Sunday, December 31, 2017

In Review

As 2017 comes to an end, I have to say that it was a mixed bag of good and bad, happy and sad. Though that could easily be said of any year. The bad and sad, for me, are mostly in the realm of politics and and how this country has suffered in the larger world view. I want 45 to go to prison for the damage he has done. I want the recently passed tax bill to be dismantled by a more courageous Congress. I want single-payer health care for all Americans. I want some reasonable gun legislation because the continual occurrence of innocents killed en masse by some nut job who has a gun designed specifically for killing other humans has got to end. I want the internet to remain an equal opportunity platform for all. For me personally, so many answers have come my way this year. Intriguing possibilities lie ahead. I have experienced the joy and love and support that comes from family and friends. I have made new friends and let go of relationships that have stalled and staled. I feel like this new place is home. I have striven, I have failed, I have embraced new ideas that are better than the old. Lessons learned and taken to heart. Most days I awaken to less pain, both physical and emotional, and count my blessings that at the age of sixty I have good health and security, more than enough to eat and a safe, warm place to sleep at night. So, goodbye 2017, hello, 2018. Let the adventure begin.     

A Princess After My Own Heart

It hit me so hard when Carrie Fisher died just over a year ago. We were close in age, less than a year, and seeing her as a kick-ass hero in the Star Wars movies was a gift of strength and femininity to me. When an email arrived announcing a drive to make her alter-ego, Princess Leia, an official Disney Princess, I clicked on the link and signed the petition. If you loved Carrie, I hope you will, too.

Advice for 2018


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Chihuly Glass Tower With Golden Drops


My Palm Springs Accommodations


The door to my private little suite.


The view. Yes, it was difficult to leave but I didn't want to stay so long that they might consider tossing me out. Return privileges must be preserved in these situations.

Our Swedish Bachelor Farmer


Frozen in time in this photo from the early 1940's, this man's birthday is today. Though he left us in 2003, he would have been in his nineties now. Duty called him, first, to serve his country, and second, to return to South Dakota and help run the family farm and assist his aging parents. Somehow he never married and had children of his own. He was the best combination of uncle/older brother to his many nieces and nephews. He had an uncanny ability to tell when a woman was pregnant and as well as accurately predict the sex of the baby. He called both of mine correctly as boys. We often celebrated Independence Day on the farm with a cookout and fireworks with him hosting. I was the last family member to speak with him before he died. He was dearly loved by many. How can I possibly regret my marriage to his nephew when Uncle Durant was part of that package.  

Who Would Have Guessed He's an Aussie?


Well, yes, hello. I have been distracted for a few days by the man in the above photo. I have been on a Longmire binge-watch. Neglecting personal hygiene and normal meals and wearing my pajamas. Normally, I don't go for the strong, silent cowboy/cop type of man. But there it is. Just look at that smile! And I almost don't mind that he has a bit of a back hair thing going. And I'm puzzled by the fact that he wears a heavy coat pretty much year-round, even when others are dressed more seasonally in tank tops and sun dresses. Perhaps the Sheriff exists in his own personal little troposphere, complete with its own ecosystem. I recognize that our little fling will be over in eight more episodes and then I'll likely go through a period of deep longing and mild withdrawal. But then my memories of him will fade into the background and life will get back to normal. Plus I should probably take a shower. Sigh. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Pucker Up!


I do enjoy a visual pun.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Followed by Some Weird


When you open the front door and find this, either the wind was blowing with great force or somebody has watered the fake trees with too much vodka. Maybe both.

Some More Happy


Santa sometimes wears a FedEx uniform.

Some Happy News

I have just been informed by the state department of revenue via email that my account is in balance for the 2016 period. I'm guessing this means that I do not owe them a single penny. It only took several phone calls, a trip to an unhelpful department of revenue assistance office, three letters, submitting several duplicate forms over nearly four months, and a meeting with a tax accountant to convince them of this fact. All I have to say is, if they hound paltry little people like me who actually owe them nothing, I would expect that they are after the big accounts as well. Our state's coffers are solidly in the black.

