Why Did I Post Some Long Liberal Snowflake Thing on Facebook Today?

Give peace a chance. J/K.

I’ve been quiet (for me) about political leanings since before the last US Presidential election. I find that people who call other people names don’t convince anyone to change their views. And I find that, depending on where you get your information, the same events can be interpreted in astonishingly different ways (Roshomon, anyone? Look it up.)

So, I’ve been trying to live my life according to the principles I believe in, and I have freely shared those. Basically, I want to live in a world where ALL people can eat, learn, love, practice their beliefs, and feel safe. That’s apparently scary to some people. But I’m not trying to push my beliefs on anyone. (And I LIKE many people who view things differently.)

Not something I usually write about.

I would like, though, to try to just ONCE share my beliefs about the policies and programs of the United States. If you read them, you might disagree on some points, or feel more strongly about one thing than another, but really, they are not all that frightening. They are, for the most part (dare I say) reasonable.

Actually, at least at one point in my life, there was a fairly reasonable explanation of what a more conservative viewpoint would propose on these topics, but I haven’t seen it in a while, just finger pointing, name calling, and jumping to irrational conclusions. I think a lot of people on all sides are, like me, keeping quiet and letting the name-callers just do their things.

I IMPLORE EVERYONE to step back, breathe, and work together to make the US a place where we can all live together without fear, despite our differences. And now, I will cease to write about my political thoughts until after the NEXT election, in which I shall indeed vote for someone.

Here’s what you can do, regardless of whether we agree or not.

The copied post from Facebook is below the read more.

Continue reading “Why Did I Post Some Long Liberal Snowflake Thing on Facebook Today?”

Life Goes On: Raptor Edition

Thanks for bearing with my rant yesterday. Today I got some good perspective as soon as I parked my car on the top floor of the parking garage (so it could get washed).

I opened the door and immediately heard a loud screech. Right next to my car was the elevator tower, where a red-shouldered hawk was watching me and letting me know about it.

Hey, human! Why are you up here?

Hooray, I thought, our little work green area has enticed the hawks back! They seem to be checking out their old nest and getting ready to raise more babies.

Jen and I enjoyed watching the pair for a while this morning. I was just so happy to see the urban wildlife supported by our corporate buildings. It reminds me that Nature will find a way, given time and a bit of luck.

We’re back!

I’ll hold on to this as my friends and I do our best to promote love, peace, and harmony with the world around us.

Love, Peace, Happiness. The Big Letdown

Many times, I write about how the passage of time and the learning opportunities I’ve taken advantage of have led me to be more content. And it’s true. I’m handling life’s ups and downs fairly well right now. That doesn’t mean I don’t notice what’s wrong in the world, though.

Frosty sunrise.

All day today, I’ve been reading about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the things he said and did. (His actual birthday was last week, but the US loves Monday holidays.) I also listened to a lovely song imploring us to listen to what John Lennon said, give peace a chance and all that. Today, I’m reminded that King said:

“Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children.”

 Speech to the Negro American Labor Council, 1961.

I came of age in the 1970s. It wasn’t a perfect time, but to me it seemed like things were going in the right direction. Women were working toward equal rights in all ways. Black people could marry white people. Gay friends were emerging hesitantly from their closets. People talked so much about peace, love, and equality.

Now that I’m over here, looking back from over 60 years wandering our poor beleaguered planet, I think I was quite wrong. By surrounding myself with my “tribe” of people like me, I was blissfully ignorant of much of US society, and certainly VERY naive about how businesses and capitalism worked.

I know there are still people out there like me, working to improve the environment, feed the hungry, bring peace and understanding among our fellow humans, and all that. I see that in my volunteer work every day. But, I no longer have confidence that we have the numbers or the strength to accomplish much. (I’ll still keep doing my part.)

Really, stop reading if rants bore you like they do me.

Here’s Why (Or Stop Reading Now)

The heart of my sadness is this: I once believed people were basically good and kind, just sometimes they were confused or misled. I now see too many people taking pleasure out of harming others, spurred on by their own “tribes.”

Continue reading “Love, Peace, Happiness. The Big Letdown”

Why This Non-gambler Gambled Last Night (Introverts, Harken!)

We had our own sign!

My dear spouse is the incoming president of the Cameron Rotary Club. Thus, it was sort of his duty to attend their big yearly fund-raiser, a casino night. We never went before due to a strong dislike of crowds and an equally strong dis-interest in gambling. Heck, we never gambled when we had to go to those real estate things in Las Vegas!

But, we had already bought a bunch of tickets to contribute to Rotary. And we were also a corporate sponsor, as we try to get this business going. So, we psyched ourselves up, buoyed by a surprise visit from nephew Chris (Kathleen’s birthday is next week, and this was a GOOD present). We brought along our assistant, Meghan, too.

