Friday, December 31, 2010
"Hold fast to your dreams, for without them life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." ~Langston Hughes
Let's say Good Bye to this hellish year...let's put it to rest. I sat down with pen and paper last night trying to make a list of what I will remember.....Haiti, The Gulf Mess, WikilLeaks, the Election, Teabagger Thuggery &Resurging Racism(cloaked as Patriotism )....and yes, the ongoing Economic Collapse,DADT Overturned (finally), and the Bloody Bruising Health Care Battle,Sanity Rally the ?????? I don't know about you but I have really been overwhelmed by the Reach of Corporate Greed and Thuggery on all levels this year....To All of us I wish, hope, pray for a Better Year, More Strength, More Wisdom and I will be lighting candles tonight trying to Pass yet some more Light into this new year.....Wherever you are tonight, pass some Love Forward, Some Light......
First Some Light....This Flash Mob is amazing, this one is Women dancing to help Women, and it's at a Racetrack ( another unexpected place).....and it's done with a mission, it is raising awareness and money for a great cause. Mary's Place by the Sea is a place where women fighting breast cancer can go to recuperate and rest after Chemo. (They are on Facebook and also online doing amazing work.
Extra Credit Reading.....Every year I curl up on New Years Eve and read...So this year Batocchio has done something Marvelous, he has carried on the Jon Swift Blog Round Up and Bloggers of all kinds have submitted their finest works for us to share and read.....Enjoy. And let's thank Batocchio for carrying forth this great tradition....Al would be so proud.....
Auld Lang Syne on BagPipes ( great version for those with Celtic yearnings and roots...)
And Dan Fogelberg sings "Auld Lang Syne" ( I hope and pray that none of us runs into old Lovers in the Grocery store...)
IMAGINE by John Lennon....(no longer embeddable....but still the best song for New Years....always.....)
"In Chinese, the word for crisis is weiji, composed of the character wei, which means danger, and ji, which means opportunity."~Jan Wong
I want to believe always that all that we are living through is an Opportunity....the Symbol for Danger, is also the symbol for Turning Point.....I believe in Turning Points.....
To all those that have loved ones so far away...I hope and pray that Somehow President Obama realizes that we need to be OUT of Afghanistan long before 2014 and that Gitmo does still need to be closed...NOW...and that Sooner than Later there need to be Investigations and Charges and Justice for War Crimes and Atrocities that were committed in Our Names. That There can be no Healing with no Justice, that the World can not Forgive or Forget and neither can we.....
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."~Maria Robinson
And let's home that President Obama sees through the Corporate Veils of the DC Bubble and the GOP Heartless Sanctimonious ploys and antics to the Truth of how hard These Times really are for millions of suffering families...There are too many Homeless, Hungry and living on the Edge, Too many that have Lost Homes, Jobs, and Dignity...Lets Hope he Remembers how to teach ALL that Compassion Matters and he can Lead with Integrity and Strength and that Means Fighting for those With Less..Fighting for the Forgotten..That Compromises are shallow and meaningless to those that have Lost Too Much....Let's hope he remembers ALL of us that helped get him into the Whitehouse even though we are not Rich, Well Heeled or Entitled.....We Are We The People.....
If we have no Peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
I am very grateful to so many as this year ends...To all those that helped and worked so hard on Haiti and also the Gulf Oil Spill-literally for months on end ...truly people who were so motivated to help with both of these Humanitarian crises. I also am so grateful to all of the wonderful folks that I met helping the Iraqi Refugee Family..... Such giving people who reached out and gave from their hearts. And to my son....and to my Ex ....and to all of my friends....I know that Compassion is still alive and well in this country...in spite of the deplorable behavior we have seen by Certain Entities...Thank you to all of you....
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
From @isardasorensen on Twitter....Central Park after the Blizzard...
"Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Stormy Weather....and Challenges
So we all got through Christmas, yet there is Blizzarding on the East Coast and Flooding in California... And travel has now taken on hellish dimensions for those trying to get to those they love. So I am glad to be homebound and able to enjoy our Frigid temperatures and Bare Trees...
My Car is still dead right now, so I have been on foot to do errands and Get Things Done. I think Siberian Hiking might even be good for me. It gives me time to think and look at the Snow Patterns and admire the Tenacious squirrels scurrying about. I have been stocking up on Soup and Chili and Candles and Birdfood, because I know that we are overdue to get Slammed. It's been a hard winter already and I think I need to really examine my Courage Reservoirs....I need to start looking for a REAL job again in January. One that has Consistent hours and benefits and a real schedule....oh how I dream. There are Many Dreaming right now and Hoping. Please do what you can to Help 99rs, because when Congress gets back the Repugs will be rushing to throw them and all of us under the First Bus....
The Memory Quilt and Riding Out The Storm,...
"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."~Maria Robinson
I first made my son a Memory Quilt when he was about 5, and then every few years I would update it with new patches from his old favorite clothes, a favorite sweat shirt or jeans. And then I updated again when he was 12 and we lived out West and so this past month I again updated his Old Memory Quilt with snippets of his life since through his teen years : Surf Shorts and Hawaiian shirts from California Days, and Scraps from his Harry Potter Curtains when we still lived in the NW, and a favorite shirts that his dad used to wear that I know he loved and no longer fits in. ( He is over 6-6 so alot does not fit anymore....) As I sewed on this I realized that so much has changed in the past few years and that his life is not where he wants it,and he is biding his time during this Economic Collapse. There are alot of Kids his age, Waiting and Wondering and Worrying. We stand in the Kitchen and he plays Moby and he eats a sub and I make soup and I still am grateful to hear his thoughts, his worries,
his very best McCain imitation or Beck rendition. He admits that he is Okay riding out The Storm with me for Now, that he knows he is not Alone. There are not alot of School Loans here or even much Financial Aid, I know that other States are better...and I know that many are sharing this Interrupted College Schedule...I wish the MSM would cover this Crisis, or atleast acknowledge so many young people that are hurting.....I wish....
The Blizzard....From many Perspectives...