A Christmas Photo Past


My beamish boys, with Santa hats and floppy reindeer, circa 1996.

Santa Claus, A Fan of Renewable Energy



Friday, December 22, 2017

FDR Was a Much, Much Better President



In The Pink With Tigh





For the Love of Cobalt Glass


I was minding my own business while walking through the gift shop at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Since there was a fabulous glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly on display, I hoped to find a unique piece of cobalt glass among the books and keychains to take home with me. Tigh pointed out this gorgeous Chihuly piece that happens to be for sale. You will notice that it is, indeed, cobalt blue. It also has the price tag of $18,000. For another grand you can have it custom packed and shipped wherever you please. The idea of owning something more expensive than the entire contents of my home, possibly including my ten year old car, made me nervous. So I passed on the purchase. And snapped a photo instead.

Hello, Winter



Thursday, December 21, 2017

Shame on You, 45


In addition to illustrating the tax "reform" that just passed in our nation's capital, this video also explains how 45 will increase the the market for coal. Also, the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day, not two. I'm certain the only growth 45 is capable of is located in his ego. Or his ass. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Stand Up for Net Neutrality!

If you can read this blog, this puny blog with a small but mildly deranged following, that means that Net Neutrality is working. We all have equal access. I apologize for interrupting my noncontroversial posts of holiday happiness with this most serious matter. But it is timely and important for all of us to stand up for a freely accessible internet. 

Trump’s Federal Communications Commission just decided to repeal Net Neutrality in a 3-2 vote. We MUST not let this stand.

Without these vital protections of the free and open internet, big companies like Comcast and Verizon will have total power over what we can see or do online. Unless we take action, internet service providers (ISPs) will be able to charge you extra fees to access your favorite sites, limit your access speeds, and block you from visiting sites they don’t want you to see.

Please sign the petition, and tell your members of Congress to restore the free and open internet and reject Pai’s plan to give corporations more control over what we do and say online.

I've told Congress to take action -- will you join me? Act now with Common Cause!

Please sign the petition here.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

California Festive


Cactus with lights. Iron door with tinsel rope.

Mugging for the Camera


Coffee, and all the other hot, seasonal beverages taste better from a holiday mug. This is the newest of the collection.


The other side has another scene and message. Sometimes you have to switch hands to truly appreciate a drinking vessel.

An Evening of Wine, Cats, and a Movie


My lovely sis Martine relaxing with four of her seven kitties. On the back of the couch we find Blink on the left and Sweetie on the right. Holly is snuggled in Martine's lap and Big Al is holding still for a little back scratch.


Bear was in the other room warming up my bed. He is so very thoughtful.


Pearl was just a couple of feet away from Bear. She wants to know just who the heck I think I am taking her photo without written permission.


Pretty much every photo I take of Zenni is blurry. She is constantly on the move. Here we see her telling local kids to stay off the lawn. I mean rocks. We are in Tucson, after all.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Merry Kissmas!


Aside from the milk chocolate turtles, this is my fave holiday candy. Creamy and minty with a satisfying crunch hidden in its velvety folds. 


And, look! There's another minty kiss! These may have been around before, but this is the first year I noticed them. If I find a bag in the post-Christmas clearance aisle, I'm definitely giving them a try. Mrs Claus says there is a calorie reduction equal to the reduction in price. But don't tell anyone! It'll be our little secret.

Return of the Tree Ladies


Three or so years ago I happened upon this very festive idea! Lacking a sewing form for this purpose, Darling DiLly Liz assisted me in decking out Miss Tallulah.


Tacky, yes, but our version of the lady-upside-down-tree-combo had its own appeal.


Whilst out shopping with sis Martine, here we see this year's take on the lady/tree combination is upscaled a bit with faux fur. Making this a fir-fur hybrid. Sadly, there was not adequate room in the car to bring this one home with me. But I still have Miss Tallulah. And unlike the others, she has a head. I'm certain there's a terrific pun hidden in there somewhere. But, alas, I have spent the last twenty-four hours in the car and do not possess the brain power to extract it. 


