Saturday, July 31, 2010

Farmer's Market, rain, and life and controversy in Arizona

It was wonderful to have rain in Phoenix again last night, even though a thunderstorm in Flagstaff that put down nearly 2 inches of rain raised havoc in a burn area with floods. They would love the rain, but anywhere there has been a fire, rain is going to be a hazard until the ground cover has grown back.
The weekly trek to the Farmer's Market was very pleasant. I got some corn on the cob and cucumbers. I made a trip to their store yesterday so now I am stocked up with the most delicious fresh fruit and vegetables imaginable. I also got an organically grown pork roast. I have fallen in love with organic, since to me the food tastes more flavorful. I am a farmer's daughter, so I really appreciate fresh!

The paper was full of more news about how the citizens are feeling about the implementation of the new law SB1070. Even though Judge Bolton removed what might be considered the 'heart' of the law, what is left is acting as deterrent to illegals, causing some to leave and some not to come, which is more or less the purpose of it. I was reading today about a man who has been here for 20 years without documentation, has three children, and is tearful about what he could be expected to do. This is an example of how lax attitudes toward immigration have caused many to go without even trying to get documentation for years. So that is of course causing a lot of upset to them and to their kids who could not be responsible for what their parents did or did not do. But a lot of times people need to be prodded to comply with the law, so the federal government being lax about enforcement has caused big problems in my opinion, and of course this attitude has extended back through several administrations.
I saw Governor Brewer being interviewed this morning by John King on CNN and I thought that she made clear what the state is trying to do with SB1070, so even if the law is not popular with people, especially those who are directly impacted, it is still tackling the dangerous ambivalence of our government toward an important issue, even concerning our national security. What is the sense of going all out on airplane security and turning a blind eye to illegals coming from not just Mexico, but other countries as they will. That is just not common sense. Yes, we have long borders, and the problems of securing them is difficult, but continuing to work on the problem is the key!
Guess I might be accused of hammering away at an issue, but I think you have to be consistent in what you do. And you have to make sure you don't turn a blind eye to a problem. Forget about it before adequate measures have been taken! I do not think law enforcement can be blamed for pointing out how dangerous their job is having to deal with drug trafficking illegals that is not even fully acknowledged by the government or even by people who cry racist without looking at the total picture.
Dealing with illegals is not racist! It is dealing with people who come across with full knowledge they are breaking into the country hoping to get away with it. Who are doing it because that has become the accepted way to find a better life, because others have gotten away with it, doing it for so many reasons.
Naturally they are going to do a lot of reacting and protesting when this way of coming into the US and living and working here is threatened. They are going to say anything that will bother those who want to crack down on this practice. Crying racist has been a defense which citizens have taken up who oppose whatever the other party does without worrying whether it makes sense. The illegals are alarmed and hurting, because that was naturally going to happen if the practice came under fire. Their children are going to hurt. It is going to be a mess for years to come!

But that doesn't mean we can stop working on the problem in my opinion. So pardon my continued concerns on this issue. I will be reporting from time to time on the progress I think is being made. I am very encouraged by how many people have come around to the idea there is a problem. I think we tend to be a people who do not like to deal with problems. Why else would we neglect such an important issue as illegal immigration for so many years? Congress very often reflects the will of the people so if the people don't want to be bothered, the people who represent them in congress tend to follow along. Politicians are notoriously loath to go out on a limb, fearing their political careers will be cut short!
So I can't worry about my popularity as I continue to write on issues. I have dealt with thundering silences for years protesting abortion, but I felt it was wrong and that eventually people would become stirred enough to do something about a very very difficult issue.
I was just reading about all the trouble the candidate in Nevada is experiencing, Sharon Angle, a republican woman who is pro life, as every statement she has made has been scrutinized when it comes to the issues where she opposes long time democrat pro choice senator Harry Reid. Now it looks like she has a chance of unseating him! I see the latest news is that she has raced back to a tie with him! This is very good news for pro life activists. If a pro life candidate is seen as too extremist, she is going to lose ground. But I admire her courage in speaking out about the issue, even if she does make mistakes. She is continuing the work that must be done to convince the American people the legal killing of the unborn is a violent solution and again took our country in the wrong direction. Maybe she will even win this important election!

Communist countries introduced legalized abortion into their countries which eventually tempted many others to follow suit. But man has always had to work very hard to keep violence out of governmental policy. Because using a violent solution to deal with a problem can be tempting.
I see the democratic party as somewhat schizophrenic at the moment, championing legalized abortion to the point of even trying to implement government funding and propping up the abortion 'industry.' If we don't watch them very closely, they will try to get away with both. At the same time they are shouting racist at every turn as though their hearts bled for every person who is upset by trying to restrict the flow of illegal immigration. What do you make of this, without mercy on the one issue, and so concerned about needs and feelings on the other. You would think they were the kindest people in the world when they talk about illegal immigration. I say nobody is going to believe this is entirely so when the party champions legalized abortion as it does.
We have doctors doing intro surgery on the fetus to correct defects at the same time doctors are being asked to kill fetuses of the same age. To me anyone who champions abortion is not going to admit that abortion is inhumane.
Rivers of blood have all too often followed the overtaking of a country by revolution and communist thinking which is why we have come to fear it. I lived through a lot of wars. I have not forgotten those rivers of blood. Legalized abortion is a river of blood and we on earth will not be able to say we are living right until we can become a more humane people who will believe there is a better solution to a pregnancy problem than one million legal abortions in this country alone every single year since it was legalized!
I would love to be able to get along peacefully with democratic associates, but as long as they champion pro choice I can't. I have already learned that most of them get very angry over the issue. They are not yet ready to see the wrong in it. I am a registered democrat who continues to be pro life because I do not think the word democrat can cover legalized abortion. The democratic party has been taken over by those who have interjected their communist leaning thinking into it, which upholds legalized abortion and the idea that a river of blood is justified to support this belief system. Some powerful democrats have bought it. And tried to insist that all people who believe in a God that forbids it are stupid. I say it is stupid to allow yourself to be coerced into believing in a violent solution. They are the ones who have been had.
I would say that the conflict we are having now in our country has become very very important, it is actually a battle between right and wrong. Legalized abortion is wrong. Those who champion it are wrong and must be defeated. As peacefully as possible. And those who oppose it have to be very strong.
I support Governor Brewer also because she is pro life and has shown her strength by passing all the restrictions to abortion the legislature passed, as the proceeding democrat governor Janet Napolitano, did not. She vetoed them all, and thus kept those restrictions from ever even getting past the governor's desk!
I will continue to be a pro life democrat seeking to take the party back from the pro choice faction that now controls it. I won't go libertarian because I once believed in the democratic party too strongly for that, when Medger Evans and Martin Luther King and the Kennedys were still alive and pro choice did not exist. Then a democrat dared to say he or she believed in God! Now they do it knowing a real battle is on their hands, and rejection by many of their own party members.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Today's news in Arizona and beating the heat!

Connie is helping me to beat the heat in hot hot Arizona with this cute graphic.
I also got news today that my friend Joyce Gittoes has been nominated for an 'Ari-zoni' award for her acting performance in "A Lesson Before Dying." I reviewed this production some time ago and thought Joyce did a wonderful job. She wrote me that the show has achieved 9 zoni nominations, which I thought it deserved as it was a very moving production with a good script, good direction, and actors. You could not ask for anything more. Congratulations, Joyce, I hope you win!

Joyce is standing here in front of the Viad Building which houses the playhouse in the park.

