Sunday, January 28, 2018


Photo taken our first year in this new house when morning mist caught the sun's rays.
The day is very gray and rainy, and while I love this moodiness in my British mystery shows, I do get somber when I have been inside for too many days with nothing to call me outside. My groups of acquaintances are all in stasis and many of my projects have come to a close or a long pause. It would be nice to go out to lunch with friends, but most are in Florida soaking up the sunny weather. Hubby has been sick on and off, which at our age can hang heavy on one's mind. So I get nostalgic and put on a Carole King DVD.  This is music which I had listened to in my mid-twenties (although it was a reel to reel tape back then) right after we were married and living in a small apartment on a tiny island in the South Pacific, far from family and friends.   We were more than enough for each other as newlyweds with so much to explore and new jobs to challenge us.

I remember a man who was decades older than us managing a fishing plant there saying "You will remember these days as some of the best of your lives, so pay attention."  We were having so much fun, and he was right as I look back on those times with a smile.

So today I am also trying to get my scanner, which is acting up, to scan some of the old slides that bring back memories.  Who were those naive kids with the world in a bucket of sunlight???

Friday, January 26, 2018

A Follow-up to the Prior Post

This is a follow-up to the prior post. So if you have not read that, go there and I will wait......

The photo in the prior post was taken while touring Fort Charles a formerly British fort in Jamaica in Port Royal at the mouth of Kingston Bay.   This fort was built in 1654 after the British routed the Spanish on this island. It is a minor tourist attraction mainly because it shows how an earthquake (actually two) can bury and twist buildings in the sand on a Caribbean Island.

I was there in 2011. What made me go looking for these photos was an article I read last week in The Guardian warning British citizens to be careful in touring Jamaica and to not leave their resort unless with a resort guide. It seems that crime, especially in the area of Montego Bay, has risen. Jamaica has always had a reputation for being an edgy place to tour. We were mildly uncomfortable there, but never felt we were in danger.  We freely toured the small town where our resort was located and while there were EXTREMELY polite beggars, we never felt concerned. We also took a small tour to Kingston town and other areas on the island. That was the day I took the photos in this post.

OK, now back to my question on the photo of the school children. They are certainly neat and proper. Maybe middle school age? In America a middle school group of kids would not be this composed. Boys would be poking boys and girls would be giggling, maybe using cell phones if the teachers let them.  American children might be too jaded to even look at a crowd of tourists,  boring!

And, here is my take for what it is worth.

The girl on the far left is wondering if she would ever get to America perhaps.  The girl in the middle is checking out the clothes of some of the American children that were part of a family tour.  Maybe she will be a fashion designer someday.  The girl on the right is downright curious about something one of the tourists is doing.  Not sure, as I did not look behind me.

Clearly, the girl with her arms crossed is a ring-leader, and perhaps a future politician.  Something significant is going on in her brain.  I feel sorry for her mama. The girl in the middle is looking for an "in."  There is always an angle to everything and she is wishing she had the freedom to enter the tourist crowd.  The two larger girls on the right reveal all the sadness of poverty and isolation and lack of hope.  

In the photo above, the angry one on the right is the one the world has to deal with.  There is an opportunity here, and also a big chance to fail her.  I would not want to cross her because she is making a list and checking it everyday.

Now we come to the boys.  They have it a bit easier in this culture.  The bulk of the workload and responsibility falls to the females in Jamaica.   The two taller boys on the far left might be business leaders some day.  They are evaluating and thinking outside the box and fearless in their evaluation of what they can accomplish.  The boy on the far right is the clown and troublemaker.  Maybe he can be a Bob Marley entertainer if he does not end up in jail.  The short boy in the middle wants to be playing ball or cricket somewhere.  Anywhere but this stupid tour.

Oh well, it is a different way to spend a winter afternoon and reminisce.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Photos Can Tell a Story

A few years ago while on travel I took this photo. Clearly, the schoolchildren are curious about me or something around me. Some have different expressions. I love this photo as it can tell so many stories. What story does it tell you?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thursday Thirteen-Illustrious Genius.

