Saturday, December 10, 2016

Happy Holiday's Bitches!

"If my Valentine you won't be,
I'll hang myself on your Christmas tree."

~Ernest Hemingway
88 Poems

Yep. It's that time of year again! Time for the annual fictitious war on Christmas, waged yearly by the senile minds of Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O''Reilly, and and now any and every Republican nut job who wants to be considered one of the cool kids, when all they really seem to be is, well, paranoid! But this year, thankfully, that might have all changed. Apparently the new GOD of the Republican party, Donald J. Trump has won the war on Christmas, or so says, Trump ass kisser, Corey Lewandowski, just by getting elected, and the people all said HuZZAH! The war is over!

Honestly, how much longer could this ridiculous holiday tradition endure? How many more books could have been written, pimped and then sold, on a subject as empty as the paranoid War On Christmas? It was mildly amusing when folks first begin whispering about it, then it turned to irritating as one idiot after another droned on about how commercial it had all become, as they wrote and sold books, at Christmas time, to back up their claims. 



Because, you know, no one can hold more than one holiday in their heart at a time, well, Republicans can't anyway. But the rest of us can. And do. In our house we celebrate Christmas, and Hanukkah. Take THAT Republicans! You see, some hearts successfully celebrate so much love and friendship for Thanksgiving in November, that they become so filled with the spirit of the holidays that it inspires them to express their well wishes for Christmas, Hanukkah, AND Kwanzaa... with a little room left over for New Years! Now I ask you, is that really something to be terrified of?

Each year I have said it, and I will say it again this year...

The holidays, Christmas in particular, are as exactly as commercial as you allow them to be! If too much commercialism is spoiling your spiritual time... don't buy that book that complains about the very thing you find so unseemly. And definitely stay away from Trump's "Make America Great Again" hat ornament! Something I personally find offensive, because Trump profits not just off the birth of Christ, but because he profits off his presidency, and when folks buy into that they don't see that the very things they have been complaining about, they are now contributing to!

Tricky. Very Tricky!

But is it war? Of course not! 
What it is, is, TACKY!
Is there a war on Democracy?
Time will tell.
Right now we have a choice about that.
Let's hope we always do!

If you have to purchase, or just want to purchase, some ornaments for your holiday tree, why not stick with something traditional...

A fashionable holiday Pickle

A pretty little tabby cat

A Carousel Horse

It's all good.
And it's all just as commercial as YOU choose to make it!

Leaf Of The Day
December 10th 2016

Mood: Happy

~Me :) 


Friday, December 09, 2016

Walking In Leaves, Walking In Heaven

"I love autumn despite the drench weather. I think it symbolizes the end of misery and the beginning of glee. It gives hopes that sooner or later, flowers will bloom again, green buds will sprout from trees, and that which is dead will come back alive."

~Aishah Madadiy
Bits Of Heaven

It's December... so what? LOL. More than anything I want to hold onto autumn, but I can feel it slipping away. It was so cold the other day I could barely hold my camera. Winter is making a loud, cold fuss, insinuating itself into my late autumn happiness. But there is nothing I can do, but cling to the colors of plum, crimson, and lemon drop yellow, and ignore the cold bitter deathly chill of stupid, inevitable, winter. I am just going to go about my days, kicking up piles of beautiful leaves, and concentrating on my photography!

There will be a lot of autumn left, as winter begins. And I will keep shooting those photos until the last skeleton tree begins to sprout the pink, and white and purple blossoms of spring!

Leaf Of The Day
December 9th 2016


Mood: Happy
~Me :) 


Thursday, December 08, 2016

Art About Town: Orinda... "Asymmetic Nouveau Victorian Chair" By Colin Selig

"Asymmetric Nouveau Victorian Chair"
By Colin Selig

"The idea is salvation by imagination."

~Frank Lloyd Wright

"Mutha Hen"
By Eileen Fitz- Faulkner

Isn't that chair just the cutest thing? It's not just a pretty blue chair, it's a neat piece of public art! There are actually two of these blue chairs, that sit fairly close to each other in front of the shops along Moraga way, in the town of Orinda, California. There are several pieces art in the general area, including a gorgeous brown hen, which I posted about last October!

