Sunday, November 28, 2021

Sunday Stealing

1. What is the craziest, most outrageous thing you want to achieve?

A. This is a bucket-list kind of thing, I suppose. I always wanted to go into outer space, but I am not famous nor rich so I don't suppose that will happen. If I had the chance, though, I'd be put to sleep and sent on a rocket ship far into outer space, so far that I'd have no chance of returning to earth.

2. Have your parents influenced what goals you have?

A. In a round-about way. I intended to be what they said I could not. I was somewhat successful, in a modest sort of way, depending upon one's definition of success.

3. What is a fashion trend you’re glad went away?

A. Big hair in the 1980s. I think I've destroyed all of those photos. Egads.

4. What word or saying from the past do you think should come back?

A. Bless my soul!

5. What do you bring with you everywhere you go?

A. My watch and my brains.

6. Is there such a thing as a soul?

A. There is something inside each of us, we may call it what it we may. Mine dances about like stardust that misses the star from which it fell, constantly yearning to return to that from whence it came. However, stardust and star shall never reunite, and so there the stardust remains, roaming about seeking always something, sometimes not even knowing what it is that it seeks.

7. Is there life after death?

A. There is something after death. I personally do not believe in the Christian version of heaven and hell, but I think that we become part of the universe, that dancing stardust of the soul rushing about, sometimes remaining together in a cluster so that other clusters may recognize it and rejoice, sometimes dissipating so expediently that whatever cluster it was shall never again come together.

8. Do you think there will ever be a third world war?

A. Oh yes. Probably tomorrow. Actually, I think we're in it now, it's simply not been officially declared or acknowledged.

9. What smell brings back great memories?

A. Baking cookies reminds of kinder times.

10. How would you like to be remembered?

A. I would simply like to be remembered. Hopefully it will be in a kind way, but since I've no children, I daresay in a generation or so I will be entirely forgotten, unless some student chances upon my byline someplace and wonders momentarily who this person was who wrote so much about her county and its citizens during a particular period of time. The dead can hear our thoughts, you know, so if someone thinks of me, I shall know it, even if I am a zillion pieces of stardust zooming along the Milky Way.

11. What kind of music are you into?

A. I dig 1970s and early 1980s music, mostly, but I like various kinds of songs, so it is hard for me to say simply one kind.

12. What is the biggest surprise of your life?

A. That I am still here. I did not expect to live this long.

13. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A. It would be boring, after a time, whatever it was. I suppose the best choice would be some kind of supplemental drink that offered up nutrition and protein.

14. Where is the most awe-inspiring place you have been?

A. I need only walk outside to be inspired and awe-struck by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains that I call home. They call to me as a lark sings to the sunshine on a lovely spring day, and I can hear their whispers late at night, mimicking the thin, edgy sound of a train whistle heading towards the cement plant. 

15. Describe your life in six words.

A. She thinks, writes, plays, loves, hurts.


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, November 27, 2021

Saturday 9: Black Velvet

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

Oh, this one is on my favorites playlist.

1) This song was chosen because yesterday was Black Friday, the traditional day of sales. Have you begun your Christmas shopping?

A. I started shopping back in October. Most of it is online.

2)  Was there an adult beverage served with your Thanksgiving feast?

A. I do not partake, but I suspect others did.
3) Did any pets enjoy scraps from your Thanksgiving table?

A. The stray cat my father feeds may have enjoyed something after I left.

4) Are there any Thanksgiving leftovers in your refrigerator right now?

A. Yes. It's Thanksgiving. There are always leftovers.

5) Football is a popular Thanksgiving weekend pastime. Will you be watching any games over the next few days? If yes, which team(s) are you rooting for?

A. I do not watch football, but I root for the Kansas City Chiefs because Melissa Etheridge roots for them.

6) This week's song is by Canadian Alannah Myles. She was born Alannah Byles (with a B), but changed her name to differentiate herself from her father. He was influential in Canadian broadcasting and she didn't want to be accused of riding his coattails. Have you ever received a professional leg up from a relative?

A. Not that I am aware of. I am a pave-your-own-path sort of girl.

7) In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Instead of pumpkin pie, Canadians traditionally enjoy butter tarts for dessert. What dessert was on your Thanksgiving menu?

A. My brother fixed the desserts. He is the cook in the family. He offered up a wide variety and I had a sample of them all.

8) "Black Velvet" is a tribute to Elvis. Songwriter Christopher Ward said he was inspired by a trip to Memphis, long after Elvis' death, where he spoke to The King's fans and was touched by how much they still loved their favorite singer. Who is your favorite singer?