We had a sad day in Arizona yesterday as three undercover police officers making a drug buy were shot, one fatally, in a house where thousands of dollars worth of marijuana was found. One officer has been released and one is still in the hospital. In this case, no tie to illegals has been found among the shooters who apparently decided to rob the undercover officers.
The federal government was expected to reject Arizona's leadership in stemming the flow of illegals into our state every way possible, so the Judge's action on the bill SB1070 was not unexpected. However, I highly recommend that you go to The First Amendment: Not Politically Correct, a blog on my blog list that gives you some scary information about the nationalities of illegals flowing into this country. If nothing else will, this blog entry will convince you our borders are not secure! National Security according to this blog entry is somewhat of a joke when as many illegals can cross our borders as they do.
I have not had too much play on my video. I know that the democrats are trying to suppress this topic of discussion as much as possible because the Federal government is not prepared to act on illegal immigration very soon. People get tired of a hot issue eventually and go on to other concerns as well, but I still feel pretty emotional about it. I have always thought such a porous border threatened national security. It is just too easy for dangerous people to get into our country! I think people are right to get more alarmed. I do not think people should be allowed to break the law with such impunity. It takes about 13 years of constant gunfire around your apartment to convince you that one act that is illegal often leads to many more.
So I think we citizens need to keep this issue on our agenda as something our government needs to address!
In the meantime, I hope I can swim today! The water feels great! That's the best way I know of to beat the heat in Arizona.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I woke up this morning to Gov Brewer getting skewered and the district judge taking the heart out of SB1070, Arizona's immigration law

The New Times upset me as well as the Arizona Republic headlines. These are both liberal newspapers. I did not think Governor Brewer deserved being skewered as she was in the New times, because writer Michael Lacey does not appear objective to me any more on this subject. He has a vendetta going on with Sheriff Arpaio of several years standing, dating back to when he and another New Times executive were arrested one night and jailed. The New Times had printed Arpaio's home address which angered him to this point. Well, at the same time headlines this morning reported the SLAYING of an undercover officer as well as two other on law enforcement side hurt. I will bet the names of the criminals involved will include illegals. You know being a law enforcement officer where officers get shot at on a regular basis tends to make such officers a little more testy than most.
These are the guys we had to call when a big gang war erupted on the west side around our apartment complex and the bullets were flying. They were the only ones who could possibly deal with the gun violence. I don't think Michael Lacey has to deal with gun violence on a regular basis so I am willing to give law enforcement a pass on possibly getting too rough with him. He is not on the front lines as a journalist. Not like law enforcement is. He hasn't even been living here most of the time for many months even though he tries to sound like he has in this article.
I don't write letters of protest to either one of these newspapers anymore. They won't listen to people like me. They have their own agenda. I feel like the Governor and law enforcement represent me more than they do. I called law enforcement many times to help on the west side. They were the soldiers who had to fight for the citizens being engulfed in the violence in these Mexican neighborhoods. They did not ignore us. They always came. We had them come to talk to us regularly on what we could do to fight the violence on the west side. A Mexican man bought the complex next door and pledged that with the help of the police he would evict the gangs. I did not believe he could make a difference, but with the quick responses of the police he did. The violence got less. How thankful I was when I could leave there, after my kids were gone, but my Mexican neighbors are still there if they have not been shot.
This complex is so peaceful compared to where I lived before. My neighborhood Mexican citizens were victims just the same as I was. I am speaking up for them as well. If even the Federal government has not enough interest in enforcing its own laws, what is to be done? Let them get involved the way they need to be, as law enforcement has to be, pledged to answer every call for help.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In a prayerful mood after an inspiring day

I spent an hour and a half in the pool today with Bill who suffered a stroke not too long after I moved here around 13 years ago. He was unable to walk, was paralyzed on one side. He said after he left the hospital, friends helped him move in here. At the time we had a kind of cage in the lobby walling off the rest of the complex as security, and he thought he had been put in prison. He kept asking, "But what have I done?" I suppose they thought he was more or less asking God why he had a stroke and did not realize he really thought he was in prison. I told my son Raymond, is that existential or what? This delusion persisted quite a while, but I remember seeing Bill work so hard to get to his feet and walk very slowly down the sidewalk. Most of the time he has to stay in his wheel chair or scooter, but he can walk if he has to! He also quit drinking and smoking and even earns money at job he does for a friend on the computer! He is quite the success story. He was a relatively young man when this happened as his hair is still black as coal (he is part Apache). I have always thought how strong those people who have stokes have to be to come back at all. I always feel like praying for Bill to continue living and being the inspiration that he is.

I have to pray for another lady I do not know but is my sister Ann's grandkids' other grandma. She is the mayor in the town where Ann lives and she and her husband have run a restaurant for years. I have always gotten the impression she was a whirl of energy, around 60 years old. Well, she lost her voice and now they have finally got to the bottom of it, the doctors have told her she has incurable lung cancer which has metastasized into her throat and even into her heart and there are 6 lesions in her brain! They are amazed she has been able to do what she has been doing right up to now. She has unfortunately been a long time smoker. I am sure the whole town is praying for her right now as you might say she has been totally blindsided. Ann's son and her daughter were about to make a move to Austin, Texas next week with three grandkids of Ann's, and she told them she wanted them to take advantage of this opportunity, to go. What a brave lady!

Another one on my prayer list is old guy in here who has been fighting prostrate cancer. Well, Friday I saw him out in his usual chair in the lobby where he has been coming for a long time, when he wasn't in the hospital. They said they took him to hospice Saturday, and he must have died over the weekend, because his photo was up Monday saying he had passed on. So here is a prayer for Warren for a happier journey into the hereafter. He graced us with his presence right up until almost the day he died. I always love it when people live life to their last breath.

Last of all another prayer for my son Raymond who is launching off with another theatrical event up on top of Thompson's ledge with a play called "Under the Desert." Funding is scarce. I committed $100 to it, as I know he produced this play 3 times, so it has been extensively revised, and should be very polished. An actor has come from Los Angeles who you can read about in his blog Cowboys and Bohemians, and a long time actress in many of his plays, Tracee, is coming from Phoenix to do the woman's part. She is very excited about this big role. She was the one who has come clear from Phoenix to do the lights for the festival for 6 years.
So I am sending up a prayer for this play, praying that it will be an inspiration for everyone who sees it and will carry Raymond into his next move and next project with strength and resolve.

This poster is one Connie made for Raymond's "Bohemian Cowboy" which he is going to be doing in Escalante, his dad's hometown this Saturday. This is one of my all time favorites of Connie's creations. I think it is beautiful. I am also sending up a prayer that Raymond will have a successful performance of this haunting play about his dad who disappeared above Los Vegas into the desert nearly 4 years ago. Everett Ruess's disappearance haunted Escalante for years who was an artist and writer who came there to become lost, but now one of their own has disappeared into another desert and will always cause a twinge of sadness because no trace of him has ever been found.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today, July 28, is when new immigration law, SB1070, takes effect