CNN was interviewing a half-dozen Democratic voters (in Youngstown, Ohio) who in frustration with the system had voted for Trump. They gathered them together after a year and they were all pleased with the current administration and would vote for him again.   They liked him because they 'felt' the economy was getting better:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Industries are booming everywhere I've seen.

SAVIDGE: I look around here and I don't see a boom. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, in this area, no, but I feel like there's small businesses that are starting to pick up.  

When asked about what he says and his tweeting the female responded:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's like tenacious sometimes and says stuff off the cuff, like we do. Like real Americans do. We're not perfect. I'm tired of suave, I'm tired of polished, I'm tired of the teleprompter. I am, I want my country back.

So, I decided to revisit some of what our President has said to be more reassured.
  1. "Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich. I was always the best at what I did, I was the -- I was, you know, I went to the -- I went to the Wharton School of Finance, did well."
  2. "I created maybe the greatest brand."
  3. "Just -- and so -- so I was successful, successful, successful."
  4. "I was always the best athlete, people don't know that."
  5. "And then people say oh, is he a smart person? I'm smarter than all of them put together, but they can't admit it."
  6. "I've been, you know, pretty successful in the courts over the years, I've been a very successful person, you can check."
  7. "No, I'm not a racist. I'm the least racist person you will ever interview."
  8. "I'm a person that wants to tell the truth. I'm an honest person, and what I'm saying, you know is exactly right."
  9. "All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me - consciously or unconsciously. That's to be expected."
  10. "Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure, it's not your fault."
  11. "I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I'm more honest and my women are more beautiful."
  12. "I think I can't do much better, right?"
  13. "Now, you know, I was a good student. I always hear about the elite. You know, the elite. They're elite? I went to better schools than they did. I was a better student than they were. I live in a bigger, more beautiful apartment, and I live in the White House, too, which is really great."
Now are you totally assured, people?  (No one at Wharton can remember this blusterous personality who had transferred from Fordham and he failed to get his photo in the yearbook and the university did not write a pro-Trump  letter when he was a candidate as other ivy leagues have done, even though the Trumps have donated almost a million to Penn State.)  And yes, I could have listed so many more comments to reassure you about how he is so much better than I.  He talks just like the people I hang out with...hardly.)

Friday, January 12, 2018

A Three Day Weekend--exhausting!

I am spending a three-day weekend in the suburbs of the city child-sitting while parents are off to Las Vegas to celebrate a 50th birthday with old friends. I have three children between the ages of 6 and 12 and one small dog. They are polite, responsible, and smart people. I find that the early-bird twelve-year-old gets up at 6:30 A.M. and is full of tidbits about a game where the angle of the wall and the angle of the projectile make a big difference in whether you run into the wall or go over it and that he has found a way to continue to beat the system, and he also has done the math to figure out how many millions of successes vs. crashes happen over an hour and how long he can leave the game idle with the successful settings....and I really need more coffee.  Breakfast with the others consists of a discussion about food.

I also learned this morning that I had asked each child as they got up whether they were still wearing pajamas or whether that was what they were wearing to school, because their casual school  attire and their casual sleep attire look virtually the same.

The parents have left us a two-page hand-written list of activities and times and addresses.  Included are weekend sports classes, a birthday gift shopping trip along with the time for the party, religious classes and a meals list.  I am exhausted just listening to Dad go through it with me.  Thank goodness these kiddos are independent enough to know what happens next.

They are all off to school and now I sit writing my blog while the little dog looks out the window  and barks at the mailman...clearly a highlight of his day.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Burdens Need Strong Boots

This has been an extremely rough week for those I love and since I have no control over their lives, and can only worry,  I curl up like an abandoned kitten and hide out at my computer and fiddle. When it is too cold to go outside, I do still life photos. These are two pairs of shoes I took from my closet and with filters and layering and some dodging and burning, made a vintage photo to match the subject of the photo. The black boots are my snow boots and the other's are a favorite pair of cowboy boots that I own.

"No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."  Corinthians 10:13   When someone says "God will not give you more than you can handle," please note that this Biblical quote is about temptation and not about the burdens of life.  God WILL give you more than you can handle, and all you have to do is wait if your burdens are light.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

That Extra Layer for Warmth

The ice cold weather is here to stay through the beginning of next week. We have not had such an extensive and harsh freeze for a number of years, so we are trying to adjust. I do not go outside except to grab a quick photo from the dock, or to fill the bird feeders. We check the mail every other day and sometimes even every third day. The roads are not dangerous, but any time spent outdoors is.

