Monday, 26 June 2017

Where Is Home? | HuffPost

A few years back, I traveled around the United States doing research for an article about the epidemic of homelessness in our country. Like many people who've never slept in the street or been housing deprived, I believed before making this journey that homelessness was a geographical-financial condition, in essence, and one that could be remedied simply by giving folks a place to live.

I had never considered that home meant more than a physical structure, a door to lock, a stable location, nor that home was as much a metaphor as it was an architectural container. Not before interviewing a wide range of "the homeless," several of them philosophers in their own right, did I begin to explore the spiritual meaning of home and its impact on everyday human life, regardless of whether one had a permanent address or not.

I came to understand that homelessness is a state of mind that many of us have experienced, in fact, more often than we care to admit. In times of transition and struggle, during intervals of heartache, confusion, and disappointment, it is common for all of us to have feelings of dislocation, uprooting, and abandonment, the sense of being alone in the universe without a place to call one's own -- literally or figuratively. In these "homeless" times, we come to learn that home means more than four walls and a ceiling. Home is where we find our balance, the pivoting point that connects us to the earth. Sociologists studying the homeless have examined this phenomenon. As one scientist writes, "It is of more than semantic significance that we call these people 'homeless' instead of 'houseless' or 'shelterless.' Home has an existential importance that reflects our discomfort at being on the earth in the first place."

Viewed in this way, the question of home takes on a whole new meaning. Home is not only where we hang our hat but also where we find our heart. In addition to providing shelter from the storms of weather, home offers refuge in the spiritual sense, a protected place in which to thrive; this is why Buddhists describe dharma initiation as "taking refuge" in the teachings. The place we call home is where we find community and the experience of belonging. That is why we may feel more at home with a group of like-minded strangers than we do with biological family. To belong, to fit in, to feel comfortable enough to be ourselves; to be seen and heard without judgment; to know that we will be taken care of in times of need, unconditionally; these are our deepest human longings. Next to these nurturing aspects of home, the material comforts that many of us focus on -- the perfect decor, the two-car garage, the central A/C and the sub-zero fridge -- matter very little to the heart.

The heart craves connection, acceptance, belonging, a nest to come home to, a place to just be; a sanctuary where we can rest without fear of rejection, aggression, or prejudice. This is why many seekers, in search of such a place, sometimes feel as if our authentic lives were elsewhere, away from our familial context, in so-called spiritual contexts where we imagine we can be who we truly are. Lots of seekers begin with the reflexive belief that spirituality and everyday life are awkward bedfellows. Bitten by the enlightenment bu g, we may inadvertently split our existence in two, between the extraordinary and the ordinary, the sacred and the profane, the high and the low, the spiritual and the unspiritual. In our newfound enthusiasm for the examined life, we inadvertently reject the familiar in favor of the otherworldly, the esoteric, the counterintuitive. There are times for radical change, of course, moments when it's necessary to leave what we know behind and venture into unknown territory, geographically and philosophically; when we must be cruel toward the status quo - discarding past commitments, allegiances, and beliefs -- as a way of being kind to our aspirations and vision of who or what we wish to become. But when seeking becomes an escape mechanism, an excuse for running away from our lives rather than toward them, it may be time to come home.

Our human need for exploration, discovery, and boundary-pushing is, without question, a beautiful thing that imbues life with meaning and sets us ap art from other life forms that lack the ability to take destiny in their own hands. But like all forms of power, this unique capacity for self-reinvention comes with its shadows, two of which are spiritual ego and escapism. Among seekers, there may be a tendency toward spiritual condescension and righteousness, and an underlying, unspoken belief, that by splitting our lives in two, and focusing on the spiritual, that we will somehow be free of the ordinary pain that is part and parcel of human existence. Beginning my own seekers life 30 years ago, I certainly harbored the secret hope that dedication to spiritual values would make my own struggles and pains disappear. But this is the opposite of what really happens. Spiritual life isn't meant to save us from pain. It's meant to save us from taking pain personally. As we practice, we don't become different people, apart from who we are in life, but deepened, widened, more expansive, creative, and free versions of what we already are, free of the idea of ourselves. As we evolve, our experience of suffering does change. Linked by pain to the rest of humanity, we come to recognize pain as a shared burden, not a personal offense or mistake. We experience pain with less suffering, less ego to defend, less spoiledness to counteract, and join the rest of humanity in this common cause of evolution and celebration we call life.