First all over Twitter and Facebook....Many photos and videos of the Blizzard that walloped the East Coast, but this video, is unreal....Stupidity does not take a Holiday
And more from The Consumerist on this issue, explains why New Yorkers have been less than thrilled with their Snow Clean Up.... If you are on Twitter the flood of snippy messages to Mayor Bloomberg especially from Brooklyn surely show the angst , complete with photos of huge drifts burying cars. The Big Hero of the day is Mayor Cory Booker who even helped dig out his city and deliver food and supplies, even diapers to families in need. He was taking messages on Twitter to learn who needed what. True Inspiration.
Meanwhile in New Jersy the National Guard has been called out and as EricBoehlert reports and yet their Governor still is vacationing at Disneyland in Florida enjoying himself while his state is in an Emergency.
Do go to Twitter and see @OneLegSandpiper he has great Blizzard photos from the Beaches in NJ...amazing really beautiful photos of the Beaches and the Dunes and the Drifts....
Sunday, December 26, 2010
So it is the day after Christmas....and there are some predictable traditions to look forward to.....Sleeping Late, watching Some Old Movies and maybe some Football ? I should go to Hippie Church...but I know I won't...not because I am lazy..but because I am having Reading Urges...So Reading and laying around....and drinking those Classic little Christmas Cokes and nibbling Cold Chinese. ( Our house we make Italian Christmas Eve with spaghetti or pasta and garlic bread) and then Chinese or Thai the next day....And maybe a long walk later to look at Lights....(Except walks for me now consist of always looking for benches or a place to sit).Its odd that in the UK and Canada they call this day Boxing Day, but so be it... 6-6 and I are battling over The Question "IS the Kindle bad for the Book Publishing Industry?", hopefully we won't end up Boxing on it.....To be honest I think that if there was an actual Kindle in the house, we would not even be discussing it....but time will tell.
A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy. ~Edward P. Morgan
Books and Things....
It is the Day after Christmas, time to snuggle down with books my Christmas Coke and read and watch the Snow fall....I hear the President is reading while in Hawaii....What the President is reading for Christmas according to Raw Story, he is reading about Reagan.Gibbs said that Obama is reading a Biography by Lou Cannon. So I looked up the biographies by Lou Cannon, and actually interesting enough he also wrote a rather scathing critical book about George W.Bush's failed presidency. Also since Gibbs didn't tell us WHICH biography, we don't know which one Obama is reading. Cannon wrote on different aspects and struggles, and with great clarity, according to some reviews, and in no way glamorizing Reagan. On another note 6-6 pointed out that it is great Political Theater to have a President who READS.
BUT on a better note I did see in the NYT that Obama is planning to bring back End of Life planning as a part of Medicare.... so good to know that the Repugs can start finding new ways to whine about Death Panels again. ( Even though we all know that the REAL Death Panels are Insurance Companies.)
And More on the Health front, a really interesting Doctor,Dr.Augustus White, with a Civil Rights perspective has written a new book about the Disparities in Our Health Care System, this Seattle Times article has more about him and his book. He became a doctor during interesting times in our history, and treated patients while Color Battles raged and also was a Doctor during the Vietnam Era. This article in the Arizona Star explores his career and his book, his Biography more. ( The Book is put out by Harvard University Press, so it is not on Amazon yet.) His Book is about the Disparities in our Health System and who is effected and really cared for.
Now 74 and one of the nation's leading orthopedic surgeons, White is releasing a memoir on his life. The book, "Seeing Patients: Unconscious Bias in Health Care" (Harvard University Press, $27.95), is also a call for more diversity in the medical field.It is a soon to be released Memoir of his career that traces care of patients for decades and starts with his experiences as a Black Doctor in Vietnam ( which is what he almost called the book). Here is a book that I hope that Some Wise Soul sends the President when it comes out....
So I know this week at some point we all saw even a snippet of "Its a Wonderful Life". Shannyn Moore mentioned that It's a Wonderful Life, such an amazing heartwarming Post WWII movie was under investigation for Communist Ideology, so last night I looked it up and sure enough it really was.... Here is the amazing post from "Wise Bread" why the FBI considered it Communist Propaganda and even includes the FBI memos on it....
And for some humor....There is this great blog that is getting notice, called "Kim Jong Ill looking at Things"...go on take a look....I promise you will end up laughing....
By the way if you don't want to go for a Christmas Walk to look at Lights, there is always a chance to get in the car and look Tacky Over Done Christmas Decorations. There is a great blog called Tacky Christmas Yards that will surely give you inspiration.
John Legend and the Roots "Wake Up Everybody" (6-6 is immersed in Nine Inch Nails...lucky for you I am in a John Legend mood, I listen to this song Every Morning.... a dose of pure audio caffeine...)
Friday, December 24, 2010
San Francisco 1964 Charles Cushman....
“May God grant you always...A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you. And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.” Irish Blessing Merry Christmas to all of you. Thank you for always being so good to me and my son,and also thank you for being good to each other this year. I have much gratitude in my heart knowing so many of you.....
This Christmas Flashmob Event was really amazing and is about Miming and Dance...really touching to watch the faces....It's from a Connecticut mall, do look closely at this video, remember that it was made on Black Friday and takes place at a food court. Please note that not many people have shopping bags, and they are mostly sipping drinks, very few are eating. And note the looks of wonder on their faces...and their gratitude........ This group works with "RedefineChristmas.org" which is dedicated to redefining Christmas and Giving in a creative way...
A truly stunning photo from National Geographic to take your breath away....
Lisbon Airport at Christmas....
Darlene Love on the Late Show 2009 ( every year she comes and sings her song )
Luther Vandross " Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
This is the touching Judy Garland Version......
Bruce Springsteen "Merry Christmas Baby"
Christmas Tree Lane LA........1938...from LATimes)
And John Lennon "This is Christmas"
Christmas by Charles Cushman...Mobile Park 1951...
See...Lights have always been getting tangled.....
Apparently Santa got held up by TSA.....this photo was on Facebook and Twitter with some very funny captions....