It's been some time since the new law came before Governor Janet Brewer and she signed it into law. Since then I have seen a number of changes in Arizona. First let me say that a judge right now is trying to decide what the outcome will be of the Federal Government's law suit against Arizona and SB1070. Surprisingly some parts of the law will be retained we have already learned. Some of it is expected to be deemed illegal.
The biggest change I have noticed is the fact that illegals no longer feel as welcome as they did before after crossing the border and coming here to a 'new life.' A number of illegals have packed up and left the state hoping to find more hospitable homes in some other state, but perhaps not realizing that attitudes there are beginning to harden, too, about accommodating people who are in our country illegally. I feel that a good deal of their pain has been caused by the federal government not acting when it was plain immigration laws were being violated by such a large number of people crossing the border constantly. It was as though every refugee in the world was running to the border states to cross while the US was still so hospitable to illegals.
Naturally any kind of crackdown was going to cause upset and pain to any people who had in years past been safe once they settled here with nobody seeming to notice their presence. That must have seemed like heaven to some of these poor people who had gambled on leaving difficult conditions and sometimes even dire poverty in their own country to come north. But these years of unchecked illegal crossings for many were bound to come to an end sooner or later. And now those still without any legal status are caught in the crunch. My perception is that a number did not even try to get green cards with which they will not be deported, but counted on favorable conditions remaining the same.
So in a sense that world has ended for illegals. Now is a time of turmoil, paranoia, and upset.
I blame the Presidents and congress for not acting so that so many would not be so affected. It is not a good thing to be good to people when you can't afford it. When eventually there was going to be a rebellion as there has been in Arizona.
I supported SB1070 because of having lived 20 years in a 90 percent Mexican area and seeing how violent those poor neighborhoods were trying to adjust to the constant influx of illegals. Not many of Hispanic origins were going to raise an outcry because their own ancestors may have settled here and been illegal for years. But when peaceful neighborhoods got increasingly more violent, constant gun fire, crimes going on that are naturally going to happen in an unsettled population, everyone was hurting. It was an eyeopener to me to deal with constant gunfire around my apartment complex, and this went on for years. I am very sure those neighborhoods have gotten even more violent.
A man told me that his sister and her husband who migrated from Mexico years ago and were able to buy their own little home are now surrounded with such violence they feel trapped. Nobody is going to buy their home. I inquired and discovered they lived in the same neighborhood where I lived. He said he moved downtown from another HUD complex close by where he hardly dared go out and walk around. He is so relieved to be living downtown he keeps saying how happy he is. Not hearing gunfire on a daily basis affects him the same way it did me.
I would be petrified one of my kids would get shot when they left the house. My son told me you did not get shot on the basketball court and before the year was out, somebody was shot and killed on a basketball court close by for purposes of robbery. I was so relieved when members of my family and I were finally able to leave those violent neighborhoods for good. I have to say that I found the gunfire in that neighborhood intolerable and I felt that it would never calm down until something was done about illegal immigration.
In more ways than one the numbers of illegals were keeping these neighborhoods in constant turmoil. So not only did they have homegrown violence but they had violent criminality from Mexico to contend with. I would say that for every peaceful illegal just wanting a job there is one who wanted to take advantage of the drug action, some way, any way, and all the drug trafficking to Mexico was infecting the young, everybody in the neighborhood. I would say that the first thing that needs to be done to tackle drug trafficking more effectively is control immigration.
I talked to a lot of people while living in my complex and heard many stories, some of which I have already recounted in my blog, so was able to see how vulnerable women for example would be constantly pulled into a relationship to help out an illegal. There was always interaction with Mexico. With so many no family would go untouched by illegal immigration.
The people could not do anything about it. The changes had to come from higher up, from government and law enforcement realizing just what illegal immigration was doing to the citizens. It was lowering the standards of living for everybody, and there was no control over Mexico. It just seemed to be an absurd thing for the US to be on the receiving end of so many people unable to find an acceptable life in Mexico. This was bound to end at some point, at a point when the US would start to resemble Mexico in trying to sustain a population made unstable by the constant flow of illegals. Think of it, and then you might be able to imagine just what that could and did do to neighborhoods.
Some have suggested perhaps Mexico needs to conquer the US and then the problem would be solved or the US Mexico? I do think congress has lacked members for years who really wanted to work on this knotty problem. They would evade it, put it off, turn a blind eye to it. The politicians are always afraid if they tackle a big problem it will make them unpopular somehow and they will not be re-elected. So they are always going to wait until after election to do anything. Nobody ever put a top priority on this problem, or at least not until now. So Arizona has been in a sense the villain, who may be punished by the US Federal government for doing it, to finally take drastic enough measures to make a dent.
Yes, illegals are scared. And they are just people who took a chance that so many before them have done and succeeded. I feel the sorriest for the kids, for it is hard to feel you are not wanted. But this happens when laws are passed, immigration is supposed to be achieved lawfully, and then the breaking of the law by an astronomical number of people is simply ignored. Congress members don't want to be reminded. Oh that, well we are going to have to address that someday.
But if you neglect dealing with a problem for years, you raise the hopes of many who have indeed been rewarded for coming into the country illegally. Cracking down hurts! What hurts children and families hurts us all.
It is very sad, but Mexico is at last beginning to act as though illegal immigration has finally gotten the attention of the American PEOPLE. And when enough of the citizens pay attention they are probably not going to just forget all about it this time. Until change is affected. Now people are seeing that their neighborhoods, their cities are going to be affected with more refugees than they can handle. And so I believe that pressure will continue to be put on the illegals crossing the border in as many ways as possible, to try to get the flow, the flood, down to a more reasonable trickle.
The US can't be the hope and dream of every poor Mexican. If they all had to go through the process of entering the country lawfully and striving for legal status, most of them would not do it. And with things like amnesty they have been rewarded for illegal entry. If you reward people for breaking the law, you sure aren't going to get respect for the law. Something wrong with that thinking. What is wrong with being born into a country and then working there to improve things. For what fate is it that causes us to be born in one country and not in another? It looks as though many Mexicans feel they were born in the wrong place and need to get up here to the right place.
I think that if you made up your mind this was your home since you were born there and you had to make the most of it, you might work harder to better the country like all the other people are doing, those who don't come north. You might control the size of your family better to fit the living you could make for them.
Mexicans who believe they will be able to live better if they come north as illegals are going to come if that proves to be so. That is human nature, so in a sense the American dream could be said to have robbed Mexico of some of her most enterprising people who left it because they saw it as easier to make a living up north.
Discouraging immigration is going to put Mexico in a bind. Putting any kind of dent in illegal drug trafficking is going to work hardship. So there will continue to be a great struggle for the people who have made up the illegals, both here and if restrained, in Mexico.

Tending my grandson Ethan and walking in the desert

My grandsons Ethan and Jamal in the last photo I took of them. I was so concerned about my daughter taking this big test I completely forgot to take my camera. She was to be gone all day, so she came and picked me up Sunday afternoon. After a lovely dinner at the Olive Garden where we met her husband Chad and my grandsons, Jamal and Ethan, we stopped off to their home at the edge of the desert north of town. She thought it might be relaxing to go to the club and dance for an hour or so, so she got her dancing shoes and off we went. What a lot of slim dancers, especially the ladies who may have been dancing the west coast swing for years. My daughter Ronda was as lovely and graceful as any of them. She had recently taken off a few pounds in preparation for the July convention held here in Phoenix and looked very slim and trim! She danced with one dancer after another and introduced me to many of them. I didn't dance but really enjoyed myself!
The next morning, both her husband Chad who is a very busy general manager for a company, and she took off early, as well as my grandson Jamal who works at Walmart's. Ethan and I got up and had a leisurely breakfast. Ethan had to stick around and give a tow truck driver the key as he came to pick up his dad's company car.
Ethan is ten, and I swear this summer he has grown five inches, since I took the photo. He is a tall skinny drink of water. I call this the slim family. His dad Chad is also a slim trim man, and Ethan is showing signs he will tower over him just as my grandson Jamal does whose shoulders have broadened. He has a much bigger frame than Chad. He is slim, too, and working hard at Walmart's to make money for his second year in college. Ronda says he is determined he is not going to get any student loans! He will earn money as he has a scholarship on his grades that will last as long as his grades are up. Wow! That kind of attitude is impressive.
After the tow truck driver picked up the car, Ethan asked me if wanted to take a w-a-l-k. He said he had to spell it or Bailey the dog would go bananas. He recognizes that word. I wouldn't be surprised if he could soon spell it. Although it was still very hot, it is always hot in Phoenix in the summer, I said okay as it was breezy and overcast. I thought I might be able to survive a walk.
Bailey is a very active dog on a walk. He wants to sniff every bush. Some of the houses had fake dog sculptures sitting out in front to scare thieves off I guess. Bailey would indicate he recognized these figures as dogs, but what the heck, they did not move, so he did not bark. He is supposed to be well trained enough not to bark on a walk. A real huge dog from the sounds of it took him by surprise as we went by the fence and startled Bailey into a few furious barks, but his master Ethan soon had him quiet again.
Ethan asked me if I could make it a little further. I said yes, so we walked to the edge of the desert and sat in an arbor there for a few minutes so I could catch my breath. Bailey loves the real desert. If he sees a little animal there he goes crazy as he is trained to go after such in his genes. But when we got back to the house, I knew I had walked to the end of my capacity in this searing heat.
After lunch I found a dvd someone had sent Ronda of the dance convention where she had advanced to finals in the Jack and Jill number. That is when the male dancers draw the name of their female partners out of a hat. I saw her dancing several times but could not find the finals. I decided I had better show Ethan the video I made of how the ladies of the west worked so hard. I had promised to tell him stories about the old days, and I did not want to fail at my job. Ha.
When Ronda came she showed me her dance in the finals. She was very graceful and skilled as usual, and she tried to analyze why she did not place in the finals. I could not see a lot of difference between the dancers who were all experienced west coast swing dancers. I thought the ones who placed either danced with a little more vigor and energy or their male partners did. That was the only difference. Ronda can dance all night, but her style might not yet include enough all out go get 'em vigor. Remember Benjy who won the So You Think You Can Dance one year? He is a west coast swing dancer and he has electric energy to the max, and so does his sister Lacey. They came make me tired just watching them dance together.
But as Ronda said this kind of dancing sure is good exercise to keep trim. I never saw so many good figures in one place.
Ronda's test was connected to her nursing. She hopes to find a good job more closely related to some of her interests, one of which is breast feeding. So she talked about some of what she had been studying as we traveled to and fro. Dancing is more her avocation or hobby. She went to college a second time to secure a nursing degree. She says the test was as hard as she expected but she thinks she passed it but will not know until October. She has always been good at passing tests, so I am hoping for the best.
I brought home some spaghetti and meatballs for Doc. He is always wanting spaghetti, so I brought him the best from the Olive Garden.
I was exhausted last night, so had to rest up. Now I am ready to go again. I hope I can get down in that pool today!
I happened to take a full mirror length look at myself out to Ronda and screamed to myself, "Oh, I need to lose weight." But I am feeling good and hope to start dropping a few ounces each week, slow but sure. I am fully recovered now I feel from being on my vegan diet too long. Too strict! It was dangerous. But I feel the discipline was good for me so there were some pluses from doing it 3 years.
I really enjoyed my grandson Ethan. Next time I swear I will remember my camera! Ronda lives 40 miles north through heavy traffic which is why I don't get to see them often. But what a beautiful location. And great schools for the kids.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"The Unsung Women who Built the West" reading a poem by my sisters, Ann and Linda

