Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Far Here and Far There

Familiar? Source

"You're the extremist, not me!"
"People like you should not have freedom of speech!"
"WHAT? Me?  No, YOU should be silenced."

Far LEFT? Far RIGHT? Fights in the street. Men in black smashing store windows. No whites on campus this day. YOU can't speak here...YOU don't agree with us.

Lord, help us!

So tired.

What about these "Far ____" ideas:

A.  Far ___ Girl Scouts with survivalist instincts who regularly steal one cookie from each box of cookies because they deserve it.

B.  Far ___ Lutheran Women's Knitting Society who believe Catholic Women's Knitting really suck and plan to unravel all their projects.

C.  Far ___ Community Soccer Team for Pre-schoolers who kick the daylights out of the referee because he always blows the whistle.

D.  Far ___ Baptist Church Choir who plan to defeat and possibly beat up Methodist Church Choir in Christmas competitions because they think that the Methodist soprano is a ringer. 

E.  Far ___ Irish Dance festival having an Irish soda bread food fight against a Ballet school at fundraiser because they all think they are so hoity-toity.

F.  Far ___ Patients in care facilities who sabotage orderly coffee room because orderlies are not solicitous enough when helping patients.

G.  Far ___  Sports shop employees who loosen skateboard screws because those **** kids listen to wrong kind of music and are just plain irritating.

H. Far ___ librarians who remove Hemingway books from shelves because he was an alcoholic and had a promiscuous life style. 

Just how far will this go? Statues have been toppled.  Former presidents have been condemned because they owned slaves in the 1700s. Explorers have been reviewed, revised and censored because their discoveries led to unknown consequences.

Who or what is next?

Friday, October 13, 2017

One in Eight

Pink ribbon for breast cancer Free Vector
The letter arrived on Wednesday and Bonnie placed it on the kitchen table.  It lay there unopened, with Bonnie passing and looking down on it. Tomorrow, I’ll look at it tomorrow.

Thursday. Friday. Then Saturday, Bonnie sat down at the table, carefully opened the envelope. With a deep quiet breath, she slid the white paper out and willed fingers to spread the paper with its crisp precise, perfect folds.

Bonnie heard a sharp inhale of breath coming from someone, and she watched as that someone read the letter and gripping it tightly. That someone slowly followed typed words, reading aloud.

"Your recent mammogram and breast ultrasound showed a finding that requires additional imaging studies, such as additional mammographic view, breast ultrasound, and possibly a breast MRI for a complete evaluation.  Most such findings are benign."

That someone read further. "Even though mammograms are the best method  for early detection, not all cancers are found with mammograms..."

Bonnie discovered that she herself was holding the paper. A fifth mammogram? What then? Another letter? Oh, dear Lord, help me! Please help me! knowing that He does.

That someone was silent, and silent tears wandered down her cheeks.

Breast cancer is #2 killer in women world-wide.  One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Currently there are 3.1 million breast cancer survivors. The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer are 1 in 37 (2.7 %).

Women over 65 are more likely to be diagnosed. 

Almost 230,000 women are diagnosed in one year in USA.  55,000 alone in UK are diagnosed in one year.

Men also can also be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Awareness Sign Breast Cancer by DebisWreathsandThing

This week is designated as Pink Ribbon Week: Find the Cure. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Blow Out Candles

vladimir putin birthday
October 7th was Vladimir Putin's 65th birthday and many wishes of health and happiness to him. May God gift him with all that he deserves.

May God gift him, indeed, since Putin is a man with a variety of interesting qualities.

Patriarch Krill of the Russian Orthodox church endorsed Putin's election.  He stated that Putin's terms were a "miracle of God" during the election of 2012.  Since collapse of USSR and lifted oppression of faithful believers, Patriarch Krill has joined an alliance with state.

The Church even supported Putin's decision to move into Crimea and Ukraine.

Putin is apparently a believer with his religious awakening occurring after serious life-threatening event in his personal life in 1990s. In his early years, his mother had baptized him secretly when a baby and took him to services (held in secret). 

His mother gave him his baptismal cross before a trip to Israel, and asked him to have it blessed.  "I did as she said and then put the cross around my neck.  I have never taken it off since."

Putin's confessor (according to rumours) is Russian Orthodox Bishop Tikhoshevkunov.

Putin is also actively involved in protection of rare species as Chairman of Russian Geographical Society Board of Trustees.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Assad and his supporter Putin
Forget about Syria!  