One of the Best Unknown Hidden Treasure Christmas Movies around, by Berkley Breathed, has a whole Movie for Opus, and it's called "A Wish for Wings that Work" , based on Opus's constant need for Flight, wonderful humor, great writing and really wonderful Music, you can rent or watch it online HERE on Youtube....I double dog dare ya...
Rob Thomas singing a New York Christmas....really nice song....
For those of us watching Christmas Story for the Zillionith Time,Here is a link about the Actual Christmas Story House in Cleveland that has a Museum and Tours and other wonders.... And if you want to explore Trivia about the Movie this is a great website full of details...
The links below are from two posts that were passed on to me from others, they are about Struggle and Faith and Inner Strength and making Peace with what is handed each of us....
(1) Jonathon Turley's Post is really touching and thought provoking about the power of Compassion....to one and all.
(2) Anderson Cooper's Writer Friend who waged a valiant war against cancer.....beautifully written diary from Cancerland is not what you expect....it is humorous and yet also deeply insightful and very real. ( I posted this because I have three friends fighting cancer....and their battle needs to be honored even at this time of year...)
(3) Arianna Huffington posted about how to to Help People this Christmas in "The Goods " Section , it has many wonderful ways to Give back in Cause Cast...
(4) Christmas Cane Lane (LA) from the LA Times 1938 Photos....really Beautiful....
Santa did Leave a lovely little pile for 6-6....but it was not safe under the tree from 20 Pound Wonder cat...so It was up on my bed where little Yellow Dog could guard it....
Aretha Franklin Sings "Oh Christmas Tree" with photos of Trees from around the World...
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
“Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love.”~Reinhold Niebuhr
Enya's beautiful Christmas Secrets with lovely winter photos....
Breathtaking Winter Photos to ooooh and ahhhhh over...and share.....
Did you miss the Solstice Eclipse ? Here are the amazing photos that were posted in the Vancouver Sun which was forwarded on by Fran, and are absolutely Breathtaking.....
I am trying hard to find my Christmas Spirit, but I am worried it might have gotten lost in my Move in September....I think if I keep looking hard enough it will turn up somehow. I did make a promise to myself to Give Something of Myself each day during this Holiday Season. It's been little things, like I give Change to the Salvation Army each time I go to the Market, even if it is a pitiful amount, I figure all those nickels and dimes do add up. And I have been sure to put extra soup in the Food Bank Box as well. It's again not much, but I am hoping in the end it adds up. And I gave my Extra Car Reader Glasses to the Checker at the Grocery store when I realized he lost his at the Market. I ran back in and gave him the extra pair and the glowing smile on his face was worth it......He laughed and said " You a little off -you know that ". I figured fine...I may indeed be "Off"...but I sure felt great driving home...( So I guess that also makes me a wee bit selfish).
People around the Country have been holding FlashMOB Christmas events singing the Hallelujah Chorus ( if you are on Twitter you can learn where these events are, or email me ). This latest event was at the Orlando Airport on December 18th. I will also post the Mall one as well. ( Apparently Malls and Airports are the main muchly needed Targets...)
(1) As early as October People started these Messiah and Christmas Flashmobs, This one is from a Mall in Philly and is actually Professional Opera Singers...can you say amazing ?
(2) This Christmas Flashmob Event was really amazing and is about Miming and Dance...really touching to watch the faces....It's from a Connecticut mall.... This group works with "RedefineChristmas.org" which is dedicated to redefining Christmas and Giving in a creative way...
So if you have a chance to go to such an event and Sing or Dance....go !!! you are giving the Gift of Joy....
(1) Christmas Cookies.....
Santa has had to tighten his budget this year, what with a Dead Battery and slim pickens Job Wise, so I am making Cookies for Christmas. The First Recipe I want to share is not my own, but it is actually a version of one my Grandmother used to make, Kitchen Sink Cookies. And this version is by Paula Deen it's Easy and Quick and FUN. And hell you can clean out the fridge when you make it.....and if you have kids its VERY messy in a Good way.
And the other simple lovely cookie recipe that I am trying this year is , is called Chocolate Glaciers...and they look Heavenly....
(2) And Now for the Grinch Part of this Post....
So I sit down to my morning Tea and go to read the News (online) and and this story about the GOP being Sons-of-Bitches about the 911 Responders NEEDING Healthcare smacked me in the face like a wet towel. I am sorry but how the hell can these Sanctimonious Pious Pompous "I need to go home for Christmas because I am a GOOD Christian " Lawmakers Sleep at night or look at themselves in the Mirror ??? Of all the things ticking me off this Holiday THIS one issue has indeed raised my blood pressure to a very bad place. So In Honor of Scrooge or the Grinch please with my Blessings do go ahead and leave some phone messages on these Idiots Voicemail. ( and hey , it's not like I get tired of Calling Boehner and yelling WHERE are the Jobs ? I am fine with yelling about Something Else !!!) See here's the thing, I know President Obama is all for No Drama and being calm and reasonable and Compromising.
Me ? Not so much....I am a Mom and a Nurse, and there is a fine line for me about Anyone being Denied Healthcare. And there is Nothing Reasonable about these fine people being deprived of much NEEDED Healthcare,their courage and bravery does indeed need to be acknowledged in a meaningful way. And what has stunned me is that so few people are yelling about this, other than Anthony Weiner, when frankly they should all be yelling.......And I don't mind yelling for What Matters and WHO Matters.....Okay I am done. Someone else can now take the Blessed WellWorn Soap box.
Monday, December 20, 2010
WATCH LIVE STREAM OF EVENT IF YOU CAN"T SEE OUT WINDOW Watch HERE
My Yule blessings...wishes....Peace: “Peace is not something you wish for; It's something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.”~Robert Fulghum
Here is some more information about the rare convergence of Solstice and the Eclipse,so rare and hopefully one that can be viewed by many.Overcast bitter cold wintry day, and sadly no sky or moon visible. Great day for soup, but not for viewing the Eclipse sadly. So here is some music to help with bringing in the Solstice.....And you can read more about the Winter Solstice Traditions. I have Curry soup cooking, sandalwood and cedar incense filling the house, and mulberry and vanilla candles lit.....Many Yule Wishes to everyone...Much peace.
