December 20, 2018 Christmas Photo a Day



Granpa and Laylabug, #TBT 2012

(I know, it’s all about Christmas photos, and fun, some humor,  occasionally a little sappy, and of course CATS, right?)

Sometimes, we just need a bit more…compassion, and care for ALL humanity. But, all the screaming from some folks, about THE REASON FOR THE SEASON–(OMG Starbucks coffee cups??)–and all that……well, you know what? Jesus was a refugee. LOOK at the child who means the most to you in this world. Stop, right now and look at them. Whether you have to look at a photo or can go poke your head into their room, go and look at them. Now, tell me WHAT YOU WOULD NOT  DO FOR THEM?

What? Would you FLEE your home with them? Would you abandon your town, city, family, job, way of life, language, support system, to protect them? Would you walk a hundred miles with them in your arms? How about a thousand miles? To find hope for them? Would you leave EVERYTHING you know, everything you own, and walk for weeks, HOPING??Would you think the appropriate response to this behavior is rubber bullets, or to TEAR GAS CHILDREN????  (are you REALLY going to say tear gas isn’t that bad, NBD??) Children who of course have no control over what their parents do? The infant Jesus and his tiny family fled their homeland, to keep him alive. Why should any other parent do less? Where is the ALL LIFE IS SACRED crowd?

(I wrote this before the little 7 year-old girl died in our custody.)


It’s Christmastime, there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime
But say a prayer, pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it’s hard, but when you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window
And it’s a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing 
Is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you
And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?
Here’s to you
Raise a glass for everyone
Here’s to them
Underneath that burning sun
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?
Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world 
Let them know it’s Christmastime again 
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again 
Feed the world 
Let them know it’s Christmastime again 
Feed the world 
Let them know it’s Christmastime again 
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again 
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Songwriters: Bob Geldof / Midge Ure
Do They Know It’s Christmas? lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, In

It’s ONLY been 364 days.

(My random political rant… still bubbling over with disbelief how is this happening…)

What did we do that we went from the educated oratory of JFK, to incoherent Tweets from the Accidental Resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave? When did we decide the person in charge should be the one with the LEAST knowledge, and the LEAST interest in learning? Shouldn’t we want our leaders to be heads and shoulders above us in intellect, vision, empathy, and ideas?

The person who represents us across the globe…shouldn’t that person be able to think on their feet, extemporize on a wide variety of topics and provide backup for their statements? What caused us to end up with someone who believes that TV ratings outrank policy? Who GETS his facts from one news channel–one that isn’t known for it’s truth-telling.  As president, he has ACCESS to the greatest minds of the world, yet he chooses cable TV to inform him.  He believes the Constitution is a False Flag when it doesn’t benefit HIM  but needs to be followed without question when the words can be manipulated to SUIT him?

How many of the .015% of people in this country do YOU know who will benefit from the repeal of the “death tax?” How many will be harmed by Trumpcare?


There is small comfort in knowing that the MAJORITY of Americans saw through his smoke and mirrors and elected someone else. Hillary received more votes than any candidate EVER—(except for Obama). Trump got THREE MILLION LESS VOTES THAN HILLARY.  These are FACTS. Or worse, decided to sit this one out in a pique of moral superiority that couldn’t have them vote for the least worst.

Despite his obsession with the electoral map, it is obvious he doesn’t understand even THAT aspect...that while the maps look red, the POPULATED areas went blue..  He got more square miles, not more people. He “rules” on the assumption that people like him; in truth he is the naked emperor. MOST of America doesn’t have the wool pulled over their eyes.

It’s been a year. No, I am not over it.  

13781934_10210590582744736_2260827268672719815_nI think that I have voted for the winning side about half the time since I started voting.  I would lament, read about the new guy, and move on.  Better luck next time. Never before did I truly feel we may not make it out of this alive, or whole, or as AMERICA. No, that is not overreaction. Have you been paying attention??

Even if you agree with all of his public policy, (and HOW can you?) how can you agree with his personal behavior,  his public presentation of the office?  Accepting his behavior as the price you need to pay for getting the things you hope he will get you? That is NOT GOVERNING. It is being complicit in the abdication of the office of president to a lunatic.