Doc and I had to make this video twice of me reading this poem out of "the Women" written by my sisters, Ann K. Reynolds and Linda King. The first time my face was too dark. I couldn't stand that, so I braved the old boy in his den (Doc) and caused him to have to waste another hour or two getting it better. I like this version and I hope my sisters do too, who have always done a very vigorous and wonderful rendition of their poem about those hard working women in my hometown of Boulder, Utah, and a lot of other towns in the west. We were raised doing all the work described in this poem since Boulder never got modern conveniences like electricity until the mid 1940's! I vowed I would never bottle again after I left Boulder and I never have! There's a reason why I developed chronic fatigue, but I am so tough I am still alive at 79 despite gittin' so tard.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

More birthday presents, "the Women"!

I was very pleased to receive the book pictured above in the mail yesterday along with a cookbook with some beautiful paintings in it by an artist who lives in Boulder. I am not quite sure who gave me "the Women", I think my sister Margie, have to get that straightened out later, but it is a great gift that I thoroughly enjoyed. I think I enjoyed my niece Cheryl's poem about her great grandmother Black the most, as I thought it was a wonderfully imagined poem about a pioneer woman who tragically lost a number of her sons while they were still children. Here is an excerpt:

"I felt so bad when I had to call her back home (daughter Lasca)
before she even started her 2nd semester
but the boys were so sick and everyone
who could have helped had their own troubles or were too scared
they'd get sick too. I didn't hardly sleep a wink for six weeks.
I was watching little Alton so hard that Orrin slipped away
before it even registered.
Leone went next, just five days later. Alton seemed so much sicker
than either of the older boys, it shocked me when Orrin and Leone were gone
not even a week apart.
After we buried the boys, Alton just didn't get better.
We finally took him to Richfield.
I thought he was gone more than once. The doctor decided
to try draining his lung taking two ribs in the process.
I kept thinking I was getting sick. But I fought until I finally realized
I was pregnant."

There you have got just how bad it could get in the 'old days' with no antibiotics and doctors and hospitals just not available. Dora Black goes on to lose still another young son to appendicitis. The doctor decided to try to operate on the kitchen table, but it was too late, the appendix had burst and he did not survive. Camille, another niece, also wrote a very sad song about the life of Dora Black. It was reported that at the festival both the poem and song as performed by Cheryl and Camille had everyone present in tears. I can see why as I thought they were both very affecting.
Camille and Cheryl also wrote a song included here about my sister LaRae, Cheryl's mother, which I thought was another wonderful creation called "Mama's Gonna Tie Dye". It brought back memories of my sister LaRae with her long hair flowing, dressed like a hippy, going to the park to a big hippy gathering in some tie dyed outfit. It was very poignant as she left us while she was still that beautiful woman, the mama that now only tie dyes in our dreams.
I am used to my sisters writing colorful poems and all four of them, Margie, LaRae, Ann, and Linda were represented with interesting pieces. I also wrote a prose piece about my Grandma King. They have indicated that they were not able to print all the submissions that came in, in fact, they believe they will have enough soon for a second edition. I am all for it. If it is anywhere near as interesting as this one it will be a welcome addition to the folklore we have already gathered about this picturesque community which was without modern amenities like electricity and a town water system for an unbelievably long time.

Connie's graphics illustrate the old days very well. Every woman had to have a sewing machine, Singer, preferably, every woman had to become an expert gardener, and many helped their husbands on a horse as did their daughters when no sons were available! My sisters and I certainly weren't the only cow girls around. They date way back. Two ladies even had the mail contract one year on horseback!

Friday, July 23, 2010

My real birthday and catching up on the latest

Doc took the header photo for my birthday. He seems to have gotten worn out celebrating my birthday. He is still talking about a wonderful dessert but don't know if he has the oomph to go get it or not. I went up on FB and was surprised that everyone knew about my birthday up there, so that was nice. Connie made two beautiful greetings for it (one pictured here--thanks, Connie). My daughter Ronda remembered even though she is very busy studying for a big test. Dante's mom Angelina remembered. And other FB friends were on the ball.
I went on the family site and was greeted there with birthday wishes by my sister Ann who is on her way over to Boulder with members of her family to work on their mountain cabin. Now that my son Raymond is singing for his supper, I told them to ask him to sing a song and give him some supper! Gee, if I sang for my supper I might get rocks thrown at me! Most people would starve to death, so I am surprised he is still alive. But he called me up yesterday and we had a lot of great laughs, until I was convinced he was going to be okay. I guess that combined with him saying he was going to put on a play out in the wilds on Thompson's ledge caused me to get a little more nervous than usual. He has always made me nervous, learning to do double backs and such. Riding bulls in the 4th of July rodoes. He likes to live on the edge. Will somebody come to his play out in the wilds on Thompson's ledge? Would you? But he is probably going to have more fun doing it there than in a real theater in Los Angeles. It will be a first time experiment and then he can write about it.
But I just got through reading the story of a guy from Brazil who was determined to be a world famous writer. His name is Paul Coelho, and his parents didn't think he had a chance. His mother told him only one writer in all of Brazil made a living as a writer, so why did he think he could? In fact to try to knock some sense into him they even had him locked up not once but twice, and the last time even signed for electric shock therapy totally against his will! Why is it that people think young would be writers are crazy to want to be writers and need a good shock or two to bring them back to their senses? Talk about controlling parents.
But it could not help but remind me of my own experiences, so I could hardly wait to read the rest of the story. This guy also reminded me of Raymond in many ways. He started in theater, wrote lyrics for a singer and got semi-famous that way, but eventually guess what he wouldn't give up and eventually became one of the most famous and published writers in the world. The Alchemist is one of his most published books. I am going to look for it. So the lesson is don't ever give up. I know my son Raymond is a good writer and one of these days he will be world famous, somehow. He just does interesting stuff.
My son Dan is a little less flamboyant but he is a good writer, too. He is writing fantasy novels and I don't know what all. And I have to announce that now I will be writing the rest of my memoirs off line as putting them in my blog was distracting me too much and making me too nervous. I wrote until I was the age of 11 and now you will have to read the book off line once I get it done to see what else happened. So all the writers in the family may become famous, who knows. But not quite yet. We have things to do and places to go before that happens.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The pool has turned blue! I will swim today no matter what!