Forget about Crimea and Ukraine!

Forget about Iran and his support of their nuclear program!

Greeting Iran's leader
Forget about his past as head of the KGB!
KGB leader
Forget about all his choices! He wears a crucifix and has Russian Orthodox Church support after all!

Yes, may God show him the Christian way, whether or not he follows.  May God grant him deserved fruits of his labor. May God provide Putin with an appropriate reward for his many many works.

If Vladimir Putin lived in USA, he would now qualify for Medicare.  

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Sisters Hold Each Other Up

Mary is my only sister, with three brothers who made our lives a living hell at times. While I was vulnerable in many ways, Mary gave them a smug smile and blasted them out of their turbulent waters with acerbic honest words. I do not have enough words to relate who she is, how she blesses my life and my admiration for her. 

Mary and Bill, running away from home (I love this photo.)

Mary is holding her horsey, I am holding my new bride doll (Christmas 1958).

Mary is stubborn, especially when it comes to her children.  Maybe it should be said a "Stubborn and Fierce Tiger".  Mary was always devoted to excellent teaching and education, and did not accept anything less. 

In fact, I always said that when Mary stepped on elementary school grounds, the earth shook.  Teachers shivered in fear, stood up straight and tall, and resolved to be better teachers from there on. 

Mary is a fighter.

She is generous, in time and giving.  Many of her friends have had surgeries and illnesses, some very serious.  Mary is always there, giving food for the family and assistance in any way needed. Driving to a doctor's appointments? Helping around the house? Anything else?  Mary gives of herself unfailingly.

Mary has a black belt in Taekwondo, along with a red strip to advance her to higher levels.  Don't mess with her.

She completes projects she starts.  This cannot be said of many people, if not most people.

I won't volunteer her for a gold medal or sainthood, because I have known her for the better part sixty years. This gives me info and insights that all families share about each other.

Recently, my quilting skills plummeted drastically.  Migraines, concussion, Bell's Palsy, and other issues have taken away aspects of quilting, including joy. This is incredibly saddening.

So many unfulfilled plans

This fabric was for a project that I had never begun.  Mary has an enormous stash (that means, shelves and boxes of fabric), yet was willing to add more to it.  God bless her.  These beautiful fabrics and plans had hung over my head, piling on guilt upon guilt.

Mary is a superb quilter AND I mean superb.  Her eye for colors and design is amazing.  And she loves patterns that involve sharp points and precision, as well as applique. Any quilter understands what a pain those can be. 

Mary created a magnificent quilt for me using fabric from her stash and the above fabric, excluding the solid teal.  She told me that a box was on its way to me and to call her when it arrived. When the box arrived and I lifted the quilt from it, I cried.  Hugging it to my chest, I went from our room to the guest room, laying this incredible quilt over each.

This quilt will be displayed on my "art wall". It was a family photos wall, but they can always go somewhere else. This absolutely has to be seen by more than just my eyes.

This gift has me opening up my own stash and perusing what can be made from all that fabric.  Already have a baby quilt in the works and I will finish a project started pre-concussion. 

Sisters are different from each other for sure. What stands true is that we share our lives past and present, and that we love each other as only sisters can. I am blessed to be a part of Mary's life.*

Minerva, Rosemary, Grandma Marie Cardiff, Mom, and Vada
August 1970 at a cousin's wedding

 As in every family, each was radically different from their siblings in every way possible. Despite their many differences, each loved the other passionately. All have passed except for Aunt Vada, who recently suffered a stroke.  

*I named our youngest daughter after my sister.  Like Aunt Mary, my daughter Mary is a tiger.  One cowers when she aims a withering look. Don't mess with her either.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Adam Ruins Facebook

Eye and data
SEQ Legal

A rant is long overdue, so bear with me.

Internet security has always been an issue, and this issue becomes blaring when it affects millions of people worldwide.  This is not just about Equinax as one of many hacking invasions.

My daughter recently introduced me to "Adam Ruins...", a YouTube series where an incredible revelations about a variety of a broad scary vulnerabilities in today's societies. (While "Adam Ruins..." may or may not totally truthful, this one certainly must be.)

Here is one scary video that is applicable to my rant:

This is 6:20 in time, but well worth the watch.

For instance, I searched some sites to find a dress or something for my son's wedding.  Since then I have been inundated on Gmail, Blogspot and Facebook sidebars for outfits that may be of interest. Motorcycle parts? NextMD for migraines? IQ tests? (I am brilliant, a genius, by the way.)

