Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Can Hardly Stand The Wait

My two favorite Christmas songs as a child were The Chipmunk Song and Little Drummer Boy. Both seemed to represent the magic and wonder of the Christmas season for me. Santa and Jesus. An old man and a baby boy. Midnight mass and a tree decorated with lights and tinsel. A Christmas star high on top of the tree and a Christmas star high in the midnight sky. Christmas gifts for me and birthday gifts for baby Jesus. Christmas gifts given by me and birthday gifts given by three wise men. Reindeer and the lamb of God.

I can hardly stand the wait, oh Christmas don't be late.

Since this will be my last post until after New Year's Day I've decided to share both songs with you today.

The Little Drummer Boy

From the last five minutes of Bass and Rankin's animated television special The Little Drummer Boy (1968).

The Chipmunk Song

From The Alvin Show (1961)

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Ike Turner is back in the news through his last wife Jeanette Turner. Ike's widow says that she thinks Tina Turner should forgive Ike for the things he did to her while they were married. She is quoted as say, "I'm not defending what he did. I'm not saying he didn't do what he did when he was with Tina or me- but he was a human being."

Oprah Winfrey once said that forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be changed. Sounds like Tina Turner has done that so I don't think she owes her ex-husband, a man she had not seen in 35 years, anything more.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sure, I've slapped Tina...

There have been times when I punched her to the ground without thinking. But I never beat her.
-Ike Turner

Ike Turner died yesterday and it got me thinking. How do you separate the bad from the good in people? Turner was a Rock and Roll legend, a drug addict, an alcoholic, a womanizer, a man who abused his wife. And, as the above quote shows, totally clueless.

New York Times obituary here.

New York Times article from 2001, Has Ike Turner Moved Beyond His Past? Yes and No.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Ice Cometh

We have had snow the last three days which means I've shoveled the walks three times. Fortunately we did not get the freezing rain that caused ice storms to the east of us. But now with the sun, low temperatures, and wet walkways I am battling ice. The sun is melting the snow off the porch roof creating a thin slab of ice on the porch concrete and the steps leading up to it. The sun is also melting the snow piled up on either side of the sidewalks creating the same thin slabs of ice.

This afternoon I got a flat shovel and broke up and removed most of the ice. I then sprinkled Paw Safe deicer on what ice I could not remove. Normally I do not have this problem as the sun warms the sidewalks up enough to evaporate any melting snow but the wind is keeping the temps low enough that the sidewalks stay wet and then freeze. I would rather have two feet of snow than an eighth-of-an-inch of ice on the porch and sidewalks. What I find scary about the whole thing is that you cannot tell if the sidewalk is just wet or if what you are about to step on is ice.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We Have Become The People We Snicker At

Today the CO-OP is having a Christmas party and we are bringing our dogs so they can have their photo taken with Santa.

It gets worse.

Next year that photo will be on our Christmas card.

Monday, December 10, 2007

"I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions"

-Lillian Hellman before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

I have been made uneasy by the fact that the mainstream press still has not reported on H.R. 1955/S. 1959 a.k.a, "The Thought Crime Bill." Is it because they do not see the formation of a commission (i.e. a committee) which will be given the power to "hold hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Commission considers advisable to carry out its duties" as a threat to innocent American citizens?

Well, people, let me tell you the story of another government committee, The House Committee on Un-American Activities, who was also give the same power. The HCUA was formed in 1934 to investigate how Nazi propaganda was getting into the country and being disseminated. In 1938 the focus of the Committee changed to German-Americans suspected of being involved with the Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan. By 1945 the Committee had changed focus again and decided to go after members of the Communist Party who they believed held positions of influence in the government and/or other sections of American society.

In their zeal to destroy the Communist Party in the United States* the Committee trampled on the rights of American citizens. They allowed unsubstantiated testimony to be presented, they disallowed the accused their rights under the Constitution to not self-incriminate themselves or to confront the person who was making the accusations against them. Guilt by association was the order of the day. What began as an investigation quickly turned into a nationwide purge of anyone proven to be a Communist, suspected of being a Communist, or suspected of having leftist/liberal and what the powers that be thought were communistic ideas.

In 1947 Attorney General Tom Clark released his list of 90 Totalitarian, Fascist, Communist, Subversive, and Other Organizations. He prefaced his list with the words, ""It is entirely possible that many persons belonging to such organizations may be loyal to the United States. Guilt by association has never been one of the principles of American jurisprudence."** Except in times of fear. Membership in any of the organizations listed would without a doubt cost you your job, your friends, and/or marriage.

I've just finished reading Betsy Blair's, autobiography, The Memory Of All That. Betsy Blair is an actor and in her book she writes about being blacklisted for her political beliefs during this time in American history. Ten years after being put on the list a friend at CBS took her card out of the CBS Blacklisted files and tore it up. On this card, the following reasons were given as to why she would not be allowed to work on any CBS program:

1. Friend of Oona Chaplin.
(Wife of Charlie Chaplin who had also been blacklisted.)

2. Spoke about Red Channels at the Actor's Lab.

3. Met Paul Robeson at London airport.

4. Spoke at a reunion of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

Note how two of the reasons for her being blacklisted by CBS involve her voicing her opinions. The other two have to do with who she had been seen with; guilt by association. All accusations true, none earth shattering nor illegal but thought incriminating enough at the time to keep CBS from hiring her.

Almost sixty years ago the devil had this country by the throat. People were being persecuted, hounded, spied on, and jailed for their political beliefs; all in the name of government security. Lets not start down that path again.

Edward R. Morrow said during this time period, "A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves." And we know who wolves prey on. Let your Congressional Representatives know you think this bill is a bad idea. Let everyone know.

*Seen as a threat to both our country and our way of life, the Communist Party was feared and hated by America. Sound familiar?

**Time magazine article, Dec. 15, 1947.

Friday, December 07, 2007

From The Land Of Sky Blue Waters

-Hamm's, the beer refreshing.

Yes, a cartoon bear selling beer. I am surprised I am not an alcoholic since these beer commercials were my favorite cartoons for quite some time when I was little. Anytime I heard those drums start playing I would stop what I was doing and race to the TV set.

Today I found out that the bear actually has a name. His name is Sascha. How's that for a bit of trivia?

(Got the idea for this post from Blue Witch's Friday Question this week. )

Thursday, December 06, 2007

And It Happens Again

Another teenager goes on a rampage. This government tried to promote the idea that Iran is a danger to us because it has nuclear weapons. That turns out to be untrue. The Senate and House are trying to pass a bill that is aimed at the "homegrown terrorist." A bogeyman that has no basis in truth. This government see enemies everywhere except the ones standing right in front of them.

