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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ever think of leaving the United States...


The news is so bleak today that I'm not even going to discuss it - but do take a look at Carolyn Baker's newsletter. She does yeoman's work on a daily basis. Today it's so filled with businesses going under, real estate plunging (I'm thinking of my son and family who will never be able to move), crooked politicians, global economic crises, that you can do that yourself if you have the guts.

Back to leaving the good old USA. I've thought about it. When I told my friend Sue about it the other night (from past posts you may remember she and her husband farm in Missouri), she was pretty shocked. "May! Are you kidding? You would leave your country? How could you do that? It's your country!"

Yes I would. If I could gather up the pets (the eight dogs and two cats) move a few books, my computer, pictures - you know - the really precious stuff and get it to another place, I would. I subscribe to International Living online. I also get their "postcards". And there are many ex-pat sites to visit if you look.

I don't speak Spanish, but there are places in South America and in Mexico I would run to where English, or even Spanglish is spoken. If you think the standard of living is terribly poor, that's a matter of perspective. There are residences that rival anything we have here, with more innovations and better design. That doesn't bother me. I would prefer another path. I saw a farm in either Belize or Costa Rica - actually, I think it was a butterfly farm - I would have purchased had I had the available cash. I would go to Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Ireland or Spain. Argentina is beautiful and so is Ecuador and Brazil has a real pull for me. But it takes more than money to make the move. It entails a lot of research, including trips to these places. Is it safe? Is there an ex-pat community nearby? Is the government stable? Can you purchase a residence as you would in the US. And language is important as well. I would take the chance.

Would I go? In a minute.

Check International Living out. If nothing else, it will give you ideas for a vacation and it's always nice to see how the other half lives.

If I could get

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New drug for Alzheimer's shows promise...

My mind goes about as fast as a chainsaw all day.

And then it stops. Damn! Why can't I remember that name? Where are my keys? Where did I put what was just in my hand? Am I getting Alzheimer's?

My Dad's mother, "Grandma" (I had two Grandmas, differentiated by Decker and Lattanzio. I never called them Grandma Elizabeth or Grandma Judith, just Grandma.), used to live six or seven blocks away, although it seemed like a really long walk for an old lady. She rocked side to side when she walked in her black Oxfords with the Cuban heels. In her purse were always two things for me: A mint patty and a chocolate covered coconut bar that I hated. You know how coconut gets bigger in your mouth? It's bad on a little kid. Mom took those.

Anyway, Grandma, who didn't speak English would come up mostly on Friday evenings and stay for a visit. She always wore shiny gold ball earrings, her only jewelry. I wear a third piercing with a small gold ball in my right ear for her. I wish we could have talked. We did, in a manner of fashion, but I would love to have heard stories about Italy from her, and about coming to America, steerage class.

Then something happened. We'd get calls from neighbors. Grandma Lattanzio was lost. She would get confused trying to find "Luigi", my father. In those days, the neighbors were so close - friends, friends of friends, relatives and relatives of friends, that despite her confusion, she managed to get to our house. She would be delivered by a neighbor or Dad would pick her up.

I don't know what the conversations were like when she became vague. But the Alzheimer's she had seemed to get no worse after a while. She was 86 when she died, and it seems to me now that she walked up for visits until she became physically, not mentally, incapable.

A friend's husband, an attorney, is dimming. I met him in a grocery a year ago - maybe not that long, and he joked about getting lost. He was there solo. He was hanging on. His wife believes
in good nutrition and homeopathy to stave the disease off. It may be working. Who knows what chemical toxin preys on our organs, affecting our brains, or where they come from? Wholesome food and natural medicine can't hurt.

My friend Marge is going through the journey with her husband who is now in a nursing home.

Cancer ravaged my father's brain, but I know the feeling of not being recognized; of memory coming and going; lucidity in and out.

So I hope this drug and the trials will be successful.

Sometimes I think of how it would be if I contracted the disease. I guess I wouldn't know. It's for the ones who love you to suffer through it more than you. To watch day-by-day the slow fade of the essence of someone you love must be profoundly painful.

I pray you who read this never have to face it, but for more information, start here:

The handsome couple above are my grandparents, Paolo and Elisabeta Lattanzio, on the walk beside their home (their second) on Bodine Street, Staten Island, New York.

I hate to open my email lately -

because all the news seems bad. My friends and family are heavily invested in stocks, real estate, 401Ks, and other financial instruments, and I'm here busily sending them cautions (and you, too).

