Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays


and today's Neale Donald Walsch....

On this day of your life, dear friend, 
I believe God wants you to know...

...that the reason so much of humanity commemorates
this day is that so much of humanity seeks to give and
receive love.

During this holy time, know that all times are holy, that
every religion holds truth, that each tradition is sacred,
and that it is in the simple sharing of love that we make
our beliefs come alive, and our dreams come true.

Let this Christmas Day remind us that Christ came to
invite us to offer love to all humankind, and to open the
door of God's kingdom to every soul.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Love, Your Friend....

Monday, December 24, 2012

How Many Killings is Enough?

Christmas Eve in America, firefighters ambushed fighting a fire. A week earlier 20 children and 7 adults gunned down in a school in less than 3 minutes. This is really what some people think the Founding Fathers dreamed of, lived and died for? I don't think so.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays

I have decided to take the holidays off from doing Wordzzles, so I will be back in January. Meanwhile, I wish you all happy holidays. I meant to put that and not Merry Christmas on my card, so I hope any  non-Christmas folks will forgive me for forgetting.  May the holidays be joyous for you and may the New Year bring peace and wisdom and kindness to us all.  I had to shrink the card pretty small to get past the fact that I'm out of allotted photo space. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 228

Almost forgot that it's Friday. I will post my exercises tomorrow. Very sad about the school killings in Connecticut. Very tired in general.

UPDATE:  Angel is getting a new companion this morning - rather unexpectedly - so I may not be able to do my exercises until tomorrow... hopefully then. Very anxious and not feeling very well. Apologies for the delay.

SUNDAY 5:00 PM - well, I almost forgot. Just starting now and my heart isn't in it. Kitty introductions did not go well yesterday. New kitty is secluded in back bedroom. Angel is pretending she doesn't exist. Me too, really. She is being very quiet. She has food and water until my friend can come and put a screen door so they can see and smell each other without actually interacting.  I don't have a good feeling about it, though.  Anyway, I'm tired, anxious and not feeling very well, plus listening too much to the coverage on the sad killing of so many children in Connecticut.  Just looking at the words and I think I repeated pregnant from last week or the week before. Sigh. Hate it when I do that. Thinking I may take a break for the holidays and start again in the New Year. Nobody but me plays in any case and now people will be busy with the holidays as well.

6:16: Done.  I will keep my non-readers posted about whether or not I take a break for the holidays. 

Words for this week's 10 word challenge: caution, spinach, heat, pregnant, carved wooden box, blaggard, garbage, bellow, effort, sapling    And for the mini: charcoal, turtle, impulse, shaft, exaggeration

My mega:

The blaggard who had gotten her pregnant had seemed like the perfect man when she met him, so much so that she had thrown caution to the wind. It was no exaggeration to say that he had seemed capable of reading her heart, of being the healer of all her wounds. Early on he had given her a small carved wooden box which he had told her contained his heart. That it was empty when she opened it, might have given a wiser woman pause, but she had felt no impulse to run, only gratitude for his effort to comfort and nurture her. He had lavished her with praise and poetic gifts - a sapling planted in the yard to be nurtured and grow with their love. Hah. If only she had known. He was the classic abuser. Once she was roped in and pregnant, it all turned to garbage...his attention became destructive, his compliments turned to bellowed cruelty, the heat of his rage so wild she sometimes felt like even her skin (not to mention her heart) was singed by it. Initially she had tried to be a turtle, to pull into a shell of denial and self-protection. At first she had swallowed his poison like some kind of perverted spinach... it was for her own good, he always told her. She dreaded being a single parent, but she knew that the baby growing in her womb was, on some level, her guardian angel, for she had guided her to Dr. Shar Kohl (pronounced like charcoal), who had read the signs of her abuse and pulled - one by one - the shafts of her demented abusers arrows from her heart. Dr. Kohl had persuaded her to seek treatment and the counselors had found her a safe house in which to heal and find herself again. She dedicated her life to healing her own wounded psyche so that her baby would grow up safe, nurtured and strong in spirit.

My mini:

Jason Shaft had purchased the charcoal drawing of the giant turtle at the local flea market on an impulse. He was inherently frugal and not given to such impulses, and his wife - who often went without things that she wanted - was (no exaggeration here) rather irritated by his purchase. She got over it, though, when a few months later, they discovered that the small drawing on which Jason had lavished the extravagant some of $15 turned out to be worth over $100,000.

And the 10-word:

Donna's friends and family were deeply opposed to her about her addiction to hunting through garbage to find lost treasures, some of which she used in her art work and some which she simply rescued from being lost to the world. It was the source of many heated arguments. Her mother cautioned her that it was dangerous and that it was unbecoming a lady. Her father bellowed at her that no man would ever want to marry her. They could not see that her efforts were for her creativity like Popeye's spinach.  The hunt was pregnant with seeds and saplings of artistic inspiration. And sometimes she just found small personal treasures. Her favorite ever find was a carved wooden box with the word BLAGGARD ornately etched into the wood. That little box had helped her work out a lot of anger and those who knew her work knew that you could often find the world blaggard hidden in the curves and shadows of almost every painting or work of art she created. It took 20 years, a loving husband and a great career for her parents to come around to her way of thinking, but eventually - when her first painting was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art - they did.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  children, drastic, guns, preparation, moved, knit, spare, lesson, blanket, wink 

And for the mini: escape, plastic, gravity, sarcasm, giggle

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 227

Well, it's Friday yet again. Time goes by faster and faster the older I get.  Probably I will wait until Saturday to post my exercises (seems to be a pattern now), but wanted to make Mr. Linky and next week's words available just in case someone else has been inspired to play.

