENIUM FARMS to the owner Altea Marin of the upcoming Pearl District Italian Restaurant BELLA GIOIA along with our friend Emilio Barbero who will be the executive chef there. Located in the heart of the up-scale Pearl District and two blocks from both Powell’s Books or Whole Foods, this was a fun time.

We spent an hour and a half there testing Michael’s fresh garden samples from that morning, and their talking about what the restaurant will need, prices, etc. WE DO hope they get a working arrangement established here. The Stucki’s already deliver their fresh produce to 29 upscale Portland restaurants.

**The LATE date change in beginning daylight savings brought a little shock to the system, eh? In past years, the time changed in October and seemed you had a few weeks to get ready for the sun setting here on the 48th parallel at 4:30 pm. Not this year. Time changed Sunday, and boom. It’s dark at what seems should be late afternoon.

**We continue to watch the deer under Dianne’s tree nightly. The change? The fall Deer Rut has begun! Daddy is no longer with the kids or Mom…. Last night it was only the fawns. Must be a bit lonely time for them.

**Rain begins tomorrow for a few days. Good thing today was an action day: leaves collected and added to a now 4-8 inch deep layer of same already composting on top of the vegetable and cutting gardens.

**Helped Jeanne & Peter remove a couple hemlock branches getting in the way…I trimmed them, took a few other pieces they wanted removed, split the trunks, and piled up a bit more firewood. Trimmed other odd pieces and cleaned up the yard. Alright. We’re ready for winter warm fires from a woodstove.

**Met NEW next door neighbor finally moving into Dianne’s! Eran (Aaron?) is a bachelor so far, taking over his Dad’s plumbing business, quiet, exceptionally nice, seemed to like Mac a lot and Mac liked him. Oh yes. He shook my hand, and I thought some kind of steel had wrapped around my wrist. I guess that goes with being a plumber, eh?

**The Butterball is in the freezer awaiting the defrost cycle that will begin about Monday in anticipation of Thursday’s Thanksgiving feast. Rodger plans to make pies the afternoon just prior to Aunt Paula and Mickey arriving. I will begin housecleaning Monday . . . . It’s always nice to have company to make sure you clean the house a couple times a year.

**Thursday will be nice. Who knows maybe Nancy and Carol will stop by again and we’ll have a REAL gathering. THAT would be fabulous.

**Friday night we join cousin Nancy for SPEECH and DEBATE at the Artist Rep Theater. It’s rumored to be real fun little play: 3 young actors, 90 minutes, no intermission and involved a little sex scandal at their high school. Most of the dialogue expressed via blackberry, cell-phone, and gossip. Here’s the fun thing: It’s not being staged in the regular theater…..it’s held in a “classroom” so is general admission. Those arriving last are forced to sit on stools as punishment. I can’t wait…..and afterwards we’ll meet for a drink and “discuss”. Wish you were all here for this one.

**On December 4 we see old man Robin Williams doing a new stage performance at Portland’s main concert venue, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall .
schnitz

It still seems to odd to me he can be as old as I am. Wasn’t it just last week he changed the world of comedy opening in Carnegie Hall with that revolutionary delivery?

**I need to upgrade this web page to a new WordPress version………and why haven’t I had all the time I could possibly want to do get that done now that the garden’s done? Got to get that done, and always, one has reservations about all that could go wrong or get lost in making the transfer. … … …. oh well.

Walk in Forest Park November 14 = Leaf Carpet

Bloged in birding,Fall,General Home Life,Nature,Portland by mark Sunday November 16, 2008

I awoke to a sunny morning. NO question we’d go for a dog walk. After all the talk of the thick layer of leaves on the trails this year, I grabbed the camera and wanted to record this as a distinctly fabulous memory walk.