Show your work. Your responses to ANYTHING here cannot– I REPEAT CANNOT– be “Yes but–The Democrats, Hillary, Obama…” Two wrongs don’t make a right. You don’t let your son off the hook for staying out late and lying about where he was because he tells you that your daughter took $5 from your wallet last year when he gets caught.

–If one more person says to “stop dredging up history”… Should we STOP celebrating the Fourth of July then? That’s just “history”… or Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day? Only racial/ethnic minorities are told to forget the history of their oppression, and to move on….the victors may continue to celebrate apace.

–For ANY government official to declare that the price of protesting should be losing your job is 100% opposite of the intent of the First Amendment. Period. It is SETTLED LAW that you do not have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. If, as an employee of a company, you do something that is against your company‘s policies, yes,  you can be reprimanded in a variety of ways including lose your job. That is in the employee handbook. It is up to the managers, the unions, the CEO. For a government official, one who is NOT your employer  (indeed, YOU EMPLOY THEM) to say that you should lose your job because you speak out about injustice is wrong. For goodness sake, haven’t you ever heard of whistle-blower rules?

What of all the people on line, buying beer when the anthem starts. How about those people in the john? All those watching on television who get up and go feed the cat while the anthem plays instead of standing in front of the television with her hand over her heart? You want to FORCE allegiance? That is NOT the land of the FREE then, is it? Move to North Korea.

–If the alternative to the ACA is to allow 32 million people to not have health insurance then we stick with the ACA and fix it. “There but for the grace of God” and all that Christian stuff, remember that? All the carrying on about Christ, and Christian behaviors that ALL are expected to follow, and yet “Do Unto Others” doesn’t make it out the door of church on Sunday morning.

–How many of you have salaries OVER $200K?  Congrats to you. You will NEVER have to choose between the electric bill and the rent. Or the rent and a doctor visit for your kid’s ear infection. When we start getting to the billionaires—ANYONE who has to PAY in taxes more than most people will EVER EARN should sit down, shut up and thank their lucky stars. You actually can’t take it with you.

–How many of you are reading about the new tax proposal and ignoring the end date of the one little crumb left to the majority?

–How many of you plan on retiring before you get too old to enjoy retirement? How many of you have aging parents?  How many of you were planning on taking them in when they can’t still live on their own? Because once health care isn’t a right, and SS is decimated and Medicare is destroyed, and all the immigrant women who will work as home health aides have been deported, you will need to have the man-cave become the MIL suite, and one of you will need to stay home to tend the aging parent who can’t afford nursing home care; which in turn will cut your household income and the hope of retirement. Whoops.

—-> How many of you can’t see that once he finishes allowing this government to screw over the dark people, the funny-accented people, the people who were born in a country that scares him, that once all those people are done for/gone, that once they become irrelevant and unable to impact change or be the boogeyman any longer,  that then he and his goons will be coming after YOU??

We are standing and shouting, protesting against injustice, kneeling (oh, KNEELING! ) against the silence of justice mismanaged… whistle-blowing, loudly, to the universe, that we are AWARE of your maleficence and will not let it go by silently. This man will not let us simply move on. It is a dereliction of duty as an American to sit down and shut up this time.

Truth, justice and the American way —this administration has members who are picking fights with the Statue of Liberty and whether or not the correct and proper intent of the Statue of Liberty is to welcome immigrants.??? Think about that for a second; think back to your third grade civics when you learned about the Statue of Liberty (if you didn’t grow up in New York and see her every day.)  “Bring your tired your poor…” All the things that MAKE America the place people want to be, he and his band of thieves is trying to destroy.

–Be honest when you answer this question.  Why is it more important that Hillary say something about Weinstein when Donald Trump BEHAVES like Weinstein? Ask yourself why the media is more concerned with Hillary‘s reaction than with Donald’s behavior. That, right there, is white male privilege; that is misogyny.

It has been a year since the least issue-oriented presidential campaign ever.  HOW is it it wasn’t about issues? The same way that the actions of the Current Resident aren’t about issues… he is all about face time and ratings and manipulation.

In LITERALLY less than 365 days from being declared president, the office has turned into CHAOS, lies, and worse.

I started this little essay of wandering thoughts about two weeks ago. How naive and silly the topics I started writing about appear. See them up there? Little snippets of thoughts about something so esoteric as the reason for Lady Liberty… Now, we have one conviction, two indictments and so so much more about to happen. 