Finally after days of waiting the pool is open, so in a few I will be wending my way down there with my noodles and going in. I am so happy.
I just went down and ate more ribs for lunch and decided to put off cooking my sirloin one more day. I will cook the corn on the cob this evening. I have also been on the phone all morning to various relatives as I read Raymond's latest blog on Cowboys and Bohemians and got alarmed to think he might be too broke to eat. So I rushed out and sent him some money. What are mothers for? Anyway, who wouldn't send their son some money if they thought he was too broke to eat, if they had it, and I had it. Raymond just got through helping do the most successful Boulder Heritage Festival they have done yet but it does not pay him very much. I think all the cousins should allot some payment to themselves if they are doing a lot of work on it. They should compensate themselves some way.
But Raymond just called and said he did not mean to cause such reactions. He was just trying to write an honest blog which I appreciate. I think there are quite a lot of parents in these tough economic times who are helping out their kids who have fallen on hard times one way or another. We all have to give helping hands if we can in those times. Raymond doesn't have any kids, so he has only himself and his dog to worry about!
Anyway I am done worrying for a little while and am going to go in the pool and just have a relaxing good time!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My pre birthday party with long lost Dick

Doc is a guy who can't wait for birthdays. He starts celebrating your birthday way ahead of time. Right now his fridge is full of food he got up at 6am this morning to go to the store to purchase for my pre party, which includes barbecued ribs, cole slaw, potato salad, and corn on the cob! Does that sound like like a celebration or what? He also lugged home a flower in his back pack which you will soon see in the video he set up to film the presentation. And my birthday won't even be here for 2 more days!
He has been talking to me about cheese cake which I think will be the dessert he intends to purchase tomorrow. I did not even tell him that I had already purchased sirloin steak at the Farmer's Market to roast with potatoes, onions and carrots for my own birthday celebration. I didn't want to spoil his surprise party. It's either feast or famine around here. I did not see his feast coming as he had just got through making a big pot of what he calls glop made out of poor people's food he freezes and subsists on most of the time. He has frozen all that to make way for the feast! So now we have a feast already to go in my fridge and one in his! Boy, I am going to have to do some juggling to make sure none of this food goes to waste.
I think I can wait to start roasting mine until tomorrow. Yes, that's what I will do, and freeze part of it if need be.
Oh, I got the best salad yesterday to the Farmer's Market store made out of cauliflower, raisins, and I think it was wheat with a yummy dressing, just enough to flavor it. They try the most interesting combination of vegetables and grains over there, quinoa, couscous, grains you might not ever think to use in a salad.
You might get a kick out of Doc's jokes in this video we also made this morning for my pre party! This guy loves birthdays!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I refer you to Raymond's blog Cowboys and Bohemians for a full inside report on the Boulder Heritage Festival!!

I love reading Raymond's reports on great theatrical events he has helped stage and I am sure you will, too. He has reported on the Boulder Heritage Festival this year even a little sooner than I expected after working himself into a state of exhaustion, but excitement tends to rejuvenate the insiders a little faster and success! This festival is being touted as the best yet, so the quality is going up!
He even took Baby to the festival. He wants her to become a theater dog, so he said her state of excitement has still not subsided, but she is a young dog. She may get used to these in time if she is going to be Raymond's constant companion.

Tracee, pictured here with Raymond at a Metro Arts theater event, came as she has done every year to do the lights, so that when the sun went down the Anasazi Indian Center grounds would be lighted for the remaining sets out under the stars.
Many Utah relatives attended and were part of the show. Check my blog list for Raymond's blog Cowboys and Bohemians. And hear the inside story!

Monday, July 19, 2010

This song was performed by Australian Waifs, Matt and Vicki Thorn, at the Boulder festival

The Waifs discovered Salt Gulch where my son Raymond went to play with them and was able to secure the singers, Matt and Vicki Thorn, to sing this song, "Bridal Train" about her grandmother in the Boulder Heritage Music Festival this year.

The header photo is of Raymond and his Dad, Dean Shurtz, singing at one of the early Boulder Heritage Music Festivals when it was called Boulder Blue Grass Festival that year.

Catching up with everybody

Relatives reporting from Utah who attended the Boulder Heritage Festival this last weekend say this one was the best ever, best presentations, best music, and best attended. My son Raymond called up Sunday afternoon still tired but wanting to touch base. He said that Tracee Rhohde who went up to do the lights on out door stage setting did her best job ever. Home Jones, Raymond's former Metro Arts students' band, had a big crowd dancing the night away as the band that closed the festival. Everybody loves one of Utah's top blue grass bands, Ridin' the Faultline, who have been playing to the festival almost since the year it was started. They found out that my dad's saddle, one of those on display, is rather rare and might be worth some money!

One relative's little boy was there with his little red wagon. My sister Ann took a photo of him grabbing a nap in his trusty wagon that was so cute. Another niece dressed up in a good black dress with a lace collar and read a poem as her ancestor Great Grandma Black that was a hit, and another niece sang an original song about this same hardy pioneer woman who was the wife of the man John Black who homesteaded the King ranch in Boulder which is now under new ownership and had all her descendants attending in tears.
Our trusty video camera which is getting kind of old and decrepit would probably have zonked out on me had I gone to film the festival as I did one year. But people took some great photos I have been enjoying all morning.
My sister Ann had to go to a funeral today as a younger member of my mother's best friend's family died unexpectedly. Seems unbelievable that in the midst of life some are departing for distant shores and we will only catch glimpses of them again in rare dreams until we, too, go to meet them.
We are lucky to be alive! So it is best to enjoy life while we can. Here's to life!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Listening to more sessions of the web cast and being inspired by the strength of the pro life activists