I got onto the trail beginning ahead of Peter & Jeanne & Baird (& Ellie, the Berner) on purpose….I Peter & Jeanne coming from their house in the distance:
peterjeandistance
We always begin our descent to the park at this point….beautiful leaves carpet this entire hike:
walkbegin
Within 2 minutes we’re deeply into the little access trail headed for Arnie’s place:
trailbeauty
Now with Arnie (& Diva, the Lab) in tow, we’re finally on Newton Road headed into the park and with the sun peeking through, rich forest beauty draws your eyes in:
fparkbeauty
Soon, we’re on a firetrail headed north:
leafcovering
At THIS point we hear loud warbling calls of the Sandhill Cranes coming up over the hilltops heading south from their Canada breeding sites and more immediately from resting/feeding fields on Sauvie’s Island. Looking up through the now nearly bare tree canopy, we begin to see, barely higher than these treetops, the first of what became MANY flocks flying overhead:
leafcanopy
I know, not here, and not my picture, but they ARE so gorgeous in flight aren’t they?
craneflight

Not to be outdone, Mac is grabbing a branch under some leaves by the trailside:
markretrieve
He LOVES carrying sticks on the trail, the bigger the better:
macrun

The calls of the Cranes continued throughout our walk, and we had many fantastic sightings of flocks 5-20 in size. I was fairly astounded at the number of birds going overhead. Their calls are hypnotizing.

We arrived back at home to see the little Japanese Maple showing off:

japmaple

And lastly………a new observation for me. I thought the garden was 100% at rest. Not quite. The deer apparently turn their noses up if offered Parsley:
parselynov
And although they LOVE HOT pepper plant Leaves….they hate the hot peppers. This plant is starkly bare, but haven’t the Habaneros ripened nicely?
hotpeprnov
It was a most dramatically beautiful day fulfilled with rich additions given to us by the Cranes.

Another Mormon Resigns and gives up his Right-to-a-Planet

Bloged in ex-Mormon,Gay,General Home Life,Mormons,Political by mark Friday November 14, 2008

POSTSCRIPT: Saturday. We just returned from a Prop 8 Protest Rally in the South Park Blocks of our Fair City.
markandjary
I am guessing 1000 were there…..we had quite a chat with two boys and friends from Mesa, AZ….together for five years in the AZ town that HAS a Mormon temple….the very one my Folks were married in (aug 1933)…..they were married in Riverside County, CA (Palm Springs), the county my brother lives in that voted FOR Prop 8. One of the boys was Mormon. They are BOTH living here now as students at PSU…one to become a Lawyer and one a Doctor! As we were with them, they were interviewed by Ch 8, NBC affiliate for the local news tonight….and then another couple came up one of whom IS a still believing Mormon that attends his Ward Meetings every Sunday. he had an interesting experience: “We were married in Vancouver BC….and since I AM married legally there, the Church can NOT accuse me of having unmarried sex…… They leave us alone.” **His partner was Jewish. A GREAT rally! We ran into old friend Roushdi and his new friend James, we ran into Jerry Orlando and CityWoof Marc with whom we lunched afterwards. GREAT TIME !!! YOU shoulda BEEN THERE .

You can see some of the pictures Rodger took at his link on SCUFF Flicker Photos.

/ mark

= = =
In 1964, this shot was taken just ahead of my senior piano recital at the Church, yes the Mormon Church, the religion I was raised in.
mark1964

It only took a few years from that date for me to leave the Church, shortly after the Mormon Mission and coming out. I never made it official until now. A lot of time has passed:
mark2008

After watching them spawn discrimination, split families, create prejudice and misunderstanding, despite their scandalous public history, I have finally joined those who are demanding they remove our names from their official records.

Part of it is a form letter, but I added my own thoughts at the end. This letter was sent to the Presiding Bishopric in Salt Lake yesterday, and I have felt a new send of liberation ever since. I wish I’d sent this years ago:

= = = = = = = = = =

Mark Huffaker
Birth Date: October 24, 1946
9336 NW Skyline Blvd, Portland, OR 97231

November 14, 2008

Member Records Division, LDS Church
50 E North Temple Rm 1372
SLC UT 84150-5310

To Whom it May Concern:

This letter is my formal resignation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it is effective immediately. I hereby withdraw my consent to being treated as a member and I withdraw my consent to being subject to church rules, policies, beliefs and ‘discipline’. As I am no longer a member, I want my name permanently and completely removed from the membership rolls of the church.

