There was a video 9 years ago, that was so endearing, so perfect, that it sealed how I felt about Hillary Clinton as a leader, and how I saw her as a potential president. I have thought about that video many times over the years. It was a tongue in cheek parody of the Sopranos. It ended similar to the Sopranos ended, with us choosing the outcome. And the rest you know. But it's been difficult, especially in the hardest times, not to look back and wonder what might have been.
So, here we are, a couple days after the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and while most outlets give her the debate by a wide margin, I wake up to find that Trump supporters have engaged in silly shenanigans by rigging non scientific online polls to unfairly project Donald Trump the winner. It's stupid. It's petty. And it doesn't fool anyone. Mostly, at least for me, it just makes me sad.
Hillary prepared for the debate. Donald Trump didn't. It's a part of history now, but to see the continued refusal of his supporters to call him on his lies, misogyny, or any of his ridiculous behavior just hurts my heart. When did that kind of behavior become acceptable? When did we give up on the truth? On civility? On rational thinking? On manners? On each other?
I don't think the debates to come will do much to sway voters. If you don't know by this point how you feel, then you are incapable of knowing what you want for breakfast. I doubt I will post many more posts specifically about politics, at least until close to the election. It takes too much out of me. I can't keep hurting myself on a daily basis by drowning in the negativity of this election season. The harshest, saddest, most frightening of my lifetime. I have my mind made up. I decided 9 years ago when Hillary ran the first time, that she was what we needed then, and she still is!
This told me all I need to know about Bill and Hillary Clinton.
"After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels!"
~Governor Ann Richards
I am so proud of our next president, Hillary Clinton. She faced the big orange menace, Donald J. Trump, at the debate, with class, panache, style, intelligence, knowledge, facts, and a fierce toughness that will inspire a new generation of little girls to grow up and become great women! More will choose their paths with confidence, because of her efforts to finally break that glass ceiling!
I wonder how might life might be different right now, had we had our first woman president a couple of generations before I was born? I think I was probably born into the last generation where there was still a condescending snicker, when the thought of a woman president was mentioned. Don't get me wrong, I knew I could be a lawyer or doctor, I knew I could study political science and run for some public office when I was a young woman, but I took a different path, and I have never regretted it, but I wonder sometimes if I had gone down that other road, how far I would have gotten before the misogyny scared me away from my own goals?
I faced my fair share of it, when I worked as a draftsman for a title company, and it was difficult! It, at times, made me not want to go to work. I mourned my job when that company downsized and turned my position over to the bosses brother, but I never missed the treatment I would get from some of the men I worked with! After I got married I wanted to stay home and be a wife and mother because I longed for a real family unit I didn't get to have as a child, but don't think for a minute the men of the world didn't have a little more condescension left for whatever woman crossed their path! I faced misogyny just a couple years ago when I went to purchase my car! The first thing out of a car salesman's mouth to a woman should never be... "what color would you like?" There is no need to dwell on how well that deal went. We'll just say, that salesman learned really quick who he was dealing with!
But back to Hillary! Her handling of Donald Trump at the first presidential debate was masterful! She is one more step closer to the White House, where she will be our next president, and I will be damn proud to see the race called for her! And I will be damn happy to see this long election finally over, although I have a feeling the men of this world who find strong, capable women threatening, will ramp up the misogyny. I hold no real hope that as a woman, I will suddenly be treated better, but I can hope that as we heal as a nation from the many things that leave us shattered, we will heal, and one day, I won't have to worry about being treated like I don't know a red car doesn't get better gas mileage then a green car does!
"THERE is something in the autumn that is native to my blood...
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time."
My mind is on so many things. My upcoming medical test. The debate, the holidays coming up really fast, but even when I am completely distracted, autumn reminds me to slow down and concentrate on the beauty of the leaves. It's the last big party Mother Nature gives us for the year! It's our gift for long, dark winter days, spring days when all I seem to do is sneeze, and summer days that are so hot, that keeping a straight thought isn't even a possibility! Autumn is a gift! And when I saw this collection of leaves I just had to smile. I can understand why a spider would spin a web among those leaves... they make for a wonderful, warm, beautiful autumn home! That spider has good taste in real estate!
"Your enemies are not to be destroyed, grant them longevity to witness your success."
~Michael Bassey Johnson
Tomorrow evening we will witness the first of three scheduled presidential debates. As a Hillary Clinton supporter, since she was our First Lady, I have been waiting for this time for what feels like forever. I have been anticipating her performance and that of her political adversary, Donald Trump, with a mixture of pride, and anxiety. Pride in Hillary, and anxiety at what stupid stunt might be pulled by Trump. You see, he has no political prowess. No special insightful skills for dealing with world leaders, no diplomatic insights... at all... he got to this place by being a bully and a skillful street fighter. Great if you are a common thug, but not what a reasoned and responsible person want's to see in the person who holds the highest office in the world.