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Thoughts on The Street Fair in Downtown Palm Springs

Well, just one thought. So many gorgeous men! Holding hands. With other gorgeous men. And the funnel cakes are tasty. So, two thoughts. And thirdly, Blaze pizza is most excellent. I have other thoughts about Palm Springs, but I'll save those for another post. Plus I have photos. But my computer is behaving badly. Thanks for checking in. I know you missed me.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fifth Day of Happiness


A happy, dancing baby boy and a happy, smiling Mom. These are very good things.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Some More Happy, Day Four


Smiling boys in pajamas, 1993. Technically, Reid is wearing sweats, but I always felt if you're under the age of two, you can sleep in whatever you want as well as go out in public in your pajamas. One of those advantages you can't truly appreciate at the time. Michael is wearing pajamas that I sewed! I have no idea how I had the time to do that, but I think I made him six pairs of jammies that winter. I believe that elevates me to the level of Domestic Goddess.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Happy Day Three


Some 1980's sisters Christmas dancing happy for your enjoyment.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Little Happy, Day Two

Last names were removed to protect society at large.
This cracks me up so much! Firstly, I am good! According to the poem, when I'm good, I'm very, very good. Although when I'm bad, I'm horrid. I am the girl with the curl. My dear friend Sara is bad. So don't cross her! Otherwise she is as lovely as any human can be. As for sis Martine, I find the ugly designation terribly amusing. Because she is just the opposite. When we were growing up, she was the pretty one. There you have it, the 1966 classic spaghetti western has been recast.

Newton, With Lights


I might just do nothing this month but post happy photos. We all need a little happy. Just look at that sweet little face.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sigh



I'm. So. Brilliant.


Let's file this under, I kept this thing for a reason, I just didn't know what the reason was. To make decorating the tree much easier, particularly light placement, just set the tree on a turntable! Plug in the lights occasionally and have a look, then unplug and do a couple more rounds. 


Since the best spot for the tree is back in a corner, I don't have to squeeze around the back and then reposition it once it's festooned and fancy. When decorating is done, I'll just toss a skirt of some kind over the whole works so no one will know. Well, except for all of you. And I expect you to behave.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Well, Fuck, Mr Keillor

All I have to say is, if one of my entertainment heroes is going down for his inappropriate behavior toward a woman, the current President of The United States must also be held to account for his abysmal, reprehensible, and widely publicized atrocious acts toward women. Women. Plural. Kick his miserable orange ass to the curb. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Natal Day


Today is my Grandma Esther's birthday. She would have been 109 years old. She did make it to 92, she died in February of 2000. I swear she stuck around to see if Armageddon was going to arrive, and when it didn't, she decided it was time to let go and move on. I do love a group photo, though, and this one I think is of her confirmation class. She looks to be fourteen or fifteen, so my guess is that this was taken around 1923. Esther is seated in the first row, the second girl from the left. At this age I can see some resemblance that both my mom and I inherited from her, a little of sis Martine as well. Happy birthday, Grandma. I hope your soul is happier wherever you are now than it seemed to be in this life. Thanks for introducing me to the deliciousness of fresh green peas when I followed you through your vegetable garden. And showing me how sweet a carrot can be when pulled from the warm soil and crunched down after just a cursory brush against her apron to remove the dirt. I learned something about baking in her kitchen and sewing at her machine in the upstairs landing at her house. I marveled at how she always had Juicy Fruit gum hidden in the depths of her purse. If I asked very nicely, I would be allowed take a bottle of 7Up to share with my sister. They were nested perfectly in one of the crisper drawers in the refrigerator. I'd pop off the lid and carefully divide the soda between two small glasses. Martine would take a sip and push the glass away, she preferred orange pop. Then I'd get to have the whole bottle. Yes, I knew of her preference. But I thought I was more likely to be allowed a soda pop if I promised to share it. I always was a calculating little stinker. I'm pretty sure Grandma knew that, too.

Robert Reich Rocks!


He's done his part, now you do yours by making that phone call! We're all in this together.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Happy Cactus


So many pink buds! I'm guessing the Christmas cactus is liking the light situation near the east-facing patio door. If they all open, it may actually be blooming on Christmas day! 