There is nowhere to escape from (or to) and that's the good news. This message is echoed across traditions. "When a thing is everywhere, the way is not to gravel but to love." (St. Augustine) "To seek is not to find." (Rumi) "I came to a spot in the road where all paths were one." (Dogen) "Most seekers are just Narcissus in drag." (Da Free John). The fact of the matter, I came to realize, is that home and spirit are here and now -- right where we're planted in this very moment. If we can't find God in the present moment, we can't find Her anywhere.

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Home Garden Do's And Don'ts

Gardening Tips For The Home Gardner

When you first start growing a home garden you'll have the best results if you grow squash, corn, beets, radishes, beans, peas, pumpkins and carrots from seeds. Almost all herbs and spices should also be started from seeds.

You Can Buy Or Grow Some Of Your Vegetable Plants

For the best results you should start cucumbers, tomatoes, cantaloupes, watermelons, and pepper plants from plants. The beginning gardener will usually buy these plants from their local home and garden center but if you have a small gree nhouse you can start all of these plants from seeds and when the plants are large enough and all the danger of frost has passed you can plant your plants out in the garden.

Test And Prepare Your Soil Well Before The Time To Plant Your Garden

Unless you have land with perfect soil for vegetables you'll need to test your soil to see what you need to add to your soil. You can purchase an inexpensive soil test kit at your local garden center.

Prepare Your Garden Soil

When I start a new vegetable garden I usually measure me out a space say 48 foot X 48 foot and I dig the soil out down to about two feet and I mix the soil I dig out in with very well rotted manure or well rotted compost at a rate of 70 percent soil and 30 percent of either well rotted manure or compost. For every twenty feet of vegetable row I add one pound of 5 - 10 - 5 fertilizer. When I get my soil prepared this way I have perfectly prepared soil for a vegetable garden.

Make A Plan

Make a plan of where you are going to plant each vegetable in your vegetable garden. Do you need to purchase tomato stakes or tomato cages for your tomatoes. You may want to put up lines and stakes for your cucumbers to grow on. If you plant your cucumbers so they can grow up on lines or chicken wire you'll end up with a lot more cucumbers.

Do You Need A Garden Tiller

Do you need to purchase a garden tiller or can you rent one in your area for when you need to use it. Be sure to reserve a rental garden tiller far enough in advance for when you need it. If your going to be making a garden every year you may want to purchase your own garden tiller. Be sure you check out the garden tiller you are thinking of purchasing carefully. Be sure you know and understand exactly what you are purchasing and what you get with it. Be sure that you understand what kind of maintenance your going to need to do on your garden tiller on a regular basis.

Grow The Vegetables You And Your Family Like

What's the point of growing a bumper crop of parsnips or turnips if no one in your family eats them. Set down with your family and plan out what vegetables your going to grow in your family vegetable garden. Have a plan drew out and planned on paper for where each vegetable is going to be grown in your garden.

Home Garden, Garden Tips For You

Here are 12 Garden Don'ts For You to follow so your garden will grow and produce well. Along with some other great information for the home garden.

1. Never store left over diluted spray or plant food. Discard it instead as it could grow mold and spread disease if used. When you use your garden sprayers or receptacles you want to be sure that you rinse out all garden sprayers or receptacles well and hang them in full sun so they will dry well.

2. Never use chemicals or sprays in your garden that are n ot for the garden. Are you having a problem with garden slugs. Just get them drunk and get rid of them. Fill a shallow dish with beer and provide a couple of Popsicle stick ramps up to the rim of the dish for the slugs to climb up and they will get drunk and fall in and drown. Then you can dispose of them.Set out your beer traps at sun down and check them early the next morning.

3. Read the labels on anything you use in your garden carefully. Make sure that you know exactly what you are doing and follow the directions carefully.

4. Never allow any weeds to grow in your home garden. Get rid of them quickly. Mulch well around your plants and you will have much less of a garden weed problem.

5. Don't place fertilizer directly onto plants or seeds. Keep it back 3-4 inches and your plants will do well. As you water the fertilizer will break down and go down into the soil.