The enemy is the social and cultural problems that create the monsters, teenage boys and middle-age men, who think the way to solve their problems is to take a gun and go out and murder innocent strangers. How many people must die before we, and it will take all of us, do something to stop this?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Home Is The Hunter

-A.E. Housman

And a successful hunter at that. Dogs need a job and depending on the breed that job can be pulling sleds, herding sheep and cattle, racing, or hunting for a variety of things. Duke's job is hunting birds and sometimes that can be a little rough on the body. Duke just got back from hunting in this photo and is still dressed in his hunting gear. He is wearing a orange beeper collar (which lets my husband know were he is in heavy brush), an orange chest protector (because he is a hard charging little guy), and dog booties (to protect his paws from goat heads and other types of stickers and burrs). Under the dog booties his paws are wrapped in vet tape and then the tops of the booties are wrapped with duct tape to keep stickers and other debris from getting inside the booties.

As you can also see, Duke is showing my husband that the pheasant really belongs to him.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Beautiful Girls

Beautiful girl, you’re a lovely picture
Beautiful girl, you’re a gorgeous mixture
Of all that lies, under the big blue skies

-Beautiful Girl (sung by Bing Crosby on this video), written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown.

My husband was sent this women film stars though out the years montage found at glumbert.com. Kind of mesmerizing.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Tiger Show

A few Sundays ago I happened to be traveling to Denver in the afternoon and caught a bit of the The Tiger Show on KRDZ, 1440 on the AM dial, out of Wray, Colorado. Loved, loved, loved it. It reminded me of the stuff I used to listen to when I was a kid in Denver tuned into Jay Mack on "95 Fabulous KIMN."

Not only has The Tiger Show brought back the 60's deejay sound, it has brought back the music from the 1950's-early sixties. This show is a breath of fresh air, playing songs that I have not heard in a long time or ones I've never heard before. Some of the songs on yesterday's show included: Honey Don't, Carl Perkins; Tell Me Why, The Rob-Roys; Doing The Mess Around, Big Joe Turner ; Flip, Flop, Bop, Floyd Cramer; My Baby Left Me, both Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup and Elvis versions; and I'm Looking For A Woman, Bo Diddley. Lots of great music from some of the great early rock and roll performers.

The Tiger Show is on Sunday afternoons from 1:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. (MST). You can listen to the live webcast every Sunday afternoon on the KRDZ's website if you don't live in the KRDZ broadcast area-which I am sure most of you don't. It's worth tuning into if you can.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Here We Go Loopty-Loo

Mathematics. Everywhere I look-mathematics. I worked a very slow shift at the library yesterday. It was so slow I was looking for something to read. I found a textbook on American Literature which had this math "trick" in it.

1. Pick a number


2. Spell the number out

forty eight

3. Count the number of letters


4. Spell that number out


5. Count the number of letters


6. Spell that number out


7. Count the number of letters


8. Spell that number out


9. Count the number of letters


10. Spell that number out


11. Count the number of letters


12. Spell that number out


13. Count the number of letters


14. Spell that number out


15. Count the number of letters


You are now in a number four loop. This works for any number you start with, why? Can anyone explain it?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

No, I Think I'll Pass

Last night my husband, in an attempt to get me to watch a television program with him, said, "It has some very interesting mathematics coming up."

But, honey, thanks for asking.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We're Going To Party Like It's 1984

"The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed—would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper—the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you."
-George Orwell's 1984

Ronni Bennett over at Time Goes By has been writing a series of posts about a bill that is right now making its way though Congress. If passed, it will, in the name of Homeland Security, limit or even take away the most valuable right you have as an American citizen. The right to express your opinion and/or criticize your own government.

H.R.1955/S.1955, a.k.a. the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, is also known as "The Thought Crime Bill." The following video will give you an idea of what this bill is about:

This bill is so fear based and 1984 it is almost laughable. Laughable if it wasn't so frightening. One of the things I find frightening about this bill is how vaguely it is worded. Who the government can go after is left for the government to decide.

Anytime an attempt is made to limit what a citizen is allowed to say moves us one more step closer to a totalitarian state. How do we maintain a democracy in a time were our government keeps trying to limit our rights as citizens in an over zealous attempt to, as they see it, protect us?

I have already written my Senate Representative, Sam Brownback, telling him to vote no on this bill. Protect your rights as an American citizen, call, write, or e-mail your Senator now and tell her/him to vote no on this bill.

Find the address and phone numbers for your Congressional Representatives here.

Read the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 here.

A list of posts on Times Goes By and other websites concerning H.R.1955/S.1959 here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Time Out

Could think of nothing to write about today, and I waited this long just in case something happened worth writing about, so a joke instead.

A building contractor dies in a hunting accident and next finds himself greeted by Saint Peter and a brass band when he reaches heaven. A smiling Saint Peter reaches out and enthusiastically starts shaking his hand while saying, "Congratulations!"

The confused contractor asks, "Congratulations for what?"

"Why, we are celebrating the fact that you lived to be 160 years old," Saint Peter replies, "No one has ever lived that long before."

"But, that's not true," says the still confused contractor, "I only lived for 40 years."

"That's impossible," answers Saint Peter, "We added up your time sheets."

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Fabulous Moolah

I just finished reading Lillian Ellison's autobiography, The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess Of The Squared Circle. I got it from the library after reading an obituary earlier this month about her death. Ellison was one of the big stars of women's wrestling in the 1950's, a subject that has always interested me since it is a part of early television history.

When television started most sets were being sold to bars, taverns, and saloons. The companies building these sets were also the companies that owned the television stations. Since their main objective was to sell as many television sets as possible they knew they had to find programing that would bring in the audience they needed to accomplish this goal-and as cheaply as possible. One of the things they came up with was wrestling. It was a big hit and Lillian Ellison was a part of it. At first she played the role of Slave Girl Moolah* to other male wrestlers but soon became The Fabulous Moolah and fought her way up to women's world championship title. She held that title on and off for the next 30 years.

The book is not that good but it is an enjoyable read. Lillian tells so many lies it is hard to tell just what is the truth. Well, maybe they aren't lies really just exaggerations. Like when she says she picked 100 pounds of cotton a day when she was only eight years old or when she says she would hide a length of pipe in her tights and used it to bonk her opponents on the head or when she describes all of her bouts as if the outcome wasn't know before she stepped into the ring. This includes the time she won the World Wrestling Entertainment's Undisputed Women's Championship in 1999 at age, well, she's not telling but does admit she was in her seventies at the time.

What I most admire about Lillian Ellison is how she had a passion for wrestling and did not let anyone talk her out of it. She and the other women who wrestled in the early and middle part of the last century were willing to get into a ring and be as unlady like as possible in a time where being ladylike was the most important quality a woman could possess.

Lillian Ellison never let society tell her who she was nor did she let it tell her how she should act in old age. She says this about going back to wrestle in her late sixties/early seventies:

...I also wanted to come back to prove a point to people my age. Life doesn't have to end when you get your AARP card in the mail. Mae (Young), Katie (Diamond Lil Glass), and I stay away from senior citizen's outings because it always feels like too many people our age give in, give up, and stop living. I've always been about getting off of my ass and going after life, rather than waiting around to die. I figured if by watching me, one sixty or seventy-something fan get up off his or her duff and goes out and does something, experiences something new, different, and challenging, well, then my comeback will be well worth it.

