Tuesday, January 15, 2019


We had snow over the weekend.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Getting to the Point

The circular route around a topic is frequently the easiest for me. Sometimes I can write around and around and around and maybe at some point I reach the crucial words.

But not always. Sometimes I never find the crucial point.

This is especially true when I am writing about topics that require me to have an absolute unequivocal opinion. Or perhaps I should say things that I should have an opinion on but for whatever reason I pussyfoot around it.

This is particularly true about politics. I spent years not having an opinion about politics because I covered politics, and I wanted to be fair. So I bit my lip and never wrote something like, "Today the supervisors passed the most idiotic legislation I've ever seen."

I felt like writing that many times, I have to say. Over the 30 years I covered government, I saw a lot of stupid pass before my eyes.

Then there is national politics. Because I'm a reporter, still, I try to keep my thoughts to myself on that, but sometimes I just want to scream it out. I want to scream it out straight and get straight to the point.

But I don't. I learned a long time ago not to have an opinion. I learned that even before I was a writer, because when I had opinions, I found trouble.

Or trouble found me. My own opinions could often be used against me.

So best to keep my mouth shut.

But here I am with a blog that's been in existence for 12 years, and anyone who reads it ought to know by now where I stand on certain things. So for once, I'm going to get to the point.

I think #45 is a terrible person. He's a bully, he's loud, he's egotistical, he's arrogant, he's mean, he's a liar, he's a bigot, and he does not deserve to sit in the oval office.

People should not be used as pawns and keeping the government closed is immoral and sinful.

Walls are meant for houses and cover, not for separating nations.

Those are my points for today.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing

1. Name the strangest place you've ever been.

A. When I was 12 we traveled across the country in a van. Somewhere out west we went into a very deep cave, one that had an elevator. It was very deep, so deep that animals that had found their way into it had petrified and looked like they did when they died. It was also so deep that no germs could live there. When I came out, my allergies/cold was all better.

2. What are unusual food combinations you enjoy?

A. I am pretty mundane when it comes to food. My husband likes peanut butter and mayonnaise, and potato chips and ketchup. I'm not that adventurous.

3. What is your best cure for hiccups?

A. Hold your breath and count to 10. If that doesn't work, put a pencil sideways in your mouth and drink 10 gulps of water.

4. Name something you have never done but would like to try.

A. I would like to fly an airplane. I'd also like to go on a cruise.

5. What is a routine you do every day without fail?

A. I get up and make tea.

6. Name something new you've recently learned.

A. I learned that declaring a "national emergency" gives the president of the United States enhanced powers and the ability to do a variety of things, including taking farmland. There are 136 statutory powers that come into play when the president declares a national emergency. A lot of these powers pertain to the military but others involve health care, imposition of fees on agricultural commodities, and the FCC can waive licenses for broadcasters. You can see a list of them all here. Boring reading, but also a little eyebrow-raising.

7. What is your keenest sense?

A. I can smell and hear things that other people cannot. For example, I can smell snakes. Black snakes smell like cucumber. Rattlesnakes smell like overturned earth. I have walked by trees and then stopped and told people to back away because I smelled a snake, and sure enough, there was a snake. My in-laws once had a TV with a terrible high-pitched squeal that no one else could hear but me. The thing eventually went bad and I was so glad because I couldn't stand to go over there because of that racket.

8. Do you prefer cooking or cleaning up?

A. I prefer eating out.

9. Where were you the last time you saw the sun rise?

A. Thursday morning I saw the sun rise as I stood in my kitchen.

10. Recall a recent time you were embarrassed.

A. I was embarrassed when I was talking to a person on the phone about an issue with our flooring and I started to cry because I felt overwhelmed by the discussion.

11. What is an everyday sound that delights you.

A. The sound of my husband's voice.

12. Tell about the last conversation you had with a stranger.

A. The checkout clerk at Kroger gave me a description of the "new construction" the store is doing, which actually more of a basic painting and sprucing up, with some much-needed restoration of 20-year-old restrooms. The store does need attention, but I think it needs a bit more attention than it's getting.


I encourage you to visit other participants in
Sunday Stealing posts and leave a comment. Cheers to all us thieves who love memes, however we come by them.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Saturday 9: Remember

Saturday 9: I Forgot to Remember to Forget (1955)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

In honor of Elvis' birthday (January 8.)

1) Elvis sings that he thinks about this girl all the time. What person or topic is on your mind this Saturday?

