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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Can anyone put an attribute to the following quote?

A friend sent it to me today. It was sent to her by her niece. If anyone can identify the quote, please send me a reply. This is for all our friends who are fierce women!

Live your life in such a way that
when your feet hit the floor in the
morning, Satan shudders & says...
'Oh shit...she's awake!!

Isn't that great?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Solar cabin in the woods...

Thinking small isn't such a bad thing when it comes to housing. This link will find you visiting "Lamar", at his self-built cabin in the woods. If you have a yen to get away from it all, and don't want conventional housing for whatever reason, challenge your building skills, need a bit of country in your life, you'll want to check out this link:

Incidentally, take note of that ventless heater. I have two of them that run on propane. They are wonderful for saving on your fuel bills. I got rid of the central heat and air, and I have saved more than half on electric and propane. And yes, I have carbon monoxide detectors.

Yesterday's itch to paddle -

I hadn't been on the water for a week. With the gas prices, my convictions say don't drive to town and I'm doing my best, but getting a little buggy.

So I wheeled my kayak across the street under the cover of clouds, and a breeze that was turning the leaves. It would be a short paddle, because I didn't want to chance being struck by lightning on the water.

The short paddle was bare bones. Since the neighborhood male gator has been quite vocal, I took my cell phone in the Pelican case. No camera. And wouldn't you know it...there went a white heron and a few seconds later, a blue heron. The turtles were sitting on their floating logs and never bothered to move. There are gazillions of snail eggs in all stages of hatching, including some sterile, sunbaked white clusters.

I met the neighbor finally, who has a stunning tree in his yard. It's called a Princess tree, and it's a fast grower. Imagine foxgloves in tree form. Dick (Clark) says the hummingbirds love them.
His is pale mauve. He planted it last year, and it's about 12 feet tall. I need one. They're beautiful.

I found a blueberry "tree" (it overhangs the creek), and on it were huge, succulent blueberries, the likes of which I've never seen. After checking for snakes in the branches, I brought them home in my funny red hat.

The beavers have never returned to the hammock where they were building a dam. The flood took care of that. The wise ones probably have moved off to a better place. I hope so.

And then I came upon a little green heron. It came from behind and left and settled on a lilypad. Had I had a camera, I would be showing you a photo of it catching a small fish while standing on a floating log. It may be the same one I've seen before closer to the house. As I drifted, it lost some of its fear.

I should always have my camera, rain or shine, every time I go anywhere.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dreams of Cuba

and a visit will probably not be realized in my lifetime. I will have to content remembering the tales of my grandmother, told to me as I sat on a little railroad step while she sat in her chair by her bedroom window, or over the dinner table. Stories of privilege, sugar plantations, arranged marriages, travel by horse and carriage, her mother's sixth sense for finding scorpions on the tile floors; of dictators, and losing the LaPiedra sugar fortune to the betrayal of family members; the bark of the ceiba tree, like gray satin, she would say, and her mother's silk slippers, which she always wore until they immigrated to America.

I have just been to today's Cuba with Olivier Vin, a talented, young photojournalist from Europe. I have seen through his eyes, the Cuba one never sees. There are places other than Havana, and while he captures that well, he takes us into the interior. He documents well the contrast of the two classes, the opulence and the grinding poverty, and the spirit of its people as well as the beauty of the countryside.

If you are curious about Cuba, here's a link: He can also be found at, where I hang out as well.

Thank you, Olivier.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

On medical marijuana -

Here's a link to an interesting article.

Let me tell you, in a few simple sentences why I am a proponent of medical marijuana.

My father (the man in the red and black plaid jacket with his fish of a lifetime which links to an Amazon Short story about the catch, and his brother, John) was 86 when my mother found a "pimple or boil" on his back that wouldn't heal. The doctor biopsied it, and it was cancer. That summer, Sloan Kettering in New York performed the most vile of mutilating surgeries on him, that dear old man, and when we read his record at the hospital, we found it had spread. That was August.

On his 87 birthday in October, the cancer had spread to his lungs. Late in November I was called. Mom said to come - it was consuming his brain, and he was on hospice care. I flew to New York, and when I burst into his room at their senior citizen apartment, the little bird in the bed, the shadow of my father, didn't know who I was. Mom had to coax him to remember me.