I have given this matter considerable thought. I understand what you consider the ‘seriousness’ and the ‘consequences’ of my actions. I am aware that the church handbook says that my resignation “cancels the effects of baptism and confirmation, withdraws the priesthood held by a male member and revokes temple blessings” I also understand that I will be “readmitted to the church by baptism only after a thorough interview”.

My resignation should be processed immediately, without any ‘waiting periods’. I am not going to be dissuaded and I am not going to change my mind. I expect this matter to be handled promptly, with respect and with full confidentiality.

After today, the only contact I want from the church is a single letter of confirmation to let me know that I am no longer listed as a member of the church.

Do NOT make attempts to contact me other than via U.S. Mail. No Visiting Teachers, No Bishopric, NOTHING. You people have violated so many basic tenets of Christianity I am appalled. The number of families divided since your blatant entry into the Political World, and, of course, violating the Constitution demands of keeping Church and State separate not to mention violating the Doctrine and Covenants clearly stating the Church should never enter into Civic matters, is wrenching.

Sincerely,

Mark L. Huffaker

-= = = = = = =-
Note in the letter, I bowed to their “requirement” that I supposedly give UP my “temple” blessings, Priesthood (power), etc etc. If I hadn’t, they likely would be knocking on my door to make sure I would be “aware” I was a-gonna be goin’ to the “lower kingdoms”, “Telestial” that is, or the Mormon version of Hell. Ooooooh! I am SO scared!

I am not angry now, I’m laughing. I am in awe of how Mormons and Blacks who’ve gone through so much persecution in their lives, once given an opportunity, immediately turn on a group they do NOT understand and “persecute”.

I AM confident this is the LAST generation who will hold onto that prejudiced view. The BIGGEST segment of voters in California voting “YES” for this were the “OLD” people…………… It IS the Young voters, Mormon and Non-Mormon alike who voted against this. I am SO proud of them.

= =

Ok. It’s Nov 13 already!

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Wednesday November 12, 2008

So it is time to get ready for that one time a year we can step back and remember what most Americans have come to think everyone has: abundant life….

I want to give thanks to Keith Olberman especially for his Special Comment standing up against Prop 8’s passage. I could have embedded the video, but it’s been done many other places. If you have NOT seen it you should. Click on Prop 8 above and watch it.

I’m so thrilled I share with one brother, Art, and his wife Lesley, at least these core values: Love Others as Yourself, Equal rights for all. I believe that pretty well covers what Christianity is supposed to be.

I am thankful for all those people in CA, AZ that DID vote against this horrible legislation. Never forget that almost half the voters hoped to defeat it.

I always am grateful to have a partner who, yes, may be annoying at times, as I am to him, but we share a life rich in beauty, friendships, laughter, partnership. Thank you Rodger for giving me this life…..wow 19 years and counting.

I always remember a Mom who gave her all for her family. I miss her and still say, You are never old enough to lose your Mom.

I love the big ole’ Mac. This dog who, at the river, can astound with feats of power swimming, athletic skills AAA, retrieval, joy, ecstasy, but then he can turn around at home in the evening and interminably want to simply be a cuddle-bug companion with a wet sloppy kiss.

I love this little spot of land we live on and for a while, have called home. It’s rich in beauty many seasons of the year not just in summer. It isn’t just the land, it’s all that comes with it: garden bounty, squirrels, birds, deer, coyote. Oh wait. I’m not sure yet about the raccoons. Let’s not forget all the wonderful people that live around us. What a lucky spot to be planted at if only for a while.

I am even thankful for the cheap imitation piano, the Kurtzweil that doesn’t get played enough….but when it is played, it’s a creates some joy.

Gee, it’s time to start packing up the season’s goodies, updating lists, addresses, letters, cards, thinking of outdoor lights, trees, packages all tied up with string. Oh Joy! That little month is almost here.

I also am really happy I have learned to cook a few things and even a bit of bread that nurture, and even more so give comfort and warmth on a cold evening. I’m thankful things it takes to make those foods are available.

