For a woman raised in New York and living in Massachusetts, the desert is another world. The colors of the sky. The mountains jutting into the sky and giant cacti growing across the landscape. We have spent two vacations in Arizona and each has been glorious.
We live in New England. It gets cold. Not West Coast cold. We get the real deal, including bitter days with the temperature below zero and piles of ice and snow through which only a snow plow (maybe) can pass.
We do have a heating system and good insulation, but we are always just a little bit cold, especially in the spring and fall when I’m not ready to start (or turn back on) the heat.
But the biggest, most determined blanket maven in the house is Bonnie. The crate in the corner is her house and in it are her blankets. Many blankets. Periodically, we pull all the blankets out and run them through the laundry. Garry lovingly folds them and puts them neatly in Bonnie’s house.
Bonnie gives him That Look. After which she goes in her crate. Pulls the pile apart, drags each blanket out of the crate, then drags them back in. She then rearranges them until they form that perfect pile in which she will be completely at her ease. She also drags everything else in there, too. Biscuits, toys, pieces of old cardboard boxes and anything else she has found and decided to save.
She is very particular about the arrangement of her blankets. We may not be able to see the careful organization, but she knows. Don’t go messing with her blankets. She will have to start all over again, pulling them out, dragging them back in. It’s a busy life for a small, black Scottish Terrier.
Today I saw a bird I didn’t recognize. At first I thought it was an immature Cardinal, but when I got a closer look, I saw that the beak was not rose or red, but white. There were two birds: a pale grey-beige female and a matching male with a red-head and a gray-beige body. Both have pale beaks and they can’t be Cardinals.
I went on line and couldn’t find any local birds resembling them. I dug out my books … and the only bird these two can be are a pair of red finches, birds that were introduced here as caged birds in the 1940s and 1950s. They appear to be building a nest in the tree in front of my picture window.
In any case, I can’t find anything else they could be. They are known to be occasional, accidental travelers to this region, but are rare. The good news? These are big time insect eaters. Maybe they heard about our massive attack of Gypsy caterpillars and moved here for the chow. Maybe we can get a whole flock of them? I’d like that!
They have been on the branch in front of my window on and off for the past four or five days. Today, they were in my view much of the day and I badly wanted pictures. The only way I could shoot them would be through my picture window. And the branch on which they have decided to perch is far off to the left side of the window. A difficult angle at best.
I shot more than 100 pictures of the birds and maybe a half-dozen were remotely acceptable. All of these have been cropped, some heavily. All the pictures were blurry. Streaked windows, too many branches, buds, and leaves. I can’t shoot them from the ground — they would be invisible in the tree. These are as good as I’ll get. More than a little frustrating.
If anyone has a better idea what these birds might be, I’d be happy to hear from you! They do look like red finches. If they are moving in here, that will be great for the birds and as far as I am concerned, every bug-eating bird and bat is welcome to settle down on my place.
Beautiful birds, your dinner is waiting. Come and get it!
I’m not thrilled with news. Any news. I can’t abide right-wing lies based on the exact opposite of what happened, especially when they are talking about things through which I lived and have seen. For shear blatant not-even-a-hint-of truth lying, they are the winners. But the left of the aisle crap is only nominally better. They may begin from a hint of truth, but then take some minor thing and blow it up to something gigantic. Put up a headline on it which sounds as if something astounding is about to (or just did) happen. So whatever it was, it ends up a total lie.
At the root was something real, but the result is nonsense.
I would have to be a fool to believe it.
At this point, I don’t believe anything.
My personal political allegiances are not news. I don’t need news organizations to approve or disapprove on my behalf. That’s not the point of news.
I want information, data, and facts based on a recognizable reality. I want the news to give me an informed, intelligent, and preferably neutral idea of what’s going on. I don’t want overblown headlines about how Trump is about to be impeached. Because he isn’t about to be impeached (yet) and anyone with half a brain knows that. I don’t want shouted headlines about stuff that isn’t happening and will never occur. Nor do I want distorted stories which only make the stuff in which I believe look stupid.
I don’t want right-wing “summaries” about news that never happened and will never occur. I don’t want left-wing fairy tales, either.
It’s hard to find believable news from any source. I don’t trust anything from any form of social media. Each has its own version of what they think I want to hear. I don’t want to hear what they think I want to hear. I want to know what happened. What was seen. What was written. Then I will decide what I believe.