He was haunted by hallucinations that frightened him profoundly. He had some pain. We went to the family doctor together, Mom and I, to be told by this charlatan that he would not give my father stronger medication than codeine with tylenol, because he didn't want him addicted. Addicted to what? He was 87 and had days to live! I was so stunned, I said nothing. We felt defeated.

The neighborhood, made bleaker by sleet and snow, melting in the streets, was bad. From the window or the balcony, I watched drug deals go down at night, in the vestibule of an old house by the bus stop on the corner, illuminated by a single lightbulb. I should have shown up to buy something for my father. I could have made him brownies, or mixed it into his mashed potatoes, which was about all he could eat. He didn't have breath to smoke anything. Two days after Christmas he died in the swivel chair in his bedroom with me at his side, my mother scrambling across the bed to him.

Pot could have saved Dad some of his misery caused by the hallucinations. Palliative drugs could have been administered for pain and anxiety.

Marijuana has its place, not only for cancer patients but for people with eye disease, such as glaucoma, MS and a myriad of other illnesses. And narcotics need to be administered more freely for people suffering from pain.

The war on drugs is a sham. It brings money to the prison system, because that's big business.

There's a lot wrong with how we treat medicinal herbs and narcotics when it comes to illness. We are demonizing medical marijuana and necessary pain relief because of government paranoia and perpetuating the myth of the war on drugs and causing the suffering of people who truly need them.

NORML has been fighting to enlighten us on the use of medical marijuana. The link is here:

Just my two cents. I hope I live to see a more compassionate and equitable handling of the total "problem".

Oh, yeah - And now Ted Kennedy's cancer has relevance here. You might want to read this.
You can bet your life that the Senator will get anything he needs - legal or illegal.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Interesting quote to ponder.

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

-Henri Bergson

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

May is here...

This birthday (oh, goody! Now that I'll be 65, I get a free fishing license!), I have to start paying Medicare (nearly $100 out of my SS pittance), my son's and daughter-in-law's anniversary, my grandson's birthday (he's 2!), my daughter-in-law'd birthday and Mother's Day.

Gas is up to at least $3.59.9, food went up about $20 each time I go into town to the Grocery Outlet (affectionately called the "Groc Out" because where else can you find pig brains in a can), but every other day I am out in the wild blueberries, and leaving some for the birds. I will make jam this year.

The beautiful day just outside my window is calling me to the creek. The scent of jasmine is heavy in the still air this morning, and I have hummingbirds coming to the feeder by the bedroom window. They are little ruby throats, and they are having a grand time deciding whether to sip from the jasmine that is tumbling from the porch, the old-fashioned buddleia, which is purple, or the feeder that sits on the pvc pipe I stuck in the ground.

Hummingbird nectar is 1/4 cup of sugar to 2 cups of boiling water. Mix until dissolved and cool.
Clean the feeder daily and refill. Meanwhile, the Four and Twenty Club comes regularly to the feeders in the backyard, and so do the squirrels. A pair has brought their three children to the oak in front of the kitchen window. The others stay further away.

There are chickadees, thrashers, kingbirds, bluejays, cardinals and a few titmice who are regulars. I love to watch the parents feed the babies.

Keep the cats in, it's baby bird season!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm Italian. I love pizza. It's a genetic thing.

But what happens if I should want to order a pizza to be delivered in a year or two? I'm telling you,
at the rate we're going, it could happen!

It's funny. But...not that funny. We're scrutinized and surveilled from every angle. This could become reality.


I don't want chemicals in my food (bwa-hahahaha). I don't want my food genetically engineered, cloned or irradiated or tampered with in a manner that is harmful to humans. Clean, healthy food is all I want, and which hasn't been available for a very long time. I know this. I want American food for American people, processed correctly, produced to American standards (which could be improved). Then my friend in Seattle sends me this. Back to square 1! Please take time to view the video, as well as read the text. It's a long video, but it's worth it.

I do not use pesticides on my acre. I will not take the chance of contaminating humans or pets, my well or the creek across the street. I am extremely careful.

We need to know what we are using in our yards, in our gardens, in and on our crops.