A. My husband. He has to work at the fire station today and we are expecting snow at any moment. He will probably have a long night. People really should stay home when the weather is bad. The snow is also on my mind because I need to dress and run to the store before the flakes fall.

2) He wants to forget the day he met his girl, but simply can't. Think about someone very important in your life. Did you know right away that they were going to be influential?

A. I am thinking of two people. One is the former editor of the newspaper for whom I did most of my freelancing. He was very influential and I think I knew that right away he would be even though I met him over 30 years. The other is a friend that I knew would be my friend the moment our eyes locked. Old souls.

Since this week's song is about memories, let's check on how well you recall events in your own life.

3) What was the first concert you ever attended?

A. I think my parents took me to a Loretta Lynn concert when I was small. The first concert I attended alone (not with parents but friends) was The Commodores.

4) Where did you get your first piercing? (Not only where on your body, but who did the deed and where did they do it?)

A. I had my ears done when I was in my early 20s. My parents wouldn't let me have piercings and I waited until after I was married. My hair dresser, Rhonda, did it, in her beauty salon.

5) What's the name of the bank where you had your first checking account?

A. First Federal Savings & Loan. It went under in 1990 or thereabouts.

6) Tell us about your first bicycle.

A. My first bicycle was a blue Schwinn, and it came to me when I was five years old at Christmas. It was under the tree as a Santa gift and had a Batgirl doll sitting on the seat. It came with training wheels that my father removed after I learned to ride. I rode it until I was about 10, and then my father backed over it with his truck. I did not leave it behind his truck, my brother did, but I was spanked for not taking care of my things even though I had no idea my brother was out riding my bike.

7) Who received the first text you ever sent?

A. Hmm. My friend Brenda, I think.

8) What had you been drinking when you suffered your first hangover?

A. Mad Dog 20-20.

9) Whose was the first wedding you ever attended?

A. I don't remember this for certain, but I am going to guess one of my mother's brother's weddings, or perhaps her sister. I am not a big wedding person and frequently don't go when I am invited. I will send a gift but I don't go the weddings, usually.


I encourage you to visit other participants in Saturday 9 posts and leave a comment. Because there are no rules, it is your choice. Saturday 9 players hate rules. We love memes, however.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Thursday Thirteen

The holidays are over, and this time of year lots of folks are sad. So here are some facts about depression.

1. Depression is a whole body illness that affects a person's physical health as well as how he or she feels, thinks, and behaves towards others.  In addition, a person who suffers from this disorder may have problems eating, sleeping, working, and getting along with his/her friends.
2. Specifically, clinical depression is a persistent, depressed mood that is often characterized by feelings of sadness or emptiness.  People who have depression, or more formally, Major Depressive Disorder, experience at least five of the following symptoms, nearly every day, for a period of at least two weeks: Sad, low, empty, depressed mood; Loss of interest of pleasure in nearly all activities; Feelings of worthlessness, or guilt; Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions;  
Decreased energy, fatigue,and feeling "slowed down"; Changes in appetite and/orweight; Oversleeping,early-morning awakening, or insomnia; Thoughts of death,suicide, plans or attempts

3. These episodes are also accompanied by clinically significant distress, or impairment (interference) in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.  If impairment is severe, the person might lose the ability to function socially or occupationally.

4. Of the estimated 17.5 million Americans who are affected by some form of depression, 9.2million have major or clinical depression.
5. Two-thirds of people suffering from depression do not seek necessary treatment
6. 80% of all people with clinical depression who have received treatment significantly improve their lives.
7. The economic cost of depression is estimated at $30.4 billion a year but the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated.
8. Women experience depression about twice as often as men.

9. By the year 2020,the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that depression will be the number two cause of "lost years of healthy life" worldwide.

10. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suicide was the ninth leading cause of death in the United States in 1996. Today, suicide is the second leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-24 years. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

11. Major Depression is 1.5-3.0 times more common among first-degree biological relatives of those with the disorder than among the general population.

12. In established market economies such as the United States, depression is the leading form of mental illness.

13. People with depression are five times more likely to have a breathing-related sleep disorder than non-depressed people.

If you or someone you love is having problems, talk to your doctor for guidance. They may offer you medication, send you to talk therapy, or suggest some other method of assistance.  You can also seek out resources online such as:
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America
  • Psychology Today
  • GoodTherapy.org

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    Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 586th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday. Or so sayth the Blogger counter, anyway.