Yesterday the brutal winds returned and I am sure they reached peaks of thirty miles per hour. At least the clouds let the sun throw nice shadows. Of course, a cloudless sky means bitter nights. My heater kicks on often and I worry about its age and the amount of fuel left in our tank outside.

So we sit around the wood fireplace and hibernate like two old bears.  I clean out the leftovers in the refrigerator and make hearty soups and stir-fry meals in the old wok.

I spend afternoons baking as we crave the carbs.

I actually have time to scour the Internet and old cookbooks for challenging recipes, because I am not going anywhere and thus not rushing home.

AND of course, I have to exercise  more regularly, because even though these calories keep me warm, they also keep me fat!

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

The Collector

I see two types of people in this world:  those that live a very clean and uncluttered  life.   They get rid of junk, stuff, old memories and sometimes old friends as the new year begins.   They value the  simplicity of a clean start with fresh chances for success.  They strive for a Zen mind.  (I  want to be that type of person but...)

Others are somewhat like me.  They try hard to remove the clutter, but find the memory of the time it was acquired makes them hang on to it.  They refuse to ignore that annoying old friend that contacts them once a year over the holidays to bemoan their life or to brag about it.  I still respond and make attempts at meet-ups that will never happen.  I am not a collector in any formal sense, except for turtle figurines that I used to collect on my travels (never labeled them as to country or state) and which I really no longer collect, after I started putting them in a box!!

There is also my extensive seashell collection that I started when I lived out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in my younger years.   Most of others like these beauties are also in cardboard boxes!

I do save new buttons, just clipped from new garments and put them in a box or a bag never  to be used.  I guess I would have to admit that I have a rather extensive collection in drawers of glitter, beads, yarns, threads, connectors, paints, fabrics, batik tools, ribbons, bits of jewelry, colored papers, bits of craft from my Mother-in-Law...all in my crafting closet in the basement.  I do not use those things much these days, except if the grandchildren come by and want an activity.  They take up an entire closet in the basement!

I have a growing collection of books of poetry, yes, but who does not have shelves of those?  This is just one shelf below.

I can explain how I got here at the beginning of a new year.  I  was standing  looking out the kitchen window  and then decided to take the photo below.  The photo is what motivated this rant,  post on collections for this day.

I am a collector  of bits and bobs of my life.  This is the window sill above my plants in the corner of the kitchen that comes about  after I empty my pockets at the end of the day.  (Left to Right:  seeds, more seeds, a stainless cup I accidentally brought home from a restaurant, a tiny turtle shell, a regular seashell, acorn seeds, a beautiful burl of wood I found, a grouping of oyster shells from a canoe ride, a cardinal feather, and a dried Celosia flower and in the middle background branches from some piece of  coral that had washed  up  on a beach.)

Collections of ephemera in Victorian times were placed in cabinets (Curios) that were  called "Wunderkind", "Cabinets of Wonder" or even whole Wonder Rooms.  Most were filled with collections by scientists.  FDR and Beatrix Potter had such collections, so I am in good company, if not as well organized.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Bubbly for New Year's Eve.

Hope you are going to have a perfect New Year's Eve followed by a better 2018.   We are not celebrating with anyone, anywhere and will probably watch the event on TV if we decide to stay up!  

These birds got me thinking about how to celebrate the incoming of a new year....

House Finch

Eastern Bluebird
So, I went out and bought me some bubbly for the big event.

These are bath "bombs."  Cheers!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Do You Have a Clue?

Taking a photo of a wood orchid a few years ago.

One of the real problems that I (and most of us) have is understanding each other. It is hard to see the big picture when you know the people involved only somewhat superficially. Just because you work with them and see them maybe monthly at meetings or because you run into others three times a year at one of your daughter's project events, or you chat with someone on a regular shopping trip to a retail outlet, this does not mean you have even a clue about them, about their challenges, beliefs, prejudices, history and/or motivations.  This is because the yardstick by which you measure these encounters is YOUR yardstick.  The nicks and faded numbers on it are from your experiences and your wins and losses.