I love visiting Orinda, which sits just on the east side of the Caldecott tunnel, just outside Berkeley, and I wish I could get by more often, but it is another one of the places I had to give up when we moved to the Central Valley. I have gained so much in the move, new little towns to explore and learn about, and I have a good time with that, but I never forget places I fell in love with, when I lived in the Bay Area, like Orinda.

It looks like a blink from the freeway, but it has so much to offer! A great movie theater, some wonderful shops at Theater Square. Yummy restaurants, and definitely cool public art! And in autumn, it absolutely bursts with beautiful bright spicy colors! The leaves there are fabulous! Visit there one day, if you are in the area, it's great!

 Leaf Of The Day
December 8th 2016

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

From The Cage Of Higher Animals

"I have lived with several Zen masters... all of them cats."

~Eckhart Tolle
The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment

It's quiet. All I can hear in the house right now is the snore of a little black cat named Hendrix. It's not a loud snore, he only snores just enough to be adorable. Sometimes I stop and watch him sleep, he usually sleeps at the end of our bed, but there is a second bed in my home office, on my cedar chest, where he curls up when he wants to spend time with me, and still catch a nap!

 He seems to have adventurous dreams, as his legs move quite a bit and he makes little sounds like he has just caught a nice, juicy mouse, or finally discovers where the extra dry cat food is kept! Hendrix is a happy cat, always has been, and why shouldn't he be? He's a cat. A creature clearly superior to humans, and while we both know that is true, he forgives my imperfectness and loves us unconditionally.  

When we first brought Joey home, after only having Hendrix and Dylan for five years, I fretted a bit about how integrating a new kitten into our home would be. Dr. B. told us not to worry. They would hiss, and make horrible growly sounds and there might even be a tussle or two, but there has never been a case of cat murder among their own community, just for the sake of committing murder! And he was right. 

Within a couple weeks, Hendrix and Joey were best friends. Dylan wasn't happy about the new cat, but even he eventually learned to love Joey when he found out that Joey wasn't going to cause me to love him less. And it didn't hurt that Joey and he bonded over the move and stayed by each others side! It all worked out. Hendrix was established as the alpha, Joey treated him with respect, and Dylan knows that having one more new friend is better than making a new enemy!

If only humanity were as smart and
 as reasonable the average house cat! 

I came across this quote from Mark Twain.
It sums it all up!

"Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal... In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments with this, in an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately.

Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; A Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away for two whole days. When I came back to not results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh... not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court."

~Mark Twain
Letters From The Earth: Uncensored Writings

 Leaf Of The Day
December 7th, 2016

Mood: Quiet/Happy



Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Biggest Little Alternate Reality In The World

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

~Mark Twain
The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

This autumn has been busy. I have traveled... a lot. I had to. I couldn't sit and listen to the noise any longer. Call it a coping method, call it saving my life. Our vacation was from the middle of October, to the middle of November, and honestly, without it, I don't know if I would be sitting here typing this! But we won't dwell on the sadness. I am okay, and managing my depression nicely. It's a one day at a time process. The holidays are a nice distraction, and I always have my camera by my side.


I want to talk about Reno, Nevada. Reno, was a much more pleasant experience than Virginia City! It always is! Reno has a ton of public art, and gorgeous tree lined streets, and neon lights that make the place come alive! And if that isn't enough there is just enough seedy adventure to put a smile on one's face. Not that I have done anything particularly seedy mind you, but with marquees that read, "Never Enough Ballroom" on an actual ballroom dance studio, what else is there to do? You smile!

And then there is the gambling. Alan and I did a little bit while we were there, and came away ahead of the game, Blackjack, both times! It was a fun time, and it was needed. We didn't win a million dollars or anything, but we did have a very nice meal or two! And we got to visit, briefly, with whoever played along with us at the table. A casino is a great place to be anonymous sometimes. Everyone is pretty much in their own world, and at the same time, whether you are losing or winning, you are connected. 

The Biggest Little City is a true alternate reality.

Anyway, our trips to Reno were about photography, and a little fun gambling, and getting lost in the crowd, and it was amazing. But it was the autumn beauty around town that stands out in my memories. It was gorgeous! Breathtaking really! I know it will continue to be a favorite destination this time of year!

I can't wait to go back and photograph it this winter!

Leaf Of The Day
December 6th 2016

Mood: Quiet/Okay


Monday, December 05, 2016

The Winds Of War... Or Maybe Just Wind

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. 
They teach us how to think.
 If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact.
  But give him a question and he'll look for his own answers."