But here we are. Standing at the edge of a dangerous cliff. Some tough punches have already been thrown. Hillary has invited Mark Cuban, who is one of Trump's most vocal critics, which led to an all out Twitter meltdown of Donald Trump, resulting in the counter-puncher, inviting Bill Clinton's former lover Gennifer Flowers to share the coveted front row with Cuban. Tacky. Mean-spirited. And stupid. Stupid because he tipped his hand, two days before the debate. He proved Hillary right that he can't be trusted to keep his temper in check over something that should have caused him to barely shrug. Instead he responded with what he thought would do the most damage... throwing a painful memory in Hillary's face. And he failed miserably!
Hillary has long since dealt with that pain. She has long since dealt with the embarrassment of a cheating husband. She has long since dealt with all of it. And she did it on the national stage with a great deal of grace. And so have all of us who believed in Bill Clinton! When the whole sleazy mess came out, 20 some years ago, I didn't really care then, any more than I do now. I was sad for them as a couple, and sad for Chelsea that her parents sadness had to be splattered on every newspaper in the world. It was painful to watch, but it was the Clinton's to deal with! Bill Clinton kept his promises to me and my friends felt pretty much the same as I did. I will always consider it an honor that the first vote I ever cast was for the leader of my country, went to President Bill Clinton. He was our man from Hope. And he lived up to his political promises.
So, here we are, with Hillary Clinton poised to become the first female president, and I couldn't be happier to cast my vote for her. She is capable. Knowledgeable. Diplomatic. Intelligent. Strong. Resilient. Brave. And I trust her to be president. She showed me a lot about how she handled that scandal caused by her husband. I began to admire her courage and her strength. She could have divorsed him. Given up on her marriage, and moved on, but she didn't. She stuck it out. She is a brave woman, who deserves respect! And look at what she has already accomplished. She has Trump rattled before they ever took the stage for their debate! She is smart, and she learned how to handle her adversary!
"Ah September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul... but I must confess that I love you only because you are a prelude to my beloved October!"
~Peggy Toney Horton
I love September! When I was a child, and September rolled around, I had such mixed feelings! I hated school, but I loved the smell of new clothes. I hated getting up early, but I loved learning new things! I hated September for making me get up early, but the trade off was the beautiful new color of the morning, and the crisp air that gave way to perfect afternoons! At least that was what it was like, most of the time, in the Bay Area. Cool September mornings, and warm September afternoons. I guess now that I think about it, that's the way it happens everywhere, lol, but somehow when you are a child, the magic seems to happen only in your universe. I guess sometimes, even as a grown woman, I still think it only happens in my world. LOL.
Welcome to autumn! Everything good happens in fall. And if it's less than good, it's okay, because the days become shorter and you can leave a bad day with the cool pumpkin colored sunset. I can't even tell you how many bad days were made better with a favorite sweater, and cup of hot apple cidar. That is all it took to make me feel better! I love this season like a favorite old friend. Thanks for coming back around, just when I needed you, old friend!
"A further sign of health is that we don't become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it's time to stop struggling and look directly at what's threatening us."
~ Pema Chodron
The Places That Scare You
Okay, so, a couple of posts back, I explained that I had some news that I would be sharing with you but I first needed to come to terms with it before I made it an official part of this diary of me. I am ready now. Here is the thing. I haven't been feeling very good. I was sick a couple times, earlier this year, with a bout of food poisoning, and a urinary tract infection. Both carry similar symptoms. Nausea, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, both are nasty things to deal with, and because I also carry Fibromyalgia everywhere I go, every single day of my life, I am already prepared to keep colds, flu and the occasional bout of food poisoning and UTS's a little longer than most folks do. But when I did recover from those things, I found I was still really tired and I just didn't feel right. I put it all down to the stress of this past year, and believe me it was stressful, but the doctor wanted to know more, so in that I am in my 50's now, it was more important than ever that I got a full workup of tests including my annual FIT test.
The tests showed a higher than usual white blood count, and that the FIT test came back positive for hidden blood in my feces. Terrific. The doctor has ordered a colonoscopy to see if it's colon cancer. Now, before you panic, the odds are that there is only a 5% chance it will turn out to be anything. When the colonoscopy is done, they will be able to see if there are any cancerous or precancerous polyps in my colon and remove them for biopsy. If there are some that are over a certain size, then that will require surgery. Sigh. The odds are in my favor, but with the way I have been feeling I am needless to say, unnerved. Actually, I am no unnerved so much as SCARED. I am scaredy-scared! I am scared of cancer. I am scared of the colonoscopy. I am scared of the IV needle they will be putting in my arm to do the test. I am scared.