All our lives society is not so subtly pressuring us to act a certain way depending on our sex or age and I have always felt that pressure. I've managed to resist it for the most part and like Lillian, I hope I continue to do so.

Lillian Ellison's wrestling Bio.

Website of Lipstick and Dynamite, a film about early women's wrestling.

A Review of Lipstick and Dynamite.

A short history of professional wrestling.

*She got the name "Moolah" when she was asked why she got into the wrestling game and answered, "For the moolah." Moolah is slang for money.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Turkey Hangovers, Anyone?

I trust everyone who celebrated had a fulfilling Thanksgiving yesterday? Pun intended. Mine was nice and quiet and since today is kind of a bonus day with schools closed and most people off from work I've decided to take the day off myself. Have a good weekend and see you Monday.

Oh, it's snowing here. Nice big flakes that make me feel like I'm living inside a snow globe. This is a bit strange because on Monday the temperature was up to 81F/27.2 Celsius. The snow probably won't be around long since the ground is still warm but it still is beautiful.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Turkey Day, Everyone

(Photo via this Thanksgiving Day website.)

Learn more about our Thanksgiving Day here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

...Above The Fruited Plain!

(Title of this post is the fourth lyric of America The Beautiful written by Katharine Lee Bates.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Point Blank

I finally got to see the Sixties film Point Blank starring Lee Marvin last week. Lee Marvin plays a man called Walker who is shot by his partner after they, with the help of Walker's wife, commit a successful robbery at the deserted prison on the island of Alcatraz . Walker is left for dead and the partner takes off with Walker's share of the money and his wife. Only Walker isn't dead and the rest of the movie follows him as he searches for his ex-partner and tries to get his money.

After watching it I can see why people either love it or hate it. I love it. Point Blank starts out as a revenge movie but something about it isn't quite right. It is surreal, disjointed, and dreamlike in many ways with jumps in time and space. There is one scene where Walker picks up an object he had broken earlier and drops it, breaking it again. I think this movie is a version of the short story, An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, by Ambrose Bierce. Walker, dead or dying, is dreaming the whole thing.

There are clues that this may be true. The last time we see Walker on Alcatraz he is stepping half-naked into the water surrounding the island while we hear the voice of an Alcatraz Island tour guide saying, "Around the island there are treacherous currents rendering it virtually escape proof. The water temperature is usually 50 degrees."

The next instant we are in the tour boat with Walker. He is undamaged and wearing a suit. He is standing with another man. The man ask him, "How did you make it Walker?"
Walker gives no answer.

Then we hear the tour guide say about another escape attempt,"All indications point to their being swept out with the tide to the Golden Gate to a watery grave."

There are lots of moments in the movie where people imply Walker is dead or dying:

His wife: "I dream about you. How good it must be, being dead."

His sister-in-law: "You're suppose to be dead."

His sister-in-law: "You died at Alcatraz, alright."

Again, his sister-in-law: "You're a pathetic sight from where I'm standing. Chasing shadows. You're played out. It's over. Finished...Why don't you lay down and die."

One man says to him, " Fairfax is dead. He just doesn't know it yet." Is he implying Walker is dead and doesn't know it either?

Then there is a moment where it seems that Walker is not sure he is alive either:

Woman: Walker! You still alive?
Walker: Are you?

Is Walker really just dreaming the whole thing? Who cares, it's still a great movie. Watching it today it is hard to understand how it was dismissed as a violent, bloody, waste of time when it was first released.

Movie trailer for Point Blank here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Its Off To Work I Went

Sorry I missed you all Friday. The weather has been wonderful, low to mid seventies (20's C ), and I have been spending the last four days getting my yard and trees ready for the snow storm that is predicted to hit on Wednesday. I've raked up 18 black plastic yard bags full of leaves and yesterday took them up to the recycle centers' yard waste drop off. So many people were doing the same thing I had to wait in line just to dump them. I have also deep watered the trees, removed dead plants, swept the garage floor (again) since the wind is blowing (again), and sometime later this afternoon I plan to mow the grass for the last time this year. Be back tomorrow.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Into The Wild

Heading home today so only a short post this morning.

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Denver so I had the front door open here at my sister's house. Late yesterday afternoon her three dogs were laying in front of said open door enjoying the fact that they could watch what was going on out on the street. All of a sudden they jumped up and started barking furiously at something outside. Thinking it was the neighbor's dog running around as he is sometimes allowed to do I went to the door to quiet my sister's dogs. When I looked out the door I was delighted to see a small red fox standing in the yard about twenty feet away. He was not fazed by the dogs but when he saw me he startled, turned, and gracefully jumped to the sidewalk and then to the street. I watched him trot down the middle of the street until he disappeared behind the neighbor's car.

Foxes are not an uncommon sight in my sister's neighborhood since she is not that far from the High Line Canal. What most people do not know is that there are foxes all over the city of Denver. A family friend who lived near Eighth Avenue and Jersey Street (considered downtown these days) had a family of foxes living in the shrubbery next to her garden shed one Spring and Summer a few years ago. Wild animals are living side by side with the human citizens of this city. Most people here are not even aware of them. It's a secret world that we are lucky enough to get a glimpse of every once in awhile.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Forty Year One Hour

I'm in Denver again this week to help my sister as she goes through dental surgery.

This morning I went for a walk on the High Line Canal. As I walked I could hear the sound of a chainsaw up ahead and as I got closer to it the sound got louder. Around a bend in the trail I saw a group of men cutting down a diseased elm tree that was standing on the opposite side of the canal. By the time I got there most of the tree was gone with only the main trunk of the tree and one hugh branch that pointed up at the sky like a gigantic finger still standing. Only one man was in the tree at that point and he was strapped to the tree with a rope that circled the trunk and connected to a harness around his body. In his left hand he held a chainsaw.

As I watched, he made cuts into the branch using the chainsaw with all the ease of someone using a electric knife to carve a Thanksgiving turkey. He first cut a wedge of wood out of the underside of the branch then he cut down through the top of the branch. When that cut almost met the wedge cut on the underside of it, the branch broke off and fell about thirty feet to the bottom of the dry canal. When it hit the dirt it make a big crashing sound and broke into many pieces. As I stared at the fallen branch I heard one of the men on the work crew say in a thick Asian accent, "Forty year, one hour."

I knew instantly what he meant. It had taken forty years for that tree to grow to the height it was (forty feet) and they (the crew) had taken it apart in a little over one hour. There was something awe inspiring about that fact and also something a little frightening.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Feed The World And Your Mind

Blue Witch found a wonderful site, Free Rice. Free Rice is an organization that collects money from corporate sponsors to buy rice for hungry people world wide. You can help. All you do is play a game that tests and improves your vocabulary. The more words you get right, the more rice sent on to the United Nations World Food Program.

What could be more simple? Play a game, learn something, help feed the world.