"My hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done & try to love somebody & have the courage to accept love in return." ~Maya Angelou
(this came from Fran...posted with much thanks Explains the Whole Event )
Thursday, December 16, 2010
This is the closest Lighthouse .....about 5 miles away...Lake Erie...Looks like something out of a Movie, or a special effect...This is what happens when the Lake is not frozen yet, but the temps drop to freezing and the winds are over 50 MPH.
Waves bashing against the Frozen Lighthouse....
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
"Each time a person stands up for an ideal,or acts to improve the lot of others...he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope,and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring,those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."~Robert F. Kennedy I am asking that all of us to find ways to Spread the Ripples of Hope, to be a Ripple in Something Bigger even in These Times....
This amazing video was shot in 1984, and gathered together many fine performers to raise money and awareness about Hunger and Starvation in Africa. Even then the continent was struggling with so many issues related to refugees, famine and political turmoil. Oddly this was before the AIDS epidemic wreaked more havoc and before much more conflict effected the Food Security of Millions. Even today this song remains poignant as we watch what is effecting Millions. Haiti comes to mind this year as they are in the grips of Political Chaos, Earthquake recovery,and Cholera. This song is really how to Give so it Matters....
(If you want to learn more about the actual video and hear the remarkable story of HOW Bob Geldoff put this action together in a very short time, you can read about it here on Wikipedia. Do see if you can name all the performers, or even recognize them in their youth....)
This Christmas I know so many of us have little to give, but think of how you can give and give creatively to those that have less or are struggling. It might mean checking your closet and donating old blankets, sweaters and coats to Good Will. It might mean digging out extra change before you go into the market and putting it in the Salvation Army Bucket. ( And think of buying that Bell Ringer a cup of Hot Coco if you want to see a huge smile.) On you can even research how to contribute a small amount to a project that will have future rewards for someone struggling.
Microfinance Projects that Help Women,Children & Families ( yes, Giving Goats....)
(1) This article explains about people contributing to Women in Florida by helping them buy Goats. It is good to see MicroFinance Projects finally springing up here in the States to help our Women and Families in this Economy.
(2) This 2008 NYT article explains more about Microfinance and how it works to benefit families and Communities . It is about Aid that gives back and helps families and communities strengthen with sustainable projects.
(3) This article explains how Microfinance helps multiple women of a village, and is about donating Goats to Women in India, and tells how the project benefits the villages.
(4) If you wish to contribute to a Microfinance Project as a Family and want to explain it to your children this wonderful Children's Book is really helpful and beautifully explains the process of families helping families, and has beautiful illustrations and explains it in very real terms a child can grasp."Beatrice's Goat" explains how giving a goat to a family in Uganda helped a family send their little girl to school.
Monday, December 13, 2010
New Tiny Hopefully Sturdy Christmas Tree put up and so far thwarting all efforts by 20 Pound Wonder Cat to take it down. As some remember he took the Tree down last year, splitting it in half in one fell swoop. ( My Christmas cheer literally lasted a grand total of 45 minutes.) So this year I went to the Dollar store and bought a respectable tree for 20 dollars and have reinforced with duct tape and fishing line to wall, it was a true DIY project. We are now at 72 hours and counting, but I wanted to share with you before the 20 Pound Fates Intervene. Please enjoy this post as it is time to hunker down in these frigid Temperatures and read and blog and eat soup.
This amazing video is being passed around Twitter and Facebook, it is stunning...please do share...Eagle Owl in Flight -in Slow Motion...
If anyone has followed this blog for over 5 years -well, first I pity you and should offer you a reward, but you also know that this blog has an Immense Blogroll, but it is not valuable unless I give you a Road Map or an Occasional Blog Round Up. I need to do these more ( I used to do them weekly, and maybe I should start back in that habit.) But especially for the New Followers this is a way of sharing the Wonders of Blogland. Enjoy.
(1) Ragine Celt ( of Twitter ) has an great post up about how to deal with the Christmas Blahs....a Must Read.
(2) Margaret and Helen is an amazing blog, it has snark, wisdom and insight delivered with just the right balance of Humor and Political sophistication. It will make you laugh and scratch your head.....but mostly it will make you think.
(3) Many don't realize that Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers has an amazing website (blog?) that covers a variety of issues, and this week he has a Must read/See Post on the WikiLeaks Issue, please do check it out.....
(4) This Blog is new and I think it is off to a promising start and I hope you give Tim a Warm Welcome, it is called the Inner Workings of Tim and covers a wide range of topics and issues.
(5) If you need more wisdom, Robert Reich has great posts up at his Blog ( website as well, many will remember he was on Blogspot, now he has great website ) that continues to have his well thought out insights explained and shared. His latest post about our Economic Situation is really eye opening, please do read it.
(6) And for more Pure Wisdom there is Jonathon Turley's Blog ( I feel like I am sharing a great secret), he shares great political analysis, but also some UnExpected Treasures. IE: Please do do see the post " Who Killed Frosty" from this week.
(7) Do also check out Truthout's William Rivers Pitt's Post on Bernie Sanders, it is a Must Read, and is really well written, and is part one in a series on him. I start every day reading Truthout and also Skippy, please do give them both a read. ( And this Christmas Season do think of giving to Truthout as it is one of the best Journalistic Online Efforts out there....)
(8) This is a new favorite that I just found this week, Black Magpie Theory it is written by a fine group of longtime bloggers and has talent, perspective and some of the finest Writers out there......please check it out, you will be hooked.
(9) It is SOUP Season, but to go with every great soup, you need a great Sandwich, so here is the blog for you with daily photos and great sandwich Greatness....definitely droolworthy....Enjoy.
(10) And yes, since it is Soup Season and because it is so Cold, I have started blogging on My Food Blog again. "Naked Sushi" is again open to visitors and I am trying to post more there. This Week it is "Thai Spinach Curry Soup" do go over for a visit, I think you may like how easy the recipes are to prepare....
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."~ John Lennon
Tonight is the 30th Anniversary of one of our greatest geniuses being slain, a Voice of the Ages.
