Tuesday, November 25, 2008



Feeling the need to lighten up a bit, I thought I'd pass along this morning's email from my cousin...

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him inthe freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute. Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer, the parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior." John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.
As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued, "May I ask what the turkey did?"

Happy Thanksgiving! (well, unless you are the turkey...)

Sunday, November 23, 2008


It was 22 this morning. The birdbath was frozen solid. Poor Spook had no place to get a drink after breakfast. All their water dishes were frozen solid, too, but the birdbath (YUCK!) is his favorite! See how think the ice is? was? The pattern in the birdbath, in case you aren't familiar with birdbaths like this, is from scraping the scum out every day or so. Spook says those are his vitamins I'm wasting. There is an old Algonquin story my uncle used to tell about a dog drinking from a puddle that helps me be OK with this bad habit of Spook's. Well, kinda... Same idea - vitamins.

But, at least he has crawled out of his warm nest and is now in a patch of sunlight, just getting up on occasion to take a drink, listen to a sound, a mouse? Too cold for a bug...
It is now mid afternoon - the ice is still there.
This is Punkin the other evening in the snow that didn't last. Bet if we had some tonight it would be around for a while!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Here on the Eastern Shore of VA, it almost NEVER snows before Christmas - and I swear I do not remember it ever snowing before Thanksgiving! And to think I almost missed it...

I was lazy this morning. It has been a hard week... first losing Snuffy, then getting my Lymes disease diagnosis... so I kinda over slept this morning, to put it mildly! I did drag my lazy bones out of bed at 7, looked out the window and thought I saw something coming down... but there was no snow on anything except one roof looked like it had a little frost. I started my new morning routine- coffee pot on, turn on computer, open curtains next to computer... I looked out the window again, frowning - Gee that looks like snow! The snow you see in these pictures which looks like NOTHING to most of you, I know, happened in the time it took me to brush my teeth, get on some jeans and shoes, grab the camera, cat food, a jacket and get out the door. You are not allowed to go out first thing in the morning without feeding Punkin and Spook! If they are coming out of their heated nest box, there had better be a good reason, and food is the only reason they can think of.
For those of you not from here, it is quite possible to go for years with NO snow at all. I was raised in the Pocono Mountains of PA, then Maine, and finally Ankara, Turkey where we had some amazing snow! So when it snows here, it is exciting! And often, it does not last but a few minutes. In fact, in the time it has taken to upload my pictures and type this - well, OK, I had to do a couple other things - but it is an hour later and the snow is almost gone. sigh..... Anyway, here it is on my new pansies, on the digitalis, the columbine, and a camellia. I love the patterns of a light snow on different leaves. Maybe you figured that out.
It is now almost 9 o'clock... it is raining... it is 37 degrees... looks like the morning fun is over.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


After struggling for 10 years, Snuffy left us yesterday. We never thought we'd have him even for one year, but, somehow he managed to hold on for 10. He had a number of surgeries, 2 for cancer, 2 last summer for a growth under his tongue, after which he ate baby food to which he promptly became addicted. He did not start out as my cat - but the years of being his primary caregiver kinda changed things. He definitely became "mine." If he couldn't find an open window, he slept up next to my pillow.

He struggled to breathe all his life and I don't think he realized there was any other way. He was famous for his sneezes. When we could not find him - gray cats are good as disappearing in plain sight, we just listened for his labored breathing. Consequently, his name, Snuffy.

But, it all caught up with him Monday morning. One could say it was fast, but one could also say it has taken years... he has been on some kind of medicine every day, all his life. It is amazing how we changed our way of "doing" things to accommodate him, towels on all the furniture, no perfumes or smelly chemicals in the house. Not even smelly (fragrant) soaps or candles.
He also liked sleeping with the possums. I am going to miss him.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Didja ever see a tree growing out of a totally different kind of tree? The big tree is the redbud out front. Obviously, the little one is a maple. Surrogate mommy in the tree kingdom????

Didja ever wonder what kind of person would be outside in the near dark planting pansies inbetween raindrops?
Didja ever wonder how many flowers could possibly grow on one bush? Didja ever try to count them?

Didja ever wonder what kind of an idiot would stand outside in the rain taking pictures of flowers in the middle of November? Maybe the same one planting pansies in the dark... Didja ever see bees and other kinds of bugs out busy doing bee things in the middle of November? Aren't they supposed to be tucked in for their long winter's nap by now?Like Snuffy - he knows enough to be napping on this drippy November day. But...

Didja ever wonder how they get their legs like that? And manage to get back up???? Or not wake up with a broken back? Oooo, that hurts to look at it!

