Saturday, May 26, 2018


"The Health and Human Services Department has a limited budget to track the welfare of vulnerable unaccompanied minors, and realized that 1,475 children could not be found after making follow-up calls to check on their safety, an agency official said."--- Time Magazine.   The richest, most powerful country in the world cannot keep track of the children that they make into orphans by removing them from their parents at the border.  OK.  Let us put this in "perspective".

According to the FBI's National Crime Information Center Missing Person File, 36.5% or approximately 32, 121 that are missing are humans under the age of 18.  Of course, these children were not the responsibility of the Federal Departments nor was their separation from their parents an action by the government.  Data indicates that 90% of these are runaways.
The European Commission reports that 250 000 children are reported missing every year in the European Union, 1 child every 2 minutes.  Runaways account for 57% percent of EU missing children.  23% were parental abductions.

The Internet has been a tool for luring children away, but it also has been a tool for finding them.  Cell phones owned by children have been important in finding children who just get lost.  We cannot blame it on technology.

Did the immigrant children go to a relative who is hiding them?  Were they taken in by a foster family that is evil?  Did the children run away in confusion and fear and are sleeping in the desert or the sidewalk?  Is this part of a sex slave network?

I saw the movie Lion based on a true story a year ago and was deeply moved by the overpopulation and poverty in India that created a culture where children were treated like lost dogs.  

I just wish we would fight for the rights of the born as much as we fight for the unborn.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Abstraction and Distraction

The Laughing Tree

I have been watching the National Geographic series Genius. Last year it was about Einstein. This year it is about Picasso. The style of storytelling these days, whether in books or video, is to jump back and forth along the timeline. You reveal a little something in the present and then you go back in time and explain how it came about. While it does add tension and even works for the writer sometimes, I am not as in love with it to the extent that the popular culture seems to be.

I am also not a fan of contemporary and/or abstract art. Moving into the impressionist period was as far as my interest would take me. But I have always loved the work of Picasso and admired his creative and evolutionary talent for his time:  misogynist pig that he was in his personal life. In his blue period, he conveyed such a depth of misery with each painting. In his cubist period, his works invited a more intense study as they slowly revealed an edginess and a novelty and an energy in the inanimate.

His life was very complex, so I am not sure that Nat-Geo has been as accurate as it could be. It glosses over so much and leaves one wondering why and what impact something had.

The casting of Antonio Banderas as Picasso is effective. He has those dark Spanish button eyes that Picasso had.  If you study his interviews you will see that he has much the same passion and devotion and openness in his real life that Picasso had.  Banderas is an underrated actor. The Thirteenth Warrior is one of my favorite movies that he did even though it received mediocre reviews. It is moody, heavy, and slow, with a little too much blood and guts, but full of atmosphere and a wonderful musical score. He is very compelling as the warrior.  

OK, just a review of what has taken up my time, because of the days of rain, I spent too much time in front of the television, on the other hand, my house is pretty clean.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Subdued Holidays

Hoping you had a nice Mother's Day if you are a mother. I am not super comfortable with this holiday because I do have friends and relatives that lost their mother when they were very young, early teens or one in college. For those who have gone through this tragedy, it may bring up days of sweet memories and for others a deep longing for all that they missed. I will be attending the wedding of a young man that lost his mother when he was about ten. He lives on the other side of the country and I do not get to see him as much as I would like.

My daughter-in-law has recently learned that she will probably not be able to have children and her sister learned the same fate years ago.  They both married later in their lives which complicates things.  I think they have both decided not to try adoption, so it appears her parents will never have the joy of grandkids, and they are special people and would have made wonderful grandparents.

This Mother's Day, while special for many, carries baggage for me.  I had a complicated relationship with my Mother.  She was judgemental and overworked and angry much of the time.  I understand it all now but did not when I was a young girl which she burdened and guilted with chores. 

I got a call from my distant son late that evening (certainly prompted by his wife) and nothing from my busy daughter who is a very wonderful mother in her own right.  But they know I would not guilt them about their actions or inactions on this day.  We love each other with or without holidays to remind us.

Anyway, for those who have children, I hope your day was filled with attention and honor by those you worked so hard to raise.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Where Have You Been?

I am impressed (while perhaps not motivated) to find bloggers keeping up their posts in the spring season.  I am compelled and even guilted into being outside most of the time.  There is dirt under my fingernails, those that are still undamaged, and dirt between my toes and some even on my face.  The weeding is endless this time of year.  The dead zones due to winter harshness have been discovered and new perennials have to be placed in those black holes, either from the division of overgrown perennials or shopping for something new.  An entire hedge of pyracantha is looking awful as are we from pruning the deadwood and bloodily fighting the thorns. 

There is also a rather large gray rabbit who is fearless and makes me break into an aerobic run each morning across the lawn.  (I am trying to protect my sunflowers and zinnias!)  He clearly finds my gallumping in slippers mildly amusing.  Where are those two foxes when you need them?

Needless to say, this is NOT the rabbit in my yard.

My Master Gardeners group is in high gear with endless projects, plant sales, and interns to interview.  Gardeners are a distinctly high energy group in the spring.  It is as if they have been revving their engines all winter and spend time arguing about whether a plant is an invasive, a native healthy spreader or a weed before they price it.

April was also the month of birthdays (two grandsons and a daughter) and with gifts to buy there was also a girl's weekend getaway to cram into two days.  I do not use the word "girl's" loosely as both that went with me were in their 40's.  I do not consider myself a girl.  That weekend was mercurial with coolish rains, spring warming sun and fluctuating temps that required on-again off-again jackets.  The only hard plans were staying at a B&B winery/distillery which was a gift to my daughter as she could enjoy the tastings and not worry about driving as I hate the driving part of any adventure.

I learned that I am too old to taste various hard ciders at noon and then hit a free distillery tasting before dinner.  I did sip the lavender gin from my daughter's glass and the cinnamon rum! 

This was followed the next day by a visit to her favorite creamery-dairy farm where we were able to sample the ice cream, pet the cows and photograph a curious alpaca.  

Then in the afternoon was a tour of a historic mansion and talking to several weavers and admiring their work.  The next morning, we took in the antique shops on the antique row for my daughter-in-law where I bought a few gifts and two "whimsical" vases.  

This is the genre of activities that transforms the males in my life into zombies, so we were relieved to just meander and do low-pressure stuff.

Today I have lots of housework which I have ignored forever.  So where have you been while I was away?