Month: December 2012

Happy New Year! Bye bye 2012 … Welcome 2013!

2013 is finally here and I, for one, bid a less than fond farewell to 2012!

Here are the First Night fireworks from Boston to bring in the 2013 with a bang!!

May your year be peaceful, healthy, happy, and uneventful!

Awakenings: Arrival of the “Ghost Dance”

See on Scoop.itMovies From Mavens

Arrival of the “Ghost Dance” This Day in History: December 29, 1890 –  Massacre at Wounded Knee How did it begin, this hate for the Indian nation?  They were, after all, native to America well before the arrival of the “white man.”

Marilyn Armstrong‘s insight:

As events in Canada unfold, this is an especially timely anniversary.

See on awakenings2012.blogspot.com

My world in white — Happy New Year!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It started snowing yesterday afternoon. I first knew because the dogs came in covered with snow. It had looked like snow would be coming … white snow sky … but it seemed too warm for it to really stick. But, as snow so often does here in the valley, it just kept coming and as evening approached, the temperature dropped.

Straight across into the woods.

The snow continued after dark and when I got up this morning, there was quite a bit on the ground, perhaps 6 or 7 inches. Real snow, the kind that hangs around until it melts or is dug away.

First Snow - Deck 1

My back is still treacherously bad, but I had to at least take a few pictures. It wasn’t so deep that I couldn’t get out onto the back deck, so I provided a round of biscuits to my frantic pups, then grabbed the camera and my new wide-angle lens and took pictures. This is the first real snow of this winter, though it is likely last snow of 2012.

Woods and chairs

Last year, the snowless year, was a glitch in the weather. I hoped we might get another snowless year, but obviously that isn’t happening. Welcome to my world in winter. Fresh snow, so white, so pretty, so … cold.

Facing east

Serendipity’s 2012 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 38,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 9 Film Festivals.

In 2012, there were 762 new posts, not bad for the first year! 2033 pictures were uploaded, probably 90% of which are original photographs by the author. The rest are illustrations from various sources.

The busiest day of the year was November 9th with 1,049 views. The most popular post that day was Presidential Election: “Sad and Tragic Day for Our Nation.” 

Click here to see the complete report.

I only started blogging in February of 2012 … and I didn’t really start posting regularly until May.

I do a lot of reblogging, either via direct reblog or using ScoopIt. That accounts for the high number of posts. I suspect about 70% of the 762 posts were mine. The others were reblogs or scoops. I have gotten good responses to posts I wrote requiring research and serious thought, but my most popular post was something I tossed off in less than five minutes while watching television. Go figure.

Popularity is fickle. It’s dangerously addictive and like most addictions isn’t entirely healthy. There’s a tendency to start to write for numbers … and that’s not what I want to do. So I have to be careful not to let success go to my head, to keep myself on my own course. It’s nice to be popular, but it’s even better when something I write makes someone think in a new way, changes someone’s mind, or give a reader pause to think.

It’s been a roller coaster year with a lot of craziness, tragedy, violence, controversy and acrimony. I’ve won awards, gotten hate mail, fan mail, and a lot more attention that I probably deserve. It’s been exciting, but stressful too. I think I could go for a much more peaceful year to come.

Have a great New Year everyone!!

It snowed last night …

Protecting your guns with your guns

2012_09_gunbust2

When I see a story about folks who’ve gotten busted for having an arsenal and because, as my husband puts it, “they have toys in the attic,” they consistently appear to live in squalor.

Case O' Guns

They have guns, lots of them. If they didn’t spend all their money on guns, they might be able afford a decent place to live, maybe some comfortable furniture and food in the fridge.

lotsa guns

These are the people who are passionate about their right to protect their stuff. But the only thing they have that’s worth protecting are guns. They need the guns to protect themselves from people who might want to steal … what? Guns.

They have guns to protect their guns because everything else they have is trash.

I was pleased to see in L.A., the “guns for groceries program is going well. It is always nice when there’s a small outbreak of rationality. Or maybe it’s just a sign of a difficult economy and the realization that “eating lead” is not all that yummy. And there are so few good recipes for bullets.

I know there are plenty of people who hunt, own guns to a purpose, compete in gun-related sporting activities and don’t spend the equivalent of the food and electric bill on yet another gun. I’m talking about that special breed, the arsenal folks, the “you can’t have too many weapons at any cost” crowd who are as likely to turn up in the middle of an eastern city as the south, west or anywhere else. The nuts are everywhere and there are far too many of them for my comfort. Some of them even appear normal, which worries me more than those who are blatantly batty. If they look and act just like any regular person, I can’t even avoid them.

Out of action

Usually, I’m aiming for a catchy title, but I have to tell you this is not a catchy title. I really am out of action.

I have a bad back. It’s been a mess since I was a kid falling off one horse too many. It was rebuilt in 1967 — a fusion and laminectomy using saws and chisels — because  that was long before micro surgical techniques.

I'm a four and a half. Apparently that means I'm disable. I sure feel disabled right now.

I’m a four and a half. Apparently that means I’m disabled. I sure feel disabled right now.

I’ve had a lot of problems with my back over the years and the fusion, which was bone paste made from a piece of my hip, began to disintegrate about 25 years ago, to be replaced by a massive invasion and a virtual sheathing of arthritic calcification. That’s not altogether bad. Without the arthritis, I’d literally fall apart.

A couple of weeks ago, after months of bursitis in my hips making it more and more painful and difficult for me to do much of anything, I went to the neurologist in Boston. I had a couple of cortisone shots in my hips that overnight made my it possible for me to walk again. I was thrilled.

A few days later, what had been a nagging pain in my back morphed from something I could ignore, to something that demanded I deal with it. Immediately. For the last couple of days, I’ve spent all my time trying to find anything that would make it stop hurting.

Today, I gave up, took the heating pad and my agonized spine and went to bed where I’ve been all day and will probably return in an hour or two. The way it’s feeling right now, I might be back in bed sooner than that.

I’m quite literally out of action. In the 45 years since my spinal surgery, with all the problems I’ve had, I’ve never been laid out like this. I’ve been in a lot of pain, yes, but somehow, I’ve managed to gut it out. This time, I just can’t. If you don’t hear from me, that’s why.

I know I am far from the only one with back problems, but somehow I thought what with all the rest stuff I’ve gone through, all the medical crises, the uncountable numbers of surgeries, that somehow I was going to manage to miss this particular one. Apparently not. Please accept my apologies. I’ll write when I can sit up long enough without screaming in pain and I mean that literally.

Assuming doctors are back from vacation after New Year‘s, I will seek medical assistance. I’m assured that cortisone in my spine might actually help. I’m pretty desperate and right now, a needle or two in my spine sounds like a great idea.

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