Our current cultural shift has seemed to drain the swamp of empathy as we are told that most people do not deserve anything they have not earned.  So, I try to work harder at this understanding of people and not come into relationships with pre-conceived opinions of where they get their opinions...

But I do need some help on this one:

I post my photos regularly on Facebook.  I post my photos (the ones that I am most pleased with) on a less regular basis on an Australian website that sells digital art.  I have sold maybe two dozen items and made enough money on all of them for dinner out for two at a nice restaurant.  Clearly, I would have starved as a digital artist.  I only mention this to illustrate that I do take this a little seriously.  As the year progresses I may have hundreds of photos on Facebook.  These go into albums such as family, trips, and my yard, etc.  At the end of the year, I begin to clean all this up both for personal privacy reasons and to protect my artistic work and to just be able to keep track of what is posted and what is not.  The more artistic photos I will post in lower resolution on the off chance that someone would 'steal' them.  My friends ask if they can use them for odd things and I always let them copy and re-use so it is not a hard rule.  

So, now for your challenge and response.  I recently deleted a bunch of photos and posted on FB that I was cleaning up my albums getting ready for 2018.  One of my virtual friends (He is very smart, very opinionated, and I do not know him very well. He worked IT and I rarely saw him when we worked at the same company.) went off on a tangent.  He was furious that I was deleting photos and he said he was not going to comment in the future on my photos if I deleted them, etc.  I commented that I was sorry, but that was the way it was.  I went on in my life and last week decided to re-read that conversation as I was still mystified and the thread was gone!  He had deleted it.  Weird.  I do not care about this person.  We are never meeting in real life.  I am just curious about what would make a person think he had control over anothers' creative work?  Why would he care that his comments on my photos (which were short and flattering and mostly just LIKES) would be gone forever?

Where is Miss Manners when you need her advice?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Christmas Day and for a day or two after people post all their photos of family gatherings on Facebook.  This is fun and always portrays well-dressed people behaving correctly with big smiles facing various cameras.  I thought I would post a photoshopped picture of my grands for a little more anonymity.  This is one of the earliest photos of the day where the three of them were waiting,... and waiting, ...and waiting for parents to join them so they could open their presents.  Patient souls.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Is That Not Special?

Today is my birthday. I do not feel it necessary for others to make a big deal of it.  I really had very little to do with it.  I am sure I was pretty passive and considering my personality, probably did not want to enter the light of day! 
I did cross a major decade last year and the big deal made by members of my family (a trip to and a play in NYC) was a lovely gesture and I do not regret that, but I still would have been completely happy to have been the recipient of only good. This time of year is super busy for people and taking the time to honor a birthday seems to be an avoidable excess. This in no way means that I decry the birthday celebrations that others look forward to in late December. Go for it! In my mind, it has always been just a number. Treat me nicely always, call me, email me, make dates for lunches during the year and I will be most ingratiated and not miss a cake or card or gift on the anniversary of my birth.

"A-n-y-w-a-y" as the Valley Girl says: Today we will celebrate my birthday by doing some quick last minute shopping(!) and going to see the newest Star Wars movie (which is the movie my hubby really wants to see). None of these Star Wars movies will grab me the way the first Star Wars movie did---especially the bar scene which seems a great comment on living species. You cannot improve on the original or re-capture that first time.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza, and Happy New Year...and a happy birthday or any other day you may be celebrating!

Monday, December 18, 2017

This Could Have Been Too Easy

(I have published a series of three blog posts on words and their significance in our current culture.  This President and his CDC could have made this fourth post waaaay too easy with the newly listed seven banned words that cannot be used in their reports and that they have released recently, and later denied banning them.  But this fascism is too easy to denigrate, or make humorous, or present an argument on how an administration that "talks straight to the people" --- and not allowing questions on the talk as there are always those "gotcha questions" ---  is dangerously close to destroying the first amendment.  I would like the White House to be banned from using the words "everybody" "they"  "moron"  "amazing"  "tremendous" and  "terrific.") 