(For more information about the Free Rice game go here.)

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Trouble With Ghostly Cold Spots, Vampires, And Zombies

Not in the mood to write anything today so I thought I would direct you to an interesting article I read on the Skeptical Inquirer website discussing ghosts, vampires, and zombies. First up, SI explains that there may be an perfectly good reason for some of those cold spots found in some haunted houses. Next, a discusion on the inconsistency of movie ghosts being able to walk on solid ground while also being able to walk through walls. Then, proof that vampires are not real. Finally, why zombies are not really the living dead. They are zombies- they're just not dead.

Go here to read the article.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Radio Waves All Around

I forgot that sunset was earlier since Daylight Savings Time is over and drove part of of my trip home last night at dusk. I also forgot that at sundown some radio stations go off the air while others lower their transmitting power. This along with the change in the "reflectability" of radio waves off the ionosphere at night allows your car radio to pick up stations from far, far, away.

On other trips I have tuned into the traffic reports from a station in Los Angeles, California (1240 miles/ 1995 KM) and my car radio picks up certain radio stations from Denver all the time. As I searched for stations on this trip I tuned into a car commercial out of San Antonio, Texas (981 miles/ 1570 KM), a traffic report from Chicago, Illinois (840 miles/ 1352 KM), a sports talk program from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada (1190 miles/ 1915 KM), another traffic report from the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area of Minnesota (750 miles/ 1207 KM), another commercial from a station in Albuquerque, New Mexico (585 miles/ 941 KM), the announcement of a contest for BYU football tickets from a station in Salt Lake City, Utah (695 miles/ 1118 KM), and another traffic report from Nashville, Tennessee (1000 miles/ 1609 KM). I'm not too surprised by all the traffic reports since I was traveling during most big cities' rush hour.

There is something about racing through the plains at night surrounded by a cocoon of darkness that normally makes me feel isolated in time and space. Tuning into radio stations from other states and even countries makes me feel grounded again.

Monday, November 05, 2007

On The Road Again

In Denver for a few days and not sure when I will be able to post again. Got stuff to do and people to see. Back soon.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Remember, go easy on the candy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007


(I've just finished washing all the house windows.)

Housework is work directly opposed to the possibility of human self-actualization.
-Ann Oakley

Housework is what a woman does that nobody notices unless she hasn't done it.
Evan Esar

The important thing about women today is, as they get older, they still keep house. It's one reason why they don't die, but men die when they retire. Women just polish the teacups.
- Margaret Mead

The obvious and fair solution to the housework problem is to let men do the housework for, say, the next six thousand years, to even things up. The trouble is that men, over the years, have developed an inflated notion of the importance of everything they do, so that before long they would turn housework into just as much of a charade as business is now. They would hire secretaries and buy computers and fly off to housework conferences in Bermuda, but they'd never clean anything.
-Dave Barry

On the other hand:

Never work just for money or for power. They won't save your soul or help you sleep at night.
-Marian Wright Edelman

I long to accomplish a great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
-Helen Keller

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.
-Pearl S. Buck

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
-Winston Churchill

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Boy, Get A Reputation....

I am considered a bit odd here where I live because I am more likely to walk or ride my bike whenever I am running errands round town rather than hop in my car. Today I met someone I hadn't seen in awhile at the grocery store. When she saw me she gave me a big smile and we had the following exchange of words:

Her: Good to see you! Are you still walking the streets?

Me: (pause) Why yes. Yes I am.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Home, Home On The Range

We got back from Fort Collins last night. We had been there since Saturday visiting my father-in-law and helping him out with some things that needed to be done. Since we got home at sunset we quickly unloaded the car and then loaded the dogs in the truck and took them up to the cemetery for their evening run. When we got out of the truck I could smell smoke and asked my husband if we could be smelling the fires from California. He laughed and pointing to the burnt field across the road said, "That's what you're smelling."

I could not believe I had forgotten all about the fire we had here. The fires in California makes our fire look like baby stuff. I had been in contact with my brother off and on yesterday and he told me that they were ready to evacuate if necessary since they were close to the Harris Fire but everything seems to be OK at the moment. One blog friend had to evacuate but was allowed home yesterday and returned to a still standing house. So happy for her and her family. I cannot imagine what the clean-up is going to be like when these fires are finally put out. My thoughts are still with the people in Southern California today.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Two Reasons Why I Love My Husband

Yesterday we walked into a mattress store called The Sleep Center. We were standing there looking at all the beds when a salesman walked up to us and asked, "May I help you."
My husband replied, "Yes, we're here to take our nap."

I love him because he can make me laugh.

This morning his day started early and since it was going to be a long and busy one he was very focused on getting out the door on time. He ended up leaving without telling me goodbye. Five minutes later he walked back in the door calling my name. When he saw me he walked up to me saying, "I forgot to say goodbye." Then he gave me a kiss and a big hug.

And I love him because he can do something like that.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ignorance Is Bliss

It is amazing how something big can be happening and a person can walk around without any idea of just what is going on. At 1:30 yesterday afternoon the wind was blowing hard, again. That wind blew a tree over just northeast of town. That falling tree landed on a power line causing it to break. That sparking line set some grass on fire. By the time anyone noticed it the wind had blown the fire into something large enough to quickly burn the field of the farmer who lives next to where it started. Three fire crews from three other towns were called in and another three crews from another three towns put on stand-by. By the time the fire was brought under control seven hours later it had cut a swath eight miles long, and two miles wide at some points, across the prairie. It also jumped two highways and produced flames that shot up to 13 feet high.

Now, I heard nothing about this fire until 6:30 last night when it was pretty much all over. I also learned that if the wind had been blowing toward the southwest instead of the southeast this fire would have headed straight for town. And if the wind had shifted at any point during the fire it would have turned toward town. I talked to one of our volunteer firefighters and asked him how you fight a fire like that. He told me that they put graders and discers on either side of the fire creating fire lines that angled toward each other in an upside down v-shape forcing the fire to turn in on itself. He also said the last thing you want to do is try to fight the fire from the front. These fires move so fast you could be surround within seconds. Our guys and the other fire crews did a great job.

Today I went out and took a few photos of the burn areas. Although they don't really show you how large this fire was or how far and wide it traveled, I thought they would give you some idea of what the fire did.

One section of the fire reaches the highway. This fire tried to cross the highway at four points but only got across at one. Firefighters quickly put that burn out.

Showing how the winds swirled the flames around leaving unburned areas inside burned sections.

The fire started over at the upper right edge of this photo and then spread across to the left and the highway.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mothers And Daughters

(My sister, my mother, and me- late 1970's-earlier 1980's)

I am fooling only myself when I say my mother exists now only in the photograph on my bulletin board or in the outline of my hand or in the armful of memories I still hold tight. She lives on in everything I do. Her presence influenced who I was, and her absence influences who I am. Our lives are shaped as much by those who leave us as they are by those who stay. Loss is our legacy. Insight is our gift. Memory is our guide.
-Hope Edelman, U.S. author.