I Feel Like Such a Grownup...


...on days when I make my bed.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

It's An Honor



Pedicure, Actually

The annual viewing of Love, Actually has been accomplished. Well, a girl needs to be entertained while her nail polish is drying. A glass of Black Box Chardonnay was also involved. As was the leftover green beans with bacon. Because a girl also needs to stay hydrated and eat. I love this movie. And the soundtrack. The seasonal festivities have officially begun.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

From My Patio Door


Looking southeast at sunset.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tis the Season



Standing By Your Man


Long, long ago, children, in a magical land called North Dakota, a younger version of me took part in the wedding of one of my dearest friends, Sue. She's the tall blonde in the bridal finery. That's me standing next to her in the green floral dress. I was maid of honor. I never particularly cared for the man she chose to marry. I thought he had bully tendencies and was unkind to her dogs. But she was my friend and despite my negative opinion of her man, I wanted to be there for her on her wedding day. A few years later, they had relocated to Wisconsin, and I drove out to pay them a visit. I remember two things about their house. The first is that the walls were crowded with wildlife art. Seriously crowded. Practically floor to ceiling crowded. The second is that they had acquired an African grey parrot as a pet. It shrieked from its sizable cage in the corner of the living room. It kind of freaked me out. They told me the bird had set them back about five hundred bucks, and to please not tell their parents that they had spent such an inordinate amount of money on it. I thought it was weird that they should care what their parents thought of such things at that point in their lives. Shortly after returning home, I received a letter from Sue in which she inquired as to whether I had slept with her husband during my stay. She recounted several bits of evidence which she felt pointed directly to such a dalliance. I was horrified. In today's parlance, eeewwwwww! Remember, if you will, that I wasn't fond of the guy. I think I saw her once after that, and we eventually fell out of touch. This has come to be a recurring theme in my life. A  girlfriend accuses me of crossing a line with her man, and then discards me and our friendship and stands by him, seemingly forgetting about and subsequently forgiving his participation in something that never happened. My first recollection of such an accusation was on the playground at school when I was in third or fourth grade. A girl from my class approached me, flanked by two of her besties, and informed me that I was getting a bit too cozy with a boy from  our class. The boy in question was her boyfriend and I needed to back off. We were eight, at the most nine years old! I was puzzled about the whole thing. Truth be told, I liked another boy in our class, but it never occurred to me to stake a proprietary claim on him. Fast forward to a couple of days ago when the internet informed me that Sue's husband, John, had died just over a year ago. Which leaves me wondering if I should contact her. At the very least to extend my condolences, but maybe in the interest of mending fences, too. Even if nothing comes of it, I know from experience that making the effort is worth it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Reckoning

I am disgusted and horrified over the continual outings of prominent men over their despicable, shitty, sexist behavior toward women. In life in general and specifically in the workplace. And I know this has to happen. Too many women have kept quiet for far too long, out of fear of retribution and out of shame that they were somehow complicit. This is what I have to say, so listen up. Some of this was just plain ignorant, stupid, piggish acts perpetrated on women, mostly because an opportunity presented itself and the times were tolerant. If these men come clean, apologize, are contrite, and spend the rest of their lives doing everything within their power to empower women, I can forgive. What I cannot and will not forgive is the calculated and deliberate abuse and violation of women and girls by men in positions of power who deny they have done anything wrong. There is something fundamentally wrong with a man who can laugh off such horrible behaviors under the banner of boys will be boys. I think we can agree that there is a matter of degree here. Copping a feel is reprehensible but pedophilia is a felony. Regardless of political affiliation, it's time to call every last one of these perpetrators with a bent or totally broken moral compass on the carpet and deal with them justly. It's time for the conspiracy of silence to end. With a roar. A loud, feminist roar of rage that cannot be dismissed.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Always the Appetizer, Never the Entree