Today I open Carolyn Baker's fine daily newsletter ( and I see this on bank failures.

I don't trust banks anymore. I came across an article yesterday saying not to trust Bankrate Monitor, either, my heretofore trusty site for financial matters. I know that when I went to the bank yesterday, there was a skeleton crew of tellers and officers. Creepy. There were three customers, including me.

There was an interesting interview on Alex Jones show on the radio yesterday (have you got Receiva radio yet on the net yet?). Seems that Fox News reported a week ago that huge oil resources have been found in Indonesia and northern Russia. They will dwarf those in the middle east and the oil sheiks will be back to rags and camels when these are developed.
When that happens, our currency will crash and be replaced by the Amero. No American oil resources will be developed or refined.

Keep this in mind as you scour the news and see more misery befalling the US and around the world because we put our trust in government - in banks, in fiat money, in politicians to whom we entrusted our life.

Run for office locally; run for anything from the most menial position to school board member to supervisor of elections so you can return the vote to the people.

Can you run for political office with the idea that you don't need money to run but just a vote?

I may do that in the election after this. What a refreshing idea.

Do what you can. Don't buy something you can't afford. Don't use plastic. Wear everything you own out to where it's completely useless, then recycle it. My theory is that I won't buy anything new if I can buy it good- or excellent-used. Used cars, used furniture, used appliances and second hand clothing and other things from yard sales, eBay, consignment stores. I do this for a couple of reasons: I won't be the first in line to purchase an item from a foreign country if I can possibly help it. I'm going to keep my dollars local. If I am so vain as to insist on designer labels, well, hell, they're at the consignment store for a fraction of their original cost, and if I see something especially nice I can always buy and resell it on eBay or another consignment store or opt for an ad in the free paper. I've done that a couple of times and made a few dollars.

I make my own soap. I can sew. I put a patch on the roof (God, please let it hold.) I will give DIY projects my all. I have three sheds that need new tin roofs. I'm going to tackle that soon, but not now because of the hot weather.

I vinyl tiled most of the floors here when I ripped up the carpeting. Carpeting has to be the most unsanitary thing in your home. You put new carpeting in and you are on urea overload. Then comes the sand, dirt, food, fleas and other detritus that sits there and collects. So I opted for the tiles. Looks nice. I have a little more to do. The only thing I need is time. If I get out of this chair, I'll get it done.

The master bathroom needs a total rehab. I can buy the parts and pieces (does your town have a Habitat for Humanity thrift shop?) and then maybe have someone come in and put it all together. I've never drywalled. That's a scary prospect, and I'm not up to that. At least, I don't think so. Someone gave me ceramic tiles for the floor. I just may ask for his supervision.

In Oregon, my bathroom wall was made of cedar shakes from a mill in Charleston that spit out the seconds on a conveyer belt. We used to visit the shake mill for kindling for the wood stove.
But whoever did the bathroom wall, did a really good job. I'm thinking new, old fashioned-style embossed tin for the walls. I can paint those. They should last a long time, and probably could be removed easily if there were a traveling leak anywhere.

This week I'm making jam. Got my jars. I need paraffin, sugar and Surejell. Then I'm off and running.

I love making jams; not jelly because I like the skins. They'll go to grandchildren and friends.
Maybe I'll keep a couple of jars for myself. Which reminds me - that blueberry bush is still in the process of ripening its berries, so I have to take a walk to the corner today and check them out.
A late bloomer.

That's all for now. Time to make the bed.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Articles of Impeachment - a MUST READ

Don't be bored with this. Rep. Dennis Kucinich took five hours to read this before Congress.

A local attorney, Michel Stone of Panama City, FL wrote an excellent letter to the editor of the Panama City News Herald which appeared this morning with the following link.

It matters not if you are a political animal. What matters is that you understand what this President is doing to our country. He is methodically dismantling our country and committing terrible crimes against our people and our nation with pen strokes; totally disregarding the principles and foundation upon which this nation was formed.

If you are an educator - and that even means a mother and father - read this and weep. Then discuss it with your children.

Here's the link.

This list is far more important than a stained blue dress and sexual exploits of a President.

This is a pointed assault on the American people, freedom and liberty.

Remember, I am neither Democrat or Republican. I am, however, a proud American citizen. I don't want to live to see the complete demise of liberty and freedom, or see my children and grandchildren in chains or dead.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Industrial hemp...