6. Never water your garden or plants when the sun is on them. This of course means you should water just before the sun comes up in the morning or just after the sun goes down in the evening.

7. Keep in mind how tall your plants are going to get and don't plant your garden plants where they will shade smaller plants. All your taller plants should go to the back of the garden and shorter plants to the front.

8. Use care when you get near your plants with your garden hoe or spade. Don't dig to near your plants or you can damage your garden plants roots.

9. Don't plant your rows to close together. Allow room to walk around and work. And be sure to thin your plants when they are very young.

10. Plant the varieties of Sprinkler System Installation Fort Worth vegetables your local garden supply store recommends especially until you gain a year or two of gardening experience.

11. Consider setting up rain barrels with tight fitting screens over the tops to keep mosquitoes out. T his will provide you with water for your plants that your not going to have to pay for. Add a spigot at the bottom of each rain barrel to make it easy to get the water out. And this way you will have water for your garden if your town, city, or water district puts out water restrictions that prohibit watering gardens.

12. Make use of plants like marigolds, rosemary and peppermint to keep pests out of your garden. If you have a real mosquito and insect problem purchase a bat house and set it up 20 ft up a tree or pole above a garden pond or pool. You won't believe how many insects a single bat can eat in one night. And if Sprinkler System Fort Worth the bats are eating the insects you won't have to worry about them.

Home Garden, Garden Tips For You

Here are 12 Garden Do's That You Should Do For A Healthy Home Garden that is going to http://www.texasartifici produce an abundance of garden vegetables for you.

1. Keep a journal about your gardening activities. Label each one for the year you are in so in the future you can look back and see what you did for a particular garden problem or what was the name of the squash you planted that year that you loved.

2. You will want to keep your gardening tools all in one place and you will want to make sure that you spray your tools off with water when you are finished with them for the day. You may want to use a wood burning tool to write your family name on your garden tool handles to prevent theft.

3. Avoid going into your garden when the soil and plants are wet. You can wait until the ground and plants are dry before you work in the garden. You don't want to harvest vegetables when your plants are wet as this will invite disease.

4. Thin your plants when they are about finger high. Keep those seed packs so you can read the special instructions for y our plants on the backs of those seed packs. If you can't find the information you need there call your local garden supply store or county farm agent and ask your questions.

5. You will want to water your garden as needed and its always best to water at the base of the plant. Use soaker hoses rather than a sprinkler for the best results. Your water needs to reach a depth of 6 inches.

6. Use mulch in your garden to reduce the need to water so often and to prevent weeds growing in your garden. Check with your city or county to see if they have a place you can go and get free leaf mulch. If they give you a choice you want the oldest looking mulch you can get.

7. Do everything you can to see that your garden stays free of insects, disease and weeds. You can plant some marigolds, peppermint in containers and rosemary to keep away a lot of your garden pests. Never plant peppermint directly in the ground as it will spread rapidly.

8. Examine your garden careful ly each day to see if you see any potential problems that you can catch before they get out of hand. Be sure to take your hoe or garden spade and see how dry your garden is. Don't wait to water until your plants wilt. You will want to keep a special eye on your cucumber and melon plants as they need a lot of water.

9. Use either compost tea or miracle grow for vegetables on a regular basis. If you need to know how to build a quick and easy Compost Bin then CLICK HERE

10. Sample your gardens soil and have it tested every two to three years so you will know exactly what your garden soil needs are.

11. Ask around at your local garden store about what varieties of plants grow best in your area. If everyone else is growing a certain variety of squash it will probably grow well in your garden also.

12. If you have one bad looking or diseased looking plant in your garden remove it from the garden area and dispose of it so that nothing will spread.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Home builders beating back fire sprinkler laws

HARTFORD, Conn. - Nearly three dozen states have rejected the idea of requiring sprinkler systems in homes by enacting legislation or rules that prohibit mandatory installation.

Home builders, still reeling from the recession, say requiring sprinklers would add to their costs. They have found allies in state legislatures and rule-making bodies that have turned aside arguments by fire safety officials that requiring sprinklers in homes save lives.