Basically we live in a world where privacy is a rare, or even non-existent luxury. Even "going off the grid" is still not a guarantee.

Not much of a rant, but this is certainly one of outrage, anger, and most of all: fear.

I hope that this is accessible!  If not, paste "Adam ruins + YouTube" in your search.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Who Let the Dogs Out, version 3

painting by John Emms
Countries all over the world have iconic structures, plants, and even animals. India has the Taj Mahal and sacred cows.  Ireland has Hill of Tara (and lots of other places), along with shamrocks (sham-rogue).
Bern, Switzerland, also has its own icons that stand out. This past summer was exceptional in representing: St. Bernards.  These are truly immense dogs made famous for rescuing people trapped in snow.  The brandy cask is wishful thinking, not accurate.

Image result for st. bernard dog
23 things to know about a St Bernard

During our visit to our daughter, we discovered an astounding number of St. Bernard artistic statues all over the city.  We bounded around trying to find new statues, photos in all of 20 massive dogs.



Each monument was given a name.  My favorite was "Timmy", the cheetah above. Not so much for the cheetah paint, but for the name. Every Timmy I have known has been a boy, like in the show "Lassie".

We thought we had done so well with our twenty sightings, but we soon found out that there were one-hundred and twenty all over the city. They were even on roofs. 


This live St. Bernard was with his owner who was showing and explaining more about this magnificent creature along old town streets.

What more can I say? You had to be there.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Still Swirling

Bright Eyes (3 yr.) and Sunshine (1 yr.)

From the day our granddaughters were born, we have been blessed to be part of their lives in many ways.  It is a thrill to share our joys and interests with them, receiving same in return.

Now they are in the “tween” age, neither child nor teen, confusing us all. Hormones or no, they still delight us with this new stage.

A movie, Leap, recently appeared and we took our girls to spend time in this dark theater with us and watch a young girl who wished to become a ballerina.

LEAP! animated film about ballerina in Paris
Leap was delightful, at least to us and partly to the girls. Images that once made them happy and laughing held them in silence, even stoic. If we had not sneaked in two orders of edamame for them, they might have fallen asleep.

When Leap was over, both girls ripped it apart. 

Oh, Grandma…no girl could learn ballet in five days…Look, see! NO one could have made that move!...See THAT pirouette! Not remotely possible!...THAT defies laws of physics!...NO one could do that!...She should have DROPPED like a big heavy stone…I mean REALLY!!..

 They were absolutely spot on.  Two Irish dancers with many years of experience and awards could rightly judge.

Just when we were about to sigh heavily, a flutter of little girls in filmy tutus ran by, raced by giggling, to the screen where credits rolled and music played.  They swirled around, arms lifted over their heads in light, shadows against screen.

”Daddy! Daddy!  We want to be ballerinas!  See us dance!”

A new generation of future dancers brought smiles to tween faces and sweetness of remembered days to us when they wore little girl dresses, swirling and squealing.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and shoes
Sunshine (11 yrs.) and Bright Eyes (12.5 yrs.)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Oh, Molebut!

Forget about watching re-runs of NCIS.  Forget about Netflix.  Forget about texting.

Grandpa and I gathered our daughter and husband, along with our two tween granddaughters for a night of Mexican food and game playing.

A "Game Night" is above and beyond all definitions of fun.  This was a blast as we played Balderdash.  Not just the average Balderdash, but we played the Beyond Balderdash version.

To truly understand this game, you will need to visit the above YouTube site.

The word chosen was molebut, which elicited a bunch of crazy answers. This is Sunshine's false answer:

No automatic alt text available.
Sunshine's version of this definition

Brilliant child.  Eleven years old, Sunshine thinks outside, way outside, the box.

Look up molebut just for the heck of it.

Forget about DVD or World of War Craft.  Game night is an awesome way to spend time together.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Smoke in the Air or Lungs, Whatever

This past month has hit me hard, both with its treacherous heat (106 deg., heat advisory warnings) and its effect on my brain. 

I wonder about this possible treatment?

YouTube has a variety of marijuana experiences to view.

Should I give this a try?  It is legal here in California.  What do you think?

God bless Joanne Noragon who is still wrestling with effects of a stroke and a fall. Joanne never does anything halfway.  Excellent writer, sharp.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Happiness on a Sesame Seed Bun

McDonalds burger and fries
I'm lovin' it!
So here we are: sitting in a line of 20 cars at McDonald's, because the debit machine has broken.  Grumbling is at a mild roar.