A. Well, not Elvis. I like Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow, but I listen to a lot of music so it's hard for me to pick a favorite. Others might be Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Anne Murray, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Cindi Lauper, etc.

9) Share a memory from Thanksgiving 2020.

A. We were having a pandemic in 2020 and there was not yet a vaccine. Covid-19 was running wild through our community, so I fixed a small turkey. My husband and I ate at home with some side dishes, and sent a plate up to his mother, who'd been in the vicinity of someone with Covid at a church function and thus was in quarantine at her house. I don't think Thanksgiving, 2020 will be one I remember.

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, November 25, 2021

Thursday Thirteen

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has plenty of good food and lots of fellowship today.

Here's a cheesy 13 things to be thankful for:

1. Sunlight

2. Rain

3. Spouses

4. Children

5. Music

6. Poems

7. Stories

8. The five senses

9. A place to sleep

10. Food

11. Water

12. Friends

13. Family

Extra: Cheese!

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 732nd time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday. Or so sayth the Blogger counter, anyway.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

This Is Not Like Me

 So unlike me not to have posted for three days - yikes!

And I still have nothing to say.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Sunday Stealing

1) What teacher are you most thankful for and why?  What did you learn from him or her?

A. I am thankful for all of my teachers, even the ones I didn't particularly care for, but there are several with whom I am still in contact. My high school math teacher is in contact with me regularly, and I am friends on Facebook with my high school English teacher and two of my English professors from college. It amuses me to realize that generally these folks are only 12 to 15 years older than I am - at the time they were my mentors, they seemed so much older and knowledgeable than I ever thought I might be. Aside from the curriculum they taught me, all of these women have taught me the strength of the feminine, and to look inside myself for my own source of uniqueness and strength. They taught me how to be a person. One cannot ask for a better lesson than that.

2) What’s the season you’re most thankful for, and what’s your favorite part of each season?

A. I am much more fond of Spring and Autumn than Summer and Winter. Spring and Autumn are both lovely in their own ways, and the temperatures are tolerable. Summer is pretty, too, with all the green and the new fawns and such, but it is terribly hot. Winter is simply miserable with its dour grayness and unwillingness to bend in any direction that would cause one to love such a season. However, a light snow (one that covers everything and then disappears quickly) can salvage the meanness of the cold time of year, as the silent snows transform the world into something full of whiteness and lace, bringing about a kind of peace that is soon broken by the sound of the tractors firing up to whisk the snows from the roads.

3) What electronic device are you most grateful for, and what does it add to your life?

A. My PC. I can read many things on here and connect with others through it. I know most people do that on their phones but it is very hard to read on that tiny little screen. I do my writing on the PC as well.

4) What musician or type of music are you most thankful for?

A. I love many types of music, though I am not especially fond of rap or hip hop. I enjoy guitar music and I am an ardent fan of music from the 1970s and early 1980s. As for musicians, I am especially happy to hear the female singers such as Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Chrissy Hynde, Pat Benatar, and others.

5) What are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?

A. The area we live in is lovely, and the animals that constantly roam around the exterior of the house are fun to watch.

6) What philanthropic cause or organization do you feel thankful for?

A. I'm very glad there are organizations that help the homeless people and the organizations that feed the folks who cannot afford food otherwise.

7) What foods are you most thankful for?

A. All of them. At the moment I am most grateful for Lays Baked Potato Chips because for some reason, that seems to be the one food I can eat that doesn't set off my reflux or make me feel sick.

8) What local store or restaurant are you most grateful for?  How does it contribute to your quality of life?

A. Bellacino's is a chain food store that sells grinders and salads. They have take out and during the pandemic they brought things to the car. It is good not to have to cook every single meal. (I do not know if this is a local chain or a national chain.)

9) What book are you most grateful for, and why?

A. I know the answer here is supposed to be the Bible, but I am not most grateful for that book. Too much blood has been shed and continues to be shed because of it for me to find it a book for which I should be grateful. I shall say The Lord of the Rings trilogy, because it has great life lessons it, and many good quotes.

10) What act of kindness has made the greatest difference in your life?

A. I'm going to say my marriage. I know that was an act of love, but it was also an act of kindness.

11) What challenging experience has ended up changing your life for the better?

A. It took me eight years to work my way through college and obtain my bachelor's degree. The entire experience was life changing.

12) What vacation are you most grateful for?

A. I am grateful for all of my vacations. We've had some that were terrible, but they were all learning experiences.

13) Name three days in your life that you feel especially grateful for.

A. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Those are good days for which to be grateful. 

14) What product do you use on a daily basis that you most appreciate?

A. Soap. I'm really glad we have soap.

15) What, from this year, do you feel most grateful for?

A. This has been a long year, but I am grateful that I have taken the time to do more reading and playing my guitar. 


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, November 20, 2021

Saturday 9: Somewhere

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) This song is from the hit musical West Side Story. It has just been remade by Steven Speilberg. Are you interested in seeing the 2021 version?

A. I'm not sure I ever saw the original, so sure. I'm game to watch a new version.

2) Growing up, Crazy Sam thought this song was called, "A Place for Us." Tell us about a song whose title or lyrics you got wrong or misheard.

A. I used to think that the Do Re Mi song said, Tea, a drink with Jane and Fred, instead of Ti, a drink with jam and bread. I wondered who Jane and Fred were.
3) Barbra Streisand sings of longing for "time to spare, time to learn and time to care." The holidays are often too busy for many of us. With Thanksgiving almost upon us, do you wish you had more time?

A. Not about the holiday. Mostly about getting older.
4) Early in her career, Barbra was pressured to have her nose fixed. She stubbornly refused, and did rather well anyway. Tell us about a time you resisted pressure.

A. My parents sent me off to a college in Tennessee. I didn't stay. It wasn't right for me.
5) In the late 1960s she briefly dated Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, father of current PM Justin Trudeau. Obviously Barbra knew what became of Pierre and his family without having to look them up. Without the advantage of Google, do you know where one of your former loves is in 2021?

A. No. I have an idea where one is, but I'm not even sure he's still alive.
6) One of Barbra's hit movies is The Way We Were, a love story about hopelessly mismatched lovers. Streisand always wanted to do a sequel and worked with a screenwriter on a treatment. Her costar, Robert Redford, refused. He simply was not interested in revisiting his character. Is there a movie series that you especially enjoy?

A. The Lord of the Rings, all three movies.

7) Barbra met her husband, James Brolin, at a dinner thrown by friends. They hit it off immediately, but he had to leave the next day to begin a movie in Ireland, so they began their romance over the phone. Do you enjoy long phone calls? Would you prefer video calls (Zoom)?

A. I prefer a phone call to a zoom call. I don't mind long phone calls; I get a lot of housework done during long phone calls sometimes.

8) On July 1, 1998, two years to the day after their first meeting, Barbra and Brolin married. It used to be that brides were advised against wearing white for their second wedding, but Barbra ignored that, wearing a white beaded gown. Do you believe brides should still avoid white the second time around?

A. I think a bride should wear anything she wants.

9) Random question: Is anyone on your bad side this morning?

A. Yes, but they are just names and avatars in a multiplayer video game. I'm hoping some of them leave my team.

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. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Lunar Eclipse

Last night there was a partial lunar eclipse of the Beaver moon. It was the longest eclipse this century and the first of this length in over 500 years.

I took these shots around 3:45 a.m.  The eclipse lasted 3 hours and 28 minutes and started around 2:18 a.m. The peak was about 4:02 a.m. so I am not far from the peak in these shots.

It was quite cold here and the wind was blowing hard, so I had a difficult time keeping the camera steady even on the tripod, as the wind was shaking it, too. I did not dress warmly enough but I guess a little cold air won't hurt me.

That last one has a little wobble I guess, but I though the lit spot looked a bit like it was making the moon take off so I kept it.


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Thursday Thirteen

Today is my anniversary! We've been married for 38 years.

Here are 13 things about my husband.

1. He's kind and generous. 
He hates to have
his picture taken.

2. He's loyal.

3. He works hard.

4. He is retired from the city fire department, but continues to run a construction company and farm.

5. His hugs are fierce and protective.

6. He likes hunting and NASCAR.

7. He enjoys reading, too, especially Stuart Woods books.

8. He loves the land we live on.

9. He takes good care of his mother.

10. His favorite band is the Rolling Stones.

11. He likes to watch car shows on TV.

12. He is proud of me.

13. He loves me unconditionally.

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 731st time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday. Or so sayth the Blogger counter, anyway.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Hunting With My Camera

It's hunting season here in Virginia, which means my man is off on the hinter parts of the farm looking for that elusive buck.

Meanwhile, I took the photos below from the house this morning. This one will live another day.

He's a pretty deer. I'm glad I was the one doing the "shooting" and not my husband.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Moon and Star Trails


Monday, November 15, 2021

Too Poor For Heat

I wrote stories on a variety of issues during my tenure as a news reporter. I covered everything from the local governments (county, towns, even state offices) to endangered mollusks to pet awards and stuff in between.