Eek, a crowd.

The idea was to chat people up and let them get to know who our team is. It became obvious really quickly that the bland snacks were not going to entertain us all evening. I told myself that I might as well do something to pass the time, so we three women took all our pretend money and got coins for the slot machines. A kind woman told me how slot machines work (really, I don’t gamble).

Well, here we go. I can’t say I never gambled anymore.

We ended up having a lot of fun, especially when we were joined by our fellow business owners, Courtney and Jeremy. We lasted way longer than we thought we would, because we kept winning, dang it. It also helped that Chris kept sneaking more coins in our buckets. He is a good supporter of charitable organizations, I guess.

I finally could not take any more dinging and scooping up of germy coins, so I bravely made my way to the nearest gambling table. The dealer had pink hair, so I hoped she might be fun. She was.

Continue reading “Why This Non-gambler Gambled Last Night (Introverts, Harken!)”

Where Does Our Stream Go? Mystery Solved!

I don’t usually do more than one post in a day, but Suna the Master Naturalist is all excited about something! I have an unexpectedly free and non-rainy day, so I decided to take the dogs on a walk through the woods, our favorite pastime (as you might notice).

Today my goal was to figure out why our stream and its springs are flowing away, but Walker’s Creek is dry as a bone where County Road 140 goes over it. I also wanted to see what I’d find along the creek bed.

So, the dogs and I walked through the woods by the house and inspected all the recently fallen limbs. There were lots of mushrooms, as you can see above.

I found it, Mommy!
Continue reading “Where Does Our Stream Go? Mystery Solved!”

It’s Just Not Vlassic’s Week

I feel sad for my little black buddy Vlassic right now. It was bad enough that he ate foam rubber and it came back out on both ends. But no, it has not ended there.

I’m safe out here with Alfred.

Yesterday, Lee left for the office around noon, as usual. He shut the door to the upstairs like he usually does, so that certain white dogs (Carlton) can’t find his shoes or random foam rubber cushions and gnaw away at them. Unfortunately, Vlassic was still up there, snuggled under the covers.

He ended up being there until Kathleen and I came home from dinner. Poor boy! As you can imagine, his still-delicate digestive system did not make it through that time. I’m relieved (pun intended) that he chose to “go” on one of my Jacob-sheep rugs rather than furniture (thought I’d have preferred the tile in the bathroom).

Note that I’m outside and the other dogs are IN.

Of course, I didn’t know that until I went into the closet this morning. Before that, Vlassic had his morning slumber RUDELY interrupted by good old Penney, who’d been behaving fine for the past month or so. Vlassic was right next to me, and Penney decided that’s where SHE wanted to be (she’d been fine there earlier, when Vlassic was between my legs). They exploded into a ball of frenzied dog action, right on ME (I did get a cut on my hand, but not worthy of photography).

I’ll just stay out here, thanks. Glad it stopped raining.

Vlassic ran off screaming, and spend the next few minutes yipping and trembling. But, he is not hurt. A lot of drama for no hurt except to me!

Mmm. Appetizing.

I did not enjoy having to clean all the pee and poop off my lovely sheepskin this morning. That thing sure gets heavy when wet. But, once it dries and I go shake off the rest of the dirt, it will look way better. Maybe I should wash the other one? I think yes.

The other one. It’s so cute.

By the Way

Yesterday I wrote about issues with restaurants and other businesses in our small town. I got the good news (right after I posted) that the Bush’s Chicken will re-open soon! The Sonic now has a for-sale sign, so all the people who have ideas for what to do with it can fight each other off to make the dreams come true.

I vote for coffee shop, so I can pick it up on my way into the office.

Ups and Downs of Small-Town Businesses

Now that I think Pickle and Vlassic are over their foam-eating issues, I can return to other topics. One that has especially interested me is how people in and around Cameron feel about the customer service mentality in the area. I may have mentioned that a couple days ago, Lee wrote a blog post about why Cameron has such a hard time keeping restaurants open.

Lee’s photo of the former Sonic, now up for sale.

Usually, our blog posts and Facebook business page posts get between 100-200 views/hits each. Not this one. The Facebook one has 2500 views and 14 shares. Mandi said the one on her page also got lots of shares. The website stats look hilarious. There were 1500 hits that day, which made the previous week look totally flat.

So, yeah, Lee’s thoughts on this topic struck a nerve. I’ve been hanging around Cameron for just nine years now, but I’ve seen so many places open and close right up. One has done it at least four times (I’m not naming names, just noting facts). When I talked to a former cafe owner, she said people would just walk off their jobs or not show up because they didn’t feel like it. Turnover was huge. Just a week or two ago we went to a local place where only the cashier had showed up, so she was trying to wait tables. It didn’t go well.