You aren't going to get high wearing hemp, using it for fuel, or anything else.

I've been a proponent of industrial hemp for years. So go here. You might learn something, and if you want to go green, hemp is a wise decision.

Off the grid living...and how to cook a snake...

I walk out of the room. I come back in. I'm looking at this blog, Possum Living on how to cook a snake.

It's about off-grid living, something I aspire to, but doubt I can.

You might enjoy it, so I'm passing it on.

PS: I cooked a snake once. ONCE. Someone brought us a dead rattlesnake (fresh killed), so it got skinned, the rattle went to a silversmith (I still have it), and it ended up in my frying pan.
It was also gutted and washed and I believe I made a necklace of the vertebrae.

Since there is no fat on a snake, I fried it with butter and bacon and spices. It filled the kitchen with a putrid odor. It did NOT taste like chicken. It was horrible. The dogs and cats wouldn't eat it.

Maybe this one works.

It would keep you alive if you needed it. But...yikes! That was awful.

New use for your cell phone...

Warning: May not be popular or easy to use in a movie theater.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich

As you read this entry, there is a counter to your left - counting off the money the war in Iraq is costing us. Unfortunately, it doesn't count the lost lives of our sons and daughters, sent to an illegally declared war which we will find was all about oil, when the Oilman-in-Chief is finally out of office.

Then I want you to click on this link or the one below and listen to Dennis Kucinich, Representative from Ohio. He campaigned for President this year, in case you need to refresh your memory. I laughed at him. He did poorly, as did Ron Paul in the debates, because the press and the Republicrats wanted it that way.

I have no problem admitting my mistakes. I will be the first one to do so.

So watch the video if you don't have time to read the accompanying article and I think you will see him in another light.

Kucinich presented Articles of Impeachment to Congress last Tuesday because of the illegal way the war in Iraq was foisted on us and for other reasons (including the economy) as well.

But there are other reasons, and if you read about what Bush has done to us and our country with Executive Orders, you will be outraged. They are all on the internet.

K-9 Amber Alert group on Yahoo...

I just stumbled across this from a list I'm on. It's for lost dogs.

If you have ever lost a dog you love, you understand that panic goes into overdrive and the heartbreak that goes with it when it doesn't return. There is never closure.

Years ago, we moved from Acton, CA to a town maybe 20 miles away - Lancaster. The front door had trouble closing. We were there two days, and upon waking, the dogs were gone. Weimaraner Max (an adult), and puppy Fancy, a German Shorthair Pointer, had decided to leave this new home and return to Acton.

I posted Lost Dogs/Reward signs on the telephone poles and called Animal Control. I talked to neighbors. During the day, Animal Control saw the dogs running through the desert, heading back to Acton. Rattlesnakes, cactus, people who drew beads on stray dogs, traffic, no water and nothing to eat. We were sick.

They were gone over night. The morning of the second day, I heard something at the door.
Fancy had come home. Less than 6 months old, she showed up with sore feet and scratches, exhausted. How? Knowing the bond these two had, we were sure Max had met his end.

That night I received a phone call from someone on the next block. "Did your dog come back?
There's a big dog in the field behind my house. It could be yours." My son and I got into the station wagon, daring to think he had made it home. It was dark. We called him. Out of from the trees came Max! Tired, hungry, footsore and very thirsty, somehow he made his way back to the people who loved him, and Fancy. They never left again.

My little Bernie, a black and white Shih-tzu cross, ran the road defying people who tried to help him (including me), and traffic, for weeks. It is common in this area to leave dogs behind, or dump them when they become unwanted. On a cold March day, I set a live trap for him and baited it with Limberger cheese. In the morning I went back. He had spent a very cold and windy night, but he ate the cheese, and when I picked up the trap and put it in the back of my truck, he cried like a human baby. He's lying against my foot right now.

Anyway - you never know when you can help a dog back to its home. And this site may be
helpful to you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Do you remember Bart the Bear?

This magnificent animal has passed away, but you will enjoy (and recognize him) through this lovely video: The Legacy of Bary the Bear.

Also, the foundation the Souse's have formed:

Take a trip with me -

we're going to see some images of phenomenal rock paintings in the southwest desert.

Let's go - don't even worry about your keys!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mothers RULE!

How do you feel, as an American, about Martial Law?