6:05 Saturday:  Late as usual, but finally done.

Words for last week's 10-word challenge were: whisper, rest, carrot cake, pregnant, robot, pressure, play, sloth, category, needy   And for the mini: challenge, cramped, particles, spice, pastoral

My mega:

Amanda was not entirely enjoying the challenge of being pregnant. The doctors had put her on bed rest and she felt cramped and restless and needy lying next to her husband in bed. For his part, Robot (his name was Robert, but his patient attendance to her demands had earmed him the new nickname Robot) was being remarkably patient and attentive. They were fortunate that even with the pressures of his pastoral duties, he had a lot of flexibility in his schedule as well as a church full of devoted and well meaning congregants eager to play nurse to the coming child's mother. They had a kitchen full of carrot cakes, spice cakes, home made pickles and a sampling of goods from every possible category of craving satisfiers. As she poked him gently and whispered his name, he rolled over, half asleep and said groggily? "Ice cream? Pickles?" "Neither, beloved," she beamed happily, "Your son wants to play with you. I don't think we need to worry about him being slothful. He is a very energetic kicker with not a particle of compassion for his poor Mom's tummy or need for sleep." Feeling her husband's strong, gentle hand on her belly and watching the delight in his face, as he felt his child kicking in her womb, Amanda thought herself possibly the luckiest woman on earth. "I love you Pastor Robot," she smiled. "What a father you will be! You have calmed our little kicker right down with your touch and his mother too."  "I love you too," he replied, watching her eyes flicker towards sleep. In the womb, the child, wrapped in their love of each other and himself, floated in happy anticipation of his arrival into the world.

The mini: 

Leonard Patterson, really regretted having taken his girl friend's challenge to spend a week in this stupid, cramped cabin with no electric or heat or... other important things. She had said that the experience would spice his life up and had described the god-forsaken hell he was currently entombed in as "a beautiful pastoral setting."  The worst part of it all was the out house which smelled awful and left his butt covered with particles of dirt and who knew what else. The up side of the adventure was that he had plenty of time to think of a way to take revenge on that blighted woman. If she had wanted to break up with him, he thought, she could have just said so.

And my 10-word: 

Putting the finishing touches on her famous Christmas carrot cake, Jenny dreaded facing the pressure from her family about why she was not yet pregnant. They meant well, she knew, but it was time to put the whispered speculations to rest. It was not sloth in effort or a lack of desire to be parents. It seemed that she and Josh were in that category of people who could not get pregnant. Even as she thought about it, a range of emotions played through her. Anger.... it was nobody's business. They were not robots who should be commanded to reproduce to please others - followed by feelings of needy jealousy. Why should Carla have twins and while she was barren?  And at the last - shame for those thoughts and grief for the loss of what she couldn't have.  It did not turn out as she had expected, though. The family had received the news philosophically and her sister had pulled her aside and telling her not to give up hope and sharing the secret of her own struggle with the same problem - and how she had come to be the proud mother of twin boys. It was the best Christmas gift Jenny could have hoped for... well except for the baby girl she held in her arms two Christmases later.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  caution, spinach, heat, pregnant, carved wooden box, blaggard, garbage, bellow, effort, sapling 

And for the mini: charcoal, turtle, impulse, shaft, exaggeration

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 226

Well, at least I remembered that it's Friday and have got the words ready on time this week. Alas, I am short of energy. Had a friend in crisis today, Angel in kitty torment because she wants to play and then doesn't want to play and I myself am just tired in that yucky way that is part physical part depression. Anyway... unless I get a burst of energy later on, I'll just post the words and Mr. Linky and so my exercises tomorrow.

6:25 PM Saturday:  I struggled with these words. Not very happy with the results, but so it goes. The Lone Wordzzler soldiers on and does her best.

Words for this week's 10 word challenge: festive, bright red, hugs to all, macaroni and cheese, grief, obstreperous, fortune, mistake, zebra stripes, alphabetical   And for the mini: your choice, drastic, hood, sparkling, smelly

My mega:

Sabrina Smelly loved her extravagant home. Although she reduced to living on macaroni and cheese  and almost everyone she knew gave her grief over what they termed the "mistake" of spending a fortune on decorating, she didn't care. Fred, her husband, would not have minded the expense so much if her taste had not been what he decreed in one particularly obsterperous pre divorce debate - "beyond hideous... Your choice of bright red walls and zebra stripe accessories for our bedroom, for example," he had gone on, "is the so comically bad it could be featured in a bad design magazine, especially when you put the purple and pink wallpaper in the en suite bathroom adjacent to it. It's like moving from one nightmare into another. Then there's the sparkling alphabetical letters theme in the den and the chartreuse hood on the stove and the drastic contrast of the pumpkin colored walls. Some onlookers had been somewhat puzzled by the almost festive "hugs to all" attitude with which she had embraced her husband's departure from their marriage. "The house is yours," he had said in the divorce settlement, "I never want to see it again."  Six weeks later, when her "decorating consultant" moved in and what turned out to be rented decor was quickly removed, she was overheard telling him, "We need a new plan, Jason, darling.  I'm not sure how much longer I could have stood the ugliness. But he house is ours now... I'm quite fond of this one. Maybe it's time to retire."  Unfortunately, for Sabrina and Jason, the person who overheard their conversation happened to be a cop on the vice squad, who did some checking into Sabrina's past, which turned out to be quite a checkered one. Fred, it turned out, was not the first victim of this particular pair. Fred got his house and most of his money back and Jason and Sabrina got jail cells to decorate for a significant period of time.

My mini:

Food critic, Joseph Hood, called the young chef to his table and greeted him warmly. "Your choice of sparkling wine and this odd, smelly cheese initially struck me as a drastic miscalculation, but I am pleased to tell you that I was mistaken. You have created a culinary masterpiece and taught and old critic some new tricks. My review will be a rave. Congratulations.

And my 10-word:

Although early on, many of her friends had thought that Jane's marriage to her obstreperous and eccentric artist husband was a  mistake, over the years, they had come to love him and his odd blend of contentiousness and "hugs to all" behavior. Thirty years later, when he died too young after a short illness, she had decided that the best way to honor his memory would be to swallow her grief and throw the festive "going away" party he had always told her he wanted. Mourners were asked to wear bright red and something with a zebra stripe - to match the decor of the deceased's coffin, which he had custom created for himself many years earlier. They drank wine, feasted on macaroni and cheese (his favorite meal), and shared memories of their late host. Much to the surprise of all, each guest - in alphabetical order. as per her late husband's instructions - was given with a signed painting or other work of art. "I want you to know," Jane told them, "that he himself chose who would receive which painting and he put great thought into it. Some of you have received lesser works because he thought you would love them and for a few he chose items that are potentially worth a fortune, because he knew you were struggling financially. He hid the bigness of his heart from strangers, but you who are gathered here knew it well. Before he died, he managed to create one final work - an homage to each and all of us here. I don't know if I am seeing it through the eyes of my grief, but I think it is his greatest work. It was his final gift to me and I wish all of you to be the first to see it." So saying, she uncovered a painting which was indeed a masterpiece - not just of art - but of love so moving that not one of them could refrain from weeping. It was a remarkable evening and each person present left feeling enriched in spirit and with a renewed commitment to watch over Jane for the rest of their lives, which they did, although her husband's final masterpiece left her quite well provided for all by itself.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  whisper, rest, carrot cake, pregnant, robot, pressure, play, sloth, category, needy 

And for the mini: challenge, cramped, particles, spice, pastoral

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

O America

PBS had a Celtic Women program on last night. I'm not all that fond of them... or at least I blow hot and cold, but I had never heard this song before and I found it beautiful and moving. My inner patriot got all stirred up.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 225

I forgot again.  Between the disruption (sort of) of Thanksgiving and my continuing sadness about Tara Grace, I just completely forgot it was Friday and Wordzzle day. Needless to day, since it's after 10 pm, I won't be posting anything until tomorrow. I do apologize for being so consistently inconsistent and late.

3:30 Saturday:  Done. I seem to have gone all serious and gloomy this weekend. Sorry. 

Words for this week's 10-word challenge:  humor, loss, marijuana, weekend, cold, wrist, Hercules, danger, mouse, disconnected,   And for the mini: girls, movies, compromise, tremendous, chalk

My mega:  

Hercules Montgomery - he had spent a lifetime paying a heavy price for his parents sense of "humor" - took another drag of his marijuana joint, knocking the ashes into a nearby ashtray with a deft flick of his wrist and shivered in the cold darkness of his home. He sat in front of the dark computer screen, mouse in hand, seemingly oblivious to the fact that it was disconnected. It was only with tremendous effort that he pulled the frayed strands of his thoughts together enough to remember that it was his weekend to have custody and that and he was supposed to take his girls to the movies. The   herculean (no pun intended) efforts of his lawyer to get his ex wife to compromise and give him any access to their children would now be a total loss. She had warned him over and over of the danger his addictions posed and he had refused to listen. How ironic, that only now - when he had thrown away everything - could he truly hear her voice. He grasped a cup of cold coffee and drank it down in one gulp. It tasted like chalk, but it woke him up enough to push away some of the torpor of drugs and booze. Then, with shaking hands, he took his stash out of the desk drawer, headed to the bathroom and flushed it down the toilet. Next, he poured all the alcohol down the drain. Then - the hardest part - he dialed the phone and said the words she had prayed to hear all during their marriage. "Babe, I need help."