**(This post is being reposted from last December 2005. Please see the Song that is posted tonight as well. I am sitting doing exactly what I was doing a year ago, watching CSPAN as the House has late night Vote, and I am blogging, praying for a better Future.I am eating cookie dough and drinking eggnog, and of course seeking inspiration over on YouTube, and of course I found some Lennon there....Good night Bloggers.)**
For me there are certain times of the year when I am filled with Loss, this is one of them. ( The Deathes of MLK, RFK and JFK are the other hallowed dark days). I can not help but remember these Brave Souls and ponder what might have been. I remember the night that Lennon was shot like it was yesterday. I came home from working late as a waitress, my outfit stained with lobster and butter. ( I held a number of jobs through nursing school- but lifeguarding and waitressing would pay most bills).
It was bitter cold, and I was rushing up the stairs to my walkup on the third floor. I was singing White Christmas too loud and off key. I was carrying a bag of Christmas supplies for a little Midnight get together I had planned to have with neighbors, Creme De Menthe, Baileys' Irish Creme, And Egg Nog, and cookie dough. I came up the stairs and I could hear muffled crying. I turned the landing to my apartment and found my neighbor Micheal sitting on the stairs crying, his head down buried in his fisherman knit sweater.
I stopped dead, I stopped too fast and dropped my bag. Only the Baileys broke. I had known Micheal for many years, and I had never seen him cry, even when his stepdad died.
What? I asked. He just said 'Lennon". WTF???? I thought I heard wrong. He explained it had just happened.
We both sat for quite a bit staring at the puddle helplessly seeping out of the bag.
We went inside and watched TV, and it didn't change a thing.
It didn't take away the reality and it didn't provide any comfort.
We stayed up the rest of the night, and sat on my fire escape with as many would fit. People showed up who I didn't know neighbors and strangers, it didn't matter. The Grief bound us in the moonlit night.
We lit candles and sang Beatles songs until 4am. And played Double Fantasy relentlessly on my record player. The Cops that came to tell us to be quiet ended up sitting on the Fire Escape and doing shots of Creme De Menthe. ( They weren't bad singers). There was no Kleenex , only a role of Charmin passed around.
For the rest of my days on a Cold night when I smell candles burning and Creme de Menthe I think of Lennon and hear IMAGINE being sung off key.
Maybe tonight we need to remember Lennon for a little while and oh, I can't help but think of the Music he would have written about This Mess of A War and the Bush Administration and religousity wrapped crap, from the Patriot Act to Gitmo. He would have kept us humming and singing , Thinking too much and Protesting more. And it's 25 years and we are back we started. Tonight again there will be candles lit at the Enigma Cafe.
Imagine All The People......
Since I can't sing....some Quotes from Lennon.
 The More I see , the Less I Know.
 Reality leaves alot to the Imagination.
 Possession isn't nine-tenths of the law, it's nine-tenths of the Problem.
 My role in society , or any artists or poets role is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a Preacher, not as a leader, but as reflection of us all.
 Our Society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're all being run by maniacs for manical ends and I think I am liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's whats insane about it.
Love is a Promise, Love is a souvenir once given, never forgtten. Never let it dissappear.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
"Pray for the Dead, but Fight Like Hell For the Living." Mother Jones
So The Tax Deal was supposedly Worked Out and is a quote on quote "Compromise". And President Obama came out to the podium and gave a Presser on it. He seemed tired and out of sorts, but he also seemed Forgetful. He seemed to forget WHO put him in office and Who worked on his campaign and helped bring him to the podium. And he seems to have forgotten that Millions of those same hardworking people have been losing Homes, Jobs and Money over the past two years in a way that is frightening and heart rending. That people have tried to be strong, taking whatever Job they can and working tirelessly to keep food on the table and heat on and roof over head. No One needs to be called "Sanctimonious because they are tired of watching DC Democrats and the White House Ignore Our Plight. We don't want Compromises, we want SOMEONE ...Our Leader we worked to get Elected to FIGHT for us. There are millions of Americans already out of work, 59 Million who have NO Healthcare,and atleast 8 million have Lost homes,and 4 Million more are about to lose their UnEmployment Benefits. We Need WPA Programs and Plans, not Lectures on accepting Greed and Cruelty inflicted by Heartless Soulless Republicans.
Please do watch his presser. This is not the Barrack Obama I saw speak in person in 2008. And also listen to Our Progressive Dems speak out about this "Compromise". Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy and Sherrod Brown and Anthony Weiner all had thoughtful concerned comments.
PS: Mr.President I also am feeling "Sanctimonious" about a Few Other Things: Gitmo, Holder and the Lack of Torture and Illegal War Investigations , Holder and Wiki Prosecution, Bush's Homeland Security Agenda STILL in place with absurd TSA Rules and No Fly Lists, Terror WatchLists of Normal Citizens, The HCR "Compromises" that leave Millions With Nothing until 2014 or worse....And the List is growing by the day. You Better Take a LONG look in the Mirror.
Natalie Merchant "Which SIde Are You On" ( The beginning is sung by Florence Reece a Miner's wife who wrote the song about Injustice to Workers......)
RIP Elizabeth. Elizabeth taught us so much. She taught us how to Fight Things that are Bigger than us, and how to do it with Our Own Voice. She taught us how to speak Truth to Power about things that matter. And she did all of this while Fighting her own Battles. Her Cancer battle she shared with us so we could learn how fight back, but also she shared how important it is to do Screenings.She also shared her cancer battle and used it to show how important Accessible Healthcare is for all people, speaking out to DC and to Anyone who would listen. She also sadly had to endure a Betrayal of her marriage in the deepest most public way, and yet she still handled it with her own calm style and fortitude. Her last two books were on Resilence and Grace, and what they really taught us, is that you can not have One Without The Other.
Posted on her Facebook Page on Monday :
“I have been postulated via my hold up by 3 saving graces – my family, my friends, as well as a conviction in a energy of essential element as well as hope.”
