Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One accomplishment

At this time of the year I tend to look back and sigh over the things that I wanted to do and didn't. I have done the same this year. Then I thought about some of the things that I didn't plan to do that turned out well and this one topped the list.

I found this Thoroughbred mare in a bad situation. She had been handed around since leaving the track many years ago and over and over again someone had tried to force a square peg into a round hole. Most people, accustomed to relatively tolerant stock horses, are quickly over their heads and somewhat horrified at the energy level and sensitivity of a Thoroughbred. This one was living in a small group of horses, unhappy, skinny enough to be at risk of starving, beaten to a pulp by the other horses, covered with bites and kicks and a couple of infected wounds. She had intimidated and baffled her current owner who was at her wits end with what to do with the horse but at least was responsible enough to not just hand her off to another unprepared owner. The mare was suspicious, spooky, overly reactive, also lethargic, skinny and unhealthy.
6 months later she is fat, happy, sassy, ground manners renewed and on her way to a new career with someone who is experienced with off track horses.

I need to remember that this year....I did this.
What we do is more important that what we don't do.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

a solstice gathering of like minds.....

It certainly couldn't hurt. Many people of all religions and no religion believe in the power of the mind to effect real change. This solstice gathering of like minds is not intended to promote any religious is an attempt by people of good will to make a change.

We're calling upon all Buddhists, Wiccans, Pagans, New Agers, Transcendental Meditators – anybody who understands that magick is the power of consciousness to bring about change – to join us on the Winter Solstice, December 21, 2008 at 12:04 AM GMT, as we “Visualize Sustainable World Prosperity Now.”
Solstice 2008 - Visualize Sustainable World Prosperity

Christmas Tree

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

book club blog group

I am going to participate in The Next Chapter - 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women.
It is a blog group book club. I am not sure exactly how it works but I am looking forward to trying this. It starts in January, I will (obviously) be posting here about it.
More later.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


We have been unusually lucky with the mild weather so far this year. Or unlucky if you are a skier. Only a few blasts of cold, otherwise mostly mild and sunny. Today will be in the 50s. But the weathermen are predicting an arctic blast on its way for tonight and the next few days. Highs in the low teens. brrrrrrr.

I think I will look like this tomorrow.....

bundle up, sit still and watch the football games. I have hardly watched any pro football, which I love, because it has been too nice to sit indoors. I will make up for that tomorrow.

Stay warm!

ok, the weathermen were right in that it was really cold, but just FYI, it was not 'highs in the teens' the high today was 4.....FOUR degrees Fahrenheit. Cold is one thing, the deep freeze is something else.

Friday, December 12, 2008

very childish

So today I am in rush hour traffic. Typical Friday stuff, crawling traffic made even slower by the self absorbed who apparently think that no one notices them driving on the shoulder, island, sidewalk, in order to gain the length of a parking space or two.

Two lane road, converging to one lane, silver Acura SUV decides WAY too late to pull out of traffic and beat everyone to the convergence point. He has to drive on the shoulder, then on the grass, then cause three cars to take emergency action to avoid hitting him...but hey, he gained at least 20 yards.

I was the one that he pulled directly into and ended up in front of after I got straightened around from avoiding him. I wasn't even angry, I had seen him coming and except for how close he came to killing me....I wasn't surprised. But I thought he ought to know that at least one of the cars ducking him had actually seen him. So I layed on the horn. And kept it down. And drove along with the horn going. The guy behind me, who had been beating the steering wheel, also layed on the horn and kept it going. The guy in front of the idiot, who had also seen his life flash before his eyes, slowed down and layed on his horn.

There we were, trundling down the street, four cars...three of them with the horns blowing and the drivers laughing. Our celebrity turned off at the next available driveway and roared away. The three of us released the horns and continued on our way. All three of us laughing our heads off.

It was childishly mean. It was childishly fun. And it beat letting a jerk raise some unnecessary road rage and blood pressure. Face it, he was already mad at the world, why should everyone else get sucked into it?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kitchen Grimoire

I found this very fun blog, with recipes for everything from great foods to bath oils.
It's called The Kitchen Grimoire. Take a look.

There are instructions for making this lovely ornament out of hat pins and beads. I am going to make a couple of these, they will look great on a tree.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I make a few things to sell on Etsy. Photographs, some computer generated art, earrings. My favorite is finding unusual little bottles or jars and decorating them.