The National Association of Home Builders has not taken a position on state action banning mandatory fire sprinklers in homes, said program manager Steve Orlowski, but the group has argued that installing residential sprinklers should be up to homeowners.

Either through legislation or code, 34 states have prohibited mandatory residential fire sprinklers, Orlowski said. Only two states -- California and Maryland -- have adopted codes requiring installation of home sprinklers, he said.

In other states, sprinkler leg islation died or is pending until next year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Connecticut, for example, is deferring action until next year. A measure requiring automatic fire extinguishing systems in one- and two-family homes failed to make it to a vote in the Public Safety and Security Committee.

Sen. Anthony Guglielmo, the committee's ranking Republican senator, said legislators did not have enough information about the cost to builders and municipalities that would enforce the law. Legislators will take up the issue next year only after hearing the recommendations of officials and others brought together by the state Department of Public Safety, he said.

The International Code Council, an organization of building inspectors, fire officials and others who set building standards, recommended in 2009 that states and municipalities adopt codes requiring sprinkler systems in homes and townhouses less than three stories high. The regulat ions took effect Jan. 1.

The National Fire Protection Association has said sprinklers will particularly help young children, the elderly and the disabled by giving them time to escape burning homes.

Opponents of requiring sprinklers cite their cost -- and subsequent impact on home prices -- and voters' dissatisfaction with government mandates.

In Missouri, lawmakers extended Sprinkler System Rockwall for eight years rules that require builders to offer sprinklers but do not mandate them.

"Our main concern, in this housing market, is that the requirement for mandatory fire sprinklers could cost $7,000 to $15,000 per home," said Missouri state Sen. Eric Schmitt, Republican chairman of the Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government Committee. "In this market, it's very difficult to justify. "

In New Hampshire, Gov. John Lynch tried to vetoed legislation that prohibited local planning boards from requiring sprinkler systems in homes as a condition of approval for local permits. The decision about whether to require fire sprinklers should remain a local one, Lynch said.

Legislators overrode the veto.

Sen. John S. Barnes, Republican chairman of the Public Municipal Affairs Committee, said the override vote was not easy because he typically favors local control. But he does not believe any government body should be ordering homeowners to install fire sprinklers.

"If I buy or build a house, I think I should decide whether I put in a sprinkler system," he said.

John A. Viniello, president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association, said the process by which codes are approved is flawed. Codes regulating wiring, construction and other facets of home construction are informed by expert advice from industry and others, he said.

But when legislatures have a Sprinkler Installation role in the process, codes too often are modified or scuttled, he said.

"Once the politicians get involved, it's over," he said.

Friday, 16 June 2017

7 Affordable Landscaping Ideas for Under $1,000

Landscaping doesn't have to be an expensive investment. There are a lot of affordable projects that will make your garden look beautiful this spring. There are also many ways to make them last for years to come, so you don't need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on maintenance costs. This year, take the initiative and make some affordable landscaping changes to your front and backyard to set yourself up for seasons to come.

#1 Choose perennial plants - $10 to $50

Perennials save you money because they come back every year, whereas annuals have to be replaced every year. Perennials can last for years and sometimes require less maintenance. They come in various colors, shapes, and sizes. You can invest in perennial flowers or shrubs, depending on what you need. Some perennials to choose from include:








#2 Plant more native species - $10 to $100

To keep maintenance down, lean towards putting more native species in your landscape. Native plants have acclimated to the climate conditions, which means they need less care. This also means they don't attract pests or problems that exotic species do. To learn what plants are native to your area, check with a local nursery or a lawn care professional you trust. They will know what to recommend. Landscaping professionals, in particular, can look at your soil conditions and how the sun hits your lawn to determine which plants will thrive best.

#3 Install soaker hoses - $20 to $40

Instead of watering plants every morning or relying on sprinklers, think about investing in soaker hoses. Sprinkler water sometimes evaporates before it can fully cover your plants. Soaker hoses, on the other hand, release water near roots so plants get the nutrients they need. This will save you money otherwise spent on a sprinkler system or hand watering every day, which will cut down your water bill significantly.