Give people An Extra Hug. You never know what it might mean to them. A friend who you notice is down and less talkative, that neighbor who hasn't been out much, A Mom going through a hard time......It matters, more than you know.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." ~Pres.TeddyRoosevelt
Monday, December 06, 2010
Daily until Christmas I am posting Music and A Thought. I think many of us don't have much to give, but I have made a pact with myself this Christmas that this whole month I will find a Random Act of Kindness to give to a stranger every day. Yesterday I gave my "Car Reading Glasses" to my favorite Giant Eagle Checker, because he realized he had lost his and was struggling to read labels at work. I decided my Emergency Reading glasses that I keep in the car were needed. The look on his face when I came back in and handed them to him was priceless.....
Friday, December 03, 2010
This week I have been wrestling with some very hard situations at work, having to make some hard calls, some life altering decisions. As a Nurse this happens, but it tugs at my heart , my soul in a way that can not be measured. So I find myself at 3am watching "To Kill a Mockingbird". This one movie and Book have often brought me the answers I was looking for at very odd moments. At heart I also know I am Scout and that my lessons were learned by watching the world ferociously like her. The scene that still gives me chills is when Atticus has to shoot the rabid dog. Ultimately the Story is about having to Do What Needs to Be Done and recognizing that we are not always in control of the consequences. It is Life's hardest most painful lesson.
Famous Speeches From The Movie (6min)
Much of Life is seen through a Lens, snapshots...a Scrapbook of Moments. And in an odd way Music is attached to these shots that run through our minds.For me this fall will always be a scrapbook of learning of the world through the Eyes of working with refugees. Seeing what they see.....It is powerful. This video of shots from the film with it's haunting music reminds me that it okay to treasure Moments and hold them dear.
Famous Speeches From The Movie (6min)
Much of Life is seen through a Lens, snapshots...a Scrapbook of Moments. And in an odd way Music is attached to these shots that run through our minds.For me this fall will always be a scrapbook of learning of the world through the Eyes of working with refugees. Seeing what they see.....It is powerful. This video of shots from the film with it's haunting music reminds me that it okay to treasure Moments and hold them dear.
I had to remove the some of the posts on Iraqi Family. I realize that there are many of you following this family and praying for them. So many of you have given warmly to them offering them Welcome here. I ask that you hold them in Light and ask for Protection as they are in Crisis. Between Facebook and Twitter and here there are a couple of hundred of you that have been keeping this family in your hearts, and writing to me and offering help and well wishes. For now while they are in crisis I will not be posting any updates, it is unsafe for them and me ( and my son). Please do know that Mama and The Children are very very grateful for all of your help and prayers.
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
(From Twitter @unrealgenius Empire State Building lit honoring World AIDS Day )
Today is International AIDS Day. For those that don't know I worked as an AIDS Nurse in the NorthWest ( mostly Seattle) for many years in the late 80s and 90s. I took care of my first AIDS patient in 1982 while in Nursing School and no one knew What the Disease was at that time. By 1988 I was working in Seattle,taking care of friends and neighbors, working in one of the First AIDS Hospices in the Country and also at the first Needle Exchange in the Country and also one of the First HomeCare Agencies taking care and providing Hospice to AIDS patients.....So I have a deep concern about this issue, it really saddens me to still be blogging about it so many years later, as it remains a crisis for the world. Here is the Post I wrote four years ago about AIDS, it is called Chinese New Year" An AIDS Tale. It is still a Disease that is causing so much loss in the world. Yet there are treatments to help those effected live longer, but the spread is still so tragic. Education fell apart under the Bush years when Condom use and teaching fell apart as part of Aid.
Friday, November 12, 2010
"A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
One day last week I arrived at the home and it was stormy out and the power on their block was out,so it was fairly dark. But spirits were high and I had a package to bring from Alaska. So I showed them on the globe WHERE Alaska is, "The Top of the World " they said and we laughed. And then they said "It's winter and snow ALL the time ?" And then there was much unwrapping and coloring books and books to share and all the clothes had to be tried on right away. There was joy, bliss and smiles.
The Gifts that I have brought them from the Online Community are from NINE states and everything from blankets to warm sweaters to baby gear to art supplies. As each gift arrives I take it there in a bright green shiny bag -they know that bag is something wonderful for them and their eyes light up, It is wonderful they are feeling the warmth and Welcome from so many other families. I have to say thank you to everyone here for helping them to feel "At Home" and helping their Resettlement.
Over the past two weeks there have been huge milestones accomplished, the Lease was signed , and the Heat was fixed. The children all had their First Pediatric appointment and dental Exams.So many Firsts. And they are smiling more and giggling and coloring and laughing.Their baby brother is now nine months and cruising and moving about and trying to talk, and the girls treasure him. The Dental exam was hard because we learned that two of the girls have extensive decay which will mean years of dental work ahead. Yet the visit had a wonderful surprise as a Translator showed up I saw the Mom's face light up and it turned out the translator, a Medical Resident was from Iraq, so she could talk to someone from home. And at their pediatric appointment there was a lovely woman to translate, and that really helped mom discuss her children.
As we walked into the Hospital Clinic there was a soldier who passed us, in full uniform and I saw how quiet all the children were, and the little one holding my hand said " Soldier ? candy ?" I realized that for them the soldiers bring up many conflicting emotions ? Worry, Fear ? Candy ? And I also learned that late at night if there attacks or bombings, that families huddled and mothers give their children candy as comfort.....Yet I am so in awe of this amazing mother who kept her children healthy and well and safe with no medical care all these years.
Under Saddam only some of the people got medical care and it was intermittent and preferential. And then after the war started the Hospitals were mainly only for wounded and trauma , there was really no care for families with young children. And Hospitals for them mean Wounded and Gunshots. So they bravely came with me to their Dental Appointment, I had no idea that hospitals were so scary for them, but they bravely came to the clinic at the Hospital.
And I learned that the oldest girl paints over and over the Red House it is indeed her house burning down, and I bring her more paints and I tell her to paint whatever she wants, that it is okay now. It is okay because I am listening , I understand and that she is safe now, that she is Home now, no one will set her house on fire again. I see hope flickering in her eyes, and a yearning to Understand. I give her hugs for the granmas and aunties that she left behind, and to let her know she is still loved after all that she has been through.