BUT this post instead is about what I did today in my garage and mud-room.  This is the time of year that I must take care of those bulbs I refuse to throw away by fall:  my amaryllis.  I once had over 40 of these plants lined along the wall with French doors of my family room in my prior house because I just could not bear to part with them.  Eventually, before my move, I took them to a fundraiser and got rid of all of them.

This year I have slowly started that addiction over again at, perhaps, a better and slower pace.  Still, I have planted (counting the pups or smaller bulbs) twelve individuals in pots and put them in the sun along with 4 other newly purchased bulbs that I may or may not give away this season.   Not everyone wants a plant as a gift.

In the coming months, I will try to remember to post the beautiful blossoms that these amazing, terrific, and tremendous plants that everyone loves will provide.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Words Do Matter

Since words do matter, far more than we realize, I have decided to do some quick and dirty Internet searching to add to my prior posts on selected words.

More words of the year 2017 ---

Oxford: youthquake complicit
Collins Dictionary: fake news

Back in 2016 ---

Merriam-Webster:  surreal
American Dialectic Society:  dumpster fire
Oxford:  post-truth  xenophobia

For the history of how "Word of the Year" or WOTY are selected go here.

Do you think you can write a short paragraph or poem using the above??

Thursday, December 14, 2017

South of the Border

Regarding yesterday's post, her is another take on the word of the year (there is some offensive language): La Brigada Feminista

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Merriam Websters Word of the Year

Merriam-Webster Dictionary's "Word of the Year. "

Do you know what the word is? I will give you a clue. It is not covfefe. That is not a word, just a lazy tweet. Another clue is that it starts with an "F."  It is not a swear word.

Before I reveal this important word, I want to discuss a conversation my husband and I had on the recent reveal of all the men in power that have sexually assaulted, molested and/or scare-threatened women while the men were running businesses, making movies, drafting legislation, running cooking shows, managing restaurants, attending military shows, etc.   We were talking about why men in power do this?  (The real question is why are there more men than women in power, but this post is not about that.)

My husband seemed to think it was a deep biological need.  There is a biological programming for males to extend their gene pool for survival.  I claimed it had to do with a hatred and sometimes fear of women and a need to reassure that oneself was still in power.

Now that I have dwelled on it, I think we are both right.  Have you ever had the opportunity to watch an elk herd get organized in late fall?  I have.  The younger females drift over to the better looking younger elk males and give each other the tentative eye.  This lasts about 10 minutes and then the major elk, the older one with the big shoulders and rack and bigger, well you know, comes around and paws the ground and demands the females get back in their place with serious threats.  He will run off the younger elk and then strut his stuff and herd his harem roughly to the other side of the meadow.

There is a deep biological need to continue one's gene line.  Male lions rape and kill for sexual reproduction and otters attack females for the same.  This is found throughout the animal kingdom.

But humans are sentient, living an intelligent and civilized life; and hopefully, we have moved beyond those physical power plays and forcing themselves on others, at least most people have.  So those who molest are throwbacks to an earlier time.  They have failed to evolve, or they have a deep-seated mental illness.

For those males who bemoan today going to the holiday parties worrying about how to behave, I have little sympathy.  Treat each woman as if she was your mother or sister or daughter and you will do just fine.  If you feel you need to hug someone, ask them first!  If you are under the mistletoe, act embarrassed and walk away.  If you drink too much call a cab and go home.  NEVER tell off-color jokes, ever!  Compliment a woman on her dress only if you regularly compliment a guy on his tie.

I am not sympathetic to these creeps as I have been a woman always ducking that snake at the holiday party, always looking over my shoulder when alone at night, always dreading the boss who told dirty jokes, feeling belittled when denigrated by gender at a meeting.  I managed that for years, so now men can manage the other better type of behavior!

Oh, the word --- feminist.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

A Thursday Thirteen...these are totally random

1. Walking to the gate in the fog I saw two rust brown wrens flittering in the pile of kindling I had made after the last tree fall.  Since I was in camo it took a while before they saw me.

2. I drove up to the city for a birthday party for my D.I.L. and upon my return, I noticed that 90% of the leaves had finally fallen in that short period turning the trees into skeletons.  Fall is departing.

3. One morning this week I walked in the early mist to the dock to catch a photo or two of the geese gliding on the river.  Some broke into noisy flight heading toward the cornfield when they heard me.  Then shortly I heard gunfire and felt terribly guilty.