Since my gr-daughters have helped me become more tech aware, I use my android to visit Google: What is in McDonald burgers? It tells me 100% beef, and shows a site where more info can be found.

Going to a non-McDonald site, we learned much in our ten minutes.

What is actually in their hamburgers?

  After you watch the first minute or so, skip to 6:37 where you will see more.

Beef by-products are meat and fat scraps, connective tissue, and bone bits.  These are the ingredients of the absolute cheapest dog food.  BUT, add some ammonia and voile’! There you have 100% beef.  And, by all definitions, it IS 100% beef with a secret pink sauce added. 

British chef Jamie Oliver shocked American audiences by showing them the raw 'pink slime' produced in the ammonium hydroxide process

The bun consists of 28 ingredients. First three are flour, water, and barley flour. The rest are unpronounceable words, all science stuff. 

I then looked at Chicken McNuggets. This info is guaranteed to be nauseating.

Our turn came up and we drove off with diet Dr. Pepper.  Yes, it is chock full of chemicals.

Coffee and soda are our usual purchases.  Now I know why.

Vintage 1970s commercial

P.S. Nearly every web site visited, I encountered all sorts of blockades, and videos simply disappeared.  Some sites I had just visited had been removed or an error message appeared.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Run, Run Fast, and Runaway

Different music artists in my formative years are plastered in my memory. Some of their recordings make me happy, just humming tunes and recalling some of the lyrics.

Bobby Vee... I always loved Go Away Little Girl.

 Bobby Vee died in 2017 at age 73 years, from Alzheimer's.

Sigh.  Bobby Vee made many teenage girls sigh.  

The Beatles had their own song, Run for Your Life, Little Girl. I never listened to the lyrics until recently.  Creepy.

Run fast, Little Girl.

Del Shannon was famous with My Little Runaway. The organ riff was famous at the time.

Where did this Runaway Girl go?  Why?

So, there you have it.  

Bobby Vee wanted a girl to go away before he begged her to stay. 

Beatles were stalkers, promised to behead the girl if she left. 

Del Shannon wondered why his girl ran away. 

These narcissistic men viewed these girls as objects, didn't they understand that? 

Obviously, all girls need to watch themselves and ask serious questions about any guy who is controlling and possessive. They should consider cross-country training.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Oh, the shark bit, with his teeth bare...

Bobby Darin on Andy Williams Show in 1970

Today has been a Sharknado fest, all shows one through five. Each one has escalated from mildly amusing with bad puns to silly oh-come-on plots and simple special effects. Lots of movie references, including Wizard of Oz, Terminator, and so many. But clever, it is clever.

#1 took place in Malibu and moved inland to LA, stopped only by Fin Shepherd   A mysterious cyclone seems to suck up all the sharks in creation and drop them randomly. Fin manages to save his family and much of LA.

#2 is Sharknado: The Second One, which takes place in New York. This is where Fin discovers his talent with a massive chainsaw.

#3: Oh Hell No! which starts in DC and travels down eastern seaboard.

Five minutes condensed funny scenes.  Silly, yes.

#4: Sharknado: The 4th Awakens! a play on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. David Hasselhoff is a key hero here, not a competent one. This starts in Las Vegas (Wayne Newton!) and moves on. I think it takes out Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon.

#5: This one is Global Swarming: Make America Bait Again! This one had a high budget, being filmed in five countries. It takes out Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, so far. It is still running.

Why is this series still on? Why haven't I gone shopping? What am I doing here?

My husband has the remove remote duct taped to his hand.  I don't drive anymore. My computer is in the TV room.

I am just waiting for Game of Thrones to come on. It at least makes sense.

Friday, August 4, 2017

August Sucks

Just when the inside feels like I could bake cookies on the counter, a magical thing happens.

Melting Ceramics by Livia Marin pattern cups ceramics
Source: livia-maria
Our local energy company SDG&E employs the FLEX energy plan to keep the electrical grids from over-loading.  That means they can turn my A/C off.  Off!! with the fan still running. 

Off, with the interior thermometer rising slowly up the scale.  82º?  That is nothing.  86º, and it keeps rising.  I stop looking.

Outside?  Thermometer past 95 and still going...

The A/C returned.  God bless it.