#4 Invest Sprinkler System in a young tree - $100 to $150

Trees are highly beneficial, not only to your yard but also your home. If you install a tree near your Sprinkler System Installation home, it can lower your air conditioning costs. Instead of buying and planting a grown tree, invest in a young tree. They're far less expensive and easier to handle -- and it's a long-term investment that pays back. If it has fruit or flowers, that will be an added benefit to your landscape. Just be sure to pick a species that won't grow too long and damage your home exterior. If you aren't sure about what kind to get, ask arborist questions so you know what maintenance and care goes into different species.

#5 Seed or sod a lawn - $200 to $400

Whether to seed or sod a lawn depends on your square footage and how much time you want to invest in maintenance. Seeding a lawn is far less expensive in terms of materials. Sod is more expensive to install, but you'll get a lawn faster. You do the same amount of preparation to get seed and sod established -- mulching, fertilizing, raking, etc. Sod takes more time and labor at first because you have to lay down each roll. Seed takes more time and maintenance in the long term for it to grow.

#6 Replace lawn with rocks/pebbles - $50 to $100

If you don't feel excited about a seed or sod lawn, you can go with rocks and pebbles instead. Adding stones or boulders to your landscape is simple and less expensive, depending on the square footage. You can then add some shrubs and plants to make it look more natural. You have your pick of rocks and pebbles from landscape materials suppliers, so you can find a type to match your home exterior. Whether you want real rocks or plastic/composite ones, the possibilities are just about endless. And the best part is, it's basically zero maintenance -- all you have to do is move them back into place should you see a hole form.

#7 Add stepping stones - $20 to $100

Stepping stones are a great addition to a stone or green lawn, especially if you need to connect two elements of your landscape with a pathway. You can do this in a wide variety of ways, whether it's digging holes and laying in a mixture of cement, buying stones and installing them in your yard and so forth. Because this can be a labor-intensive task, you might need a stone professional's help. It just depends on the size of the stones and the look you're going for in the yard.

19 Inexpensive Ways To Fix Up Your Kitchen (PHOTOS)

19 Inexpensive Ways To Fix Up Your Kitchen (PHOTOS)

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Gallery: Dubai Miracle Garden | CNN Travel

Another week, another announcement of a massive super project in Dubai.

The Middle Eastern city's latest mega-project is the Dubai Miracle Garden.

Billing itself as the world's largest natural flower garden, the 72,000-square-meter attraction, located in Dubailand, has more than 45 million flowers.

The name is apt, considering this mega-garden was -- like pretty much everything in Dubai -- built on desert land.

According to a report in, Miracle Gar dens' landscaper, Akar, says it wants to demonstrate "that it's possible to green the desert through judicious re-use of waste water, through drip irrigation."

The U.A.E.-based company is also planting trees on the perimeter as windbreakers.

Though the gardens are now open to visitors, the attraction isn't complete. Shopping outlets, restaurants and plant nurseries will be added during the second development phase, which kicks off mid-2013.

The gardens will be closed during Dubai's Sprinkler System Installation Greenville notoriously hot summer months. Temperatures average 40 C (104 F) from June to September -- not exactly conducive to flower gazing.

Dubai Miracle Garden: Al Barsha South; open daily, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., October to late May. Entrance 20 AED (US$5.50) per person, kids under three free; www.the-miracle-garden.c om

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Electrician Salary Range

Electrician jobs are some of the most challenging jobs when it comes to skills and abilities. Years of training or apprenticeship gives electricians a good foundation to excel in the job and become master electricians. The earning of an electrician is a function of various elements, like skills possessed, work experience, and location of the job.

Electricity is the fundamental requirement of our life today. It is impossible to imagine the world without the marvelous sources of electricity. Electricity is important for light, air conditioning, and refrigerators that we use in our daily life. If these electrical equipment and devices don't work even for a day, our life comes to a standstill, and we rush to our local electrician to get the job done. Electricians indeed are important professionals in every community. As a kid, I was fascinated to watch electricians working, and could sit for hours, watching their skills and dexterity in dealing with wires.

Duties of Electri cians

The salary range of electricians is typically decided by the duties and responsibilities that the electrician is carrying out. Senior electricians having good amount of job experience enjoy more benefits and perks than the junior or trainee electricians. The duties and responsibilities of an electrician are mentioned below.

Maintain, assemble, and install electrical equipment/instruments by using hand tools and testing instruments.

