Tuesday, December 12, 2017

It's Beginning



...to look a LOT like Christmas!  And SMELL a lot like it, too..thanks to Sprawlmart's Mainstay Pine jarred candle.

(...quite possibly the most realistic fir scented candle I have found yet...most of them...even some of the Yankee...smell a lot like Lysol or Spic and Span...)

Only 4 months give or take until "Idgy" and my Spring Adventure. We are planning Virtual New Year's Eve in Paris, France this year!

Haven't seen her on MY birthday- forever!

Last year we spent her's together, with my teal and brown Christmas...lol!

Can't wait!

She has had an amazing year, and finished it off with the new house she is buying and refurbishing. Floors, walls, painting and decorating...definitely in her element! She has been sending paint chips and stains over morning coffee and chat and some of the preliminary results. It is going to look outstanding!

Since most of Christmas this year is cash...needed by everyone...except for a few incidentals...mine is pretty much done. I will be making my fudge later next week. It's just not Christmas without Christmas Fudge. Leaving the third week off for rest and relaxation because planning several small celebrations with friends and family from the 23rd-30th.

Everything is bowed in gingham or muslin. I love the homespun Christmas look!

Today also marks the first evening of Hanukkah.


and nothing says Festival of Lights quite like an Electric Menorah, eh?

"Now Saul, take that blinker light out of the Menorah...you're going to give your bubie a seizure...oy vey."

I could have been Jewish. I love ritual. I even have the nose. ( well,I do) I love a good bagel and schmear. I have even  struggled through Yom Kippur once in solidarity. Have been known to kibbitz and regularly join my WPB sister, Diane..in referring to her husband Sal as a putz. And I love love love potato latkes with onions and cheddar cheese,a daub of sour cream...

oh...and bacon crumbles.

Yeah...yeah...busted by that Bacon Clause...again.

~sigh~

I get excluded from so many world religions because of that.


Anyway.


This week's book: John Hodgman's- Vacationland



Hodgman is a humour writer I enjoy, but can only take in small doses. He is like going to see the movie Titanic.
The first time someone says,

"You know...the boat sinks." (deadpanned)

it is funny as hellBut by about the 4th time...you are just ready to dump your hot buttered popcorn in their lap.

 Hodgman is that guy.

This book is basically a rambling piece on Maine, Living in Maine, His Wife moving them to her childhood town in Maine,His Resistance to being Abducted to Maine, Everything that is Rotten about Maine and the People...and him finally coming to realize how wonderful the little town and its people really are.

Moments of entertainment...but it was nice when it ended,too.

Hodgman is not everyone's cup of tea.

Try him and see if he's yours.

This Week's Movie: Pixar's- Coco


A wonderfully entertaining new creation from Disney-Pixar.  These guys just get better and better!

Miguel searches (inadvertedly) the afterlife on Dia Los Muertos for his long lost vilified mariachi great-grandfather, and learns an important lesson. Nothing is  more important than family...and that things are not always as they appear.

Enjoyable for all ages...and yes,that would be Cheeeh Marin as the voice of the Correctional Officer.

                                       How ironic is THAT.

Loved the last  scene where Dante (dog/spirit guide) and Pepita (cat/spirit guide) are seen walking together in the living world...not as
alebrijes...but simply as a Mexican street dog and pussy cat!

A Must SEE for The Holidays!

Everyone is busily getting ready.












                                   Grandma Nicole and Amelia Rose

And I am suffering from severe Snow-Envy as

Mississippi (Joe and Marilyn's)

South Texas (Tom and Sue's)

Louisiana (Doug and Deanna's)

and even, Dave, in the UK taunt me with their unseasonable snowfalls.




And THIS is why CAJUNS should never be allowed to play in the snow. Much less drive in the stuff.

                                    Deanna's Crab Snowman.

Everyone is HOGGING the damned snow!!!

It is Indiana. It is winter. It will get here.

Something that has made a come back here are these


Snow Owls.

There have been a lot of sightings this year!

Huge CONGRATULATIONS to Tina who has now passed her Clinicals!!!


She is One Test away from her EMT License! So proud of you, hon!!!
You will be great!

Now it is time for






The big news today is, of course, Alabama's Special Election for the Senatorial Seat.

Doug Adams ~vs~ Roy Moore



This is the election to watch, folks. A bellwether for the 2018 Midterms.

Prosecutor who convicted KKK Members for the Bombing of a Church and deaths of 4 little girls.

Or

Man who was banned from a Mall in Alabama for stalking under-age girls and is accused of molesting a 14 year old.

The fact that we even have to wonder or worry what the outcome of this race will be says a LOT about how far we have fallen as a Nation.

Just saying!


We will know more by late this evening.

And today's



Once again, goes to Donald Trump...he may earn the Lifetime Achievement Facepalm at this rate...assuming he isn't Impeached or Indicted before then.

After last week's announcement that 

Jerusalem is the rightful Capital of Israel, and by golly we are moving our US Embassy there.

Which went over kind of like THIS with the Palestinians.









 Yeah...pretty much a damned disaster.

The fragile Middle East Peace Talks are shot...and everyone is back to killing one another...