In today’s world, is there room for reality?
We’ve been watching a PBS series about World War 1. It was a terrible time. It was also when many of the myths, fables, and lies with which we are now living, began. It was the time when we started thinking we were fighting for democracy, and that somehow, we were “the right country” to defend democracy everywhere. It wasn’t true then. It isn’t true now.
We have been believing those same lies since 1914, the beginning of the breach between our political halves. It was the start of what we see every day in 2017. A hundred years of lying. Wilson could have gotten everything he wanted from Congress including the League of Nations, but refused to accept it because (are you ready?) the “deal” was offered by the wrong party.
Bringing us to today. News agencies? Please get off your soap boxes. Give me facts. That might be a start to a better world. For everyone.
I love Justin Trudeau. I wish he was my President. I’m envious of Canadians because he is theirs. Why can’t we have an intelligent, reasonable, knowledgeable, worldly, likeable, competent person as our President again too? I liked being proud of our President, as I was for the eight years before Trump was elected.
I was eleven years old when John F. Kennedy was elected President and I was fourteen years old when he was killed. I vividly remember those idyllic years. It was then that I formed my idea of what a president is supposed to be. I remember most of the country being proud of our President.
He helped cement our position as leader of the free world. He gave inspiring speeches and I remember trusting him and believing what he said. He motivated us and made us feel that culturally and morally, as well as politically and economically, we were the envy of the rest of the world.
I’m not making a judgment about Kennedy’s policies or legislative accomplishments during his short-term in office. I’m just talking about how America saw itself and how the rest of the world saw us. I’m talking about how one young girl felt about her country and her President. The Kennedy family as a whole projected the image of wealth and prominence, political activism, philanthropy, and patronage of the arts. Something else we could collectively be proud of.
JFK epitomized the belief that America was morally righteous, strong and determined and that we could accomplish anything we put our minds to. Even going to the moon. He made us want to be the best we could be. We had ideals and by God we could live up to them all! I thought that that was what Presidents were supposed to do. Jackie added to the mystique. She was beautiful, fashionable, polished, and refined. She promoted the arts inside and outside of the White House.
Americans were proud of their the Kennedys were cultured and educated. We all embraced the ‘elitism’ of the gifted, the knowledgeable and the accomplished. As a country, we celebrated all forms of artistic expression.
I don’t know much about Justin Trudeau. I do know he is caring, articulate, shares my ‘liberal’ values, handles himself well in social and political situations and speaks clearly and truthfully. He supports programs that will improve the lives of his people, not just the wealthy, the corporations or one of his country’s political parties.
Canadians love their President. They are so lucky! In less than 100 days, I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to admire or even trust the person in the White House. In less than 100 days I’ve forgotten what it feels like not to be terrified or embarrassed by everything our President says or does. I don’t think I can survive another 100 days in this admiration and trust vacuum!
Maybe I should start reading everything I can about Justin Trudeau. That way I can sustain the belief that good and smart leaders can happen to good people. Maybe if I spend the rest of Trump’s term immersed in Canadian politics, I’ll keep my sanity and emerge in time for the next election, refreshed and invigorated. Convinced that people like Justin Trudeau might even get elected President again here. Someday.
Wanting something to quench your thirst, what would you drink?
Coffee in the morning. Sport drinks the rest of the day. I have a condition called “low sodium blood count.” I can’t drink plain water or fruit juice or soda. The ONLY stuff I can drink, other than my mandatory coffee in the morning, is stuff that’s loaded with electrolytes. It’s a real pain in my butt, but I’ve gotten used to it. What happens if I ignore this?
Well, I could die. That’s the consensus. I cheat a little. Sometimes, I have a cup of tea at night, or add a few ounces of juice to my electrolyte drink. Otherwise, I am well-behaved. It could be worse.
Complete this sentence: Never In My Life Have I….
Discovered the magic wormhole that will take me to that other time zone. I have looked everywhere, but I can’t find it. I’ve recently been hoping to find one special telephone booth, but there are no telephone booths anymore.
It’s like finding a mailbox these days. You have to take anything you want to mail to the post office itself. They have a box in front of the door. Otherwise, there are no more “drop the letter in the box” places. Maybe they were the wormholes and that’s why they have been removed?
If you could be given any gift what would it be?
Someone to come and clean the house and take care of all the stuff that needs fixing!
What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something productive?
I look at my email. That puts me into a coma in about 15 seconds.