Identify circuit breakers in homes, offices, and buildings, and connect wires to them.

Inspection of electrical systems/appliances to detect the presence of potential threat due to defected parts in the manufacturing, and resolve the same, if possible. Ensure electrical safety in the home.

Work with electrical testing equipment, like voltmeters, ohmmeters, oscilloscopes, etc., test them, and ensure compatibility and safety of the devices connected to them.

Prepare blue prints of the sketches of the wirin g systems, and follow the electrical wire sizing chart in new buildings, and carry out household electrical works.

Provide assistance to trainee electricians in case of difficult tasks.

Install groundwork of coaxial cables and fiber optics cable network in case of telecommunication jobs.

Specialize in residential or commercial electricity works or both, and check measures of electrical safety.

The program in electrical apprenticeship is usually of four years. Each year includes 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. On-the-job apprentices are trained under senior electricians. In order to take the license exam to become an electrician, the student needs to have a combination of at least 288 hours of classroom training and 8000 hours of apprenticeship.

Educational Requirements

Those aspirants who don't want to enter apprenticeship courses can practice under the skilled supervision of experienced electricians. A strong background in science subjects, like mathematics, physics, electronics, and mechanical drawing at the high school level is essential to understand the subjects taught in the apprenticeship courses. Many states have made it compulsory for electricians to possess a valid license before they start working as professionals. The license requirements vary as per the needs of the states. Most electricians work as an apprentice in the beginning, and obtain certificates by reputed organizations, like International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and local chapters of the National Electrical Contractors Association. These and some other bodies, train electricians by giving them adequate resources and practical demonstration of the work.

Average Salary

The salary range of electricians is significantly dependent on the work experience. According to the data (May 2014) presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average income of an electrician is USD $54,520. According to the PayScale salary survey, the median salaries of electricians as per their work experience are as follows:Work Experience

(no. of years)

Approx. Annual Salary Range

(in USD)

0 to 5


5 to 10


10 to 20


20 or more


In the initial years of work, many electricians are paid on an hourly basis. The job prospects of electricians is fairly bright, as young electricians with suitable work experience will be needed to replace the retiring electricians in the future. Besides this, advancement in the electrical and electronics technology demands a lot of young aspirants to work in the research areas related to electricity.

The number of job opportunities depend on the location and the development of that locality. Many areas where the investment is high and infrastructure is in peak, the demand of electricians is very high, to meet the requirements of the installation of electricity supplies in the homes and residential complexes. The salary range of electricians fluctuates on a number of economic factors, however, it still presents great career opportunities for trainees who wish to become master electricians.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Civil War painting: How do you move history?

With extreme care -- and a lot of expertise.

Later this week, cranes are expected to pluck a colossal painting depicting a Civil War battle from an Atlanta museum that was its home for nearly a century.

The painting, sliced in two and rolled onto enormous steel spools, will be placed on two flatbed trucks for a 12-mile journey to its new home, the Atlanta History Center in the city's Buckhead neighborhood.

Moving an artwork this big is an ambitious engineering endeavor and requires a small army of specialists, from art conservators to crane operators.

And like the aging painting itself, the story behind the artwork, "The Battle of Atlanta," is almost larger than life.

Why was it painted?

Imagine what life was like in the United States before movies and television -- not to mention CGI and other forms of augmented reality. You had to go to the circus or squeeze into a courtroom gallery at a juicy murder trial to find an attraction with a "wow factor."

In the late 19th century, along came paintings called cycloramas -- massive, 360-degree renderings of landscapes, city skylines and war, including this one about the 1864 Battle of Atlanta. The painting was intended as a tribute to a Northern victory.

Cycloramas were about making big bucks, and companies turned them out as fast as they could. Sometimes they would make two copies.

After a year or so in one spot, the paintings -- the IMAX theaters of their day, according to Jackson McQuigg of the history center -- were rolled and moved to another round building to be displayed before new crowds of customers.

Although the heyday of cycloramas in the United States lasted only a few decades, 72 full-size works still exist across the globe, the International Panorama Council told CNN. Not all are on display. China is the most productive country at creating new ones.< br>
'The horrors of war'

To paint the Atlanta battle, the American Panorama Company in Milwaukee employed a small army of artists -- OK, maybe 20 guys, most from Europe -- to create a work "intended to please Northern audiences" (read Yankees).

