Sunday, November 25, 2012


Fleur-de-lis is French for lily.

This enduring symbol has had many uses through the centuries. Of course, the most recognizable is the French monarchy who used the symbol within their heraldry. The heraldry helped families with their claims for the throne. French scholars date the use of the fleur to the 12th century, first used by Louis VI.

However, scholars date the use of the fleur-de-lis back to Charlemagne as a religious symbol. The Catholic Church acknowledges use of the fleur-de-lis as a symbol of the Trinity with the three petals representing the all-in-one nature of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.

Medieval art work of religious icons often used symbols to identify the various patron saints depicted for the illiterate public. The fleur-de-lis in the hand or at the feet of a woman identified her as the Virgin Mary.
The petals of the lily became a representation of the traits: faith, wisdom and chivalry which represented divine favor. The relation to chivalry led the contemporary organization, the Boys Scouts to adopt the symbol as their own.

Today the remnants of the reach and power French monarchy is found included in familial coat-of-arms of their descendants. Descendants share their heritage by flying the fleur-de-list around the world in the English coat-of-arms, the flag of Quebec, the fleur-de-lis of Florence, flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and flag of New Orleans among others.

For more information about the fleur-de-lis go to:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Evelyn 'Bobbi' Trout

US Aviator license # 2613 belonged to Evelyn 'Bobbi' Trout, the fifth woman to be licensed to fly. She claimed her place in history as one of the participants in the Powder Puff Derby.

Born in Illinois on January 7, 1906, Evelyn set her sights on flying from the first time she saw a plane fly overhead. Her parents moved from Illinois to California where Evelyn had the opportunity to save $2,500 during her teenage years working at her parent's gas service station. She applied her money to flying lessons at Burdett Fuller's Flying School, obtaining her license in 1928.

By 1929, she and fellow female aviators competed to champion women's endurance flight. Howard Hughes and Will Rogers watched as the twenty women including Amelia Earhart, Pancho Barnes and Evelyn Trout powdered their noses before boarding their aircraft. The gentlemen dubbed the race, the Powder Puff Derby.

Pleased with their daughter, the Trouts gave Evelyn her first light weight plane in which she was able to set a number of records for increasingly long endurance flights, altitude records  and became famous for refueling during her longer flights. Her longest flight was 122 hours 50 minutes.. She was also the first woman to fly all night.

Through the 1930s, Evelyn flew around the country demonstrating airplanes and participating in races, sponsored by the Sunset Oil Company.  She continued to fly until WWII when she turned her attention toward entrepreneurial ventures. She owned a rivet company, a real estate company, printing company, insurance and investment company.
For more about Evelyn Trout go to:

For more about the Women's Air Derby aka Powder Puff Derby go to:

Monday, November 12, 2012

Back to Basics

When difficulty presents itself, the way to the other side of trouble is through, one step at a time. Back to basics or 'hunker down' as the case may be, keeps life simple and the other side does arrive sooner or later.

What are the basics?

  1. Make a plan. 
  2. Take action. 
  3. Eat regular meals. 
  4. Talk with friends. 
  5. Keep anger away. 
  6. Get rest. 
  7. Laugh a little. 
Sometimes, the world gets so crazy busy that it becomes necessary to get back to basics. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Master Learner, Master Creative

An integral part of personal nature makes the difference between a learner and an ignoramus. This part is the ability to learn and apply knowledge.

The novice begins with or without the help and guidance of a particular master. If the apprenticed remains with a master, at some point  the blend must be followed by a break to independence. Otherwise, the apprentice is only a servant. The apprentice path is as simple and clear as it is created by the master for the apprentice. Always an advantage to be an apprentice to a master who without reservation gives freely to the novice.

But sometimes the novice has no single master. The world becomes the teacher. Each person gives information. Each experience adds to the apprentice's knowledge. This path is hardly clear, nor is it simple. However, this path is clearly profound.

Gautama discovered a particular path to enlightenment and became Buddha. He shared his discovery with followers who became his apprentices. Later the apprentices became masters who accepted apprentices and so on, for hundreds of years. But Gautama was the first.

For a creative spirit there are steps to learning which mirror the spiritual journey of Buddha. The feeling of unease spurs the creative to a new endeavor, a new teacher, a new technique, a new media, a new genre. The creative exhibits the inner need to expand, to find new and different experiences from which to select, manipulate, change, and imagine.

The path of the artist by definition must be a solitary journey. Certainly a collective project brings together artists but without the spark the process of art is just a copy. The newness of discovery is what separates the creative from an imitator.

Once imagined the creative moves toward making the unreal real. The process may be as small as a sketch or note. The process may be as large as a sculpture or building. The artist holds the experience in their heart, their being expands. They learn and grow from the experience and move closer to bliss.

However you may travel, with or without a master, the journey may be creative learning that leads to bliss. All you need to do is step on the path.