Here are two links to read - the Alex Jones link explains it, but the second link is the original article.

We are nearly to the end of the slippery slope, I fear. But people are beginning to feel there's something terribly wrong. The ones I speak to are uncomfortable in their skin, as they are surveilled, subjected to illegal traffic stops, tasered or detained for no reason, losing their ability to travel freely, and often now (and listen for this), referred to as "civilians".

This act, signed in private by the existing President, which got no major media coverage, is terribly wrong. What does your Congressman or Senator know about this? How does he feel?
In Morales' article (he's an Episcopal priest in NY) he explains that torture and forced suppression to acquiesce "us" (or, "We the people" who formerly had Constitutional rights), for any reason, is just fine with the government.

We not only live in interesting times, but we also live in very dangerous times.

Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."

Toll free to Congress: (870851-6437 and(8660340-9281.

Posse Commitatus is dissolved in this Act.

See law enforcement and National Guard practicing here:


Help thy neighbor...

From the Energy Bulletin comes this article on helping your neighbor through hard weather. No surprise, it comes from a Vermonter. Whenever I see an article on Vermont, I read it. I have family there, and if I had my druthers...well, despite the cold winter, I would move there.

Maybe it's the overwhelming number of small towns strung together like beads on a jumble of long cord, but there's a strong sense of community in Vermont. I really love it there.
The picture above is of the state capital buildling (no surprise). It's on State Street.

A mile or so up the road to the left of this photo was where one of my cousins lived. On one or two of the many trips to her house by train or Greyhound from New York City during my high school years, my cousin Jim and I would take his dog Schatzie, and empty coffee cans and hunt nightcrawlers up by the shrubs near the steps, spotting them lying near their holes with flashlights.

Man, were they big! Muscular and fleshy, they didn't want to be pulled from their holes and we'd have to hang on to their slippery bodies and pull them out.

We gave them to his father, Walt, who never seemed to produce any fish. But it was fun.

Can you imagine what would happen today if you showed up in the dark with flashlights and empty coffee cans in hand on the lawn to look for worms, now? Homeland Security, FEMA,
the FBI, the State Police would probably shoot you.

The images of Liz Bickel on Pbase...

I don't know her, but I'm on the list that comes in daily from She is a remarkable photographer (with lots of lenses), and I happened on her Yellowstone National Park album this morning through a comment. And then I saw the close up of the raven. The link to all her albums is here:

I left a comment for her.

I am passionate about ravens. I have had four or five in my life while I was doing wildlife rehabilitation (under Alice's license) in the Antelope Valley of CA. I wrote of them in my book, "Waltz on the Wild Side - An Animal Lover's Journal". Orville stayed the longest. Strangely, in this most important time of my life, I took few photos. I have one that I will have to dig out and put up here of him sitting on my shoulder poking his beak into my ear as I was steering a houseboat on the Sacramento delta. He learned to fly on that trip.

If you are interested in ravens and crows, you might be interested in subscribing free to the "Corvid Chronicles" which you can find here.
ASCAR is the home roost of the American Society for Crows and Ravens, and the newsletter will come a few times a year in the mail to your home.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Looking forward to getting your degree?

Maybe college isn't always the best alternative. Here's an article from the Wall Street Journal.

There is nothing wrong with a trade. Ask my cousin. Her husband's an extremely successful plumber.

Gas and oil article - an interesting read...

especially if you are in the oil/oil-related industries. Not good news at all.

Sunday's funny video...

How about this one about our gas prices?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Don't speak ill of your bank...

especially not in could get into some serious trouble...(what about freedom of speech?)

Think about it. Today, right now...wouldn't you feel safer if all your savings were under your personal control and not your bank's? The Federal Reserve, that private bank conceived in secret so many years ago, that is not "federal" at all, but just a private bank fed by your taxes, supposedly will insure your deposits to $100K. But what happens, since it is not a government holding, if it fails and your bank doesn't have the funds to give you? Incidental to this, did you know that for every dollar you deposit in your bank, that bank can loan out nine times? What about defaults on loans in today's wobbly financial state?

We watched IndieMac's depositors banging on the glass doors. Wachovia is failing. Fannie and your money secure?

We are walking through our daily lives in a field of landmines.

Be frugal, be aware, and put your fiat dollars in something that has intrinsic value, like precious metals and control your fate, until you are more confident that the financial crisis is over.
Double click on the Kitco chart in the sidebar, and do some research on bullion coins and bars.
It may not be for you if you rely on the full faith and credit of the US government to take care of you and your money.