~Patrick Rothfuss
The Wise Man's Fear

New Altamont Wind Turbines

A couple weeks ago, Alan and I were on our way down to the Bay Area, through the Altamont Pass, and the traffic came to a stop, as it does on most days, and while we were lingering I was looking at how pretty the wind turbines on the left side of the pass looked. Photogenic they are, good for the bird population, not so much! But on the right side of the pass I spotted some new, more environmental friendly turbines being installed. Will they completely protect the bird population? Probably not. Will they be a step in the right direction? Probably. It's going to take years, and multiple studies to determine the true outcome, but there are a lot of people, smarter than me, who seem to know that this is a solid move forward in managing wildlife and energy needs.

When Donald Trump came through California during the primary season he spouted a lot of rhetoric. He promised that California wasn't in an actual drought, no, it was man-made hoax to keep water from the republican leaning farmers. Oh, and also he would make California Great Again by opening up the water reserve for the drought starved California. And what about those wind turbines, killing all those bald eagles? Hundreds and hundreds of birds ladies and gentlemen... what about the birds? Apparently lacking in the facts that there was a transition underway to install the more environmentally friendly turbines. Perhaps it won't be perfect solution, but innovation into clean energy is constantly evolving. But what would Donald Trump know about research or innovation?

Alan and I are looking into perhaps installing solar panels in order to survive paying our bills. Two months in a row our bills, just for PG&E, were over $400.00 for a 3 bedroom house, without running the air conditioner 24/7 or leaving lights on. That's unsustainable for us. Something has to be done. Bills like that might just mean the difference between keeping our house, and throwing in the towel. Right now, there are some incentives for installing the panels, and this week we will be looking into it. Sigh. I am afraid to wait until January 20th, because Donald Trump is looking to make things a lot harder on the middle class. He is poised to be the best friend of big business, and a villain to clean energy futures. I expect the tax credit for installing solar panels will end soon. 

Ironic. Alan and I got this house after years of renting, and being fine with that. We thought, and felt, that after what we went through all those years of uncertainty, it was time. All we want is a safe, legal, roof over our head, and to live out our lives in relative peace and safety. We moved to Stockton, a place I am falling in love with more and more every day, despite being outside the Bay Area. But I don't know if we will be able to swing the next four years here. Suddenly the prospects seem quite dark. Interest rates are definitely rising, which will affect home sales. So, at least if we will be able to install a panel or two, it will increase interest in our home, should resale be necessary. And if the market will be moving.


I am truly overwhelmed at the moment. There is too much to be frightened about, and I haven't even mentioned my concerns about the imminent destruction of Medicare. The Affordable Care Act and the EPA. All on the Republicans hit list. I have never wanted to believe in Santa more than I want to right now! I don't want a big, shiny wrapped present with bows! I don't want Christmas sock stuffed with gift cards to Bloomingdale's. I want the Electoral Collage to look at Donald Trump's behavior since winning the election, and see he is a dangerous man who will ruin America, and run us, should we even survive his policies, into the deepest abyss. He has just taunted China, yet again, just a few hours ago. How much longer before China has had enough?

Are we feeling the winds of war?
Is it all just Donald Trump's wind? 

Which might get us first the next great American Depression 
Our own great deep depression?

"Never forget we walk on hell, gazing at flowers."
~Kobayashi Issa

Leaf Of The Day
December 5th 2016

Mood: Quiet


Sunday, December 04, 2016

Can 2016 Just Die Already?

"If you are good at building bridges,
 you will never fall into the abyss."

~Mehmet Murat ildan

Another new night photo as I continue to practice with the new camera! Sacramento's Tower Bridge, taken the night before Thanksgiving. I was pretty happy with how it came out, but I need to do a lot more before I am completely comfortable. It takes time to build self confidence in working with a new camera, but I am trying because it's a nice distraction from worldly messes I have NO control over. Most of the time I believe, even in the darkest times, there will eventually come a time when one looks back and laughs at the circumstances that scared or angered them. The sun comes up every single day, whether we are ready for it or not. Sigh. I don't know that I will ever look back on 2016 and laugh. 2016 needs to just die already! But if I do, I will amend this post.

Mood: Quiet