There is only ONE other answer. The man is senile, mentally deficient or has dementia and his caregivers are committing elder-abuse on a grand scale so that they may steal power and money from him. This is my most generous read on what is happening, having spent my early 20’s care-giving for someone with dementia. The other choice is he and his are committing high crimes and misdemeanors against our country.

I want to link a dozen different articles–would you read them? Or do you believe HIM and HIS more than actual factual reality? I am not crazy or ranting. I am scared. If you are not scared, you are not paying attention.

I had no IDEA that the dismantling of a country was so easy to get to… but the way we are going, we might as well be singing “How to Get to Sesame Street” Because, people… the pot is on the stove, you were dropped in the cool water, and someone turned on the burner.

Instead, I will leave you with this article, and this plea. VOTE TUESDAY. The candidate need not be perfect–they are human.  But choose the saner one.

This in NO WAY exonerates him…

.. nor does it indicate that I am OK with his behavior, or feel that women were lying or making too big a deal of things, but for chrissakes, can we find something else to lose our minds over? Regarding Weinstein– I promise to never shut up if he ever attempts to run for elected office after the behavior that has come out. ( how many people couldn’t have pointed Weinstein out in a line up back on Monday night?)

It is morally reprehensible and unethical if not illegal.  His political persuasion has not a whit to do with anything.

WHERE is the outrage for the way Donald behaved? Why suddenly is there to be a moral equivalence between the Accidental Resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenues’ past behaviors (for which he had doubled down, as is his wont, that it wasn’t so bad, that other people have done worse) and what at this moment is a personnel issue at a private company? (and Weinstein’s “apology” has the stink of I got caught but is slightly more graceful than Donald could ever hope to be)

Why are the president’s surrogates all out there talking about how terrible Weinstein is, when their boss is equally as bad? What high horse do they get to ride in on, to intimate that all Democrats are complicit for having accepted monetary donations from a man who is just now publicly accused of sexual harassment? As if A has anything to do with B. As if the majority of the GOP electorate and elected officials alike haven’t just shrugged and looked the other way, hoping to be able to get their piece of the pie before Donald is carted away (via the 25th, impeachment, or my personal favorite option, Mueller.)

Instead, couldn’t we save all of our outrage for the NRA, which continues to try to buy our government, lock, stock and barrel? (bad pun, I couldn’t resist)

Or, what about we take some of that bloviating frustration out on those in the GOP responsible for not refunding CHIP? Or for those in government who have decided that not only should your employer get to decide if you can have birth control, but also that the resulting pregnancy caused by lack of BC is a preexisting condition and therefore not covered, and also that there is no right to maternity leave, nor is it illegal to discriminate against you when the OBGYN tells you not to lift anything heavy while pregnant and so you lose your job (and there goes your health insurance)

Still have room to fit Weinstein into your irritation bubble? Well, there is the matter that 3.5 million American citizens are suffering from Maria down in Puerto Rico, and that their president is more interested in pointing out that their hurricane may cause us to mess up the budget (read: negatively impact the huge tax breaks he is planning for his cronies and himself, while trying to con you into thinking he will throw you more than a bone)

How about the fact that Donald ran on “her emails” and yet,  his kids are doing THE EXACT SAME THING?

Or, plain old health care, or clean water for Detroit, or Mother Russia… or… I could find you things to worry about and grouse about and lose your mind over all day long.

Weinstein doesn’t even hit the Top Ten.


If I am following the latest outrage du jour properly, I am to understand that Ted Cruz allowed (used/permitted/agreed to/suggested/didn’t refuse) his young girls to mock our current government and other people running for president, in search of campaign contributions. This is an acceptable use of an actual minor child.

And then,  a political cartoonist inferred that his children were being used to collect money by performing, a la the organ grinder and his dancing monkeys. This is not an acceptable use of pen and ink, or pixels. (Do people understand the reference –that the organ grinder is out begging for money, using the monkeys to ‘entertain’ in exchange for cash?) or are they just offended because they were told to be offended?)

And THEN, he sent out the offensive cartoon to many, many more people who would have never otherwise seen it, and begged for the money himself.

Let’s leave all the kids out of it all, how about that? Politicians–Don’t parade them out for votes or for warm-fuzzies photos. Reporters and photographers–Don’t stalk them, or try to sneak photos, or use them in the news cycle. What they wear or where they vacation or had for dinner? Not part of the campaign.