This one turned out so nice I almost hope it doesn't sell.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I gave up

I have no fortitude. The temps today were in the 20s and I don't know about the wind chill, but the wind was icy. I admitted defeat and went and bought a pair of gloves.
So far I have refused to open my closet door. I'm sure there are multiple pairs of gloves laying on the floor just inside the door.
Not that I'm paranoid or anything.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

where are my gloves?

I have multiple pairs of gloves. I cannot find any of them.
Winter is coming, we have been unbelievably lucky so far with wonderful mild weather. A few cold, wet, windy days to remind us that winter is going to come, there is no escape.

So I have dug my winter coat and jacket out of the storage area of the closet, found my scarves and hats and I would be all ready except that I cannot find a single pair of gloves.

I'm making it a mission. If I give up and go and buy a pair of gloves I will come home and immediately find gloves that I had forgotten I ever owned.

This is sort of a war of wills, me against the universe. I am the butt of a cosmic joke.

Anyone seen any garden fairies stealing things from the house lately?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Friday is over....

I haven't really heard a lot of news about how it went overall for retailers. I suppose there will be more on the news shows on Monday morning.

What a hellish day. An employee at a Walmart incredibly trampled to death. I cannot imagine stepping on top of someone in a rushing crowd. And nobody stopped.
And some sort of shoot out at a toy store, didn't get the details of that one, thankfully.

That sense of gotta-buy-it-now panic seems to have subsided. I did a little shopping today in mostly empty stores.

I waver back and forth between not wanting the small businesses that I know personally to suffer in this economic turmoil and thinking that a little less consumerism and conspicuous consumption would be good for all of us.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

a lifetime ago

45 years ago today John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, Texas.
A certain age of innocence for the American people died with him that day. The world has changed in extraordinary ways since then. Some changes for the good and some not.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Equal Rights for Everyone

If you think equal rights means everyone. If you think ', liberty and the pursuit of happiness...' should apply to everyone. If you think freedom of religion means any religion. If you think that discrimination is wrong. Visit this site.

Here is a list of the corporate donors, in and out of California, who funded the initiative to discriminate against gay couples.
Corporate Donors on 8

If you do business with any of these companies, please rethink that decision.
And please pass this list along.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fall is the time to get cozy

Time to take some time for home. The holidays are coming and cozy things like candles make the season more fun. I love Yankee Candles. I love them any time of year but around this time I start browsing through the new scents looking for something irresistible for the winter. Last year I found Sage and Citrus. It has been my favorite all through the year, it will be hard to find one better this year, but tomorrow I am going shopping and I think I will stop by a candle shop and see what I can find....smell.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New TV series, magic anyone?

There is a new fantasy TV series that started the season last weekend. Legend of the Seeker.

The two hour pilot had some rough spots. Most fantasy or sci-fi series have some glitches trying to set the background and environment for a complicated story. This one was no different.

Many of the critics are trashing it. I find that some TV critics tend to hate anything that makes you think a little or follow a story line.

I rarely watch TV anymore, it is so mind numbing. I can count on one hand the shows that I watch regularly.

I am always willing to give a fantasy or sci fi series a chance and see what happens.

This one has villains, heroes, wizards, witches, magic, an enchanted sword, a lost Book of Shadows, horses, monsters, scenery and a story.
What more could you ask for?

I am hoping that it lasts long enough to smooth the rough spots and get going. I could use a heroic epic complete with magic on some upcoming winter evenings.

Here is the official site: Legend of the Seeker

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Random stuff

I started this blog ranting about the election, but now that it is over I think I am going to keep it going with just random stuff, see what comes up. I am going to steer away from politics and Wall Street for a while. Fall is my favorite season, there are lots of other things to think about and talk about.

Monday, November 3, 2008


This is my choice.

Do not sit on the sidelines.

Get out and vote for yours!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

What attracts voters?

I spent the day yesterday with the Obama Get-Out-The-Vote campaign. Knocking on doors in middle class neighborhoods I found upbeat people voting for Obama and grumpy people voting for McCain. A fellow canvaser said that was because McCain is behind in the polls. But is it?

I would love to do a survey of how and why people respond to the candidates themselves. If you could remove things like party affiliation, economic status, race, and anything else that predetermines how you will likely vote. Concentrate only on the speeches made by the candidates, not the ads, just the candidates themselves. Does like attract like?