And their mama inspires me daily that she has come to this country and that even though we don't speak the same language we understand each other as moms. That we both appreciate children and how amazing they are, how resilient and funny and creative. That we have formed a way of communicating that is beyond words....beyond culture....
Other Posts on the Iraqi Family:
Blogblast For Peace Post ended up being a closer look at the effects of War on this amazing family....
The First update on the family...
The First Post on on the Iraqi Family....
If you would like to help this family from Iraq the four girls are sizes 2-8 and the baby boy is almost into 1yr old clothes, any toys or clothes would really help.Also Mama is pregnant and due in January so any newborn supplies would also be appreciated. If you want to help please do email me. Thank you.
Friday, November 05, 2010
KeithOlbermann is NOT OPTIONAL Call: 212 664-4444 Phil Griffin's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DO also sign the Petition for Keith after only being on for 3 hours it had over 116,000 Signatures Please forward this far and wide, also do Encourage them to write REAL letters (snail mail ) and also to keep calling,and faxing.
Short Story, Keith Olbermann made 3 personal small donations, as a host he was supposed to ask permission of the Administration. Keith Olbermann did disclose this information of the donations,but he did not ask permission. Please ask that Keith be brought back. Bravely tonight Rachel Maddow pointed out the Issues and Double Standards of this grim situation, I will post her video later...
In closing I have to say this Keith got all of us through 8 years of Hell of Bush, and the War Years and he has been our Sanity and our Glue...So FIGHT like HELL for him...Just Do it...( and do remind MSNBC that Keith is their MAIN MONEY MAKER-not Joe, or David Gregory....the EVE folks have rocked the ratings this year...DO Write , and DO Call !!! )
10 PM Friday Update:
Petition is over 120,000.....and as of Saturday Night it is over 234,000 Here is the Petition LINK Share it far and wide...Twitter, other blogs, and Facebook....
Think Progress has a Story up regarding this situation that is a MUST READ.....regarding Comcast and NBC and changes....
By Monday Eve the Petition Count is over 319,000 and the MSNBC station was flooded with faxes and emails and phone lines jammed through the weekend. So as of today Phil Griffin has announced that Keith will be back on Tuesday Night. YAY !!!!
THIS is Keith's Letter To Countdown Viewers ( Please do read it closely....)::::
"I want to sincerely thank you for the honor of your extraordinary and ground-rattling support.
Your efforts have been integral to the remedying of these recent events, and the results should remind us of the power of individuals spontaneously acting together to correct injustices great or small.
I would also like to acknowledge with respect the many commentators and reporters, including those with whom my politics do not overlap, for their support.
I also wish to apologize to you viewers for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama. You should know that I mistakenly violated an inconsistently applied rule – which I previously knew nothing about -- that pertains to the process by which such political contributions are approved by NBC.
Certainly this mistake merited a form of public acknowledgment and/or internal warning, and an on-air discussion about the merits of limitations on such campaign contributions by all employees of news organizations.
Instead, after my representative was assured that no suspension was contemplated, I was suspended without a hearing, and learned of that suspension through the media.
You should also know that I did not attempt to keep any of these political contributions secret; I knew they would be known to you and the rest of the public. I did not make them through a relative, friend, corporation, PAC, or any other intermediary, and I did not blame them on some kind of convenient 'mistake' by their recipients.
When a website contacted NBC about one of the donations, I immediately volunteered that there were in fact three of them; and contrary to much of the subsequent reporting, I immediately volunteered to explain all this, on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired.
I genuinely look forward to rejoining you on Countdown on Tuesday, to begin the repayment of your latest display of support and loyalty - support and loyalty that is truly mutual."
Thursday, November 04, 2010
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Blog Blast for Peace is this week, people from around the World are honoring Peace by blogging on it, what it means and why it should be valued...treasured. For 7 years Mimi Lenox has kept this amazing forum going with Bloggers from all over writing and creating, honoring Peace, please do see the fine work.
I have been thinking alot about Peace this past month, because by accident I have been working daily with a family whose lives were destroyed by War...I have blogged below about the Iraqi Refugee Family I am working with, that are being resettled in the United States. I have seen their eyes and the sadness there, the Lost Look, and I keep thinking of our role in what happened to them. More than 5 Million Iraqis have become refugees since 2003 and they are settled in many countries and the UN is studying the plight of this many Iraqis who have been left without Homes, it is interesting that the UN has had many special meetings and teams working on this issue. I find it horrific that we don't hear any of the Bush team or really the MSM talking about this situation of so many people's lives destroyed by Bush's War based on Lies. The VETS here and their families, and the families there whose lives are devastated. And the Economic Crash we have had that was created by a Regime that was Hellbent on War and not taking care of The People...in Our Own Country or their Country.
I have watched the mom talk to her children and hug them and hold them. She has shown me photos of their PRE-WAR Life, their beautiful Home and the children in the school uniforms and hair neatly combed and beaming with the friends for the camera. The photo is taken just mere weeks before Bush decided that Shock and Awe was needed. I remember that March Night and how CNN and FOX played Classical Music for the "EVENT"...and yet now how she and her children hate Thunder Storms and Fireworks, for them there is NO Shock and Awe....I think it is called Other Things. They know the Sounds of War, and you can look in their eyes and know that they have seen too much. The look in their eyes keeps me awake at Night, and tugs at my heart. They have lost too much....There have been no consistent School days and school photos in many years.There has been no playground days or picnics or big family dinners or even simple trips to the Doctor for checkups. All car rides are an adventure for them, but a stressful adventure.When they play they play quietly , whispering and staying below the windows. It breaks my heart that they have lived like this for so long...and that our Country had a part in what has shaped their lives.
If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children. Mohandas Gandhi
I pray for Peace , I pray for it with each visit to their home.....I pray for it for Children in this World.....I pray that even though this One Family has an American Dream ...that somehow daily Someone will honor that Dream for them and help them have a Peaceful Life here....I pray that their lives here will have joy and love, that they will not meet with Hate and Intolerance, but I worry for them....Not everyone here has been open and warm to them, there is Hate in this Country to People who are different. It is an ugly time in Our Country...So I pray that they don't meet up with this Hate....Hate and Ignorance is what destroys any chance at Peace....So I daily try to help this Family Resettle, but while I do so I try to educate their neighbors and the people they encounter, whether it be the market worker, the postman or the Landlord, that these are good people....That they are Refugees from a War Zone we created....I can bring them soup, warm blankets and sweaters and crayons and toys.But can I bring them Peace ? Or is that something that others can help them find ? I believe each of us helps them find Peace... That we need to help them find some Peace, Some Happiness....a Life without Hate...without War.