Continue reading “Ups and Downs of Small-Town Businesses”

The Yuck Side of Dog Ownership (and more)

The dog part is coming, honest.

How Am I Eating?

I’m trying really hard not to get immersed in the news, so I’m filling my mind with more important things, like, um, good nutrition! Yes! I try to cook a meal for Anita at least once a week, since she’s not a “cooker.” Last night I found some non-wheat pasta with quinoa, corn, and chickpea flour. I cooked it. I combined an organic tomato sauce with black beans and some kind of re-constituted Chinese mushrooms (labeled “fungus” on the package).

It looks festive with some pumpkin seeds on top.

Does that sound weird? Yes. But it was good. The pasta does not pass for beautiful semolina pasta, but it has a reasonable texture and should make my triglycerides happy.

Continue reading “The Yuck Side of Dog Ownership (and more)”

Doggie Doo, Oh Poo

Oh, look. Here’s my dog, Vlassic, sound asleep in his doggy bed. Isn’t that sweet? Look at how he is not wriggling, squirming, or digging his nails into anything. What a great dog.

As an added bonus, there isn’t dried up cow dung all over his collar, either. Mmm, that was fun to clean off. I can see why it becomes a building material. It dries to a rock hardness. A stinky rock hardness.

What Did He Doo?

Well, back at the ranch bedroom, there used to be an odd square of foam rubber that once dwelt inside a pillow. Lee was using it to make his inordinately complex nest that he sleeps on in his automatic recliner/man cocoon.

Monday evening, I came into the room, exhausted from my day of hospital hijinks, to discover many, many pieces of foam rubber strewn quite gaily around the place. A dog or dogs had gotten into the bedroom and run amock. You see, we leave the door open when Vlassic’s home, so he can hide in the bed from Penney (even though they get along now, he still won’t go downstairs and sit in our laps).

I don’t feel so good, Mom.

We cleaned the mess up. Lee will learn to put covers on pillows. The end?

Nope. Yesterday, when I drove back to Austin, I noticed Vlassic was turning around a lot in his seat, rather than sleeping. When I sat to relax from all my errands and phone calls, he wiggled a lot, then asked to go out. He usually doesn’t do that.

He ran to his usual “spot,” and then (you guessed it), began expelling not only poop, but good-sized pieces of foam rubber. That was different. At least I could see that it easily passed through him and didn’t cause a blockage. Whew.

Then we went to sleep. No, then we went to BED. The entire night, Vlassic tossed, turned, poked his feet into various parts of me, licked things, made little noises, etc. Finally, just before 6 am he went to the door and asked to go out. Off I went in my pajamas. Good thing no one (not even the deer and armadillos) was around to enjoy the spectacle of more foam-filled dog products.

When we got back, he squirmed until ten minutes before my alarm went off. GRR.

Just let me sleep it off, please.

As you might imagine, I did not have a good sleep report when I woke up.

But, that’s what we do for our loved ones we care for, right? We sacrifice because we love them, and when they make a mistake, we help them get through it. It was a good lesson for me to remember when I awoke to realize it’s been exactly a year since my son ghosted me. I love my children unconditionally, too.

I Think I Need to Rest

I don’t think I’ve just done nothing since last Wednesday. I’m so glad to be sitting in my living room in Austin with Anita, with my honeysuckle whiskey. Not in a meeting.

Who is sleeping through my meeting?

Today I was still in Cameron, so I met with Lee and Kathleen about Hearts Homes and Hands. The dogs helped. There I found out my office is the old storage room. That will be fun.

I ran from there to move the horses back to their usual pasture, since I got home too late from the hospital last night (my sister is recovering just fine).

Alfred takes care of my sis.

Next I met with Mandi about our little event venue, since it’s now getting bookings. Then I worked a while. Then a meeting with a coworker that happens weekly. Then met with our contractor on the Pope residence. That was fun.

I got home, exhausted. Looked at email. Oh…there’s a Friends of LLL board meeting. There, I volunteered to be secretary since we only have four members temporarily.

By the way, the Christmas branch is now a Valentine branch.

Hooray. I then got to drive like crazy to Austin to get to my visit with the ole therapist where I said I’m fine but too busy. After that I tried to buy sheets for our weird Sleep Number Bed that raises up. Nope. Went to the wrong one of 800 mattress stores in Austin.

While I was writing this, three people needed me on Messenger. I am a failed Hermit. And my eyes are tired.

Penney had really tired eyes.

Tomorrow? Ha! Two stressful meetings and one lovely chiropractor appointment. And time to walk at lunch. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday have meetings in the evening. I think next Sunday will be my next day of rest.

Carlton says get some rest.

I hope the fog dies off by then. It was foggy almost all day today! And honest, I enjoy everything I do!

What are YOU up to? Get some rest.