The header above that Connie made fit my mood on listening to these pro life activists talk about what they are doing to end abortion. The thought of 52 million abortions in our country alone since 1973 and Roe vs Wade is by far the worst statistic to me I can think of that we need to address. Legalized abortion has not worked. It has given parents too easy means to remove a problem with a violent solution requiring bloodshed of a human being in the early stages.
I listened to about 3 sessions the day of the web cast and I started on the first one this time when I began to listen to the recordings. You go to the web site listed on my blog list and you will see a series of sessions. Each one has a beginning and an end. To listen on line you simply click on the first place and you will see it start going around. Or you can also down load it.
These are hard to listen to, make no mistake. They are just very tough. On the first one I listened to a doctor who said he used to do abortions spoke to us in an intimate fashion, not really like a speech, but person to person. He was followed by a woman I believe her name is Gianna Jesson who survived an abortion attempt on her life, 18 hours of a saline solution when her 17 year old birth mother sought an abortion when she was 7 and a half months pregnant. She said contrary to what people might think abortion clinics tend to do late term abortions like this for almost any reason. All the mother has to do is feel stressed and this can be listed as a reason. The mother can be diagnosed as in too much stress about having this child, so an abortion is granted when the child is old enough to survive outside the womb! Also sad to say an abortion is the only thing the clinic really makes money on, it does not make money talking a woman out of one. The burgeoning abortion industry cannot afford to be very pro life, or they might see their clinics fail to make money. What do you expect? This child did survive. She says she feels she was held in God's arms during the period after the saline solution was injected as she should have had burns on her body when she was born but did not. If I remember the details right she was taken away, thought to be dead, and someone noticed that she showed movement! And rescued her although this is not generally ever done. The baby slated for death hardly ever gets rescued. We know in our hearts that is true, too.
She says that this traumatic experience rendered her hardly able to move as a baby, but whoever rescued her and took care of her who included a foster mother worked with her until she started to recover.
She has since gone all over the world telling her story, witnessing that an unborn baby is not any different than the baby that emerges from the womb except that baby is outside and a few minutes older.
Another male activist then talked about how to meet the arguments of the pro abortion advocates about the humanness of the fetus. It is simply younger. He pointed out that we do not attach more value to an older child after it is born simply because it is older. It is only in abortion that a child is deemed without value before it is born, but life begins he points out when the egg is fertilized by the sperm and begins to grow. It is alive, a human being in the first stages.
The doctor also said that a doctor is supposed to do nothing to a human being that is not therapeutic to the human being, so must go against teachings that have been in place years to perform an abortion.
Which is of course why this subject is so tough, because so many people have gotten involved one way or another in the conflict, and there are still too many I know who are thinking if we go back to only doing abortions for reasons like incest, rape, or severe birth defects, won't there be far too many reckless people having babies they can't take care of?
Yes, there is no doubt that after 37 years of legalized abortion a lot of people have come to depend on it for birth control, pure and simple. So we have gotten to be a lot more ruthless society in this process and less controlled one.
We are going to have to find that difficult control again, which we did not have a good grip on or someone would not have decided we needed to legalize abortion. I am sure that the judges on the Supreme Court who brought the legalizing of abortion about thought there were far too many people seeking illegal ones and that abortion should therefore be legalized.
As these activists do not hesitate to point out we also have many murders of those already born but does that mean we should legalize these murders? In the session I listened to two male activists were saying that the problem is people try to say the fetus has no worth, so therefore the mother who has always been the protector of the fetus can now withdraw her protection legally, again doing something that is totally not done in nature where we see mothers in the wilds having offspring every single year and always always protecting them as though they were the most valuable beings on earth. If any mothers in nature started turning on their unborn like the human being is now doing we would be very alarmed and think something had gone very wrong with nature its self. We count on those selfless mothers always being there. We are inspired by them. We love them.
So we know that we are going against nature to have legalized abortion, and that this is not right, and we should find a way to stop it. I think we all think that on some level. But we were presented with legalized abortion as a fait accompli by the Supreme Court and told we could do nothing about it. It was unprecedented for citizens to rise up against the Supreme Court and gradually just by being legal this law took over our minds and our consciences and made us feel powerless to do anything about it.
A lot of times people are persuaded to go along with what does not make good sense. People are persuaded to forget about God if we know the God who made all things is not going to approve. No, God is Nature as well. God is in the beautiful cycle of life we see and celebrate in nature.
Which is why abortion advocates had to fight the 'religious' idea of God that would not accept abortion. What else could they do? Those against it did not see how we could fight the Supreme Court. Well, we couldn't, not at first. These men were very powerful and they did change the course of history. Powerful men like them have managed to do this in a lot of countries. It was pointed out to us that this was how we were going to have to manage our modern world. For example, where would China be without abortion? Most people cannot even imagine how China could survive with all those people without it. Of course, China is communist. And everyone knows that communists can be ruthless if they need to be. That's it, when it is necessary. Or so it is reasoned.
Well, eventually pro life activists had to start saying this law is wrong and these judges are human. They made a mistake. They reacted humanly in a decision. They did not reason well. It is very difficult to reason all the time like God would. God is so strict. He is just not going to put up with a lot, so if man allows himself liberties that he knows very well a strict God would not allow, what is going to happen? A turning away from God.
Now we are at odds with God.
Now that is probably why many think the country is going socialist. The democratic party really got in a terrible bind. They somehow or another became the party that defended pro choice. And just like that the democratic party became godless. And are being accused of trying to turn the country socialist. Some say out right communist? What say you, democrats?
I am a registered democrat and I never left the party because I do not believe in those people who took it over and tried to make it a duty for democrats to be pro choice. No, even if I was the last democrat on earth to be pro life I would say that I would prevail, because I know there are many democrats who are pro life. And eventually enough of them are going to acknowledge it, they will get the upper hand. There are enough democrats who believe in God that they will not even support their own party if it looks like it is going communist.
Nobody can get along without God in the final analysis.
When we die we all depend on the mercy of God to give us eternal life. Only God can provide that miracle. Only he knows how, and the road to immortality, that is life beyond this one, is loving life, revering life, respecting it, honoring it and valuing it. We will eventually as a country repudiate legalized abortion because it is the road to death. It is not honoring life.
But it is so tough to do the right thing.
Which is why it is going to take me quite a while to get all those tapes listened to, telling us how we need to come together and do what seems like the impossible.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Phoenix hottie shocks her companion with her erotic dream!

I am very sorry to post another blog entry as I know you are busy probably canning fruit and pulling weeds in your gardens but I told Doc about the erotic dream I had last night and his reaction was so amusing I decided to video it. It seems he never gets used to my unusually active libido as he calls it. He thinks it is unseemly for a 79 year old woman (July 23). I tell him I can't help what I dream. I will understand if you don't want to view the shamelessness of a Phoenix hottie. I will understand. Is it the 116 degrees we are experiencing today? Or is it in the genes?

What better time to speak to my mother, Irene?

Cute header made by Connie in honor of my mother's country store. It really did have a hitching post for a while where the local cowboys tied up their broncs while they bought some bull durm or a candy bar.

MOTHER: I did not know you were a medium although I am not surprised you have dreams and feelings about future events since I did. You may have inherited that ability from me.
GERRY: I think I probably did and expanded my activities in my own way as has Linda, your other psychic daughter.
MOTHER: I am only sorry you and Linda aren't in Utah to celebrate the festival. I wouldn't miss it.
GERRY: Since you love music and history what better event for you? Your daughter Ann says she is going to speak about your writing legacy to us daughters. A woman who writes three family histories in her life time is bound to inspire.
MOTHER: I am sorry I was not able to speak to you during the last five years of my life, but I believe the creator blocked my tongue to teach me to be silent rather than say mean things. There is a lesson in that.
GERRY: What I want to know is if you have recovered your faculties? I am studying the hereafter so I will be somewhat prepared for my passing.
MOTHER: Oh yes, we get our speech back but only if we earn it. You don't understand there, but life after death is all tied up with the life we live on earth. Life after death is like the aftermath. It is part of the whole process where only your essence or your spirit is present. We are a shadow of ourselves, but we don't need any more than that to look back and access what we did on earth. We aren't going to have children. That task is for earthlings. The job of the spirit is to go back over life and see how we could have done better.
GERRY: Hmm. Are you enjoying it?
MOTHER: Immensely. It does me lot of good to be in a meeting that your father has agreed to attend. He is not able to shout or disagree. He has to sit quietly and listen. Do you realize he never did that on earth?
GERRY: There was no one to stop him from shouting. Families might do better to have family council and see if family problems could be sorted out better that way while still right here on earth.
MOTHER: I agree. I told my dad if he had taken my troubles more seriously, your dad and I might not have fallen into such a quarreling habit that our daughters ran away and avoided us whenever they could. I am ashamed of all the quarreling I did since I can't stand quarreling. Your dad was so good at picking at a person, and I always lost my temper.
GERRY: Hmm. So you have a lot of meetings?
MOTHER: As long as they seem to do us some good. Then we take vacations and go take in what our descendants are still doing on earth. I feel like we are meant to be here today. You should see the grounds of the festival which is packed with spirits this year since the book "Women" is featuring a great many women who have since passed on. I am very pleased with how I have been represented in the book. The historians are getting a lot of play, LeNora LeFever, your Aunt Nethella, and I among them. Your Grandmother King is very pleased with the piece you wrote about her in the book. It is a beautiful day.
GERRY: I did not feel well due to the ravages of my vegan diet. Ha. I thought I would be able to react faster if I got into trouble with it, but guess I was not quick enough.
MOTHER: You always did carry things to an extreme. Linda is not here either, but I hope that another year at least one of you will be able to get here. I agree it is a very long trip from where you both are now.
GERRY: Linda loves to come back to Boulder, so she was missing the festival when I talked to her yesterday.
MOTHER: My dear friend Twila in the next town is suffering because Monday she must attend the funeral of one of her youngest sons. Like his father, he went fast with a heart attack, while she is way up in her 90's! Just think had I lived a more healthy life style, I might have lived to be as old as she is. We are the same age.
GERRY: Will you go to the funeral? It seems like even in the midst of celebration of life there is death.
MOTHER: Yes, and I was among those who greeted her son into the spirit world who is very upset that he would die and leave his family as a relatively young man even though he was in his late sixties. He knows they will suffer. I tried to comfort him. I told him they will adjust.
GERRY: Ann will attend his funeral if she can since her son was a good friend of the family as well as his mother and other brothers and sisters still alive.
MOTHER: In the meantime, we have come to listen to the histories, mix and mingle among the spirits, see old friends, and later listen to the music. Last night's music was wonderful. The spirits were even dancing! I was so proud of my grandson Raymond for playing in a band and singing. These are the kind of events we could not enjoy more. You will be missed here, but your time will come to attend, whether it is 'on earth' or as a spirit. You will see!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Putting up with possible 114 degrees while relatives gambol at the Boulder festival in cool Utah!