I really should say, most often the appetizer and seldom the entree. Because never and always are absolutes and rarely apply. But how do you get a clever title out of that? Without being excessively wordy. Not that I have a problem with excessive wordiness, but I like to save that for this larger space below the title. Titles ought to be pithy. Now that I have gone on and on about the title, let's proceed to the matter at hand. Which sort of concerns my fate, but is maybe more a pattern that has emerged, at least in my observation. It seems that I have some sort of magic touch, or something that nudges a man along to his next big romantic commitment. I could recount more than a dozen incidents in the last ten years of an interaction with a man, ranging from expressing an interest to a single date or kiss, or an actual romantic involvement that lasted a few weeks or a few months before it reached its conclusion. Then, no matter who breaks it off or how it ends, he rather quickly moves on to a serious commitment to another woman. Including marriage. At times this has struck me as terribly odd, due to the fact that they usually expressed that they weren't interested in a committed relationship, or an exclusive one, certainly not marriage. But then, directly on the heels of their involvement with me, turn on a dime and settle down into monogamy and matrimony. I don't really take this personally. Only one of them was a man I could see myself with long term. And I ended the entanglement just as often as one of them did. But I am left wondering what it was about me, or lacking in me, that might have influenced their romantic about-face. If it's my fate to be some sort of commitment catalyst that sends a man forth surrounded by an aura of devotion and consumed with a passion for fidelity, then so be it. My nature tends toward acceptance of such things with the hope that understanding will follow. My hangup at this point is that just last week I owned up to my attraction to a certain man. Honestly and sincerely. And not just here or to a trusted girlfriend, to him. Wouldn't you know, over the weekend a woman popped up out of his past, giving him the wink and nod, declaring that fate has dictated that he needs to take her out for sushi. Which is probably insignificant. Which I hope is insignificant. Could it be that there is cause and effect going on here? Or is this just some fateful fable I have assembled from the detritus of my failed romantic endeavors? I can't say with any certainty, I suppose I'm too close to the matter to be objective. What I can say is this. If in the near future this most recent fellow winds up in a serious thing with Ms Sushi, or anyone else, I'm hanging up my shingle and charging for my services. No more free dessert.

Old Friends


Maybe more accurately friends from my youth, or longstanding friends? I recently found Brenda on social media. We were roommates as working girls when I was dating the man I eventually married. She was my maid of honor. I wanted to post a pic of us together at the wedding but couldn't find one, so this questionable photo of us from my bachelorette party will have to do. It appears that Cagney & Lacey is on in the background. I know, you're thinking, what, no porny naked guy videos? My answer to that would be, we're mostly nice Lutheran, midwestern raised gals. Which means we consume our porn in private, though we drink alcohol together. I'm guessing it's been over ten years since we've seen each other. It would be fun to get together with her again, though I will never forgive her for making me wear the striped footie jammies. 


The time? Spring of 1972. The occasion? Confirmation at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. I haven't seen any of these people for decades. But I have stayed in sporadic contact with Kim, the cute ginger at the far left of the middle row. I am just to the right of Pastor John in the same row. Over the years we have both moved multiple times and experienced marriage as well as divorce. I am happy to report that in two weeks we will be reuniting to catch up on the forty or so years since we last saw each other. I will be en route to a family wedding. After  spending a day or so with me, since we will be conveniently located in a city where she has grandkids, Kim will be winding up her visit with a few days with them. I'm excited. This will be fun. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

This Again

I can't remember the title of the book. Anna may have loaned it to me, or maybe it was one we read in the feminist book club. Its concern was relationships and working at developing healthy ones of all kinds. And where romantic relationships are concerned, the book recommended being practical. In one of the final chapters, the reader was encouraged to make a list of qualities that she would like to see in a potential mate. So I made a ridiculously long list, which I then condensed down to a much shorter one. This is on my mind because I recently shared the list with a couple of friends*, both of whom thought it was terrific. Occasionally I look back at it and am a little amazed at how it gets right to the heart of the matter and leaves out the stuff that really isn't important. Which reminds me of young Sally Owens in Practical Magic who composes a spell using a list of qualities for a man who can't possibly exist so she will be spared the pain of loving and the eventual loss of that love. The Owens women are cursed, you see, when it comes to love. The curse is eventually broken when the impossible man arrives. Sally got what she wished for. I do love happy endings. 

*Admit it, you want to know. One woman, one man.