The woman who bore me is no longer alive, but I seem to be her daughter in increasingly profound ways.
-Johnnetta Betsch Cole

Unlike the mother-son relationship, a daughter’s relationship with her mother is something akin to bungee diving. She can stake her claim in the outside world in what looks like total autonomy—in some cases, even “divorce” her mother in a fiery exit from the family—but there is an invisible emotional cord that snaps her back. For always there is the memory of mother, whose judgments are so completely absorbed into the daughter’s identity that she may wonder where Mom leaves off and she begins.
-Victoria Secunda, U.S. psychologist and author.

The myth of independence from the mother is abandoned in mid- life as women learn new routes around the mother—both the mother without and the mother within. A mid-life daughter may reengage with a mother or put new controls on care and set limits to love. But whatever she does, her child’s history is never finished.
-Terri Apter, British social psychologist and author.

A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life.
-Irish Saying

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Heee's Baaack!

(As you can see here.)

And so am I. Spent my gone time sleeping, watching movies on TCM and re-reading all the Harry Potter books. Feeling lots better.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Be Back ASAP

'Tis healthy to be sick sometimes.”
Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

I caught a virus that has been going around (haven't been really feeling well since Monday) and if my husband is any indication of how long this thing lasts, I will not be back until sometime next week.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Outside. See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Family Photos

I thought I would post some family photos starting Monday. When I told my husband my idea he asked if I would start today with an old photo of his grandparents on his mother's side of the family. I said OK.

So, here is said photo of his grandparents.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Rest In Peace, Lisa

Lisa Crawford Moore from the Funky Winkerbean comic strip died this morning of breast cancer. Lisa, a graduate of Westview High School and a practicing attorney, left behind a husband and two children. She will be greatly missed by her loving family, friends, and fans.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Lisa’s Legacy Fund.

Lisa's book, Lisa's Story: the other shoe.

Tom Batiuk, creator of Funky Winkerbean, website.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Good News, Bad News, Good News

Good news- the wind stopped blowing around seven o'clock last night.

Bad news- it started up again three hours later.

Good news- my husband got a phone call from the eye specialist he had seen yesterday. After studying the test results of the MRI and the previous eye exam, along with the test results from his own examination of my husband, the doctor decided that my husband did not have glaucoma. His eye had been damaged by what the doctor called "a migraine in the eye". Something had caused the blood vessels in that area of the eye to constrict which blocked the blood flow to the nerves killing them and creating a blind spot. This is good news because it is better diagnosis than either glaucoma or cancer.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'm So Tired, My Mind Is On The Blink

-John Lennon

For the past week the wind has been blowing and I am tired of it. I'm tired of the wind pushing me around when I go outside. I'm tired of the blowing dirt that gets into my hair, eyes, ears, nose, and lungs. I'm tired of the dirt that seeps into the house and then leaves a film of dust on everything. I am getting a tiny taste of what it was like in the 1930's when the dust storms hit.

I'm tired of the sound of the windows rattling each time a gust hits the house. I'm tired of the sound of the awning cloth snapping and popping. I'm tired of the sound of wind roaring in my ears. Since fall harvest has just been completed the roar of the wind is in competition with the roar of the grain elevator fans making both sounds twice as annoying.

But there was one good day. Last Wednesday it was calm when I took Duke out for his morning run. We went up the hill road north of town. I left my house while the sun was still hiding behind the earth and a full moon hovered low in the western sky. By the time I reached the top of the hill the sun was rising in the east and the moon setting in the west. I stood in the middle of the road facing north. The sky was a dome of pure china blue empty of everything except the sun and moon. I stood there for a moment gazing up and then turned my head to the east. I saw a big ball of burning yellow sitting right on the horizon. I then turned my head to the west and saw a huge cold white disc marked with blue smears sitting on that horizon. A unity of opposites.

I have never seen the sun rise and the moon set at the same time before and this sight caused a feeling of peacefulness to settle over me. Sun and moon, day and night, life and death, yin and yang. God’s in his heaven—All’s right with the world.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I Have A Problem

I play Powerball.

But I only buy a ticket on days when I think there is going to be a winner. This works. Saturday I bought a ticket and someone in Louisiana won $15,000,000. Now, my problem is this- I know when the lottery is going to hit but I do not know what the winning numbers are going to be.

The Gods are torturing me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Water Towers

You can milk a cow the wrong way once and still be a farmer, but vote the wrong way on a water tower and you can be in trouble.
-John F. Kennedy

It is always nice when another blogger gives you your next post. Our town water tower.

More water towers here.

And a water tower blog.

On a larger scale, Water Towers of the World. This site includes a photo of one of my favorite water towers. Another photo of it here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

To Sleep, Perchance To "Walk, Drive, Eat Or Engage In Other Activity"

A great tomorrow starts tonight
-slogan for Lunesta. a prescription hypnotic

Part of voice over for Lunesta commercial:

Until you know how you react to Lunesta you should not drive or operate machinery. Do not take Lunesta with alcohol. Call your doctor right away if after taking Lunesta you walk, drive, eat or engage in other activities while asleep.

In rare cases severe allergic reactions can occur. Most sleep medicines carry some risk of dependency. Side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, drowsiness, and dizziness.

I think I'll pass. And why isn't walking, driving, eating, or engaging in other activities listed under side effects?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

Words That Break A Film Lover's Heart

This film has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit your TV and edited for content and to run in the time allotted."

-How you lose when they format to fit your TV.

-Wikipedia article on re-edited films.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Odds And Ends Day

Today it got up to 94F/33.4C with a hot, dry, wind blowing. Strange because, although it felt like summer, the sunlight was wrong. It is no longer strong, bright, and directly overhead. Now it looks weak and somehow dimmer angling out of the sky at more of a slant than before. The kind of day that lets you know that Winter is not that far away. The kind of day that makes you scurry around doing all the little jobs you let slide until now because you knew you would get to them at some point since you had all the time in the world. The kind of day that whispers, "Hurry, hurry."

Today I vacuumed the carpets; scrubbed the kitchen and bathroom floors; tore old towels, t-shirts, sweats, and dress shirts into useful size rags; took the trampoline that I no longer use because it hurts my knees to the thrift store; went grocery shopping; put on shooting muffs and shredded credit card receipts; pulled dead sunflower plants out of the ground; and sewed the missing buttons back on a sweater like I have been meaning to do for what seems like forever.

Winter's coming, people.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Culture O' Rudeness

(Ahoy, sea dogs an' land lubbers, today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day so this post be written in swashbuckler speak.)

Avast! This be th' last time I write about O. J. Simpson, ye got me word. I ben followin' th' online news articles about Simpson's arrest an' th' comments that these stories generate. Canna ere leave a comment without callin' other swabbies a bitch, whore, or a fag? When did we turn into an society intolerant o' other swabbies`s opinions? I notice most o' th' bilge rats who leave comments like that do nay attach the'r names t' what they be havin' written. That makes ye a yeller belly. If ye will nay stand behind what ye say, dasn't say 't, ya lily livered lanlubber!