The Battle of Atlanta, fought on the afternoon of July 22, 1864, was a decisive moment in the war, and many historians say the fall of the city more than a month later -- during a time the war was grinding on -- helped re-elect President Abraham Lincoln.

As shown in the painting, Rebel troops have broken the Union army's line and federal reinforcements are riding to the rescue. One vignette shows Federal commander Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and an ambulance carrying the body of one of his favorite subordinates, Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson.

The focal point of the sprawling painting is fierce fighting around a house, with Confederates firing from behind cotton bales. Federal troops and cavalry are rushing towa rd that point.

"It is the moment when you are on the cusp of Federal victory," said Gordon Jones, senior military historian at the Atlanta History Center.

Charlie Crawford, president of the Georgia Battlefields Association, said the artists did a good job of capturing a moment: "The scene captures the horrors of war: Dead and dying men and horses, broken equipment, dust, dirt (and) smoke."

How did they paint it?

The artists came to Atlanta twice and studied the landscape from towers. They interviewed veterans of the battle and made sure their paint colors matched Georgia's red clay and pine trees.

Photographs of 1/10-scale sketches (above) were distributed to the artists, who worked on scaffolds under the direction of the lead artist, filling in grids projected onto Belgian linen.

These guys were really good at their craft. One artist might specialize in horses while another focused on human figures and faces. They made two copies of the Ba ttle of Atlanta painting, although the second no longer exists.

While they got a few things wrong -- "Old Abe," the bald eagle mascot of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry, wasn't really at the battle, and there were no clouds on that muggy day -- veterans and their families were impressed by a work of art that vividly captured the sound and fury of battle.

"This was a way for the veterans to share their combat experience. This is better than going to the battlefield," Jones said. "When you see this, you can say, 'Son this is what I did. This is my experience.'"

Boosting the 3D effect

The painting debuted in Minneapolis in the summer of 1886. After a few moves and a lot of financial distress for owners, the Battle of Atlanta in 1892 ended up in Atlanta -- but not before tweaks were made to appease a Southern audience.

A knot of frightened rebel prisoners was repainted as fleeing Union soldiers. And a newspaper ad came up with an alternative fact to prom ote it: "Only Confederate Victory ever Painted."


In the really old days, viewers would simply climb onto a wooden platform to gaze at the painting. A large revolving stage was added 35 years ago.

But while patrons might enjoy the recorded narration and spotlights on certain battle features, they never got the full effect of being able to turn around and see the entire painting.

Officials in the 1930s came up with another way to promote a 3D effect. They added replica cannon, railroad tracks and 128 plaster soldiers to a diorama built between the painting and the viewing platform.

Why move it?

By 2014, the Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum was feeling its age and attendance was mostly in decline. Zoo Atlanta, which sits next door to the Cyclorama in the city's Grant Park neighborhood, wanted to expand.

What to do? A decision was made to move the city-owned painting into a new building at the Atlanta History Center. Obser vers worried the old building was contributing to the painting's slow deterioration. A recent visit to the brick-walled, circular room showed some water seepage on the floor.

About 50 people, among them German and Swiss experts, have worked at the Grant Park building to prepare for the move. Many more are finishing its new home in Buckhead.

Officials traveled to the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania to glean ideas from a similar project a decade ago. There they spoke with Sue Boardman, a Licensed Battlefield Guide who served as research historian for the Gettysburg Foundation during its project. She understands the stakes when moving such a rare and unwieldy piece of art.

"For all of us ... there is no room for mistakes," she said. "It is a piece of history that is irretrievable."

The tricky part

The technology used to "scroll" a painting for a move is a little bit old and a little bit new.

Workers spent much of 2016 preparing the paint ing. Strips of cloth were added for attachment points used in the scrolling. Conservators went over every inch, looking for loose paint, said McQuigg, vice president of properties for the Atlanta History Center.

Then came the tricky part. The twin 45-foot-tall metal scrolls were assembled so the painting could be rolled, using a rail system with trolleys. Crews installed various pieces of hardware to help connect the canvas and the giant scrolls. There were many steps in preparation for the scrolling.