Today is the first day of the Boulder Heritage Festival. My son Raymond in the first photo will be playing tonight for an old time dance with a caller with his band, "Out on Bail". I can remember people in Boulder calling for the square dances a very long time ago. Also there is going to be a mail run by horseback over the Death Holler Trail led by one of the local cowboys. The thing is to get your letter in the mail to arrive in Boulder the old fashioned way.
My sister Ann said since her partner, Tom, can't dance anymore with a bum leg, they will go tomorrow to take in the next two days of events. There will be something for everybody. I will be putting the Festival web site on my blog list so you can check out the schedule. I am even included in the story section with an account of a cattle drive I made with disastrous results on my dad's best cow horse, Sorly.
I ordered a copy of another of the books they have published this year called "Women." A number of women, including me, contributed. I wrote a piece about my Grandma King. As soon as it comes I will take a photo of the cover and write a review of it. The Ranches and Homestead history book is also on sale as well as a cookbook of local recipes. Those are always good. This one includes some beautiful local art work, too, a double bonus.
I will probably be posting more entries about the festival as I hear about it. If you check the web site you will see that a good deal is going to be going on, including a great country blue grass band called "Above the Faultline".

Great header by Connie. I am sure Irene in the sky is pleased. She (Mother) will be featured in the "Women" history. Note two Boulder Heritage sites on my blog list. One is the foundation website and one is the Boulder Festival site that takes place this year July 15,16, and 17, beginning today! Hooray. You can go from one to the other website.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Doc, the former cosmetologist, cuts my hair in a 'slither'

I have asked Doc many times to cut my hair, but he would always slither out of it. I did not know he was going to cut my hair in a slither until he did it. I never asked him to trim any long ends.
Perhaps he did it because I had to take over his online finance when he did the wrong thing and cost himself a couple of hundred dollars in late fee fines. Or maybe he did it because I gave him such a good going over yesterday in the scalp department.
At any rate he saved me the hair stylist fee and more or less proved he really had been a cosmetologist in one of his former lives. And I do feel so much better for a hot summer in Phoenix. He did not cut my hair short as he does not think I look good scalped!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I am waiting for the green pool to turn blue

Here I am in my blue bathing suit waiting and the latest bulletin is that the pool 'is not stable.' Meaning it is only half way blue and on Thursday it will be checked again to see if the condition of the pool has stabilized. This is a very large pool and apparently all new pool help has to find this out, so hopefully it will not be closed more than it is open after being renovated from the dirt up. The heat is here with a vengeance so we are in need. The trick now is to run around the cool hall ways enough to get exercise to stay in our poor state of health at least.
I have been finding other tasks that needed attending. How can I put this delicately? I was taught as a child to do grooming on my mother. We daughters would be given a saucer of olive oil and a fine tooth comb and we would scratch her dandruff through and through. Then when we were old enough we came down with dandruff and not having handy dandy dandruff shampoo in those days those sisters most prone to it were generally scratched by my youngest sister Linda who was the best groom of all. Later when any of us got black heads or pimples she would throw in a good picking of those free of charge. She was always disappointed when people did not have black heads. I had bad skin which delighted her, and she would go on and on picking them until I would have to run to get away from her, yelling, "Enough, enough!" Some people were convinced that this ruined your skin but early on I went to a skin specialist who told me that picking a white head was the best thing to do for it as it would just surface again close to the same area. I learned from observing this was true. I was always glad I found that skin specialist.
Now Doc has dandruff that he claimed he never knew he had because he said women where he came from never did such indelicate things as try to scratch a man's dandruff by hand. He claims that because I rode horses I learned to do this. We never groomed our horses but I did have a pet pig who loved having his scales scratched, not unlike some humans.
I also bought Doc dandruff shampoo as he has skin very like mine, being dark blond with blue eyes. So after I had taken a fine comb to his scales I would have him give himself a dandruff shampoo treatment. I had not done a scalp treatment on him for several years, but he screamed just as loud as when I did it the first time. But since I could not go swimming I was bored and insisted on giving him the business until he was ready to throw me out of his apartment.
But I feel better. As you get older skin tends to worsen so I don't know if that is his problem or not but his face is even beginning to flake sometimes like he has been out in the snow.
Hmm, so then I decided to blog and having nothing better to talk about I thought I would throw out this information to find out if anyone else ever grew up grooming mother, sister? I always groomed my husbands and BFs too if I could catch them.
Are we weird or what out west? Doc claims he has only seen monkeys do this in the wilds and never humans.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The decline of the newspaper versus writing your own

I got a book from the library that is all about the decline of the newspaper, but my own theory way back was that you had to create a newspaper yourself in order to insure that in your lifetime at least you would never be without a newspaper and one where you would always be represented. Even when I was 20 years old I could see my thinking was not going to be represented in the current newspapers satisfactorily. This led to writing many letters to my sisters, until pretty soon a correspondence was going on between the sisters that went on for years and years, which could have been called a virtual 'newspaper'.
My grandmother Wilson was a great letter writer and kept a circular letter going between her sisters and brother for years. When the letter arrived each one would add more to it and send it on. When the letter got back to the first sender, that long circular letter was retired and a new one was started.
I could see that this was a newspaper with much news in it about the members of the families as well as outside news that might affect the family, and so modeling my own letters somewhat on my grandmother's at first, we were able to expand our coverage into writing about books we loved and much more.
Today the family newspaper still exists in the form of a family website on the internet as well as quite a few blogs. The 'old' sisters are all writing memoirs a copy of which will be sent to the others mostly in some sort of book form.
Doc likes to buy the daily newspaper in our city, The Arizona Republic. I read the Editorial page and peruse different news stories in the front page section, some of which I may have already seen in a story on the Internet. Doc being a cartoonist of sorts always reads the cartoons, and sometimes saves one for me to see. I used to be a big sports fan but my sport viewing has declined since Doc got cable. He does not like sports events and I save my evenings for meditation and preparing for my departure to the other world. Commercial TV watching as well as my activities on the internet were killing my eyes!
I save my eyes for reading biographies, novels, histories, etc. I usually get from the public library. The book I am reading about the decline of the newspaper came from the public library.
So I supplement whatever is available to the family writings and thus feel that no matter that happens in the newspaper world it is not going to hurt me very much, because I do not rely on the newspaper for the bulk of my reading!
Yesterday I lucked out and one of the books I got from off the free pay it forward table in the ballroom turned out to be fascinating. It was Franz Kafka's "Autobiographical Writings" and also called "I Am a Memory Come Alive." I will never again be able to say I don't like Kafka because his writings are so austere. I felt great sympathy for him after reading this book. It told in detail about his death from tuberculosis which was a hard one indeed. And he was also a prolific letter writer. Really, this book is an absolute treasure. I am trying to decide what member of the family would like it most as a Christmas gift, for there is no sense keeping an extremely good book around gathering dust once you have read it! Probably my son Raymond who is also a prolific writer would treasure it, but first I will have to send it to my sister Ann who I know will love it. My sister Margie just reported reading one of Kafka's novels, so she would probably also find it of interest.
I talked to my sister Linda night before last who is going to look for an autobiography of Celine, a French writer, she thinks I will just love. She lost it in her apartment but is sure she can find it! Celine was one of Bukowski's favorites. I loved one memoir of his called "Down and Out in Paris." He was working as a waiter in the bowels of a fancy Paris hotel, and I so related to his experiences there having spent ten years waiting table. I still recall his writing about dropping a chicken on the floor and picking it up and putting it back on the plate and serving it!
Great books have a way of surviving even when newspapers don't, but if you love the newspaper form you create your own to make sure you will never be without the basic newspaper!
I expand my readership through my blogs and videos but I personally think it is a mistake to try to go 'commercial.' Some writers have the luck to write something that might be published without compromising the work too much. If it happens, fine, but if that luck does not come, I say don't sweat it as long as your needs are being met with books, and newspapers you have helped create.
I share my love of books with my blog readers when my enthusiasm knows no bounds. I used to take my kids to the libraries all the time with me and they would check out their five or six books along with my own. I didn't have to coax them. They insisted on it. One of my favorite memories is of my son Dan about five talking to another kid outside the library who was about six who was a dinosaur book lover just as he was. They were discussing various dinosaurs. It was hilarious. Eventually they all became quite the readers. My oldest son Gary said that after he watched all the foreign movies in Blockbuster he started going to Barnes and Noble and buying books.
I think enthusiastic bloggers just naturally love to write, so they are following their bliss as Joseph Campbell says. And sometimes their enthusiasm is catching. I don't try to read more blogs than I comfortably can. If I stay on the Internet too long not only my eyes suffer but so do my legs from being bent and on the floor too long. I accept my limitations not only in reading but therefore in becoming famous. If you are living a balanced life you may not need to become famous. That might not even be what is best for you! If it comes about without too much stress and strain, fine, but I think striving for balance is for health. If we get out of balance with our endeavors it may be at our peril.
So I try to be a good friend to a few rather than a not so good friend to many more. And hope my limitations will be recognized and not held against me!