I could go on and on. Today I feel lucky to just be alive.

I am very happy Paula and Mick are coming up for Thanksgiving. We haven’t had “related relatives” here on that day for a while….. Of course I will never forget LAST Thanksgiving when our most fabulous friends Nancy G & Carol D, who had been in the neighborhood for another reason, stopped by……. It took some real “begging” but they finally agreed to stay and share our home-made meal together. Because of Nancy & Carol, our real “family” was with us. I will never forget that afternoon with two fabulous women we adore completely. Funny how “family” does not mean sharing the same parents.

I guess I’d better go start working on 1) Where are we going to get that fresh Turkey this year? Time to be thinking about that.
Time to be thinking about Pumpkin Pie. Homemade dinner rolls. Mmmmm.

Time to bring in some wood. Nights are cooling off……I see our first woodstove fire of the season coming up soon.

YES. Fall is here, and I’m happy. I see a billion leaves out there, wind, rain, and yet joy with upcoming family gatherings, singing around a piano, cookies, laughter, smiles, and HOPE that change is here. I’m so very happy watching this fade into the sunset:
bushfade

Prop 8 – Fallout gets close

Bloged in ex-Mormon,Family,Gay,Political,Religion by mark Tuesday November 11, 2008

I knew for a while my oldest brother at 71 and his Evangelical wife were going to vote for John McCain. I only have 3 brothers. My one sister passed away 35 years ago. Here was that little Mormon family in 1956, of course it’s obvious who the oldest brother is:
huffakers1956
I have not talked with my Mormon brother for 7 years and only sparingly talk with the other two. We’re not a close family. I do think our leaving the only connection we had: Mormonism may be part of that. We’re all very different people.

But this oldest brother has known about Rodger and I for 20 years. He has been to our home more than once. He claims he loves Rodger equally as me. He’s been supportive of our relationship.

HOW could he vote for Proposition 8? How can he ask for discrimination and intolerance and prejudice toward his own brother?

Probably the same way he and hundreds of thousands of others did: 1) He is over 70 and NOT likely to change. 2) He’s in a marriage with conservative religious requirements. 3) He does NOT have a computer, hence, no knowledge of the vast wealth of information there. 4) He listens to FOX NEWS quite a bit.

There you have it. Being blinded by Fundamentalist Religion, and listening to a TV Medium that continually spews Propaganda and lies.

I will not change my relationship with this man, but: it will change how I interact and respond to his phone calls and thoughts.

I had NO idea he could place a check mark in a box that would limit my civil rights after 62 years of being his brother.
I really hadn’t seen this coming.

So I’m sending him information including this old list from 2004:
Here. Let’s write this down in a form so the “simple” people and even some Pentecostals can understand what they’re saying:
= = = = = = = =

10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong

01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.

07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.

09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

By the way, this is causing splits in MANY families. I know of 4 families in my own little circle that this attack by the Mormon Church (& others) is causing strife for.

The garden – Is finally at Rest.

Bloged in Fall,garden,Nature,Oregon,Portland by mark Friday November 7, 2008

It has taken 3 different times going over the lawn with the tractor / bagger and dumping ALL those leaves on the veggie and cutting garden to finally say they are at rest. These spaces will have NO more intervention for 6-7 months.

I’m a wee sad I won’t be eating food out of their until next June, but don’t they look peaceful AND at rest?

Vegetable garden:
grdnrest2

Cutting Garden:
grdnrest2008a

There will STILL be LOTS of leaves to collect in the next 30 days…………. I’m slowly growing into BEING in the FALL state of Mind. Perhaps I should go in and play Autumn Leaves on the Piano? It’s one of my favorites.

Hm. There ARE FALL songs aren’t there? I remember once we all sang around the piano at the Folks house on their 72nd anniversary: SEPTEMBER SONG. DAD was crying at the end of that.

I wonder if others have favorite FALL songs they like to hear . . . . . too bad this isn’t a big blog….we’d probably find out. Maybe SPO will read this and ASK that question of his myriad fans.

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