Truth is: Summer makes me cranky.  Life sucks.  Leave me alone.

This is a re-post from 2014 or 2013.  It doesn't matter; hot one year or the other doesn't matter.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Barbarella Moved On

Barbarella [Blu-ray]
On Amazon, blu ray, $5.30
Husband John will always remember the movie, Barbarella, starring Jane Fonda. Released in 1968, when my husband was 18 and full of testosterone, Barbarella became a cult classic of spoofy erotic sex and science fiction.  It was a coming of age for those male baby boomers.

In 1982, Jane Fonda became a different coming of age (literally) for the female baby boomers, who were thirty-ish and experiencing sag-after-babies, when "Jane Fonda's Workout" video was released.  It led to 13 more such videos, rake in $13 million, and open up a whole industry of muscle toning (leg warmers, incl.).
Jane Fonda's Original Workout
Amazon, $8.96
For two+ years, I faced Jane through the television screen and followed the mantra: No pain, No gain.

But, sandwiched in between 1968 and 1980s, Jane Fonda was an activist for many civil rights issues.  Ranging from women's rights to Alcatraz and American Indian reparations, Jane Fonda was a voice.

It wasn't always a good voice.  Black Panthers, Huey Newton, and then Vietnam were always in the forefront.  It was that Vietnam choice that tarnished who and what Fonda was. 

She visited Vietnam and American servicemen, as well as North Vietnamese military.  So much gets blurred, especially when a photo of her on an anti-aircraft gun was published.

Nicknamed "Hanoi Jane" thereafter
My Aunt Minerva was enraged by Fonda's relationship and actions with North Vietnam.  She was a Gold Star mother, one of too many who had lost sons in this war; Jane Fonda's actions were unforgivable. Even into her dying years, my aunt still held tightly to that fury.

Although Jane Fonda relayed what really happened in her 2005 autobiography, that photo is still too strong. 

From Barbarella to Exercise Queen to Political Activism, Jane Fonda definitely created a memorable legacy.

What do you remember?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Surprises in a Treasure Chest

caption lost in publishing.  Pinterest site.
This is the second day of school for Bright Eyes.  Already, she and her little clutch of friends are striving for good behavior, and most importantly, “table points”.

Class Rules Chart
products to purchase
Unless you are familiar with the discipline plans and rewards used in an elementary classroom, that means nothing to you. 

 “Table Points” are the points a cluster of six students called a ‘table group’ can earn by sitting up straight, paying attention, folding hands in front of them, and/or remaining silent when the world around them is wreaking wild havoc.

The table group who garners the most points throughout the whole week gets to choose prizes from the Treasure Chest.  
Lots of purchased stuff, not donated
“Oh. My. Goodness.  This is so big, like, you know, Grandma!  And, we were the first table group for the school year, too.”  Bright Eyes now sounds like every teeny girl in Disney™ television shows.  

It makes me sad, and a little cranky to be honest. Her young moral compass will be led by a Treasure Chest. When my daughter quietly informed me of this special day, it was impossible to squelch my reaction.

So, Bright Eyes hopped into the van, clutching her prize from the Treasure Chest.  It was a small zippered bag, like a girl would carry in her purse for lipstick and such. She had so much to tell about her day, and she had to buckle in before she could examine her treasured prize.

There was silence from Bright Eyes as my daughter drove, letting Sunshine fill in the news of her day.  Then, “Mommy, what is this?”

From the treasured prize, Bright Eyes pulled out three Tampons™, and held them up for her mother to view in the rear view mirror. She was told that they would talk about those things at home.  

But that was never enough for Bright Eyes, oh no. She knew a brush-off when she heard it. Bright Eyes tore them open, and speculated about their uses.  Not a flashlight…oh, look, here’s string…she swung the tampons around on their stringsNo, this isn’t a telescope. Here, Sunshine!  You can play with this one…”

Both competed with fighting tampons, swinging in a white whirl.

This looks like a good book.

When they all arrived home and the front door closed, my daughter (God bless her.) gave Bright Eyes an abbreviated explanation; she took the Tampons away.  Then she called the teacher, who listened in silence.  The Teacher said, “Oh, dear.  I’d better called Bright Eyes’ best friend.  She picked the same thing.” 

Ahhh.  The joys of teaching. Joys of learning.

And joys of being a grandmother.

This is a re-post from August 17, 2011.

We are visiting family (two grandsons) in Switzerland, and blogging is highly unlikely.