My mini:

 During the months of his rehab, one of the things that kept Herc Montgomery going was the desire to see his girls again and to redeem his broken promise to take them to the movies. His ex refused to compromise on the need for him to stay clean and sober for a full year before he could see the girls again. Years later - in retrospect - he recognized that her stubborn insistence and been a tremendous motivating force holding him firmly on course to recovery. The day when he did not react to those words like the sound of fingers on a chalk board, both he and his counselor knew he was truly on the road to recovery.

My 10-word:   

One of the best things about being recovered, Hercules thought, was that he had found his sense of humor again, although he had not recognized it's loss while he was actively in the thrall of his vices. In fact he had though himself the funniest guy in the room. That was perhaps the greatest danger of addition - the distortion of reality. Despite his heroic name, he had spent most of his life feeling more like a mouse than a man and had used drugs and booze to mask that pain. The irony was that marijuana and whiskey had in reality produced quite the opposite impression to others. That had been one of the greatest revelations during recovery. There had been a painful weekend at the clinic when his friends and family confronted him with the impact of his behavior on their lives. His wife and his parents had shared their devastation as he had become increasingly cold and disconnected.  The most devastating moment - the one that would be seared on his heart forever - was hearing his 12-year old daughter talk about her dread of hearing the words "you don't have to twist my wrist," which had apparently often preceded a major bout. Nothing he could ever do would take away the hurt he had caused these people - people he loved deeply - but he had known in that moment that he would spend the rest of his life doing his best to atone.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  festive, bright red, hugs to all, macaroni and cheese, grief, obstreperous, fortune, mistake, zebra stripes, alphabetical 

And for the mini: your choice, drastic, hood, sparkling, smelly

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


As the person who sent this to me said, I don't know if this is true of not...  I never believed the Ohio vote in 2004 and this story makes a lot of sense to me. There's a lot I don't really like about Anonymous, but if this is true, I like them a whole lot more than I did.  If this is true, we really need to do so me work on how we cast our votes so that we make sure no future elections can be stolen.  It's worth noting -which this story doesn't mention - that the voting machines in Ohio were purchased by a company with connections to Romney's son and to Bain Capitol.  Anyway, it's an interesting video.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 224

Needless to say, it has been a difficult week and I completely lost track of what day of the week it is, so I am behind schedule as usual but with a better excuse this week.  I think I'll just post the words and Mr. Linky for the moment and do my exercises tomorrow if all goes well.

5:30 PM:  This week's exercises are a series of pretty lame tributes to the late Tara Grace. I'm not sure the last one makes any sense. I was tired by the time I got to it. Sorry about that.

Words for this week's 10-word challenge were:   school, letter to the editor, service, turkey, furnace, weeds, trading, rambling, crass, forgery   And for the mini: general, affair, color, laughter, pepper

My mega: 

Raven sat reading through a long, crass and rambling letter to the editor which had been penned by some moronic, ignorant turkey of a "citizen"  (not that she was biased) about Obama's birth certificate being a forgery and how school children were in danger of being indoctrinated into socialism and Islam (no explanation given as to how two such divergent and incompatible systems could be meshed together). She peppered her reading of said letter with language which her mother would not have found acceptable. Generally, she tried to meet those who engaged in racism and hatred with laughter - it seemed the best medicine and what such nonsense deserved - but today her mood was colored by grief and she was trading sorrow for crankiness. She was grateful for the purring furnace (hey -that's a pun!) of Angel's little furry body in her arms. The hugs were like a healing service they offered to one another to stave off the weeds of grief and loss. Mourning was a strange affair, full of complex and confused emotions. Like the murder of her sister, this death had caught Raven off guard, both because it was unexpected and because sometimes we don't recognize the depth of our love for another until they are gone from us. Who would have thought that 4.7 pounds of shy, stubborn gray sweetness would leave such a gaping emptiness behind her?  "We will be OK," Raven whispered to Angel. And she knew it was true. "We will be sad for a time, but only Tara's body died, not her love. That's forever."

My mini:  

When Tara Grace first came into her life, Raven never imagined that it would be the start of a love affair (not that kind) that would touch her so deeply. Who would have believed that the sad, skinny, gray creature who was afraid to even come near her - would evolve into a source of laughter and head butts and such deep and tender emotions. Not Raven, to be honest. She has felt her heart ache with grief as Tara would sit herself 4 feet away and look with what could not be mistaken as anything but longing for affection mixed with fear and dread of receiving it. She had wondered in those early days if she wasn't making a mistake. But it hadn't been a mistake. Tara had turned out to be a gift that kept on giving, a riddle wrapped in a mystery, a complex and inspiring spirit who had come through suffering and abuse and retained her gentleness. Tara was a mix of contradictions as well. Loving her might have been frustrating to someone who wanted desperately to be able to pick her up and hug her, but she was anything but boring. She played like a ballerina, dancing around the room, batting some toy or other, but when that delicate ballerina spoke she had the raspy voice of a long-shoreman and it sounded like her words were peppered with language that might be described as colorful. Demure and delicate much of the time, she could also be like a general marshaling the troops when she was ready for her bed-time crunchies, and for all her fear of touch, she had compensated by curling up on Raven's hip during the night. In the end, Raven had discovered that that tiny, skinny little body had held a Spirit of enormous size. She had left a strange kind of quiet behind her. Not that she had been a noisy cat. She hadn't. (She had sneezed a lot and talked from time to time she was not a loud presence.) Even so, that was the best description Raven could come up with. It might be that emptiness was a better word. Whatever words you used,  huge tiny presence was gone... and she was missed. Raven was grateful to have been touched and changed by Tara's wise, gentle and loving presence in her life.