"Imagine a flat piece of canvas with paint on it. If you roll it face in, the pressure will be on the edges of that paint. It's going to want to buckle," said Jones. "If you roll it face out, your curve is on the inside. Your outer paint level is going to expand and not buckle."

It took three to four days to slowly roll the linen and backing.

Boardman of Gettysburg said cyclorama workers in the 1880s typically used a pulley system and worked with wooden scro lls that had to be moved as the painting was rolled. It took much longer back then.

Moving day

Officials hope to make it happen this week, but that could slip, depending on the weather.

Two holes will be opened on the concrete roof of the old Atlanta Cyclorama at Grant Park. One crane will do the "big pick" and lift each spool completely out of the building.

A second crane will attach a line to the bottom so that the shrink-wrapped painting can be placed in a horizontal position.

The spools will be loaded onto a flatbed truck and covered with tarps. The two trucks will travel by night, when traffic is lighter, on an undisclosed route to the Atlanta History Center.

Then the spools will be lowered on the second day of the move through a hole in the roof of the Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker Cyclorama Building.

The real work begins

After the painting is rolled out on a new support system, the real work of conservation begins. The old varnish will be replaced and a new lighting system installed. Jones said a 1979-82 conservation project led by Gustav Berger did much to help preserve the paint and the vital supporting lining.

Another piece of Atlanta history will usher visitors into the cyclorama wing. The locomotive Texas, famous for its part in the "Great Locomotive Chase" during the Civil War and its role in keeping freight moving as the city rose from the ashes after the Civil War, also is being restored.

It will return from North Carolina and be added to the museum sometime in May.

Making a huge painting even bigger

The revamped Battle of Atlanta painting also will get even bigger.

In 1921, the installation crew at Grant Park had a wee bit of a problem -- the painting was too big for the building. The solution? Lop off a 6-foot-wide section of the battle scene (fortunately, near an entrance tunnel).

The Battle of Atlanta also lost nearly 8 feet of sky over the years as workers installed it in different buildings.

After nearly a century, all those deleted pieces will be restored.

(Officials will have to decide whether to keep or paint over clouds that were apparently added in 1922 to cover up water damage.)

The restored painting will finally have the proper perspective: Until now, the painting hung like a shower curtain and there were folds and creases. When the painting reopens next year, the aim is to return the "immersion" effect.

The Battle of Atlanta will be displayed in its original hyperbolic, or hourglass shape. Through proper tension at the top and bottom, the painting's horizon will appear closer to the viewer, restoring the original 3D illusion.

You'll be able to see the whole painting: At Grant Park, patrons sat on a carpeted revolving grandstand, which kept them from taking in the entire painting at once. At the AHC, visitors will gaze from a platform 15 feet above ground. The diorama will be rebuilt. The idea is to remove as many obstructions as possible and let the painting make its own statement.

"I think (visitors will) better understand the battle, which is critical to educating people about its importance," said Crawford.

Telling an old story in a new way

Once it reopens in autumn 2018 with related exhibits, visitors to the Atlanta Cyclorama will be able to have a "behind the scenes" view of how the whole production was put together and can spend more time on the platform, looking at every detail of the pai nting.

The AHC also will tell stories related to the painting, including its correlations to Atlanta's history and the civil rights movement of the 20th century. Officials say the work previously was interpreted in many ways, from extolling the emergence of the "New South" after the Civil War to the "Lost Cause" narrative, which proclaimed the conflict was more about states' rights than slavery. That interpretation is out.

But there's another important reason for preserving the Battle of Atlanta painting, Boardman and Jones say. At Gettysburg, you can still visit the battlefield depicted in that Cyclorama and see for yourself where Pickett's Charge occurred.

Growth and development have erased most of what Atlanta looked like in 1864.

"Since so little of the Atlanta-area battlefield remains, the painting is an important visible reminder that significant events happened here," said Crawford, of the preservation group.

"It makes it all that more impo rtant to have this artifact," said Jones.

This is the seventh, and perhaps final, time the painting has been moved.

It's no longer considered a money-making attraction. The painting will still get a lot of TLC as an artifact -- and a very large curiosity.