Oh...and that pipe-bomb/thankfully incompetent suicide bomber in Port Authority...yeah...Trump owns that. And we can probably expect more, realistially.

Remember the LAST time we stepped in and took sides in their Holy War.



 Yeah...me, too.

~sigh~

President Trump...you are not only galactically clueless...you're DANGEROUS to us all.


More Anon...















Friday, December 8, 2017

Bodhi



A Celebration of Enlightenment. A day of Meditation and Quiet reflection.

(...okay...after the cat is fed...) 

Yeah..yeah...chop wood and carry water...lol.

While I sit here, Christmas lights twinkling...fir scented candle filling the air...remembering that Hanukkah begins in 4 days...the Yule Solstice in 13...Christmas in 17 and Kwannza in 18...

I laugh.

Even the patio with it's greenery and ribbons does not escape the holiday decorating flurry.

Bodhi...today...is about what is inside.

The calm quiet center. 

Peace.

Love.

Compassion.

Kindness.

Hope.

And I reflect on how much my life...how much I have changed as a person since beginning this path 10 years ago.

My youngest son brought up an "unflattering moment" from my past a while back...funny...because the event he was talking about happened long before he was ever born...even conceived. He knows about it only second-hand. Through stories. I was maybe 19 at the time it actually occurred. It wasn't done in a bad or mean way. Just an observation of

"That is just you. The way you are."

Funny....because it has been 38 years ago...longer than he has even been alive.

Just as he (and none of us) are the same person we were when we were 19...or 25...or 45...50...

(thank goodness)

Everything changes...life changes...we change.


Admittedly...up until January 2008...that was the person

I WAS

but, you see, she doesn't live here, any more. 

(and for that I am grateful)

Still a "practicing buddhist"...certainly not a Buddha. But getting better...more mindful and focused- everyday.

Today, my focus is on an inconvenient habit I am trying hard to change. That of procrastination.  Perhaps today will be The Day.

Have a Blessed Bodhi!






















Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Virtual Day Trip: South Padre Island


Another of those "how did I miss this" destinations.

I have travelled across the Panhandle of Texas more times than anyone would like to admit.

The word ARID comes to mind. And HOT.

But we also took all three boys through one summer and stopped at The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo

Where graffiti is not only encouraged but aided and abetted by long tables of colorful spray paint, ice water, and free coolers of cold watermelon!

Before I met my late husband, Texas (to me) was this arid, desert, scorpion filled, tumble-weed and rattlesnake infested, brush strewn state to be crossed while going...well...elsewhere.

Remember that I had only ever crossed the Panhandle.

When he begin to discuss in earnest the idea of retiring there...I seriously thought he had lost his damned mind.

Then he introduced me to The Hill Country.

Where Arkansas Orange Barrels and Cotton Fields with bolls burst open like fields of snow in the summer heat...gave way to lush green...colorful wildflowers...limestone hills...live oaks...jadite green rivers and huge ancient trees.

A Paradise.


Filled with some of the most wonderful people...and musicians...you would every want to meet.




Playing at the A-Resort in the Blanco- 2010





Lennon and a row of live oaks.


And as we explored Wimberley, I finally really got it.  Had he survived...we would definitely have retired there.

One of the places I always wanted to see was South Padre Island.  A small spit of land off the Texas coastline.

And so today....that is where our Virtual Adventure begins!



A thin but heavily developed island with a long beautiful beach-side.



Reaching SPI via the Queen Isabelle Causeway

https://youtu.be/dbr672fDsuU

Beach-side and the Breakwater

https://youtu.be/21MnCYgk_IE

Or just join "Sandy Feet" and Learn to Build Amazing Sandcastles!






My personal favorite, I think, would have to be the surf-side horseback riding offered by a local livery.

https://youtu.be/mYedwmtR2c8



Also worth exploring The Port Isabel Historical Museum which gives you a look at the SPI history from wartime to present and Port Isabel Lighthouse.

Lighthouse Tour

https://youtu.be/2EO0OJzdCak

and from the air

https://youtu.be/6eI3Ty3MaDg



One place I had not heard of...but loved checking out virtually was this


A sea turtle rescue and rehab on the island.





Rescue

https://youtu.be/CO4m4k_oIpM

Rehab

And Release

https://youtu.be/R_64PNTQn5g

Sea Turtle Laying Eggs SPI 

https://youtu.be/riGFyF9R478

And Hatching

https://youtu.be/afgsYchpD_Q


Ending the adventure with an evening fireworks show at Clayton's Bar.

Clayton Fireworks Show SPI


https://youtu.be/uB5hpHlfJic 



Until next time...


And thinking I may have to paint the South Padre Beach and Dunes!





Saturday, December 2, 2017

December...Lennon's New Ride..Decking the Halls & Shelby...Film Review and The Tax Scam


Falalalala...The Turkey's Gone!

Unfortunately, so are the pies.

I've just scratched the surface with my Primitives For Christmas, so far.

Lots left to do.

Yards of gingham and muslin...greenery...tiny white lights...grapevine wreaths...and learning about Cinnamon Dough (kind of like salt dough) for rustic hearts.