And the 10-word: 

Although she never sent it, Raven had briefly pondered writing a letter to the editor on the subject of stray cats.Here was how it began:  Like many rescued animals, in the school of life, Tara Grace suffered much, learned much and taught much. She spent part of her life hiding in the weeds, rambling in the woods, maybe trying to sneak into some basement somewhere trading the "safety" of freedom to steal a night of comfort by from a warm furnace. It was clear that my Tara was brutalized at one time by some crass bully whose manhood was a forgery, some sadistic turkey who hit and starved her to make himself feel more important. Despite that, Tara never lost her gentle spirit. We pay so much lip service in our lives to love and compassion, to our reverence for life. Then we don't spay our animals and we send them out to breed with others and leave those off-spring to fend for themselves or be killed. We treat them like toys we can ignore when we are busy and play with when we are bored. We talk about being good Christians, we talk about love and generosity. We have so much to learn from these animals we abuse - sometimes actively, sometimes by indifference. But they have so much to teach us. Their capacity to love and forgive is more profound than that of most humans I have met. My cats have taught me more about life and love than any humans. I wish we as a society would take action to more actively protect them. Each of the 4 cats who has come into my life has enriched it beyond measure and made my world a better place. 


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  humor, loss, marijuana, weekend, cold, wrist, Hercules, danger, mouse, disconnected, 

And for the mini: girls, movies, compromise, tremendous, chalk

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In Memoriam: Tara Grace

Thank you to those who have sent good wishes and hugs and prayers for Tara Grace. She remained stubborn and sweet to the very end but died very quickly. I didn't betray her trust and hold her until after she died. She hated being held, so I allowed her that dignity until she was gone from her body and then the very kind vet allowed me to sit and hold Tara in my arms for about 15-20 minutes before she had to leave and go to her next call. She said she thinks Tara was probably almost 19 and that she had been living on borrowed time for a very long time. She is at peace now and no longer in pain. Me... I'm crying a lot. 

Unknown - November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Prayers for Tara Grace

Tara Grace - also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Congestion - has taken a downturn over night. We could use your prayers and would very much appreciate them.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 223

Oops.  Started this in the afternoon and then got a phone call and then got involved in something else and completely forgot about finishing it up.  Sigh.  I should never write these this late because it takes me forever and I keep digressing to other things. Sign. It's 10:30 and I just finished the mini. I kind of like that one. It's a love story. The mega is kind of stupid, if I do say so myself. Now I still have the 10-word and less than no enthusiasm. But I must persevere. 11:00 pm. Finally finished. Not my best, but it's done. 

Words for this week's 10-word challenge were:  
horrors, family, ginger, relevant, center, cheaters never prosper, flag, twine, mayonnaise, he's got my vote,  And for the mini: books, pressed, off the wall, anchor, lavender

My mega: 

Identical twin sisters Lavender and Ginger Twine, were passionate about politics, but the similarity ended there. Ginger was an arch conservative, while Lavender was an equally fervid progressive. To make the situation even more bizarre, each of them anchored an opinion spot on rival news stations and the networks, smelling ratings gold, made sure that the sisters aired at different hours so that viewers could tune in and delight in two identical faces uttering totally opposing views on the horrors of one candidate or another. Ginger was prone to recite complex collections of talking points and often closed her segment by saying, "He's got my vote," while waving a small American flag. Lavender, on the other hand was inclined to more cerebral conversations with authors of relevant books on various political and social topics. This approach was partly just the natural bent of liberals as a collective but was probably also a response to being the only liberal in a family of rather stodgy conservatives. The Twines were Republican royalty of sorts and considered Lavender with her compassion for the poor and for animals - she was a vegan of all things! - to be rather off the wall.  She had spent her teen and college years pressed to defend her every decision - from volunteering at a Health Care and Abortion Center that catered to the poor to eating vegan mayonnaise - from derision or ethical challenge. "Cheaters never prosper," a family mantra and they aimed it at her as though compassion for the poor was a crime rather than a display of goodness. It was a matter of significant satisfaction to her, therefore, that while her sister won the family battles, her programs won both the ratings wars and awards for excellence in journalism. That said, sweet as that revenge was, she would have traded her public acclaim for a little respect from the family that seemed incapable of loving her.