One story that has stuck with me, though, was one I wrote about heating assistance through the Virginia Department of Social Services.

The story dates back to sometime before 2008, so it was during the Bush era. I can't find the article and I wish I could.

I'd like to say things have changed since then, but I'm not sure they have.

We have a thing against poor people in this country. People are poor, allegedly, because of some innate fault within themselves. They made wrong choices, or they're not godly enough, or they simply have bad luck - but whatever the reason, it's their own fault.

That was one of the first things the person I talked to at Social Services made sure I understood. People aren't poor because of socio-economic reasons. I called bullshit on that and didn't write the story that way.

While that was appalling enough, what really got me was the list of things that poor people do that kept them from obtaining assistance.

Having a cellphone was number one on the list. Cellphones weren't quite so necessary prior to 2008, I suppose, but even then they were becoming the number one way people communicated. But if a poor person wanted assistance, they would have to decide if a cellphone was a necessity.

The Social Services representative also gave me a long list of things poor people could do to stay warm in the winter.

One of those was to leave the oven door open after cooking, so the heat would escape in the house. That provides what, maybe 20 minutes of extra heat?

They were expected to keep the thermostat on 65 - that's too cool for most people - and wear layers of clothes, although if they couldn't afford heat I don't know where they were supposed to obtain the clothing. Goodwill, perhaps.

They could also use kerosene heaters, which my husband has told me causes more house fires in winter than anything, even fireplaces. He's also had to put out house fires caused by people using the oven for their only source of heat.

Basically, the poor were expected to burn the furniture in the middle of the room and hope the house, apartment, or mobile home didn't go along with it.

It gets cold in Virginia. We haven't had 0 degrees in a while, but it's not uncommon. It's been 26 degrees here already this month.

The Social Services person even gave me a brochure that listed all of these little things people could do to cut costs and find heat. Of course, I have tossed all of that information, but this story always aggravated me. It was demeaning and distasteful, and while it was successful in that it actually increased donations to the local Social Services office for their heating program, it left a nasty hole in my heart because it felt so mean and hard-hearted.

I can't find similar information on the Virginia Department of Social Services website today. Maybe at some point they changed the program and they no longer advise people to do these things. Maybe now cellphones are considered a necessity.

The attitudes toward the poor, though, are still prevalent. If anything, they're worse, and we have more people who are headed into poverty through no fault of their own. The current inflation woes (which I believe are corporate imposed, as they are posting huge profit margins) only add to the hard times.

I feel fortunate to have a home. We keep the heat low and I use a space heater in the room I'm in. I'm not sure that is the most cost-effective way to heat as a space heater can cost up to $4 a day in electricity, a representative with a power company once told me. I can't type well if my hands are cold.

This has been on my mind this weekend. I'm not sure why this old story has popped into my brain. Maybe the chilly wind and cold temperatures reminded me that there are folks not so lucky out there, people who are living in their cars. Yes, I know, there are plenty of jobs. Most are low-paying. I suspect some of the people living in their cars work these jobs.

No answers here, really. Just a lot of questions, and a desire to warm the world with goodness and love. It doesn't keep the body warm, but maybe it helps somebody feel better in other ways.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Sunday Stealing

Name Your Favorite…

    Place: my house

    Color: blue

    Smell: chocolate chip cookies baking

    Magazine: Reader's Digest

    Texture: creamy chocolate

    Thing to do when bored: read

    Precious stone: amethyst

    Animal: deer

    Time in history: now

    Font: Times New Roman

    Sound: my husband's voice

    Fruit: peaches

    Vegetable: peas

    Store/shop: Staples

    Quote: “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
                                                                                                                                        ― Toni Morrison

    Historical figure: Mary, Queen of Scots tied with Queen Victoria

    Letter: A

    Memory: Getting married.

    Dessert: At the moment, white cake with white icing.

    Candy: Smarties

    Restaurant: Shakers (local chain)

    Language: English

    Thing to learn about: writing

    Thing about yourself: I'm not stupid.


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, November 13, 2021

Saturday 9: Without You

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.

1) Nilsson sings that he can't forget this evening. Did anything happen this evening (or last night, if you're answering during the day) that you expect you'll recall for a long time?

A. Not really. I finished listening to a book that I may think about for a bit, and I watched the final episodes of Supergirl, which made me a little sad because I am sorry the show is ending, but I am not going to pine over that for long.