Didja ever wonder what it is with cats and boxes? If they can't get in 'em, they get on 'em. This is where he sits to supervise the gardening.
Didja ever wonder why you wonder about such dumb things? Must be the change in the weather. 72 degrees yesterday and they say we might have flurries on Tuesday. Hmmm, that might answer why someone might be planting in the dark... ya think?

Saturday, November 08, 2008


After a week of clouds, rain, even a nor'easter, it was great to wake up to an actual SUNrise.
The leaves are at their peak this week, though it has been hard to enjoy it in the rain. Yesterday, the rain stopped, and the sun came out in the afternoon. I grabbed my camera to try to capture some of the color. I am sure these leaves seem dull to many of you.A young Crape Myrtle in yellow and a 4 year old Crape myrtle wearing red. I remember well the autumns in Maine and the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, and the awesome reds we do not get here mixed in with all the other beautiful colors. But, I keep reminding myself, I have camellias and azaleas here. Anyway, I thought I would share the big, bright, and beautiful as well as some of the little surprises of color here and there.

A few of the summer flowers are still blooming, unhurt by the frost a couple of weeks ago.
Some of the winter plants are up or starting to come up. I moved this one last year.
This is under a pink fall camellia.
The tomatoes are still doing just fine on the carport next to the greenhouse.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I don’t usually cry over elections. But, it has happened now twice. It happened in 2004 when Bush was non-elected again, but those were not tears of joy. Those were tears of disbelief. I just could not believe it happened again. Of course, history has since proven that that election was stolen also. Sometimes I felt like a voice in the wilderness yelling about the electronic voting machines – hell, even I knew how to write a program to screw the voting to the way I wanted it – not that I would. Well, OK, that was an exaggeration… I have not done programming since I used to program my Commodore Pet 64… If you remember what that is – you are older than I thought!!! LOL! Anyway, I cried tears of sorrow 4 years ago knowing it was only going to get WORSE – and guess what???? It sure as heck did.
I was not a big Obama fan, not really a Hillary fan, but I was determined to not have another 4 years of lies, lies, and more lies. On the $$ side of things, I was worth a whole lot more under Clinton than I am today. And I can name over 4,000 Americans who were alive that are now gone. 4,190 is the last count on http://www.antiwar.com/casualties/. And that does not count the suicides of all the guys who have come home and just could not cope. Then there is the list of the wounded. Of course, in my opinion, every one who goes to war is wounded. And don't tell me how many were killed in other wars - like these kids don't count!
"If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in the struggle...your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos." – Martin Luther King Jr.
And then there are all those other nameless (to Americans) Iraqis, Afghanis, Pakistanis, and other people who were victims of what history will prove to be the greatest lie perpetrated on the world in recent years.
But McCain really, really scared me - and Palin was an insult to women. Unfortunately, a lot of them have never realized they were being insulted! My Republican friends and family sent me email after email filled with lies and words of fear and I wondered how in God's name they could actually believe these things? But, a long time ago, I was taught there are 2 kinds of people, those that think and those that react. And that is the key to scare politics. Don't give them time to think - just keep scaring them and they won't be able to think.
I remember a history prof of mine who said the way to control the masses is to "Get them in their wallets or get them in their gonads. Whatever you do, don't give them a chance to think before they react!" I was too young to really understand that - that was in the Kent State days, if you remember those troubling times.

I believe Obama actually won with a greater margin than we will ever know – again I do not trust those machines. Here in Virginia we will be getting rid of them and going back to paper ballots.
It was interesting sitting at the polls yesterday watching people coming to vote who have never voted before and those who have not voted in years. I knew by watching that our precinct would not go Obama. We got a few smiles our way, a few thumbs up, but most of my “friends” and neighbors did not speak or do more than cast a quick glance my way. Mostly they had their heads down, eyes lowered. They were not smiling. Those that came over and spoke, I could count on one hand.

As I said in a previous post, we had a tent. Well, duh, some of us do listen to the weather reports. You don't have to be a Weather Watcherer to do that! The opposition had a couple of folding chairs and signs to stick in the ground, that is all. We had a table under our tent with voting info for the new folks, 3 chairs, coffee, water, lap blankets, spare jackets in case anyone showed up wearing a political shirt that would not be allowed in the polling place.
When it started to rain, the “other” side folded up their chairs and came over to our tent, unfolded their chairs and plopped down. The one person never even said as much as hello – she just opened her chair and sat! We (grinningly) told them that if they were going to sit in the Democrat tent, they had to wear an Obama sticker! “She” slapped her chair together and stormed out into the rain, putting her chair and herself back in her car. He apologized, said it was her chair, folded his up and followed her to her car.
Had they bothered to even look at us, they would have seen we didn’t have any Obama stickers on – we ran out of them weeks ago! I felt guilty about that for a few seconds, but I got over it.