My  mini: 

Megan loved the Off the Wall book store. She loved the smells and the people and the odd old volumes she found there which sometimes held delightful surprises. Once she had pulled a book about anchors off one of the crowded shelves only to find an old love note ans a sprig of lavender pressed between two of the pages. And she had met George there. How could 45 years have flown by so quickly? They had visited old hole in the wall store often and the owner had become one of their best friends. She had rather dreaded returning to their old haunt, but in his will George had told her he had left something for her there. When she had arrived, she was surprised to feel a sense of comfort as though George was watching over her. When Jack - the owner - handed her a sealed envelope, she had opened it with trembling hands. It read, "Beloved wife, how I have loved you. I know when I am first gone, you will need a purpose, so I have left you 11 (your favorite number) surprises here at our favorite book store. Not even Jack knows where they are, but I know you will find them and when you are done, you will know for sure that I will never really leave you or you me. I love you always. George."  Laughing, she showed the note to Jack before tucking it next to her heart. "Even from the grave, that man knows how to make me happy. I'm sure he will have made it a challenge. I think I'll start in the poetry section, Jack. I really feel his presence. Don't you?" And she was off on her quest. It took her almost a year to find all of his notes and pressed flowers, but she found them and with each one, she found her husband again in a new way. When her own time to leave this life came a few years after that, she embraced death with the faith and knowledge that George would be waiting for her. Their children, who were present when she died, all swore that they could feel their father's presence and the power of their parents' love.  And many years later, their youngest granddaughter wrote a book about it which she called, Pressed Flowers and Love Notes Off the Wall.

My 10-word:

Jane Relevant was exhausted but happy. The President had been re-elected and she felt like her country had escaped the great peril that his opponent embodied.  It had been a difficult campaign, though, full of such ugliness, vitriol and an assortment of horrors. The worst had been a strange package tied with twine and hidden in the rest room at campaign headquarter and even though it wasn't a bomb, it had turned out to be a dripping pig's heart and a note written in blood that said "cheaters never prosper." The police had had evacuated the whole shopping center, which for some reason many people blamed on them rather than on the perpetrator of the threat. Then there were the flag-waving (and sometimes gun toting) crazy people who shouted racial slurs or called them socialists and told them to stop ruining America and get a job. That said, there were precious memories too. Many of those she called were so excited about the election and the President and before she said two words would pronounce happily, "He's got my vote." The best thing, though, the thing she would never forget was the evening when the first family stopped by with pizza, cold cuts, bread and big jar of mayonnaise and making sandwiches for the five of them... even sending someone out to get some fresh ginger, which the first lady promised (correctly) would help settle Jane's upset tummy. And the President himself had hugged her and thanked her for her help and he and his wife had takne pictures with each of the volunteer. It had been awesome and had renewed their spirits and made them work even harder. He had won and she had helped him do it. She would sleep well tonight.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  school, letter to the editor, service, turkey, furnace, weeds, trading, rambling, crass, forgery

And for the mini: general, affair, color, laughter, pepper

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Four More Years! 

What will I obsess about now?

Nov. 9th upadate:  I thought this video was worth sharing. It speaks volumes about the kind of human being we just re-elected... and they are good volumes.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Of Clocks and Votes

I think the setback would be more than 50 years. More like 500.  

Obama/Biden 2012. 

 Please vote and vote for Democrats across the board. 

And then there's this.... which is just kind of fun.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 222,
2nd Attempt

OK... Second try after a week when I just blahed out of doing wordzzles even after I posted the words. Hopefully, with no earth ending storms threatening to blow my little house away, I will get the task done this week. We are expecting snow and the sky is all gray and gloomy, but.... I'm back down to my  normal level of crazy, so hopefully I will even post this today. (I've had all week, but do you think I have used that time, so all I'd have to do is just hit "publish"? Nope. Last minute to the end.

FINISHED... EARLY EVEN. Go me!  Not that thrilled with this week's offerings except that I'm glad they are done. I kind of like the idea of the last one but don't think I quite pulled it off and I'm too lazy to put any more effort into it. First one is so-so. The mini is just a boring cheat. So it goes.

Words for this week's 10-word challenge were: howling woman, experience, selection, for sale, star, crackers, you've got mail, limp, fuzz, characteristic  And for the mini: birds in flight, rainy day, ribbon, blanket, Yikes!

Marilyn's dream began with a flock of birds in flight on what seemed to be a rainy day. She thought they were crows, but she wasn't really certain. They flew in a silent ribbon across the sky, forming a variety of odd shapes, beginning with an arrow which then morphed into a star.  That was followed by something that looked like fire cracker and then a fourth shape but her memory got fuzzy at that point about what the remaining formations were.  The next thing she remembered was a howling woman wrapped in a colorful, blanket whose pattern was characteristic of the Navaho weaving Marilyn loved so much, although it was clearly not authentic. (This information seemed important for some reason, though she had no idea why.) The woman was staring up at the birds and shouting "Yikes! Yikes! Oh my God, look at the birds! It's a sign!" and waving her arms around frantically before collapsing into a limp heap on the ground that quickly turned into a pile of colorful autumn leaves.  It was one of those surreal dreams one experiences and feels as though there is a message being delivered in some unbreakable code. An hour later, showered, sipping her from a steaming cup of coffee, she logged onto the computer. "You've got mail," the cheery voice announced. Scanning the list of emails, she gasped.... top of the list was one from As the Crow Flies with the Subject line: For Sale - Amazing Selection of Native American crafts and blankets. Guess I'd better check this out. Talk about a divine message. Wow. It turned out to be a fantastic sale. She bought herself the long wished for Navaho blanket (it was SO beautiful) as well as Christmas gifts for everyone on her list.