What I Learned Today

Early this afternoon I was driving the truck back to my house after stopping at the grocery store up on the highway. Since the street I was traveling on was at a downward pitch I had my foot on the brake petal to keep my speed under 25MPH. This became annoying so I decided to shift the trunk into a lower gear. Now, I can be dyslectic when it comes to left and right so when I moved the gear lever, instead of moving to the right out of Drive and through Third over to Second, I moved it to the left through Neutral and over to Reverse. I happen to glance down as I did so and the second I dropped it into Reverse, I popped it back out*. The truck engine lugged a bit but seem to be OK.

After I popped it out of Reverse I pulled the gear shift over to Second and dropped it in. Nothing happened. The truck did not seem to slow down. I stepped on the brake and the truck slowed down. It also drifted to the right so I pulled the steering wheel to the left. The wheel reacted as if the power steering wasn't working. I pulled harder. Still nothing. That is when I realized the power steering wasn't working because the engine had shut down when I tried to put it into reverse. The truck was still drifting toward the curb so I quickly stepped on the gas petal while turning the engine key. It wouldn't start. I floored the petal and turned the key again. The engine sputtered to life and I eased the wheel over to the left and the truck followed me back out to the middle of the street.

So, what did I learn today?
1. If you accidentally put your Chevy truck in reverse while driving the engine will turn off.
2. When the engine turns off so does the power steering.
3. When you loose the power steering you can no longer control the truck.
4. So, try not to put your truck in reverse while driving.

*This left/right thing does not affect the quickness of my reactions.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Shameless Plug For A Product I Use

This is a Preserve toothbrush. I have been using it for a couple of months now and think it is one of the better toothbrushes out there. That extreme, compared to other toothbrushes, curve between the handle and the head is what makes it so comfortable. You put this baby between your cheek and gum and you do not have to stretch your lip sideways to get the brushes set correctly on your teeth. You just slip it in between your cheek and teeth and it is right where it needs to be. This handle also makes it easier to get to the inside of the upper and lower front teeth. No more almost rubbing the handle against your chin to get the toothbrush in the right position, it just goes where it is suppose to be naturally. And the bristles? Very, very comfortable.

The second best thing about these toothbrushes? They are recyclable. You get a prepaid envelope from the company with your brushes and when you are done with them you just send them back. I like the idea of doing my little bit for the enviroment. But even that would not get me to use these toothbrushes if they were no good. Let me tell you, this is a great toothbrush. You might want to give it a try.

(Learn about the toothbrush here)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Oops!...I Did It Again

(I knew if I waited long enough to post, something would happen)

No, this is not another post about Britney Spears...it's about O. J. Simpson. Today he is a suspect in the alleged armed robbery of a man in a hotel room in Las Vegas. "The Juice" admits to being there but said the whole thing was part a sting operation (set up by himself) to get back his own stolen sports memorabilia. Nice of him to take time away from his methodical search of every golf course in America for his ex-wife's "real killers" to give the Las Vegas police a hand.

Which brings me to what I am reading today; Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers by Michael Baden, M.D. (Former New York City Chief Medical Examiner) and Marion Roach. I have just finished a chapter about blood pattern analysis and Herbert Leon MacDonell's class, Geometric Interpretation of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, at the Institute on the Physical Significance of Human Bloodstain Evidence.

If you are going to take a class on blood analysis Herb MacDonell is the man you want teaching it. He is this country's leading authority on blood pattern analysis. He even consulted on the Nicole Simpson/Ronald Goldman murders. To bad they called him in after the LA police and coroner's office had already screwed things up so badly.

MacDonell's introduction to the case was 150 crime scene photos. What caught McDonell's eye in the photos was, (1) the amount of blood, (2) the size of the area (small) where the crime was committed, and (3) the fact that Nicole Simpson was lying face down on the ground with blood drops on her back. She had been stabbed and her throat cut so there was a lot of blood pooled around her body. Since she was lying face down there was no way the blood on her back was her own. The only way any blood could be on her back would be if someone else had bled onto her. If the coroner's staff had collected some of that blood the DNA analysis could have pointed to her killer but, unfortunately, they did not do this.

And, after the police were through with the crime scene, not only did they not collect samples of the blood drops on her back, the coroner's people rolled her body over and wrapped it a sheet before putting it into the body bag. As it lay in the bag blood seeping from her cut throat mingled with the blood drops on her back eliminating that important piece of evidence.

Which means if they had done their job correctly we would not have O. J. Simpson to kick around anymore. He would either be sitting in prison or would have slipped back into the anonymity he so richly deserves.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Valley Of The Dolls And Britney Spears

Finished Valley of the Dolls and must say I enjoyed it thoroughly. What I don't understand is how a book with such a 1950's perspective on woman became such a hit when it was released in 1966. Nineteen sixty-six was right at the beginning of the woman's movement and the sexual revolution. NOW (National Organization for Woman) was founded that year and "The Pill" had been available since 1960. How did a book who's main characters lives were focused on finding a man, since that was more important than anything else they could achieve in life, sell 30 million copies since it was first published? Maybe because it is such trashy fun.

First, Britney Spears is not fat. Second, doesn't anyone have anything better to do than to criticize her? Apparently not. Jeannie Moos of CNN did this report on CNN about the buzz surrounding Spears appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards. I walked in at the end of the report just as Moos was showing a YouTube video of a young man crying and screaming out the words, "LEAVE BRITNEY SPEARS ALONE!"
I stopped dead in my tracks totally dumbfounded. I found this boy's reaction to the uproar surrounding Spears both embarrassing and uncomfortable to watch.

It took me a few minutes to figure out why I found him so distressing . It was because he was crying with the same intensity as a two-year-old. When babies cry they are so devastated by what they are feeling they hold nothing back. Of course two minutes later they are happy as clams but that doesn't mean the tears weren't real. I get the feeling that this young (age 18 or 19) man's tears stopped as soon as he put the camera down. That does not mean his tears were not real just that his behavior was not normal for someone that age. Behavior that is out of the norm is always disturbing. Which is probably why this video has been watched 4,249,807 times already.

(You can watch the video here if you want. Just scroll to the bottom.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Gotta Get off, Gonna Get, Have To Get Off From This Ride

- lyric from (Theme from) Valley Of The Dolls

No "real" post today. I am in the middle of Jacqueline Susann's Valley Of The Dolls. Anna Garris Goiser's review at the Book Page website explains the appeal of Susann's book:

..."Valley of the Dolls" is both a period piece and a cause for reflection on just how much growing room women have claimed -- as well as a reminder that the reason some themes recur throughout literature and the popular press is that a good story is always a good story. Reading "Valley of the Dolls" today is like coming upon a box of old clothes tucked beneath the attic eaves, and upon opening it, finding the outmoded finery captures all too poignantly where, and who, we once were.

