Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Lady Betty Orpington Foundation... ahem
"Lady Betty Orpington Foundation..." sounds so auspicious, so legit. It conjures, for me, a benevolent dowager. A kindly woman who goes to tea, and keeps her hands busy with needle work, while overseeing her philanthropic empire. Naturally, she gardens, bakes occasionally, and likes to attend a concert now and then.
Lady Betty Orpington, the chicken, is my feathered dream come true. Our very first chickens were with us when we lived on an acre or two, and when we moved, then moved again, I missed my chickens. I missed those two-legged-freaky-feathered creatures, and I missed the liberty of being home and being free to do the things I wanted to do, like garden and build, and play (without answering to a landlord). I went for several years trying to contain my obsession for chickens, but all the while feeling deprived of my liberty and desire to fulfill my dreams.
So. I rebelled.
"Where chickens are outlawed, outlaws will have chickens."
Without a coop, without the landlord's permission, in a very city lot kind of home, with a teeny yard... I brought home chicks, including a yellow downy peep I named Lady Betty Orpington.
Betty represents my freedom of will. She reminds me to take matters into my own hands, to invent, and if necessary reinvent. I made our Ikea picnic table into a coop. Bringing Betty into my life was a joyful liberation of my happiness, even with the difficulties and challenges. She made me feel like I could make things happen... like she was my muse.
She is. She is my muse and my amusement. And I find I can express my dreams and ideals through her. I can make believe that I am a farmer, a philanthropist, a patron of the arts, a cowgirl artist. And the more I live my life as though I am who and what I dream, the closer I come to really fulfilling those dreams. Lady Betty Orpington somehow puts me in touch with that space where imagination and reality meet. I may have a sink full of dirty dishes and a car that still needs a new transmission. Maybe I never actually graduated from college, or overcame my fear of higher math... but Betty can do it all, and she reminds me to keep moving forward, even putting the cart before the horse.
The Lady Betty Orpington Foundation is as real as I can imagine. It is a foundation to build dreams on, to affirm my own beliefs and hopes, and to inspire others to do the same. The Lady Betty Orpington Foundation is a name for my aspirations and beliefs, for the direction I hope to move, for the causes I believe in, for the people I want to encourage and support. Don't look for a trust fund, or a dowager with a beehive hairdo. Look for a golden hen, who makes messes and smiles, who is one dream come true, inspiring more dreams to come true.
She has a FB page.
"Welcome engineers, artists, poets, cooks, and farmers, scientists, inventors, musicians, and robots...
Born yellow and downy, Lady Betty Orpington is a golden, radiant being. Troubled in her youth by the unkind reproaches of her peers, Lady Betty Orpington overcame hardships and persecution, by looking for safe havens where she was free to express her creative tendencies. Inspired by her mentors, and by the dedication and brilliance of many individuals in her community and the world at large, Lady Betty Orpington aspires to celebrate and promote education, science, technology, math, and art. Lady Betty Orpington believes all people, young and experienced, deserve to be safe, respected, and provided with the tools and support they need to learn, to explore, to be their brightest selves.
Lady Betty Orpington and The Lady Betty Orpington Foundation support and encourage creativity, math, science, engineering, art, play, equality, justice, poetry, music, dance, theater, popcorn, gardening.
Maker Faire, Make Club, Robotics, Team San Diego, SDA Robotics, FIRST 2102 Team Paradox, TED, Chickenblog, FIRST, FTC, FLL, 812 Midnight Mechanics, art, science, math, engineering, poetry, music, Gever Tulley, Tinkering School, Love and Rockets Young Makers Club, Kree Woods, Guitars in the Classroom..."