So, how about that weather?

If you don’t get the irony in the following, well…

A customer comes to our frame shop to get a cross stitch of a verse framed. For whatever reason, she decides while colors are being chosen to lay into the myriad and obvious issues with the current POTUS. Not just politically, but you know, the same old same old, he’s the anti-Christ foreign-born socialist garbage.

The verse? proverbs 21:23. He who Guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.

So, really, What WOULD Jesus Do?

I was a child in the 70’s, living in a house with one black and white TV (perfectly typical for the time) a TV with channels 2,4,5,7,9,11, and 13, and a very limited window in which we were allowed to even turn the thing on. The news was not a thing force-fed from the dining room of every restaurant or doctors waiting room, indeed the news was not even a constant show. You needed to wait till 6, 10 or 11 pm to watch the news. My family got the news from the three newspapers we took in— The New York Times and The Daily News in the mornings, and the Staten Island Advance in the afternoon.

The papers didn’t have full color images. The TV didn’t offer full-color, real time opportunities to be bombarded with reality.

The first news event I recall was the landing on the moon; that I did see on TV in 1969. The next two news events of my life were in 1974— Patty Hearst, of which I understood little, but attempted to follow because her name was the same as mine. (That’s how kids minds work.) I remember where I was when it was announced that Nixon resigned; I was at Ben Becker’s Camp Nassau fishing with a counselor named Bridget.  I didn’t understand fully the significance of the hostages in ‘80 but we always watched the Presidential debates, States of the Union and of course, the World Series.

Today, children (and adults) are bombarded 24/7 with news. Every utterance or flicker of movement by whomever or whatever it is that has the media’s fancy at the moment is immortalized. We see and hear EVERYTHING. Little ears and eyes pick up information that they can’t possibly categorize or understand. They see things that they have no ability to separate from the fantasy of movies, TV shows or  video games.

Bin Laden’s death is just one more in a series of overwhelming pieces of information. The perfect parent monitors what their child watches. So many children have access to the remote control and a TV in their bedroom, and let’s be blunt, less than perfect parents. But even the perfect parent would be hard pressed to keep the notion of cheering when the bad guy takes a bullet in the eye as being acceptable. (Don’t we ask children to learn empathy?)  Do we need to possibly allow for them to SEE it, too?

Look, I am relieved to know that he is gone. I wish in a way it had been in a hail of bullets, that he was shooting first, (but had poor aim; I understand the other side, that of having it be justified in that fashion could have meant causalities for our SEALS and that is not at all what I am suggesting.) I also understand how utterly evil he was.

The people who are determined to not believe he is dead are not going to be shut up by photos. I can manipulate a photo, so can others. I am happy for the closure, however little it gives. I was there in New York, I watched the towers fall, (live in person)  I cried at funerals and smelled the smoky air for weeks. I get it.

Never discuss politics or religion, right? Isn’t that how it goes? So, how about that weather? Tsunamis and earthquakes and floods and tornadoes, videos of death and destruction day after day ..…More things to worry the small child, who can’t understand if they are safe. Who don’t know how to ask, but may wake with nightmares they can’t explain.

So, let’s all just accept that if we see Bin Laden with his eye blown out we can’t unsee it, let’s believe the man is dead; let’s believe the president didn’t become president by some major fluke but has the intelligence to do the job, let’s believe the hundreds of thousands of people will have a safe home and a warm blanket tonight. Reality sucks, and so many are hurting.

Now that we are about to become grandparents, the smaller and smaller window of innocence provided to children these days really kind of hits you, and it is truly sad.

Happy Mother’s Day to you if you have ever taken part in helping a child grow!

Irish need not apply (Yes, a political blog post)


Ok, first things first. If you agree with this, let’s just cut to the chase and say there is probably nothing of substance we agree on, and let’s not pretend to be friends any longer. Additionally, I think it might be a fine place for you to emigrate to, two thirds of the population is apparently Christian of the sort that feel The Bible should be the book used for governing the country, you’ll fit right in.  (Of course, you may need to give up some of the freedoms you have as an American, but hey, you gotta walk the walk, right?)

Ok, now my post.

Part of a Facebook post, a response to a friend of a friend of a friend on the topic of whether the ‘mosque’ should be built in NYC is the ultimate beginning of this blog post. I am not looking to call anyone out, so we will leave it at this–I don’t know the person who stated it, or the person to whom it was in response.