Be back when I've finished the book.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What Philosophy Do I Follow?

You scored as Existentialism. Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism; you choose the meaning and purpose of your life.

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”
“It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”
--Jean-Paul Sartre

“It is man's natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth.”
--Blaise Pascal

Existentialism 95%

Kantianism 85%

Justice (Fairness) 60%

Hedonism 55

Utilitarianism 50%

Apathy 25%

Strong Egoism 25%

Nihilism 15%

Divine Command 0%

What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with QuizFarm.com

Then again....

The Philosophy Meter

You scored as Optimism. Optimism, exemplifies a lifeview where one looks upon the world as a positive place and is the opposite of pessimism. Optimists generally believe that people and events are inherently good and have a "positive" outlook on life. Radical optimists may tend to make humans out to be god-like.

Optimism 80%

Individualism 65%

Subjectivism 50%

Realism 40%

Objectivism 30%

Utilitarianism 30%

Pessemism 25%

The Philosophy Meter
created with QuizFarm.com

Friday, September 07, 2007

If You Spend All Your Time Worrying About Dying,

...living isn't going to be much fun.
-Line from the television show Roseanne.

A couple of days into my trip to San Diego my husband called. Since he was calling our travel cell phone I had an inkling that something was wrong. This is a man who, when giving out our new cell number to friends and family, told people not to call the cell phone unless it was an emergency because it cost us money each time someone called. Anyway, he called to tell me:

(1) He had been in the backyard trimming trees along the fence that separates our yard from our neighbor's yard when one of their dogs silently sneaked up on him, climbed the fence, lunged at him and bit him in the right shoulder. Shortly after the attack he found out there was no record of the dog receiving rabies shots. Because of this the dog was put down and a sliver of his brain removed and sent to a lab to determine if he had been rabid.

(2) While he was at the clinic he mentioned that he was having trouble with his vision. He had been watching TV the night before and happen to turn his head away from the screen noticing that as he did so he no longer could see the red power light at the bottom of the TV set with his right eye. He started experimenting and found out there was a grey smear in his right eye just outside the center of his vision. They immediately set up an appointment the next day for an ultrasound.

(3) He also told them he had a lump in his right breast near the nipple. This was something he had noticed a month or two before but had not done anything about because he had accidentally raked a 20 pound weight across that nipple when working out and thought that might be the cause it. The doctor said it could be Gynecomastia but that he may want to get it biopsied to make sure it wasn't a tumor of some sort.

My first instinct was to laugh at the absurdity of all this while my other emotions took a super fast elevator ride to the pit of my stomach. What was in the back of both our minds was the word cancer. My husband's father had lost a eye to cancer at the same age my husband is now and his mother and his aunt (his mother's sister) had both died of cancer. My husband joked that he probably had a tumor in the brain that was causing his eye problem and that the cancer had probably metastasised to his breast. I told that was why the dog bit him; it could smell the cancer. Since he really had no information about his multiple ailments at this point he told me he did not want me to come home and that he was doing fine. He said worrying would not change anything and neither would my coming home.

The next day my husband called to tell me that the tests came back negative on the dog and that he had not contract rabies. The ultrasound they had preformed also showed nothing. He had talk to a friend who was and eye specialist and his friend had told him to see a eye doctor he recommend in Denver. My husband set up an appointment for the following day, which was Friday. Since we would be getting back to Denver on Sunday he planned on staying the weekend.

Friday night he called to tell me the doctor could not find anything wrong with his eye and told him to come back if his vision got worse.

Saturday he called to tell me he thought his vision was worse and his doctor in Denver had set up a MRI the following Monday.

Monday he got the MRI.

Tuesday we found out they had done the wrong procedure.

Wednesday they did another MRI.

Thursday the doctor got the results which showed no abnormality and decided to do a Visual Field Test. The test showed that the upper right quadrant of his right eye was no longer processing visual information. He also had a foggy area in the upper left quadrant that suggested glaucoma but when a pressure test was preformed it showed no pressure build up in the eye. After examining all the test results the doctors came to the conclusion that he had something called normal tension glaucoma. Glaucoma that presents itself without the customary increase in eye pressure. Although this was still bad news it was not as bad as cancer.

A week after we got home we drove to a larger town near us to see a surgeon about the lump in his breast and to find out if it needed to be biopsied. After examining my husband the doctor asked if he wore bib overalls. He was sure the lump was Gynecomastia and said that he sees it a lot in farmers who wear bib overalls. He said Gynecomastia was common in men and that as time passes the swelling gets more sensitive and painful until even the touch of a t-shirt becomes unbearable. He recommend surgery. He also said the chances that it was cancer was minuscule. In his twenty years as a surgeon he had only seen one case where the swelling had been cancer and that was back when he was a resident. Since my husband was not having any pain and the swelling was barely noticeably he has decided to postpone any surgery until a later date.

What I find interesting in all this is the fact that not once did my husband or I say or think, "Why me?" or Why us?" The answer to those kind of questions is always, "Why not you?"

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Find The Birdie

(From the San Diego Spirit Animals Coloring Book by
Sue Coccia
that I picked up in San Diego)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Chair

I found it in the back of an antique store on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. It was a rocking chair but not like anyone I had ever seen before. It was so un-rocking-chair-like that at first I did not even notice it was a rocking chair. It was unique enough for me to take a closer look at it. What it looked like was a church pew or a high backed bench that had been cut down and then put on runners. It was small but at the same time very massive looking. It was made out of oak and very heavy. The tag on it said it was at least 150 years old. It was too weird looking for me so I did not sit in it.

Right next to it sat an old Morris chair that had recently been re-upholstered in a light knobby tweed fabric. I sat in it and knew instantly that I wanted it. Although the fabric was wrong for the piece I knew that small problem could be easily fixed. I looked at the price tag and my dream of owning it vanished as quickly as a puff of smoke. No way I could afford that price.

I walked away but could not get either chair out of my mind so when I found my sister I took her back to look at them. She sat in the rocking chair and I again sat in the Morris chair. About 10 seconds later she got up from the rocking chair and told me to sit in it and walked away. I sat down and immediately felt anger and "heard" someone repeatedly say, "Get out of my chair."

The voice was very querulous and insistent. I looked at my sister, screwed up my face, hunched my back, and started rocking furiously, mocking whoever was talking to me. I was annoyed by the fact that this spirit was telling me to get out of its chair and thought, "It isn't your chair anymore. You're dead."

I sat in the chair longer than I really wanted in order to show the spirit that it was not going to push me around and then got up and walked over to where my sister was looking at some object saying, "Well, that was creepy."

Her head spun around to look at me and she blurted out, "That's what I thought!"

She had also felt the spirit and wanted to see if what she felt was real so she asked me to sit in the chair without saying anything about her own experience. I then told her to sit in the Morris chair so she could see how a nice chair felt. We took turns sitting in the Morris chair and agreed that the Morris chair was comfortable and felt soothing. It felt nothing like the rocking chair. It took a long time for me to shake off the icky feeling of that rocking chair but after awhile I felt normal again but at the same time I felt uncomfortable and could not stop thinking about the chair.