Representative Dennis Kucinich

I didn't give him much thought because I was so strongly a Ron Paul supporter. But something has happened and I'm looking at him in a new light. I like what he has to say about immigration, Constitutional rights, and other issues.

Here's what someone sent me this morning. It's on unwarranted surveillance of peace groups.

We could have had Kucinich vs Paul in this election.....a vote for the greater good instead of a vote for the lesser evil.Wake up America.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm getting travel itchy...

Indonesia, India, the Seychelles, Malta are all out this year. (Hear me sigh?). So is my trip up Mt. Whitney. I did so want to climb it when I was younger. I won't be in Mexico to scout out Merida or Tulum. Costa Rica or Belize, and get down and dirty in the jungle. I'm under house arrest in a fast becoming third world America.

Sue and Jimmy want me in Missouri (I went to high school with her and she's a real self-sufficient farmer's wife). I want to learn to drive a tractor and he said he'd teach me but now it's too late in the season. (He wanted free labor to seed his crops, that rascal.)

I'd like to visit Bobby, whom I've not seen since the late '60s. She's up in Washington. I want to visit Montana again, but those endless miles of travel through the state will be hard on the purse, because of the gas prices. So whatever it is, it'll be close to home. (Damn it.) Maybe I'll go and visit a butterfly house. There's one in Georgia and one in Alabama. Or visit cousins I haven't seen for years in Virginia Beach or North Carolina. I feel guilty even filling up my gas tank. I've never been to New Orleans. I'd sure like to visit with some folks who haven't been able to rebuild yet and turn it into a documentary.

I did, however, come across this website and its links - and if you're in the mood for traveling, this might just point you in the right directions.

Climbing Whitney, gazing at it from the valley below in Bishop, CA is still on my 50 things to do before I die list. It's a beautiful mountain. Today I found vicarious pleasure in the 50 ttdbid of others. You can find them here, and maybe add your own, And by the way, writers and photographers, there's room for your articles and your images.

Wherever your wanderlust takes you, let me know and I'll post your comments here.

(The picture above was taken in Ohio. Went to see the caves in Hocking Hills. Beautiful country. It rained heavily every single day and night except for a break on one day only when it stopped for about three hours. No caves/no pictures because I had drowned one digital camera and wasn't going to take a chance. But even that was fun, albeit, solo.)

Looks like rain's coming. Time to walk the dogs. Jack is housebreaking nicely. It was nice talking to you today.

Publish Post

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Want to feel 'REALLY GOOD'?

Then click this link.

Hey, Forest - if you're reading this, then you'll know I'm practicing for the next reunion - our Port Richmond High School Class of 61's Fiftieth!

Poor man...our reunion (46th) was last October. I can't remember when doing a jitterbug was so much fun.

(and the piano player is no slouch, either)

The hip hop kids could never hold a candle to this.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Soldiers and their adopted dogs of war zones...

I get Wayne Pacelle's daily blog entry. He's the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

Today's entry was heartwarming. It is about a book, From Baghdad to America: Life Lessons from a Dog Named Lava" by Jay Kopelman, which explores how important these dogs have become to the soldiers who rescued them, and their rescuing of their new owners when they have returned to the States.

Here's the URL of the blog:

Jay has written two books, and both are on the first link from Amazon.

Haven't read them yet, but I sure do love a good dog story.

The Federal Reserve

You will understand more about our current economic crisis through this audio of 89 minutes, of the book, The Creature from Jekyll Island. It is still available in book form, but it is in the public domain.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Remember "Wild Kingdom"?

How many Sundays did I spend with Marlon Perkins, Jim and Stan (Brock). Stan Brock, tall, dark and handsom in the old days, wrestling with anacondas in the Amazon, wild cattle in Indonesia, trapping crocs, has always been a wanderer. Now he's wandering the world, flying an old transport plane, and is the founder of a wonderful volunteer effort called Remote Area Medical (or RAM).

It was founded because for 15 years, Brock lived with an indigenous Amazonian tribe and witnessed first hand, the suffering when it came to a 26 day walk to medical services. When he finished his stint on "Wild Kingdom", RAM was born - an international effort.

Tonight I watched 60 Minutes, and there he was, very much involved with an "expedition" to Knoxville, TN where hundreds of people came for medical care. They were the ones with no medical insurance, under insured. These are weekend volunteer events and everything is donated.