My  mini:

Gazing out the big picture window in his living room on a rainy day in late October, Felix Martinson called to his wife, "Marilyn, Marilyn... come quick. You've got to see this huge flock of birds in flight. They are amazing! It almost looks like they are making shapes as they fly."  Arriving at her husband's side, Marilyn Martinson gasped out a loud "Yikes!"  Felix, baby... you know my Navaho blanket that I love so much. Five years ago I had a dream that looked just like this! And when I woke up, there was an email with a sale. Honest. In the dream they flew in in that same ribbon or river of motion and drawing different pictures. I think maybe I'll check my email. Maybe I can find some good Christmas gifts again. What makes this story even more remarkable is that when she checked her email... there was indeed another excellent sale. "The universe works in wondrous ways, sometimes, doesn't it?," she said to Felix later that evening. Felix, who was somewhat less of a romantic than Marilyn, none-the-less, replied, "yes dear."  "I know you are humoring me, love, but one of these days you'll see I'm right." "Yes dear," he said again with a smile. "I love you either way."

And my 10-word: 

The howling woman limped slowly down the street, her hair matted and filthy.  Her eyes shone with the characteristic glazed stare of lunacy and she was offering passers buy an apple or peach or some kind of fruit that was fuzzy with mold, while shouting a peculiar selection of random phrases: "You've got mail," she would shriek at one person. "I'm not for sale," she would say to the next, or "I'm a star. Do you want my autograph?". A group of five teens, sitting on a stoop, giggled as she walked by. "She's crackers," one of them said, "disgusting freak." Three of the others laughed, but the fifth whose life had been somewhat less sheltered challenged her friends. "It's not funny," she said, "it's sad. She could be someone's mother. She needs help, not scorn." So saying, she went into the house and came back a few minutes later with a blanket and a sandwich. Approaching the mad woman with some trepidation, she offered her the food and blanket. What happened next was an experience none of them would ever forget although it lasted only for a fleeting moment or two. "The woman's whole demeanor shifted, briefly and took on the shining radiance of a child or an angel. The lunacy vanished and the girls saw that it masked a beautiful and gentle soul. "How kind of you," she said, in a voice of rich eloquence and gentility. "I am most grateful for your thoughtfulness. Can you see me? You must be an angel. I thought all the angels had died.... Please take this golden apple," she continued, handing the moldy fruit to her benefactor as a token of my thanks." Then - as though a switch had flipped - she returned to madness and hobbled on, still muttering, "I thought all the angels had died." 


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  horrors, family, ginger, relevant, center, cheaters never prosper, flag, twine, mayonaisse, he's got my vote,

And for the mini: books, pressed, off the wall, anchor, lavender

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Henri, Chat Triste

Later addition:  My niece pointed out that Henri has a number of short videos. # 2 is her favorite and mine as well.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 222

Friday has caught me off guard yet again. Time really does go faster and faster the older you get. Anyway, I only just remembered and it's already after 7:00 pm and I have 3 people and Tara Grace to reiki, so I think I will wait and post tomorrow again. My apologies for always being late.

Words for this week's 10-word challenge were:  howling woman, experience, selection, for sale, star, crackers, you've got mail, limp, fuzz, characteristic   And for the mini: birds in flight, rainy day, ribbon, blanket, Yikes!

SOON  (Well, Saturday Afternoon sometime), I hope.....





Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  horrors, family, ginger, relevant, center, cheaters never prosper, flag, twine, mayonaisse, he's got my vote,

And for the mini: books, pressed, off the wall, anchor, lavender

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Request for Your Prayers

I'm writing to ask that you pray for my friend E. The house she has been living in burned to the ground today, taking with it a number of the many cats she has rescued, taking with it all of her photos, CDs and other personal belongings. She or the firemen rescued one or two of the cats, one of whom was pretty badly burned. Some of the cats escaped. She is a singer, in her efforts to rescue them she may have damaged her throat inhaling smoke.  She is otherwise OK. I know she would appreciate your prayers on her behalf and for her animals.

Thank you.

10/26 - Thank you to those who have offered prayers and reiki for Ellie. I wish I could give you an up date on her situation but I have no way of reaching her. I spoke with a mutual friend and she was with her sister, though whether they were here or in MA where her sister lives is not clear. If/when I hear more, I will let you know. 


I sent the video with the Ukulele Orchestra to a bunch of people and was blessed to receive this in return. Thought I'd share it. Very impressive. There's even Beethoven in it!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saving our National Parks

I was lucky enough to visit a number of our National Parks. They are awesome priceless national treasures that can't be replaced.

Parks in Jeopardy - NPCA Infographic

Saturday, October 20, 2012

MaMuse Chico Gospel

Heard this for the first time today and thought I'd share it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Strange But True

This apparently not a hoax....

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 221

Can't believe it's already Friday again. Not having one of my best days. It's fairly warm out but it's damp and that time of year when sometimes it's warmer out than in. Anyway, I had hoped to maybe do my wordzzles on time, but it looks like - yet again -I will probably not post until Saturday. Sigh.

