Thursday, February 26, 2009

Slipping into Darkness

It is a slippery slope on which we all seem to abide - possible though exaggerated.

Two days after the election of our new president, the opposition were readying their ammunition. They predict failure while refusing to make the transition easy. No point in giving the new Prez few more weeks to solve the national debt and end the wars in which we are embroiled After all, it's taken a few years to get INTO this mess. He should be able to clear it up in 100 days, right? Could it be that failure would make them happiest?

There are the high school parents POSITIVE that their children will be forced into a graduation process they don't want. No threats have come from on high. No edicts handed down. But they are SO sure it will happen that the yahoo group rumbles daily with the predictions. Their concern is for their kids but, really, do the kids even care?

And finally, our union rank and file are certain that the State budget will be used against them. Granted, raises taken by past administrations concurrent with staff benefit cuts has left them gun shy but lets give this group a shot. Keep your eyes open this time around so you see the shot coming but don't call the authorities until the crime has been committed.

Why is everyone so sure the worst will happen? Why not be vigilant. Be involved. Be proactive. I'm not looking for Kumbaya but, dang people.... these bitch-fests are getting tiresome.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Are you a list-maker? Real "to do" lists? Seems like I always have a list on the kitchen counter of things I need to do. As I was thinking about this, I recalled Jen posting her list and tracked down the post. Mine are nowhere as detailed (or long) as hers but I find it helps me get my ducks in a row. Without lists, I miss half the stuff I plan to do.

My shopping list is a gotta have...a tablet on the frig with a pencil nearby is how I'm sure I'm never (well, almost never) out of anything for more than a week. I usually have a list on my desk at work though the best organization suggestion I ever had was to spend the last five minutes of your work day figuring out your project for the next morning and place it in the middle of your desk. That pile is generally my "work to do" list.

My to-do lists are a way to get to the end of my day without muttering "Shit, I forgot to....". Seems like, during the week, I always notice things that I want to get done on the weekend but, without the list, I never seem to remember them. I'll look out the window at night and see the bird feeders are low or the recycling is overflowing. On the back of an envelope, I'll start my list. By laying it all out there, I can plan my day. Of course, things like laundry seldom make the list because they're constants .... there's always a load in progress.
As much as a reminder, my lists are tangible proof of accomplishment. Every completed project noted with a vigorous line or two. At the end of the day, I know I got something done. Most of today's list is done and I even got a walk on the beach in this morning while the potatoes baked for gnocchi. Oh, and a few loads of laundry. I will now grab a glass of wine along with a thread and needle to stitch up my purse. Then I'll make my list for tomorrow. I'll probably make one for Mark, too....sorry honey.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Generally, when the post-dinner fortune cookies arrive at a Chinese restaurant, we are careful to take 'our' cookie...the one that is speaking to us, calling to us..."Over here, pick me. I'm YOUR fortune". Last night, it must have been the rain pounding down outside or something but I misheard the call of the cookies. This fortune was most definitely NOT intended for moi.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


This video was put together by the Courage Campaign. I think the pictures speak for themselves....but the lyrics hit home. I dare you not to cry a bit, at the thought that in this country that finally managed to elect a Black American to the White House still doesn't see the inequality that still exists. We should all be free to marry the one we love. That's right - just one. Same sex couples just want ONE spouse ... that is MONOGAMY.

Equality is a human right. It's a Constitutional right. Listen to the words you speak when you place your hand over your heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Yeah, that's it. Right at the end.... "with liberty and JUSTICE FOR ALL". Proposition 8 was wrong. It IS wrong. It must be repealed.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Today was bittersweet. The sweet was, well, sweet. For the first time in a while, I got on a motorcycle and rode. Mark took in a bike on trade that fit me easily. No windshield and some goofy buckhorn handlebars but I sit flat-footed which, while not a requirement, does make the maneuvering easier, especially when I've been out of the saddle for a time. This morning, I dusted off my gear - my gloves (where did I put my gloves?) , my helmet, my boots and my armor-plated jacket. Mark gave me the run-down, reminded me to take my phone and sent me on my way.I can't say it was eventful, just peaceful. I stopped at the vista point over Clam Beach to watch the waves then cruised through Fieldbrook, Blue Lake.... rolling out West End Road, I popped open the face shield and took in the warm smell of the mud, the trees, eau de equine. There is nothing like that feeling of the microclimates as you pass from shade to open and sunny then back into the dappled shadows.