Flash forward to Denver a couple of days after we had returned from San Diego. My husband and I were at my sister's house. It was nighttime and I was in the middle of a dream. I had variations of this dream for three or four days by this time and had attributed them to the emotional stress I was under. My sister was in the dream with me and we were both being tortured. There was a man in the dream who was holding me and, as I struggled to get away from him, told me if I did not stop he would cut my sister's throat. Standing across from me was the same man with a knife to my sister's throat. As I continued to struggle desperately to get away from the him and over to my sister, the other him slashed the knife across my sister's neck. I woke up thinking, "That wasn't my dream."

Whenever I have a nightmare I wake up with my heart pounding and my mind racing from the adrenaline rush that the dream has created . It takes a few minutes for my body and mind to disconnect from what has happened. For me, coming to full consciousness after a nightmare is like struggling to the surface of a swimming pool after you have stayed under too long. These dreams were not like that since I would wake up instantly. I felt no fear only a sense of uneasiness. I also noticed that instead of being inside the dream, like I normally am, I felt I was off to the side watching. Then there was the color in the dreams. I dream in Technicolor, bright, rich, intense colors. Colors that look as if they would stain your hands if you tried to touch them. These dreams were also in color but they were more like the color of 1970's era T.V situation comedy- subdued and almost washed out.

That is when I wondered if the spirit from the chair had attached itself to me and was punishing me for mocking it. That thought creeped me out and, just in case this was true, I mentally spoke to the spirit telling it to stop the dreams and to go away. I then said a prayer that I had learned as a little girl:
Angel of God,
My Guardian Dear
To whom God's love commits me here.

Ever this night be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide.

I still felt uneasy and decided to do a meditation that would help me to surround myself in a ball of white light. After I did this I expanded the light to include my husband, then expanded it again to fill the room we were in. I then decided to fill my sister's whole house with light as not to leave the spirit there after we had gone home. I mentally went from room to room filling the house with light. When I was finished I felt safe and relaxed enough to fall back to sleep.

Since that night I have not had anymore torture dreams.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Day Glow

Only a photo today. Still feeling like my engine won't turn over.

The sky from my backyard on a day I was sure we were going to be hit by a tornado. The glow and yellow color is not the result of a filter. It was very still and very quiet at the time and extremely eerie.

Monday, September 03, 2007

How I Spent (part of) My Summer Vacation

Happy Labor Day everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful summer. I know, summer is not officially over but school has started, the nights are colder, and Labor Day is here. That's close enough for me.

I've decided to take a break from my break and, as my sister requested, catch you up on what has been happening in my life. I am surprised to report that I did not missing blogging at all while I was gone.

First the good news. Took a couple of trips since the last time I wrote. A week after I stopped blogging my husband and I drove down to Pagosa Springs , Colorado and spent the week with my father-in-law. He built a cabin there back in the 1970's and now that he is retired lives there during summer and early fall. We had a great time hiking the mountains (including the Piedra Trail), playing miniature golf, eating out, and visiting the hot springs.

After we got back home I had a three day rest before I climbed back into my car and drove to Denver. There I picked up my sister and niece and we dove to San Diego to visit our brother and a cousin. Another great time as we visited our relatives and hung out at Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Ocean Beach. We also visited Old Town and what I call "The Dr. Seuss Mall" a.k.a. Horton Plaza.

Ok, what I did not expect to happen has happened. It has been so long since I have written anything I am having trouble putting sentences together is any semblance of order. My brain feels like a car engine trying to turn over after spending a year in a cold garage. My writing muscles need more time to warm up so I am going to end this post and give it another try tomorrow.

Grrrrr, this is very frustrating.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Waiting For My Real Life To Begin

-I'm glad I came, but just the same, I must be going.
Hello, I Must Be Going sung by Groucho Marx

I have been watching reruns of the half-hour comedy show Scrubs on The Comedy Channel for awhile now. I never saw it the first time around and after seeing my first episode last Spring I thought to myself, "How did I not watch this, even once, when it was on NBC?"
Maybe because when it first came on I thought it was just another hospital show in a long line of hospital shows. Maybe because it was a half hour show so I wrote it off as just another moronic situation comedy. Well, if I did, I was wrong on both counts. Although it is a hospital show, it is not like any other hospital show I have seen and it is definitely not a situation comedy. It is funny and quirky- characteristics that I appreciate in my comedy. It also can make you think.

The main character, J. D., narrates the show for us and lets us in on his thoughts and daydreams. A couple of weeks ago I watched an episode where a patient that J. D. is fond of dies and his reaction to it is to daydream that she and the rest of his co-workers are in a musical number:

Any minute now,
My ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
I'll stand on the bow,
Feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down, down, down, on me

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
Don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

My real life to begin
Don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

On a clear day, I can see
See a very long way

At that moment I had an epiphany. For the past four years I have been wasting time waiting for my real life to begin. I have dreams that I hope will come true but I have not been doing what I need to make that those dreams become reality. Part of the problem is this blog. It takes up so much of my time and energy that I don't have the time or energy left over for what I need to be doing. So, for that reason I have decided to stop blogging. I am not sure it this is for good but I do know it will be for the rest of the summer and most likely until the end of the year. I want to thank all my blog friends for stopping by to read what I've written and I want to let you know that I still will be checking in on your blogs even though I won't be posting on my own.

Take care, everyone.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th Of July

The second and third paragraphs of Federalist No. 47 dated Wednesday, January 30, 1788 written by a future president of the United States, James Madison:

(The Federalist Papers were a series of articles written between October 1787 and August 1788 arguing in favor of the ratification of the Constitution of the United States.)
One of the principal objections inculcated by the more respectable adversaries to the Constitution, is its supposed violation of the political maxim, that the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments ought to be separate and distinct. In the structure of the federal government, no regard, it is said, seems to have been paid to this essential precaution in favor of liberty. The several departments of power are distributed and blended in such a manner as at once to destroy all symmetry and beauty of form, and to expose some of the essential parts of the edifice to the danger of being crushed by the disproportionate weight of other parts.

No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty, than that on which the objection is founded. The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. Were the federal Constitution, therefore, really chargeable with the accumulation of power, or with a mixture of powers, having a dangerous tendency to such an accumulation, no further arguments would be necessary to inspire a universal reprobation of the system.

First, second, and final paragraphs from Keith Olberman's Special Comments segment of his show Countdown last night:
“I didn’t vote for him,” an American once said, “But he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

That—on this eve of the 4th of July—is the essence of this democracy, in 17 words. And that is what President Bush threw away yesterday in commuting the sentence of Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them—or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them—we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.

We of this time—and our leaders in Congress, of both parties—must now live up to those standards which echo through our history: Pressure, negotiate, impeach—get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.

For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.


And give us someone—anyone—about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, “I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

Full Olberman statement here.