4:50 Saturday update:  Done! I kind of enjoyed these words... 

Words for this week's 10-word challenge:   substance, as the crow flies, sharpen, purring, crater, forgiveness, frantic, eager, blank slate, coffee  And for the mini:  paradise, paper bag, heat, what do you mean by that, licorice

My mega: 

Tamara woke feeling somewhat frantic. She hated it when she had dreams with what she liked to call "substance" that she could not quite remember and/or understand. This one had been quite a mega production. "Licorice," she said to the purring ebony kitty who was rubbing against her leg in an effort to speed up the feeding process, "I had the strangest dream last night. I need a cup of coffee to sharpen my thinking and then I'm eager to get it all written down before my brain becomes a blank slate with only fragments of memory. Hope you don't mind if I tell you about it while I get organized," she said, as she pushed the brew button on the coffee maker and pulled a paper bag with a couple of bagels out of the cabinet. "So anyway, in this dream I was standing at the edge of a huge crater that seemed to be a dying volcano... I say dying because it was still giving off heat, but it wasn't glowing or anything like that. Anyway, this strange wizard kind of person - he looked sort of like Dumbledore from the Harry Potter books - appears suddenly and he says to me "Paradise and forgiveness as the crow flies... that is your path." "What do you mean by that," I reply, but he just smiles one of those mysterious smiles - the Mona Lisa kind - and hands me a picture of my brother... and then beams out with a kind of StarTrek twinkle.  So I'm standing there trying to figure out what he meant and ANOTHER wizard shows up and says. 'Crowdar has spoken true, but he forgot to mention, that before a crow flies, she must explore the depths from which she is rising.... that's all I remember, Licorice. It seems like it ought to be really obvious to me what they are talking about, but I'm not sure... and what if one of them is a good wizard and one is a bad wizard? Who do I trust? See what I mean? I can't wait to talk to my other therapist about this, but thanks for listening in the meantime, my furry Munchkin."

My mini: 

As far as Fred Fenster was concerned, Angela's Candy Emporium and Ice Cream shop was as close to paradise as he ever needed to get. Her candy - which was homemade and weighed and sold in small brown paper bags - was beyond delicious. It tasted like love, like heaven. Her ice creams too - his favorite was called Licorice Ambrosia - had some kind of magical quality that left one full in spirit as well as body. Of course some of this could have been because Fred had fallen madly, hopelessly in love with Angela two years earlier and lived for his daily visits to her shop. Recently, he had had the courage to compliment her. "Angela," he had said, "I think you are not of this earth." "Why, what do you mean by that," she had replied, somewhat perplexed by his words. He was usually so quiet and reserved that she had been caught off guard by such a long and rather fantastical sentence coming out of him.  "Well..." He took another spoonful of ice cream for courage, "It's just that you are so beautiful and that your candy and this ice cream are more than just tasty... they are nurturing and nourishing. They... you... are wonderful," he managed to cough out, the heat rising in his cheeks. Blushing, Angela, laughed delightedly, "Why that's the kindest think anyone has ever said to me... and so poetically as well. I always suspected you were a poet, even though you are so quiet. Thank you for the kind words."  "You have wondered about me?" Fred exclaimed, his astonishment at such a thought pushing aside his insecurity for a brief moment. "I can't imagine someone as wonderful as you even noticing me..." And before he knew it, he has asked her out on a date and she had said yes and by the same time the next year they were happily married and a year after that, they had twins. In finding love, Fred also found himself. His heart opened itself and flowed onto paper in two books of poetry and then a novel - Paradise in Her Eyes - which quickly found its way onto the best seller's list. 

And my 10-word: 

Sitting sipping a cup of coffee, Jane stared vacantly at the TV which was playing in the background of her thoughts. It was a movie called As the Crow Flies.  It had gotten great reviews and she had been very eager to see it, but so far there seemed  to be very little substance to enrich the blank slate of her empty life. So far - 15 minutes into it - the film was mostly shots of a frantic (and of course beautiful and scantily clad) young woman trapped in some kind of crater alternately trying to escape and resting to muse on the back story behind her predicament, which included a gorgeous cat (star of the show as far as Jane was concerned), a handsome lover and her "homely" (also very beautiful) jealous sister whose purringly whispered hatred that could only have been missed by someone who needed to do so major sharpening of her wits (or who perhaps had none) if she was to survive crossing the street, none-the-less the evil plot of a bitter and psychotic sibling. The movie was supposedly about redemption and forgiveness.  "Worst movie ever," Jan said to the walls. "I should finish my screenplay and submit it, if this is the best Hollywood has to offer." Oddly, it was the most inspiration she had felt in several years. She sat at her desk that very day and began reworking an old story she had written five years earlier... and she submitted it. In later years, when people asked her what her favorite movie was, she would say, "As the Crow Flies. It was so bad, that it inspired me to write one of my own."

Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  howling woman, experience, selection, for sale, star, crackers, you've got mail, limp, fuzz, characteristic 

And for the mini: birds in flight, rainy day, ribbon, blanket, Yikes!

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.