As a Longtime Blogger, I have been moved beyond words by the Internet Community, People from Twitter, Blogland,Facebook have given from their hearts to this family...daily teaching me about the Reach of Compassion , generous even in these hard times.....sharing what they have and what is needed....It has been a beautiful lesson in Humanity that I am so blessed to share with the family and with all of you....
( You can scroll down if you want to learn more about this amazing family.....email me if you want to help them in Resettling, as a family of 7 with one on the way, always more assistance is appreciated...You can read more about the family here for the update, and then this is the original post in October that tells their story. Sadly this is how the Story ended in December so I am not longer taking contributions or gifts, but it is part of the lesson).
Friday, October 29, 2010
I have been looking at old photos and I realize that somewhere we all have photos of People in our own families who Came From Somewhere Else...with that Lost Look in their eyes. Yet when you look at the photos there is Something Else, a Yearning....Hope.
Update 2 weeks after meeting The Family....
(This is the first post about meeting the Iraqi Refugee Family on our Street that I wrote about 10 days ago.) The past two weeks have been very busy and full trying to get the Family what they need and navigating the Refugee System here. Some of the first few days were spent assessing what the family needed and also trying to smooth the rough edges of the Confusion they were experiencing. The Agency that I had concerns about I soon realize needs more Hands on deck and extra help, so now I am volunteering with them and learning their system and how to access and advocate for the family better.And much has happened since my first post. I still visit them almost daily.
The family is getting more settled and for now are staying in their apartment and we are getting their heat fixed. They now have many more blankets and warm clothes and more are coming daily. We have made trips to the Market and they are learning more about the Food here and how to get what they need. (English Labelling is confusing for Arabic Speaking people as the alphabet is so different.) They are using their coupons for WIC now and understand the EBT card now ( and realize it is not a Debit card). I am so grateful for the Internet Community who have really come through. Everyday there has been packages on my porch, it is almost like Christmas. Even my neighbors now come out the door to inspect the boxes and packages. I carefully wrap the gifts in colorful Dollar Store Holiday bags and I always say it is a Welcome Gift and at home I am keeping a Map with Gold Stars on it of where everything is coming from. Everybody has been so kind with my assigning a Task or special mission, and I can only say thank you so much for helping this Family.
This week has been a better week, finally the children are playing and acting silly and Laughing. Their wonder at the Leaves changing outside the apartment window, and their big eyes as the Leaves Fall. ( I reassured them that the Leaves will be back in Spring.). And in the afternoons Mama and I try to practice English and I try to learn Arabic. And I realized yesterday that mama now says Radiator with a Baltimore accent and some other words with a Southern Accent. And they all laugh when I act out words. And there was much laughter today when I got the Arabic word for Husband and Heat confused.And we have found some Arabic Connections, people willing to help translate on the phone and we pass the phone back and forth to find out what is needed for the family and share information.
Dad is taking English classes and starting to take car mechanic classes and also is looking for work, he too seems more positive and hopeful. So we hope to find him work soon, he is very motivated and wants to provide for his family, Pride is a very big part of the Men in Iraq. He was a truckdriver, and I can tell he really misses driving a truck.
Beautiful Coats arrived today and it is in the 40s and the coats arrived in beautiful colors and the girls eyes were huge and they tried them on and I could see they were so happy to have Their Own NEW coat just for them. And tomorrow I go get the Boots to match, and the feet are all measured. It is amazing if Heat is on and there are warm clothes how that can make someone feel better, feel loved, cared for.
Mama has been cooking and I did find a Lebanese Market that had some of what she needed for spices and she cooked for me today and it was lovely smell ,the spices and letting her give back too. She is a lovely mom , gentle with her children and at times I have heard her talk to them, and we both smile knowingly, because even though I don't speak Arabic I knew she was saying Mom things...."Like be nice to your sister".
I can share this now with her permission, Mama is pregnant and yes it happened while living in the Refugee Camps in Lebanon and no it was not really planned. And yes she is scared and worried and sad that family is not here to be with her. It is my mission to get her a good doctor and get her the best care possible. So by next week I hope to have her prenatal care started.She is over 6.5 Months pregnant so she should be having the baby in January but we will find out more and also check her dates, and make sure it is all ok. It will be a Csection so there will be much to plan.
A New Project that I would Like to have your Help and Enthusiasm : The Twilt -The Twitter Quilt
Mama is nervous about this baby and sad. I want to help her feel excited and happy about this baby. So I came up with the Idea with Some Twitter friends ( Lisa) that we start making her a Quilt for her American baby, And people from every state can send just one 6X6 in Square of Fabric and it will be put in the Quilt. People can donate a square of Something that reminds them of their Home State to share with this Mom and baby. I also ask that we keep Some green in the Square as a unifying Color if possible. ( Green because we don't know the gender). Please do leave me message in Comments or do Email me. Or Find me on Twitter @watergatesummer.
To Everyone that has given wonderful gifts the Family asked me to Thank you.....I will have a photo soon..I also explained to the mom I want to keep a Photo album for her....
Photo from Friday Night 10.29.10,
While waiting for the Heat to be repaired....We tried to carve a pumpkin, and we made Toasted Pumpkin seeds..except they burnt.I tried to read hair product directions ( in french) and translate to ???? and Baby is now sitting up, crawling, and trying to cruise, all of this happened in the past two weeks. And the girls are enjoying Halloween,even though they don't quite understand....and one of the little ones was sick, so there popsicles and 7up to get....But all in all there are Smiles on a Friday Night...and Thanks to help from all. ( I apologize for the blurry photo, the cellphone autofocus is lousy....they are a beautiful family)