Sunday, July 31, 2011


F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition -- a good old military acronym that pretty well describes the state of the US government at this point. I swear, our biddies have more sense than some of the partisan ideologues wasting our time and endangering our future just now.

As one of my friends recently said on Facebook, "Some days you just don't have enough middle fingers."
Here's a suggestion that might help our Congress to focus. I received it as an email yesterday. 

(Well, it sounds like a start... but Sally T has just directed my attention to this -   which says that some of this is misinformation.  I checked it out and am reminded I should always fact check such e mails.  Still -- letting your Congresspersons know how you feel about their job performance is always a good idea

My husband suggests that, if the US must default on some debts, the salaries of Congress and their staffs should be paid only after other debts are satisfied. 

Proposed Congressional Reform Act of 2011
1.    No Tenure / No Pension.
A  Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when
they are out of office.
2.   Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social  Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security
system immediately.  All future funds flow into the Social Security
system, and  Congress participates with the American  people.  It may not be
used for any other  purpose.
3.  Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans
4.  Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.  Congressional
pay will rise by the  lower of CPI or 3%.
5.  Congress loses their current health care system and participates in
the same health care system  as the American people.
6.  Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective
1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen.
Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.   Serving in Congress
is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen
legislators, so ours should serve their term(s),  then go home and back to work.



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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tyger, Tyger, Tiger Swallowtail

THE TYGER (from Songs Of Experience)

By William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Up Close

I spent the morning weeding -- sitting on the ground and getting up close and personal with the border along our entryway. The little rose above is one of the first things I planted after we built our house -- given to me by a neighbor who rooted a cutting under a Mason jar. The blossoms are tiny, about the size of my thumb.
Once I was down at eye level with the Victoria blue salvia, I could see that the flowers were being worked by minuscule bees -- probably the same ones I've heard called sweat bees for their tendency to light in the crook of a sweaty elbow.
The red yarrow I transplanted about a month ago has taken hold. We have wild white yarrow but I'm really fond of these lacy ruby-toned blooms.
Inside, washing my hands before lunch,  I found this fellow lurking in a dishtowel.  He was quite obliging and stayed put for me to take his picture.
No, he's not a roach -- he's some sort of beetle. While Googling around trying to identify him, I learned that there are around 25,000 different types of Coleoptera (beetles) in North America and over 350, 000 worldwide. which makes the Coleoptera the largest order of the animal kingdom. They live in and on all sorts of things -- water, dirt, bark, leaves, dung, carpets . . .
Maybe he's a dish towel beetle.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Scene Around

Elegant shading of pink, lavender, and blue. . .

A humming bird waiting her turn at the feeder , , ,

Rose of Sharon, Althea, or Lavatera -- it's still a pretty thing. . .

Miss Susie Hutchins enjoying the early sun. . .

A dead branch nailed above the window as a trellis suits our rustic idiom. . .
Almost the last of the clematis . . .
Eddie, of course. . .
Autumn Joy sedum getting ready for its big moment . . .

There were at least eight hummers at the feeders but you'll just have to take my word for it. 

I think I need a tripod and a blind. . .

Morning glories stay obligingly still. . .
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Did You Realize. . .

. . . that your armpit has cravings? Which armpit, I couldn't say, but Old Spice tells me this is the case.
And now I have to wonder about other body parts -- what is it they desire? My knees (both of them) have been telling me for some time now that they'd like to be refurbished.

But what about some of the other members of my anatomy? Would my lips like some Botox? Are my cuticles crying out for cuticle cream, my lashes for lengthener, my teeth for resurfacing?

"Exfoliate me!" I think I hear my skin screaming.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Good Reading

Just as I was amazed and delighted with the book ROOM, told from the point of view of a five year old, by the end of page three. I had fallen in love with THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, told from the point of view of a dog. 

It was highly recommended to me by several folks whose opinions I trust -- Pat in TN was one, I think -- but somehow I never got around to it. Then at Wildacres, Kathy, who was auditing my class. handed it to me. "Read this," she said.

It was one in the morning when I finished it and I really wanted to turn back to the beginning and reread it. But I waited -- I'm rereading it now --  over a week later.

Enzo is a charmingly dog-like dog, completely believable for someone like me who has spent her life anthropomorphizing dog behavior. His dog's eye view of his person, his person's wife and child and the situations that ensue is beautifully done.

This isn't a review -- you can find plenty of those on line -- this is just me telling you who are dog lovers, as Pat told me a few years ago, "You need to read this book."

Mention Larry McMurtry and most folks would think of LONESOME DOVE -- one of the best TV cowboys epics around.  Or TERMS OF ENDEARMENT or THE LAST PICTURE SHOW.  Those are, by the way, terrific novels as well as films. 

BUFFALO  GIRLS is the self-told story of Calamity Jane. She is near the end of her wild and most unconventional life, traveling with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.  This is a poignant but unsentimental look at the end of an era, written with McMurtry's fine blend of quirky but believable characters and historical detail.  There's a masterful twist at the end of this fine novel that I particularly enjoyed.
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