Doctors, nurses, dentists, opthamologists, optometrists, and even veterinarians volunteer for these weekends, and all of the supplies are donated as well.

Worried about the economy and your personal finances?

You should be. With the IndyMac bank failure in California, please go to this link:,
because the FDIC is nearly out of money to insure our savings. That means pension plans, savings instruments, retirement funds; everything.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A case of being hideously duped...

If you believe that the war in Iraq was a lie under the guise of terrorism, and even if you don't, you will nevertheless be incensed at the following:

And it is very curious, that a website belonging to photo journalist Dahr Jamail, who was formerly imbedded with a unit in Iraq, and told to leave when he posted graphic photos of bodies after an Iraqi blew himself up last year, is gone this evening.

I guess I'm using too many buzz words.

Look him up in Google, because it may be a glitch. He's all over the place.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Photoshelter Stock Photography...

Some of my images for commercial stock photography sales.

It's FRIDAY and the sky is gray. Fire ants and credit cards...

I have to go and burn some leaves over two fire ant mounds before the storm. Fire ants, if you don't know, are an imported species with a nasty venom that can kill wildlife, children, anyone with a venom allergy. The sting is painful, producing pustules that are painful and slow to heal. They swarm so fast you can get covered in seconds. There are so many mounds with connections that they are nearly impossible to kill. During and after rain, you can see them moving eggs to new quarters.

Nestlings, newborn fawns, goats, calves, etc., succumb to their bites, as are children.

I hate them. When I finish this entry, I'll go out and burn some leaves over the two sites.

Now, the next thing has nothing to do with fire ants - I can't make a connection. But it's about your use of credit and debit cards, and "the rules" of their use. I have a local convenience store that won't charge a card unless you have a $5.00 purchase. That's against the rules. And you don't have to sign the back, either. So you might want to give this link a browse. There are other good articles here. Knowledge is power!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I cringe at going grocery shopping...

My 55 lb. bag of Purina Dog Chow (not to mention Jack's little bag of Puppy Chow) have nearly doubled at Sam's. Even though I bring coupons from Purina, I'm paying through the nose (that cursed ethanol garbage).

In my discount grocery, is downtown by the mission, which sells at cost plus 10 per cent, prices rise every time I go, which is about every two weeks. What cost $60 six months ago is about $100 now.

Here's a link to help you save money - or at least think thrifty. I hope you can use it.

Michael Vick's Fighting Pit Bulls...

and what time, patience, love, commitment and compassion can accomplish. If you need a boost to your day, read this excellent article from The Washington Post.

It's for animal lovers everywhere.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Just a pretty picture of Jack,

who knows "No", "Sit", "Sit up", "Are you hungry" (for that he dances), learning to lie down when the command is "Bang", "Come on in the house", and learning "Stay". The child is brilliant.
He's got good bone and he's tough and is learning to potty outside. But today he had a bit of a lapse.

I hope you have a "Jack" in your life someday to make you smile. All you have to do is visit your local animal control shelter or humane society. You're "Jack" is waiting for you.

I really like this picture. The sun was going down and it reminds me of a Dutch painting.

You can always see more of my images on or at

If you see something you like, my prices are very reasonable.

How much has your cow farted today?

I was in and out of the rooms tonight half listening to Mark Levin on the radio. I disagree a lot with him. I believe he's just a talking head. But then he started talking about tanks strapped on to the backs of dairy cows, presumably (from Google), in Argentina. Their methane outgassing is being collected to see if it affects global warming. So I did a search and came up with no end of this, this, "crap", and if we let this continue, we're all going to be sorry. Because it won't stop with livestock. Can you imagine the burden on farmers?

We can't change eons of cyclical weather changes. We aren't in control. (We sure aren't.) There's a universe out there that says we are but a speck of sand collectively, or even smaller. How arrogant and stupid are we to swallow this?

Just peer into the future and think how the tanks will look with a little black dress, strappy high heels, pearls, and your backpack with the methane tank. How do you accessorize THAT?

Anyway, if you're too tired after working for your gasoline money, I will start you off here:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

MacArthur's Farewell Speech

Heard this yesterday for the second time. I was 8 when he made it, and I remember my parents discussing it, though I didn't know its significance. What an articulate leader he was! It is as relevant today as it was then. Our soldiers who are sent to war (even in this undeclared war), are not sent to win.