One of the voters, an ancient fellow, old and tiny, looked to be about a 110 but I am sure wasn’t a day over 95, toddled in to vote. As he toddled back across the street, a neighbor asked him if he had done his duty. “Yes, indeedy,” he replied in a shaky voice. “I voted for MacLaine and that hottie of his, Sarah Palin, and, whatshername, McDrake” (Thelma Drake, who lost reelection to congress.) Well, he got one name right! That hottie of his!!!!! I am still chuckling!!!!!

This morning, in-between spells of rain, I went out in the yard to take down my collection of yard signs. Unfortunately, I found this.
This 4x8 Obama sign had been hit before, and I found the piece knocked out of it and I'd put it back in place. My sign is one of the few Obama signs that did not get stolen. It has had beer bottles and pumpkins thrown at it, a hole punched in it – but this is what I found this morning.
My plan was to take all the signs down this morning, I don’t leave things up like some people do – it is over – take the signs down… but, the metal was so twisted, I could not get the post out. We used bunches of ties to make it more difficult for the vandals to just steal the sign by popping a few corners, so I guess they just got frustrated and pushed it to the ground. They probably got interrupted and ran before trying to twist the other 2 posts to the ground. These are those strong metal fence posts, about $6 a piece – not little flimsy things. This took some effort. All I can say is – how sad. But it is this mentality that made me support Obama. It is this mentality that sends out Muslim hate emails and tries to scare people with anything different.
The sign will remain out in the yard until one of the men come to pull it out. It is a testimony to ignorance and prejudice. Maybe it should stay there a while longer. The sad thing is – I am sure the doer is proud of his work. Guess he showed me, huh? – or Obama, right? Yes, but he is not aware of what he showed us.


YES!!!!! YES WE DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am too choked up to say any more!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


ELECTION DAY - Well, I have done my thing – or at least the first part of it. This will be an all day and most of the night thing, actually. I cast my vote at 6:10 AM. It was raining. There were people standing in line in the rain. It did my heart good, even though one of the guys behind me has a McCain sign in his yard across the street from my 4’x8’ Obama/Biden sign. My property runs for the first 1/10th of a mile as you come into town (or leave it!) and so it gets a lot of signs every time we have an election.
I did see a good number of Democrats – I was glad, because the Republicans put signs up in the shopping areas that said, “Due to the anticipated large turn out, Republicans will vote on Nov. 4th, Democrats on Nov. 5th.” That is just so sad! Pitiful!!!! Damn!!! (sorry)
After voting, I showed off my Canadian T-shirt to my friends, saying, “Just in case things don’t work out the way I want them to.” Ya gotta keep a sense of humor in times like this. We all had a chuckle. What I didn’t mention is the spare room that has been offered to me at a fellow blogger’s house. He told me to bring my 650 feet of garden hose, he sure could use it! Good thing I have a big van! Lets hope I don’t need to take him up on his offer!

Next we set up a tent – an open thing we could sit under with voting info, sample ballots, etc. the rain stopped. Thanks for the tent, Pat!!!!!

I know we need the rain, but just not today, Lord. Aren’t we awful??? I was grateful there was no wind and the temps were in the bottom of the 60s. It is in the low 40s in Maine and Pennsylvania.
My friend Rose showed up to take the first shift. I will go back for the 10-12 as that person had to go to Massachusetts for a funeral. Then I have to run to the church and be back for the 2-5 shift. Rose’s husband and I will make a pizza run for an open house at his place and some election watching. We should know about the local – state elections by 9, but I have no idea when the presidential results will be in. Long after I am asleep, I’m afraid.

My hope is for healing – not just for this country – but for the world. Oh, my, what we have done? So many lives shattered and all because of lies. I know, I have tried to keep this blog non- political, just like I have tried not to take sides in religion, though most everyone who reads this regularly or who knows me, knows I am a Unitarian or maybe even a Buddhist. OH, MY! After all, there are frequently pictures of one or the other Buddhas in my yard or one of the St Francis – I mean Saint Fwankie’s in the yard. All I want is Peace. But will there ever be an end to the greed and struggle for Power in my life time???? I try to visualize a world of peace. That has been difficult lately with all the hateful lies on TV and the radio and shopping centers. Or almost every time I open my email… sigh.

I had to put my small signs in places too uncomfortable to steal from – this Obama sign is under a pyracantha. Beautiful bush – treacherous thorns! This one has not been stolen!!!!!

On the way to the polls this morning, I heard that Obama’s grandmother died. I was raised by my grandmother – I truly feel for him. If you want a link to send your condolences - http://mudflats.wordpress.com/ has a section to send your sympathy to him.

Pray for PEACE.