4. Yesterday I woke early and saw that the woods were shrouded in fog, so in a sleepy "fog" myself put on my frumpiest clothes and headed down the street by my neighbor's houses without even taking a brush to my hair looking for photos.  It is amazing how many of my neighbors have to drive somewhere that early in the morning...wondering if they recognized me!

5. Lobster tails were on sale the other day and so we bought two jumbo tails (which we may do once every few years or so) and had a lovely pre- New Year's dinner. Side dishes were asparagus sauteed with dill and oyster mushrooms and mac and cheese.  It was a mini gourmet dinner.

6. My grandchildren have such a parade of guests coming through their home that they are not surprised to wake in the morning and find I have spent the night!

7. I am working this week on the gift list. One of the hardest parts of this season as I put great effort to get it right and many of those I buy for live in abundance.  I do lots of donations which does lift my spirit.

8. Binge-watching House of Cards and wondering how they are going to end it without the lead after so many years.  With today's support of an accused pedophile for Senate and a President who admits to infidelity, the series seems rather tame with its prostitution and threesomes.

9. "To face unafraid the plans that we made while walking in a winter wonderland."  No longer making those long-range plans as I age, this thought crossed my mind as I listened to my holiday music.

10. This past week I have made persimmon bars, persimmon cookies, persimmon bread and persimmon pie. We gave bags of fresh persimmons away at a recent party.

11. My Christmas card list gets smaller every year. I am of mixed emotions on that.

12. We are well into the first week of December and I still have guara flowers and pineapple sage in bloom!  Cold front coming this week.

13.  For the last in this list, I realized, almost too late, that this little fellow could have gone into the persimmon jam I was making as he was so color-coordinated!   This December has been exceptionally warm.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The Wounded Warrior

We lost a "wounded warrior" Blogger yesterday.  She had not been able to blog for several years but fought her battle with ALS on Facebook where many of us continued to support her.  She recently added a new war against cancer.   She was strong, witty, and funny to the very end with the support of her loving husband, Dave.   Knowing her made a difference in my life and that of many others.   She left a legacy of hope and determination for all of us who fight our daily battles.  I will miss her terribly.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Lifting Up the Spirits.

Well, my spirits have lifted somewhat (temporarily) and I found a Christmas present in the news today with the indictment of Flynn. The White House says he was an Obama holdover (Obama fired him and Trump re-hired him). Incomplete pass on their part and they need to explain why they ignored the FBI warning telling them to get rid of him and ignored that dear career lady with the intelligence and ethics.  I am patiently waiting for the dominoes to fall.  Trump, Trump Jr., and Kushner and Ivanka have all had ties to corrupt money launderers and domestic and foreign criminal groups most of their lives, so they know how to accept bribes, hide money outside this country, and have gotten away with it, for now.

The  National lighting of the Christmas Tree had the smallest crowd ever in front of the White House this year and the weather was beautiful, rows and rows of empty chairs.  He keeps getting fewer and fewer supporters in his gatherings even on such simple unpolitical things as holiday activities.  Obama had standing room only when he lit the tree each year.  I do miss the intellectual transparent honesty of his administration.

So, today after the morning news, I binge watched that old TV series "Frazier" which has such snappy dialogue and proceeded to make about 100 persimmon spice cookies while I watched and reminisced.   Half of these chewy spice disks are in the freezer and the other half we will eat.  The recipe only used about 4-5 of the hard persimmons, so making no dent in the harvest!

Even the folks at the food pantry are too picky to want to take these home for the holidays!

The kitchen was full of dirty bowls and utensils and I just finished washing a batch and am now running "pro-scrub" on the dishwasher for the rest.  The small artificial tree is up, a few wreaths scattered about.  Mage made me feel guilty  reconsider and not give in to the challenges my family is now facing and become a ghost (i.e. ghost of Christmas past).   We played Christmas music while we decorated and hung a few strings of lights on the deck and took out a few sentimental items.

We blog readers lost the activist Hattie from Hawaii this past week.  She was tough and took no prisoners and I will miss her intellectual arguments greatly.

While this is a tough month I will hang on white-knuckled and fight for everything I want and I hope you do the same.