The speech is lengthy, but listen just the same. How different the mindset of the people then.

Listen. You will understand.

First the bad news...

Now the good news and an incredibly beautiful film clip. The good news, though small, is that I identified the mystery berry which tastes like tart but not sour cranberries. They are huckleberries, and they are everywhere, including my yard.

The figs are ripening, though the mockingbirds are getting to them first at the top of the tree.
I don't have enough to make preserves, so I just put out an ad on You should
check Freecycle out - everything is free but not to be resold.

Now the dessert. This is Lorenzo, the Flying Frenchman, and there are several videos on the web of this enchanting horseman and his horses. You won't believe this.

Enjoy your day. Make a difference. Be aware, and don't trust completely what you hear on the evening news. Be a curious and get informed.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A thoughtful piece of writing to pass along...

when someone loses a dog or another pet. It's very touching, and from my internet friend, Elise's tribute page to her Rottie named Jazz. I just sent it off to several friends, two of whom just suffered the loss of their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

I am still missing Blade. I see him everywhere. He's in the house, out in the yard, next to me, on the sofa. Maya is more confident of her place now, and she has gained a lot of weight. She seems content, though she is still anxious about being left alone. I always tell her I'll be right back when I leave, and tell her again, "I came right back".

Since the author is unknown, feel free to pass along the following if a friend loses his or her best friend.

To my beloved owner, there's some things I'd like to say. But first of all, to let you know,that I arrived okay. I'm writing this from the Bridge. Here I dwell with God above. Here there's no more tears of sadness. Here is just eternal love. Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight. Remember that I am with you every morning, noon and night. That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through, God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you. It's good to have you back again, you were missed while you were gone. As for your dearest family, They'll be here later on." God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do. And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you. And when you lie in bed at night the day's chores put to flight, God and I are closest to you in the middle of the night. When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years, because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears. But do not be afraid to cry: it does relieve the pain. Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain. I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned. If I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand. But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o'er. I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before. There are rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb; But together we can do it by taking one day at a time. It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too; That as you give unto the world, the world will give to you. If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain; Then you can say to God at night... "My day was not in vain." And now I am contented that my life was worthwhile. Knowing as I passed along I made somebody smile. God says: "If you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low; Just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go. When you're walking down the street with me on your mind; I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind." "And when it's time for you to go, from that body to be free. Remember you're not going, you're coming here to me." -Author Unknown

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Kid from Brooklyn...

ain't me.

The Kid from Brooklyn pulls no punches on world affairs, laws he considers over the top; whatever is his topic de jour. He's an experience. Foul mouthed and opinionated, if you are easily offended, you might just want to send the kids into another room, but for sure, you can't fault what he says. How he says it, is another thing. But I love him.

He and Bill Balsamico (the sign man from Casa d'Ice) should be presidential running mates. No kidding. It's time for an Italian in the White House!

Sleepy Creek isn't so sleepy with Big Mike on.

Honoring the Founders on the Fourth of July...

Do you know who they were?

Read who these people were go gave us our nation:


Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his Ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters.

He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't.

So, we're going to take a few minutes while enjoying our 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. We believe it's not too much to ask, for the price they paid.

We understand: freedom is never free!

We believe patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball games.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dogs and moles

I love moles. Unfortunately, wherever I've lived, they have been delivered sometimes, by cat or dog with great pride, DOA. They are beautiful. Chubby, fat-footed and blind, they really do a good job of aerating the soil and consume insects, their larva and the occasional delectable root. It is an amazing thing to watch them tunnel. I've loved moles ever since I saw them to that by a grapevine, about 60 years ago. I was standing in the backyard of a man who died while my father and other men were negotiating the sale of his firearms. I stood and watched the tunnel run through their feet over to a grapevine; a marvelous sight.

On this acre, the moles dig their tunnels. Bernie is teaching Jack, the new puppy, the craft of moling. You listen first, then you sniff, and then dig furiously. Furiously. It seems the moles in every case dig toward them, because Bernie's technique is to keep backing up and digging.

No moles that I know of have been dispatched. I'm glad. I don't mind sinking in and I love seeing the mounds that are their breathing holes, which I think is how the cats catch them. But Dottie has no claws, so she spend her time hunting anoles, many of whom are growing tails. Vern is too lazy, and would rather sleep on my van and come in for his Greenie treats.