Barack Obama is speaking about a message of hope, of improvement, of involvement. There is, of course, some negativity in his speeches, but overall they are positive messages.

John McCain is speaking mostly about what is wrong. Wrong with the country, the world and Obama. Very little about an optimistic point of view. Even his plan to fix things sounds discouraging.

With nothing but an intuitive feeling to justify this, I get the impression that positive people who believe in a better tomorrow are attracted to Obama. And negative people who are worried that things are just going to get worse are attracted to McCain.

Think positive!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

An opportunity for the Republican Party.

It isn't over yet, but the widespread feeling that Republicans may be going down to resounding defeat all over the country has been strong enough to cause some infighting in the party. Sarah Palin, oblivious to the disgust of the majority of the country, seems to think that John McCain is messing up her campaign.

While Sarah Palin was the final reason to stop considering John McCain as a serious candidate, she may turn out to be just what the Republicans need. The impetus to clean house and restore the party to what it once was.

I am old enough to remember when the Republican Party was not the safe haven for whack jobs, religious zealots, criminals and hate mongers. I am not sure exactly when that happened but it has been a done deal for at least 10 years. The true Republican politicians left around, valiantly carrying the flag of fiscal conservatism and trying to do a good job have my respect.

As abhorrent as she is, I am hoping that Sarah Palin will be the last straw, the line drawn in the sand, the reason to stop seeking all votes at all costs and the reason for the Republican party to get rid of the flotsam and jetsam and get back to a platform that can be respected, debated and voted on

We need a two party system that works. I am, personally, hoping for a Democratic landslide this election so that we can fix some important problems faster than usual. But I don't want anyone to get too comfortable in their Washington chairs, because the next election will be time to balance the Congress better. And we need to do it without the screaming illiterates that have dominated one side of this election season.

Monday, October 20, 2008

good news, bad news

The good news is that Obama's numbers keep growing, slowing and surely.
Colin Powell very eloquently endorsed him on Sunday, saying what I think many true conservative Republicans are thinking, mainly, what has happened to our party?

The bad news is that Sarah Palin and her shrieking crowds are very scary.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Joe the plumber.....sheeeesh

Joe the plumber, average citizen, worried about his taxes under Obama.

Except that he is, apparently, not a plumber. And he is also, apparently, not in any danger of leaping any time soon into the 250k+ income bracket that would increase his taxes.

As for average, I sincerely hope not. Sarah Palin spent her debate time talking to Joe Six-Pack. McCain spent his debate time talking to Joe, the Plumber. Both of them convinced that the rest of us poor schmucks watching on TV would relate to them.
Since when has the Big House/Wife Swap watcher, Joe Six-Pack, semi literate, anti-environmental, wolf hunting, crotch scratcher become the picture of the average American? No offense, Joe, either of you.

When in hell did that happen?

What happened to the average American being someone who works for a living, reads something other than the sports page or the National Inquirer, can hold a conversation about current events in words of more than one syllable, mows the grass, plays games with the kids and likes the dog?

When did being some sort of unhappy whiner hungry for a few minutes of fame become 'average'?

I am insulted by the whole concept. I am insulted by being talked down to by grinning politicians who can't even decently hide their rigid belief that I am an idiot, a dupe, a statistic to be manipulated.

So call someone else "my friend" John McCain. And wink at someone else in that camera, Sarah Palin.
I call bullshit!

Monday, October 13, 2008

true colors

Palin appears to be showing her true colors, whipping up the crowds at her rallies into a frenzy of hate.

I give McCain his due, in the film clip I saw he was trying to calm the crowds down, trying to instill some reason into the insanity and saying the right things. But the mob mentality that adores Sarah Palin only settled down to grumble.

McCain said to the crowds that this is an election about who is better suited to lead, not about his opponent being a bad person, he reiterated that Obama is a good person, a 'family man' he called him.
But it is too little too late. He is discovering that the weapon he chose to fight this campaign with, fear, is a very sharp two edged sword. He is also discovering that it is hard to put the genie back in the bottle. Trite little cliches, I know. They got that way from being too true too often.

Friday, October 10, 2008


The stock market is in free fall, Iceland is considering bankruptcy, Wall Street bankers are sitting in front of their vaults making like the sphinx, economists are actually past pointing blame at each other, the Congress worked together to try to fix something and many of the rest of us are going, "WTF?"