SCARED. SCARED. SCARED.
I found all this out over a month ago. Since then I have grieved it. I have bargained. Denied. Gotten REALLY PISSED OFF. CRIED REALLY LOUD when the house was empty. And finally, made the appointment for the colonoscopy. So, with the grieving of my circumstance behind me (pun intended) I am now turning to humor, which has already seen me though so much in life, to help me though yet another stupid ASS situation I find myself in. I know this might be nothing, but I fainted one day, so that tells me it might BE something this time, but what can I do? I will just have to put my big girl panties on and bend over!
Okay, right. In an effort to get on with it... the being a big girl part...I was searching through self help books on Amazon.com a couple weeks ago, and came across this book, about one man's journey. It's a short story about the prep night before the dreaded colonoscopy. It's honest. It's funny. And most important it's very human. I enjoyed reading about his adventure, and I will be thinking about it when my turn comes next month. I have also been lucky enough to have gotten advice from Twitter pals who have had this test done, and live to tell the tale. They have all been very kind about sharing their experiences with me! I am lucky. And I am not alone. That's important to know at times like this, human stuff happens to humans other than yourself.
My advice to myself right now is...
COWBOY UP GIRLFRIEND
YOU'VE BEEN THROUGH WORSE THAN THIS!
And I have... I really have. And I am still standing, at least I am when I am not fainting.
So, the test happens on October 19th. I will be sharing the journey because the month of October is our vacation month. It's our favorite month! We have our anniversary, and it's autumn, and Halloween happens, so is there any better time you can think of have a colonoscopy done? So, stay tuned. There is a lot coming in the future, including my Leaf Of The Day project for 2016! I am not going to dwell on the colonoscopy, it's only one part of what I hope will be a very busy, very life filled month. October is too beautiful to ignore!
"What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is the ability to mourn people we've never met."
~ David Levithan
It's been 15 years. I think every year I repeat my astonishment that so much time has gone by. The world is a much different place than on that day, all those years ago. This year, more than any other since then, I have an overwhelming desire to make a political statement, but I won't. I can't. I have too much emotion right now to make any real sense. There will be time in the coming weeks to say all the political stuff I need to say. Today is about remembering those souls lost to families, friends, fans, children, grandchildren and friends that never got to be made. So, for today, I will be silent, for them. For all of them. But as I said, in the coming weeks, my words will also be about them and who we were that day, who we are now, and who we have the potential, and perhaps the danger, of becoming.
Today, as on every anniversary of 9/11,
I remember the lives of
David & Lynn Angell
September 11th, 2001
American Airlines Flight 11
I will never forget your generous and loving spirits!
"There are darknesses in life and there are lights,
and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights."
I was in a restaurant the other day and saw this pretty light. It was in the middle of the day, but the light photographed as if I had taken it in a completely dark room. I loved it. I need to experiment more with lighting I think. Anyway, the lighting situation reminds me of our current political climate. There is a light. But then everything around it seems to swallow it up and thrust it into darkness.
A 24 hour news cycle doesn't always jive with the position of the sun... does it? It can be a hot, clear, August day, and yet when I hear about North Korea successfully launching a missile or Donald Trump's latest hateful musing, I suddenly feel a winter chill down my spine! What season will we be in, when we find ourselves on the last day of the world?
I think about the surreal beauty of the morning of September 11th, 2001, with it's clear blue sky, and mild temperatures. It was a day that you muse to yourself that nothing bad could possibly happen. Then it did. Except it seems like we have forgotten about that day. We have gotten used to pain or maybe we have gotten good at ignoring how it felt to be an American that day. I don't know which. Truth is, it's probably different for everyone.
Did the darkness swallow the light?
Did the light lie to us, when it swallowed the darkness?
Where it begins and where it ends is a mystery.
Maybe we are better off not knowing much about tomorrow. Maybe some days are like the light in the picture. There is a little light, in the middle of some darkness, but the light is shining anyway. It isn't giving up because there is darkness surrounding it. If I chose to not see the light, that's on me. I can't fault the light.
As I get ready to begin some autumn blogging, I have been tip-toeing through my archives to see what inspired me in years past. All the usual suspects abound... leaves, sunsets, butterflies. The colors of autumn in the natural world and in decorations. What I don't have a lot of are the creatures you happen upon. The ones you can't really plan for. I have so many memories of the odd dog or cat doing something super interesting, but that I had failed to photograph, because it was more fun to just stop and watch them, then it was to get the dream shot. It's always a difficult choice for the avid shutterbug. Do I grab my camera and document this extremely interesting moment to share with my followers and friends, or do I put the camera down and just have the quiet moment all to myself?