There is a certain level of irony however, in it and in the way she reaches  A+B=C

In a largish nutshell, the person stated these ideas—First, she is against the ‘mosque’ because a Muslim was responsible for 9/11, and we shouldn’t be giving immigrants better treatment than the victims. (The fact there are native born US citizens who are Muslim, and that not all victims of 9/11 were US citizens is of no interest here, because it would ruin her rant, so we shall forget these points, ok?) -(-and the fact it isn’t a ‘mosque’ but a community center, and that it isn’t AT ground zero but less than a mile away–and considering the island of Manhattan isn’t a mile wide, it’s not really a valid concern, EVERYTHING is closer than a mile, including the strip clubs, and other ‘unsavory’ things—)

She is European. She lives in New Zealand, (don’t know if she was born there or immigrated). She is sad to see her country, that used to be full of Maori and Kiwi, become ‘taken over’ by Asians and other nationalities– It takes away the whole flavour of the country when it becomes a veritable melting pot! If i went to Spain, I want to see Spanairds, and THEIR history… I dont go to Spain to see Italians. All these different countries are losing something of their own unique culture by allowing other cultures to literally take over.

My geographic history may not be perfect, but my understanding of the world is:

  • Maori are of Polynesian descent, and Polynesians are of Asian background, yet, she, the European, who is most definitely the usurper here– (I don’t know how many generations pass before you stop calling  yourself  European and call yourself a New Zealander)– has issues with the melting pot aspect of her country.
  • She says the whole flavor of a country is lost when too many nationalities live together, and that she doesn’t travel to Spain to see Italians, but to see Spaniards. Let’s get this straight. You go to the ZOO to see lions and tigers and bears. Italians and Spaniards aren’t animals in a cage, and one can’t identify with certainty an Italian from a Spaniard from a Norwegian from an Englishman from an Egyptian from an Israeli until they open their mouth and speak (and then only if they choose to speak their ‘mother’ tongue.)

People should not be traveling to other countries to view some mise-en-scene that the ‘locals’ are required to live by to satisfy the whims of some ethnocentric, Eurocentric tourists. They live in the country they live in because it is where they make a living, raise their children, were born or chose to move to, not to become some extras on a set of a movie that depicts authentic ‘insert nationality here’ cuisine/life/culture/value.  Travel to see the world, to witness the diversity and to admire the sameness, to marvel over the astonishing architecture or natural features of the globe, but keep zoo watching to the zoo.

  • If we are going to stand for freedom, we have to do it for all our citizens, even the ones we might not agree with. The First Amendment clearly says so.  Matthew 5; 43-48 says so as well.

Even the lapsed Catholic liberal democrat sane part of me can see value in this statement and verse, which was part of the response someone else gave to this lady.

Other points she could ponder (and we thank her for worrying so much about the ethnic makeup of a country other than hers) is that the continent of North America was wrested from the indigenous people by white Christian Europeans, who came this close to totally annihilating an entire race, in the name of their God, and their ‘superior’ intelligence and civilization.

And then, they declared this country free…

  • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

When they came for the Jews, I did nothing, for I am not a Jew. When they came for the Socialists, I did nothing, for I am not a Socialist. When they came for the labor leaders, the homosexuals, the gypsies, I did nothing, for I am none of these, and when they came for me, I was alone, there was no one to stand up for me.” — Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran pastor from Nazi Germany (This links to a very interesting study of this quote, which has a variety of incarnations. The idea, however, is universal.)

So, VOTE tomorrow. Just remember, you will have to live with the results.

Many other splendid things:

  • Have you seen this movie?  The Secret Of Kells… Gorgeous animation.
  • Win a NOOK… Did I tell you I bought my nook?? I LOVE this thing!!!! Now, you can win $150 towards the new nookColor, or the original eInk one, or if you already have it, $150 for nookBooks to read!  (Ask them anything about a nook you want to know, they love to talk about it!)
  • Autumn photos…so far, the color is not spectacular, I hope I don’t blink and miss it…but here are some photos I’ve taken recently.
  • We went to the Rally in DC the other day….I was very happy, not only with the turnout, but with the behavior of the crowds, the spirit in the air, the feeling that I am not alone in thinking the way I do…