I quit watching the news, the yelping was hurting my ears. I did try to figure out what was going on by listening to interviews with investment bankers, stockbrokers, traders, economists, finance professors and all the rest of the assorted in-the-know people that NPR and PRI were cornering and asking questions.

Everyone seems to agree on a few points.

  • No one can fix the whole system, the best solution is to fix the root problem and let the rest sort itself out. Some will fall, most will survive and the boat will gradually steady itself.
  • No two viewpoints agree on exactly what that root problem is.
  • Many people would like Bush to stop doing his Chicken Little imitation.
  • 700+ billion to fix the problem is like spitting in the ocean.
Saturday is looking good just because it is not a weekday. This is all a confidence game, folks. Everybody take a deep breath. I have never seen a situation that was improved by panic.
The enormity of this is astounding, but the sky is not falling. Not yet.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

debate #2

Polls conducted coast to coast among undecided voters were virtually identical. Voters from both parties, locked into rooms with pundits and reporters, forced to watch every minute of the debate, without even a refrigerator to escape to, were asked to comment/vote/otherwise speak on their opinions.
The consensus was that no one had changed their mind.

Me too.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

call it a draw

The vice presidential debate is over *yawn*
So Sarah Palin did not fall on her face and Joe Biden did not have to be whistled to a stop. Other than that I wasn't surprised at anything.
Well, that is not entirely true. I am still surprised that John McCain would pick someone to represent this country (and him!) that says "you betcha" instead of "yes" and "yous guys" instead of you.
Fortunately, I don't think they have a chance of being elected, probably to the relief of translators around the world.

Really people, folksy guys and gals that you want to drink beer or go wolf hunting with are NOT, repeat NOT, necessarily the people that you want running this country. Despite Sarah Palin's statements to the contrary, leading this country is not a job for Joe Six-Pack next door.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

busy, busy, busy

do return call to Obama
don't return call to Obama
do return call to Obama
don't go to the debate
do stop campaigning
don't stop campaigning
don't go to the debate
do stop...sort of...
do go to Washington
don't go to the debate
don't go to Washington
do marshall the forces and get something done
do go to the debate
don't go to the debate
do lobby for the proposal
do bad mouth the proposal in the press
don't go to the debate
do go to the debate
call Obama
don't go to the debate
do make a joint statement
don't make a joint statement
do go to the debate
do get support for the Bush proposal
don't get support for the Bush proposal
don't go to the debate
do come up with a totally different proposal
do throw a wrench in the works and piss off everybody
don't go to the debate
do stop campaigning
don't stop campaigning
do go to the debate
don't go to the debate
do go to the debate

do go to Mississippi and chat with Jim Lehrer for 90 minutes about the good ole days

sorry, I was just picturing McCain's 'to-do' list for Thursday/Friday

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's all in the timing

Turning my back on the presidential circus, both the current and the wanna-be version; ignoring the sounds of falling investment bankers on Wall Street; I turned my attention to something important...the new ipod.

I resisted buying an ipod for years. I thought they were very fun looking toys and I coveted one, but I found myself listening to NPR when I walked instead of music so it didn't seem to fit my needs. Then I discovered that there is this cool little attachment that looks like the Shuffle but in reality is an FM radio receiver. Intrigued, I still resisted. NPR was only on AM in this area and had been for a few years. Then NPR announced that they were moving back to FM and my resistance crumbled. I would get the little widget for myself, music AND NPR, I could justify it. It was fate.
So I took the plunge and in August I purchased the ipod Nano, 8GB, green.
I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I have discovered the addiction of podcasts and now happily listen to my favorite news shows, how-to podcasts on nearly anything from meditation to gardening and all of my favorite music.

Then Apple announced that the ipod had been updated. The new ipod Nanos are an even sleeker design in more colors, have more capacity and are less expensive.
The new Classic was also an upgrade and now has 120GB and costs approximately $50 more than my 8GB Nano. The brand new 8GB Nanos are approximately $50 less than I spent less than a month before the new ones were released.

I am still happy with mine. I just tell myself that at this rate, I will soon be able to have one of those 120GB models for practically nothing....
.....I'll just wait.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

hindsight, again

Why is it that we are supposed to think that hindsight = leadership?