PSA: Queen Anne's Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries are BACK!!!!

I must admit, through December, they are my Personal Reward System.

Finish the Christmas Cards.

"Good Job...have a Cherry!"

Smile and not KILL that rude woman in the store with her Spawn of Satan behind you in line.

"Great Control...looks like SOMEONE needs a Cherry!"


Shelby-Cat has been a "hoot" this week.  No, she isn't interested in climbing the tree, thankfully. She decided it was much better to gnaw on...she wants to eat it.







She did managed to pull a tip off...now they number 999, and she seems to be fairly happy with herself.

Her favourite spot seems to be the sofa arm by the tree. She likes to lay there and gaze at the lights. She loves the tree!

The Shelf Elf....er...not so much.



"Holy Shit...is that the Cops???"


Anyway the Elf On A Shelf Threat appears neutralized.
For now...

The Bright Orange Threat in Washington seem to be waning, too.

He is just too stupid to realize it. 



Face it...the past couple of weeks have been like a ride on the Bipolar Coaster.

First there was Manafort Monday!!!

Followed later by Flynn Friday!!!

IKR???


(and at this point...I am suspecting that Mueller may have a wicked sense of humour beneath that Bloodhound Exterior...and is Trump Tuesday REALLY too much to hope for????)

We all had out our Indictment Bingo Cards


and singing Indictment Carols

"Just hear those handcuffs ring-a-ling, jing-ting-ting-a-ling too...

 C'mon it's lovely weather for a Mueller indictment or two.

Outside the treason's falling and Trump is calling RU.... 

 C'mon it's lovely weather for a Mueller indictment or two!!!"


But did THAT stop the Grinch?

No.

The Senate Tax Bill.

Nearly 500 pages...with hand written in the margins revisions...given to Senate Members 2 Hours before the vote was taken.

And even though the senators asked for two days to actually....you know...READ the damned bill...it was denied.

And the PORK that was written over every square inch and the promises made to hold-outs.

OMFG!

"Sure...hell, we will even throw in a blow-job,Senator"

In the end Bob Corker (TN) would be the only GOP member who did not cave and vote YES to this abomination.

Well, BOB and every last Democrat. 

Jesus Wept.

That is how...late Friday Night...Corporate America and Multi-Millionaires and Billionaires got Christmas Early

Financed by our children,our sick, our elderly, our poor.

For a moment even the Flynn Plea Bargain was tossed into the shadows...and collectively we were stunned.

Shocked.

Funny thing...shock and stunned though...it quickly gives way to MAD AS HELL.


 The Resistance falling back to breathe...then get focused.

Really...Really Focused.

From getting people registered to getting out the VOTE...starting with the upcoming Special Election in Alabama. People in Alabama making sure that voters get to the polls. Those of us not in Alabama providing support financially to the Democratic Opposition: Doug Jones...phone banking...calling Congress...post-carding...networking...FB and Twitter.

Resolving to do the same with every opposing candidate...not only through 2018 but through 2020.

Very systematically. 

Channelling the anger into a weapon.

The sad part about the passage of this particular bill is that not only does it hand the very wealthiest a huge sum of money...but it works by preying on some of the poorest,ignorant, deliberately misinformed people out there. 

"Earlene, down tah the trailer park" isn't going to care much if the stock market goes through the roof.

Especially when they have shut off the 'lectricity and there is no money for food. 

Just saying.





But there was a bright shining moment today when Twitler (Trump) had the RIGHT to remain silent, but as Ron White would say-




He did not have The Ability.

Only hours after Flynn plead guilty to lying to the FBI...Trump tweeted


...wait for it...


THAT HE HAD KNOWN FROM THE BEGINNING THAT FLYNN HAD LIED.

~seriously!
  I mean you can't even make shit like this up..okay???

"So...Mr. President...you KNEW this ALL ALONG...but you didn't say ANYTHING to the DOJ about it???"

LMAO!

We'll see how THAT plays out for him.

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is 
a Resignation or Indictment.
Either would be fine.

Love,

America

While Trump and Company were busy taking US for a ride...Lennon was busy with a ride of his own.

   




He also bought his first- New Off The Showroom car.

So now both he and Chris have brand new Toyota Corollas (2017)  and have been comparing Odometers...lol!

Chris has finally broken 1000 miles with his.  

Lennon's had 40 miles on it when he drove it off the lot.

Chris is a red LS.

Lennon's is a blue SE.

Red ~vs~ Blue: The Home Game.

They are both pretty thrilled!  I am thrilled for them!

This Week's movie was


 With Idris Elba and Kate Winslet.  A Survival Turns Romance Story. Nice to see Winslet in something again...it has been awhile. And Idris is...well...Idris!



The movie requires a lot of suspension of disbelief...because...in reality (given their characters) they would have both freaking died out there...but once you get past that...it was a fairly entertaining film.

Beautiful cinematography.

Tastefully shot love scene.

Nice feel good Hollywood Ending.

Worth a watch!

Charles Martin wrote the Novel. I'm going to give it a read soon!



More Anon... 






Shit...it IS the cops...quick help me with this body!