My friend Connie sent me the beautiful header above after I said that my favorite flower was the lilac.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I am going deaf and loving it! Huh?

Doc insisted on making this video today because he wants the world to know what a job he is having to get me to hearing center. He claims I only hear half of what goes on. He is very annoying as he asked me after every clever line, "Did you hear that?" If I say yes, he does not believe me and asks me what they said. I probably haven't been hearing everything for years because my hearing was never keen. I found that out when I tried to learn a foreign language. It also interferes with my ability to sing. Naturally my hearing has gotten a little worse over the years, but he is suffering over it a lot more than I am!

Terrible fatigue eases as a voice evokes the presence of God and you feel you are not alone in pushing the boulder up the hill to save lives

As I listened to the Ending Abortion telecast yesterday, along in the afternoon a man came on from New York I think, an activist whose faith had its origins in Catholicism, and his voice evoked the presence of God which I do not hear very often as this task of trying to end abortion has been so formidable even the churches have had a hard time focusing on it. His strength was so healing. The fatigue that I had begun to think was just a part of aging and was going to be with me now until I died began to ease. It had been making even the simplest task seem too hard to do. A couple of hours later it was gone for the first time in weeks! I felt I had had a miracle of healing I sorely needed. If the dedication in that man could do this for me, I thought, what can it do for one of the greatest and most difficult tasks this world has faced, ending abortion. Not only our country but many more have gone down the primrose path resulting in millions of deaths all over the world of the most innocent.
No woman has the right to choose a procedure that will harm another, most of all, the child she has been designed by nature to protect, but the focus has been on the rights of women and not on the rights of the fetus. I felt that many on the telecast were seeking new ways to persuade and reach hearts without harsh judgment, but love and understanding. Women have been vulnerable to those who have claimed their rights are threatened. Our rights are always threatened. Women have always had difficulty rising above the status of second class citizens. Which explains to me why legalized abortion got so many supporters among women with the idea of protecting their right to choose.
How painful it is to acknowledge that the path was lost through not acknowledging all that legalized abortion does. A pregnancy which can seem like such a burden taken away through legal means. How could something legalized be that wrong? After we have grown used to it, how can we fight to stop it? How can we instead embrace the child into this crowded world? Isn't that asking too much? Wouldn't it be better as we have been led to consider for those who have not even begun to live to die rather than all of us suffer a terrible decline in our standard of living with too many mouths to feed? Impossible!
How can we believe in a God who asks too much of us? We have to have faith. We have always had to have faith that God will provide. Do the right thing and and the way will open up.
God cannot grace us with his presence unless we tackle the job he asks us to do which is to save lives, to end the holocaust, no matter how difficult. Yesterday afternoon I understood that God can only live in righteousness. He cannot grace us with his presence when we are doing wrong. God is in the difficult. He is created by man doing the impossible.
The man who evoked the presence of God had given up his regular job to work full time as a pro life activist. He had felt his needs would be provided for if he committed himself to the job that needed to be done. How strong he felt. How inspiring. I felt a tear coming. I was not alone. This man had come to help push the giant boulder up the hill and he would not stop until the work was done. He was in the long haul to save lives.
God had called and some had answered. That was enough for now. There was still a great deal of work to be done, but after resting a few hours I would be up to a job, this little job of writing a message to inspire and help build conviction. God has blessed this movement. He will help those who have stepped forward to do what seems impossible now, but which must be tackled.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Am listening to the live web cast now

I am going to be listening to the web cast throughout the day as I like to get as much new information as I can on how the fight against abortion is going. I just listened to a young activist who has done a lot. That's what you are hearing is what activists are doing and what they suggest you can do.
I worked my way to a blog and making videos in my protest years as letters protesting propaganda were just not being printed, so I had to find another way. I think just stating my beliefs from time to time in my blog and videos has proved to be the most effective in reaching people. I go back over my videos from time to time and see that they have always proved effective in getting people to watch. I have also watched a number of videos that have inspired me. I am going to embed the video I made again here as I have stated my case against legalized abortion. I will have more to report after I have listened to more of the web cast. The web cast will be available for some time for people to listen to in the future if they are unable to listen today. They made it an audio cast so it would be available to more people.

See on my blog list.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday's News: green pool, great books, and headers

Don't you just love the jeweled broach header Connie sent? The new template allows the animation to show. She also made the graphic about the spirits. I love her boldness when it comes to my personality. Today is a good day to show this one and there will other times in the future, too. Tomorrow is the live web cast all day long Ending (See my blog list) The spirits will be there for it is their dearest wish we end all forms of premature death on this earth. We had just got our life expectancy up until most families may go quite a few years before experiencing a death among their members. So why did we take the downward turn toward using death as a solution for a problem pregnancy? This is a primitive brutal solution in every sense of the word, and we also denigrated so many teachings that had been in place for years such as abstinence as the only sure way for teens to prevent pregnancy. We allowed some 'forward' thinkers to get the upper hand, but a violent solution is always a step backward in the end.
I also just got through reading probably one of the most compelling books of history I have ever read called Somme about the terrible fight England and other allies put up in France to take back Somme from the Germans in World War I. The book was written by Martin Gilbert, published in 2006. I was so stunned by the terrible slaughter of so many wonderful young men that I sent it off to my family to read. Anyone who reads this book is going to be that much more against war. I wish George Bush could have read this before he invaded Iraq. And to think the Kaiser was Queen Victoria's grandson, but his generals kind of over overrode all his objections to World War. They saw no reason they could not conquer all of Europe. Hitler even fought in this location, was wounded, and after healing, asked to be sent back to the front. I am sure that he thought when the time came he could do what had not been done as leader of the new Germany. He could conquer England as well as Russia! Thank God they proved to be his match, along with America in World War II.
But make so mistake, Germany started World War I.
I also finished Dreadnaught by Robert Massie which is a bigger and better battleship the navies started to build before World War I, only this book lumbered on for 900 pages. I was able to discuss this book with my navy veteran son who had heard of Admiral Fisher who so improved the English navy. I love a great historian. These guys are such workers. But I thank god for them, or we likely would not know a thing about the past.
I risked life and limb today to return books to the library and get more which will have to do me for some time. This trip in the blazing summer heat was a killer! I try to put off all journeys except those that are absolutely necessary until fall.
I was very disappointed to see a sign up saying the pool has to be closed over the weekend. It was slowly turning green, so it will have to be shocked. We have been instructed not to eat in the pool area as cigarette butts and food bits have been found in the filters! Always somebody to gum up the works.
I went into CVS Pharmacy and as usual was disgusted with all the black spots of gum on a fairly new piece of sidewalk in front of a busy bus station. Every time I look at American habits of disposing of their gum I think of Singapore where my navy son Dan went, saying it was the cleanest city he ever saw in his world travels, and if people throw their gum in the street they can be fined and jailed! Imagine! We have got so many slobs out of control we are gummed before we start. Do you throw your gum in the street? I don't. I don't even chew gum. But a heck of a lot of other people must.


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