John McCain has been a strong proponent of deregulation.
His chief financial advisor has been Phil Gramm, until Phil got both feet in his mouth recently and became a detriment on the campaign trail. Gramm was fired because he was an embarrassment, not because McCain stopped valuing his financial advice.
Gramm was one of the architects of the banking deregulation that took place a few years ago, with McCain as a supporter.

How did that work out? Well, now we are in the middle of this debacle where the banking industry is proving that it can't police itself any better than a lot of other industries. Economists outside of the Washington social circles have been pointing this out for years but they have been, for the most part, ignored. Most of them have recently been restrained and not shouting gleefully "told ya so!" even though it must be tempting.

Now that it is an actual crisis and all the bad decisions and greed and simple shortsightedness are becoming public ... McCain has discovered the advantages of regulation and oversight. He has also discovered that some people on Wall Street are greedy to the point of self destruction.

And we are supposed to believe that his somewhat myopic hindsight is really the kind of leadership that we need.

Come again???

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Third Crusade....the remake

Done any reading about history lately? You might want to brush up on the period around 1100 AD. Why? Because there are some people in this country, who seem to think of that era as The Good Ole Days.

Let's see what there is to be nostalgic about.....
What we would call scientists had to work in secret and at the risk of their lives.
Disease ran rampant and was viewed as punishment from God for unnamed sins.
oh,'s a biggy...
Most of western civilization was engaged in a Holy War. Richard really ramped up this Holy War when it was his turn, firing up the troops with the Will of God and defeating the Forces of Evil.
He did eventually get his hat handed to him and had to go home, but not before he and his predecessors partially destroyed Jerusalem and sapped the resources of western Europe, spawning multiples wars for control of what was left. Nice legacy.

So why is it that there seems to be a sizable chunk of our population who want to repeat this sterling era?
They want science removed from public school curriculum and replaced by religious teachings.
Being somewhat consistent on this bent, they have labelled some disease as punishment from God.
And they want to label a misguided/gone astray war in the Middle East as some sort of moral adventure.
A lot of flag waving accompanies these ideas, but apparently not a lot of thought about long term consequences.

I can't help but want this country to stop being viewed like the village idiot of the international community. We have health care and education that puts us competing with third world countries, left in the dust by most of the developed world.
Our unique blend of poison, religion and propaganda that we call politics leaves our allies gaping with open mouths.

And in the area of international diplomacy....with apologies to the career diplomats who are still hanging in there doing their best...let's just say we are somewhat inconsistent, perhaps incomprehensible would be a better description.

So when are the people who don't have some sort of personal agenda for personal gain going to take back control of this country?
We have an opportunity in November. It might be the last one for a long time.
Or we could get used to living in the Middle Ages.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

and I want to know this because........?

I'm feeling old and cranky. Not old as in 'oh my aches and pains' but more like old as in 'what in the hell is the matter with people today?'

I can clearly remember a time when you could meet someone at either a social or business event and NOT find out within 5 minutes everything about their religion, political party of choice and sexual preferences.

I can even remember working very closely with people, day after day, for months or even years and not knowing these things; or caring.

I recently heard it said that when you begin a conversation with someone and they assert their religious affiliation within the first 30 seconds, they are grabbing the moral high ground for the duration of the conversation. Hopefully you weren't planning to voice an opinion.

We have become a very divided country in more ways than red and blue states and we seem to be working very hard to find things to be contentious about.

Just for the record, I most certainly do not want to hear about your religion, I don't want to hear about your political leanings unless we are having a civilized discussion about the upcoming national elections and I never want to hear about your sexual preferences or your opinion about this whole topic.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sarah Palin....

perhaps I should number these....there may be quite a few.
Let's start with the premise that this is a woman that working women everywhere can identify with.
Well.....maybe I can identify her....I have met women like her. I tend to run the other way.

The idea that all women everywhere will identify with all women everywhere, when it comes to politics, is absurb.
Do people really think that women backed Hilary just because she is female?
How about because she has good ideas?

Palin's record indicates that she is someone that I would fight tooth and nail on almost every issue from environmental concerns (she doesn't seem to have any) to creationism. Personally I don't care what your religious beliefs are...but keep them out of the public schools and for that matter out of public office.

And I think that will lead me to my next rant......why should I care what religion you subscribe to?

a place to vent....

I find that I talk to myself or even rant while I am driving, listening to the news. It leaks into other areas of my life so I am going to put those thoughts (rants) down here. Hopefully no one will ever read them and it will be very therapeutic.