As you can see by the technical errors in the photo above I had a moment of indecision. It's not perfect, but fortunately it is interesting, if not a little whimsical. Here I was, standing on a cliff in Montara, watching this beautiful pup running around in the sand, barking and enjoying his life. I stopped to watch him, then he stopped to watch me! I wonder what his picture of me would have looked like, had he had a camera and been able to use it! Would there be an interesting light behind me? Would he have zoomed in closer? Zoomed out? Would he have struggled with the rule of thirds? We will never know, but he and I made eye contact, and starred at each other for about 2 solid minutes. I wish I knew what he was thinking. The next time I have an opportunity like this one, I think I will also take a photo directly behind me so I can see the full picture, from all perspectives.
"Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself."
My Reading Life
I have been blogging since August 23rd, 2003! How in the world is it possible all this time as passed so quickly? So much has happened since that day... all those years ago... that I decided to start Ellipsis. At first I didn't have much to say. I just wanted to post my photos, and let them say that words for me. Folks could make of it what the would. Then one day someone asked me my opinion... I think it was about the upcoming election... and to my surprise, I had something to say! And I have been, which occasional intervals, talking ever since. The last couple years have been busy, and it's taken some turns I never expected, let alone saw coming! But we rode them out, and here we are, living in our own home, and that is probably been the biggest surprise of all!
In that life is never boring I have some news. I am not really wanting to talk about it in this post, but maybe tomorrow, or later this week. Soon. If you are following me on Twitter you may already know a little about it. It's health related. I don't mean to be cryptic, I just don't know how much I want to share in this particular post. I will expand on it soon. So, you will just have to come back to find out whats up! LOL. How's that for a cliffhanger?
And speaking of upcoming posts, have you seen the autumn light yet? You know how the soft yellow glow tends to show up a couple weeks before it officially becomes autumn, yesterday morning was the first time I saw it. It was gorgeous! The soft autumn glow was coming through the window and shining on Joey, bringing out all his colors. He has orange, gray, brown, and white mixed into his tabby stripes. He is a beautiful cat, and one of the best things in my life.
So, there are plenty of upcoming posts about Joey, and Hendrix and Dylan, and the autumn sun, and my Leaf Of The Day project will be starting up beginning the first day of autumn, and if all that isn't enough to keep me blogging, American Horror Story begins a full month earlier than usual, and our vacation happens in October, as does Halloween, and the elections are in full crazy mode and...
Sheesh. I am already tired!
Just stay tuned. There are a lot more blog posts coming.
"I don't mind getting older; it's a privilage denied to so many."
Cancer Survivor's Club
Yesterday, the 29th, was my birthday. It was a good day. Quiet. Uneventful. It was the day I wanted, except for a sore back. I had picked up something the day before that I shouldn't have, and the result was, well, pain. But that was okay. I spent my birthday in my own home, surrounded by those I love, with a ton of pain pills in me, and all was right with the world!
I have finally reached the age where I don't need, or particularly want, anything, just because it's my birthday. I did however indulge a bit and bought myself that cute little blue sunflower vase you see in the picture above, and season two of Charlie's Angels. Yes... Charlie's Angels. I have been in a nostalgic mood for well over a year. Everything seems so... harsh... so... restless... so... cruel right now, and oddly enough, watching old TV shows makes me feel better.
I wouldn't want to go back to the 1970's for anything, no, blech. UGLY decade! And I wasn't particularly happy at any point during that decade, except for a few perfect moments here and there, but I can look back at those perfect moments and long for them sometimes. If only I could go back, and tell my 1970's self what was coming. But then I wonder... would I do that? Every day of your life is like a cliffhanger, you never know what will happen next.
Would I have wanted to ruin those few perfect days, by visiting myself and sharing about what the future held? Sorrows. Joys. Long hot days where there wasn't any real point to being alive. Twists and turns that you never saw coming. And the birthdays yet to come. Would I have told myself about my birthday in 2015? Which turned out to be the worst birthday I ever had? Would I share all that?
If I could go back right this moment. Back to the 1970's and tell myself all those things to come, I wouldn't. Why? Well, because, maybe even stupid, useless, God awful days aren't really all that awful if you end the day alive. Things should remain a big surprise. Good days. Bad days. Birthdays. Especially birthdays. Birthdays remind us that New Years doesn't really begin on January 1st, no, they begin, in my case, on June 30th. That's the day I wake up and remember that I saw another year of my life, and thank God I have another day to wonder what comes next, and if it turns out to be another God awful birthday, I will have the gift of being able to complain about it, not everyone will have that privilege.