It wasn't a long ride, only about 70 miles, but it relaxed me and prepared me for the bitter part of my day. I dropped my riding gear, changed clothes and tucked tissues into my pocket in preparation for attending the memorial for Phyllis Flores, my coworker who passed away almost a month ago. It was a nice service with her brother speaking then, in Native American tradition, chanted her on her way "across the river". It was beautiful and touching. I believe I saw her go and it didn't require much tissue. CR coworkers who also attended agreed that it won't be the same without her.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Don't Cross the River If You Can't Swim The Tide

Kellogg pulled the plug on Michael Phelps. He's been sanctioned up the wazoo - and he deserves it. Stupid boy mistake. Of course, one mistake does not negate his achievements. He's worked plenty hard to get where he is and hopefully he'll make amends by speaking at schools about what he lost because of poor judgment. There are plenty of kids who don't think at all about their future and how that arrest or slutty myspace picture of them with a joint will look when a future employer looks into their background.

What I want to see, now, is a picture of the person who took the famous picture of Phelps with his lips wrapped around a bong. Granted, maybe this was payback for being brushed aside by Phelps but..... I want to see his or her face. I want to see what a petty whiner looks like who would ruin the life of a kid who has broken world records. I want prospective employers and mates to see the face of the person who would get so much pleasure out of causing someone pain, just for the two grand they received from a tabloid. We have more to fear from people like that than from Michael Phelps momentary lapse of judgement and a quick hit of herb.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

You're a Grand Old Flag - updated

We have a new President. The country (hopefully) has a new look. I thought it was time for a new flag. Bright. Clean. Without tatters.

I've always flown a flag on holidays including the near month-long stretch between Flag Day June 12 and the 4th of July. When the Gulf War started, I flew the flag daily, putting out first thing in the morning and bringing it in at night. I've been doing that ever since. My years as a Girl Scout gave me a decent grasp of flag etiquette so I've replaced my flag a few times when it became faded or worn. In Nevada, our troop even took on the responsibility of collecting retired flags in the community and burning them in a special ceremony at campfire.

The last flag I bought was cotton because I like the way it hangs. Unfortunately, it also fades and frays. Sometime over the winter, the wind whipped Old Glory until she caught her hem on the cleat holding her cord. The flag continued to flutter in the wind, tearing the edge. Although I should have repaired it, I continued to fly it which just made it worse. We finally decided it was time to retire the poor example of the Stars and Stripes. The new polyester flag arrived this week. Stitched stripes and embroidered stars. I painted the ball for the top of the pole and bought a new clip to hold it on. She has been flying proudly for the past week. Now we need to plan a bonfire on the beach to respectfully retire the old one that served us well.
UPDATE: I try and always buy "Made in the USA" - especially with a flag.

Monday, February 2, 2009


It’s spring…when a young hen’s fancy turns to thoughts of laying eggs. An old hen, also thinks of eggs but it takes MUCH more concentration. The other day, Hope noticed the girls were “making a funny noise”. The flock has thinned some and we’re down to three but all three were, indeed, making an odd noise. Although it isn’t uncommon for them to wander around the pen, pecking and scratching along with their soft little “bock bock bock…..” sound, this was different. This was something between the cawing of a crow and the honking of a goose but at a low volume. Hard to describe but work with me - Hope thought they sounded like they were talking, not chicken chatter but REAL WORDS.

That night, they hopped on their perch as usual but, in the dark, they continued their odd little chortles…”buh buh buh?....buh buh buh…”. Even after we went up to bed, you could hear them below, tucked in for the night but for the quiet worbling. We wondered about an impending earthquake causing them distress but couldn’t do anything even that were the case so we went to sleep.

The next day was a new day; a new season. The team laid an egg. Yep, just one. On the small side which is normal for the first few in a season. It apparently took all three of them to discuss and plan but we’ve had a couple more eggs since them so it seems we’re back in production. These are aracaunas, known for their pastel-colored eggs,. The girls are getting a little on the old side for laying hens so production is not what it could be so but they’re still good little composters and producers of nitrogen-rich poo for my garden. They are “free range” in that they wander freely within the confines of their pen and eat weeds and bugs as fast as I can find them though not as free range as my friend Sandi’s little biddies over at “Cheaper Than Therapy”. Her chickens get to roost in the rhodies but I feel as if these girls get treated pretty well. I do miss having a big flock like I did in a previous life – as many as thirty some years when my neighbors would grow tired of the novelty of country life and pawn them off on me. I was happy to take them. These girls will be finding new homes later this spring and new peeps will come in to take their place. In the meantime, we will enjoy our fresh, green eggs.