2) In the 1960s, he worked in a very "un-rock-star" job: computer programmer in a bank. Looking over your career, have you more often worked in or out of an office setting?

A. I spent about 1/3 of my working days in an office setting and 2/3 working from home as a freelancer. Corporate world is foreign to me these days, so much has changed.
3) He fibbed to get the job, telling the bank he'd graduated from high school when in reality, he was a drop out. Have you ever fudged a fact on your resume? 

A. I've left off some jobs, or my age, but nothing overly significant. I mean, when I show up with my greying hair they will know I'm old.

4) The bank found out the truth but was so pleased with Nilsson's personality and performance they kept him on. Tell us about a friend or loved one's misbehavior that you have overlooked.

A. I think I'd rather not answer this question today. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

5) Before finding success as a singer, Nilsson was a songwriter. He composed "Cuddly Toy," recorded by the Monkees. Do you have a favorite Monkees song?

A. Last Train to Clarksville. Speaking of the Monkees, there is a documentary about them on Amazon Prime that is quite interesting.
6) In 1976 Nilsson married Una O'Keeffe. They met in a New York restaurant, where she was a waitress. He asked her about her accent -- she was from Dublin -- and a romance ensued. While the waitress and the rock star seemed like an unlikely couple, they remained together until his death in 1994 and had six children. Do you know how your parents (or grandparents) met?

A. My parents met when my father asked if he could hunt worms under my grandparents mulberry tree and my mother went out to help him. I'm not sure how my grandparents met, but they lived in the same community in West Virginia so I suspect they grew up knowing one another.
7) Nilsson was a night owl and found he felt most creative late at night, right before he fell asleep. When are you at your best: morning, noon or night?

A. I am at my best from about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

8) In 1972, the year "Without You" was a hit, Alice Clark Browne made history as the first African American aerialist to perform with Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus. Did you ever attend the circus?

A. I went to the circus when I was a child and my parents took me, but I never attended as an adult.
9) Random question -- Think about last week. Would you prefer this week to be more exciting, or more boring?

A. My weeks are generally boring, so I'd like a similar amount of boring with just a touch of exciting, but only a touch.

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. 

Friday, November 12, 2021

Talkin' TV

I do not, as a general rule, watch much television. I don't have it on during the day. I turn it on to watch the 6 p.m. news sometimes, but not every night. I usually have it on by 8 and then I read while whatever my husband is watching is on.

He watches a lot of television. He has it blaring constantly when he is home, playing movies with lots of explosions, or car shows where they are banging on metal, or deer hunting shows where they're killing poor little Bambi.

This fall, the only new show I have picked up is La Brae. This is a fantasy about a group of people who fell through time via a time portal created during a sink hole at the La Brae tarpits. I have enjoyed it so far. It's well done and while there are some time travel anomalies that the writers appear to be overlooking, it's easy to follow and the characters are interesting.

Another show I watch is The Voice, which is about mid-season. It's about singers who are competing for one another. I don't do the "America votes" part. I simply watch.

I also watch Survivor, although I'm not sure why. I can't even tell you the people's name on the season this year. I think it's simply habit. I started watching it in season one and never stopped. It's simply what we do on Wednesday night.

Other shows I watch are Stargirl, which just finished its rather short season but has been renewed for a third (it's on the CW), and Supergirl, which also ended completely this week.

Supergirl's last season disappointed me. The writing was slow, the videography cut and paste, and even the two-hour finale was more disjointed than I would have liked. The things that interested me about the show - the relationships between Supergirl (Kara Danvers) and her sister and friends, were set aside in favor of other relationships (her sister and her lover, for example). I would have preferred less of the rest of the cast and more of Supergirl in her last season. Some of this was, I suspect, due to the star, Melissa Benoist, and her pregnancy, as well as the pandemic and ensuing interruptions in filming.

I always liked this show for its message of hope. Even when alien creatures were roaming the streets of National City, Supergirl made me feel like in the end, all would be well, and it generally was. While there were many things about the show I didn't care for, the overall message of hope, peace, and love were welcome during trying times. I don't know of another show that offers those messages. If you, dear reader, are watching something that offers similar messages, please let me know so I can tune in.

Stargirl is a bit like a junior Supergirl, but this season also felt wrong compared to the first season, and I didn't especially care for it. I attempted to watch Batwoman but could not make it through more than six episodes of Season 2 and simply gave up on it. It was depressing and I found it bothered me a great deal and made me feel mentally off.

I do not watch the news channels much, especially at night, as they upset me. I obtain my news via newspapers, both in print and online, and from the local evening news. Sometimes I watch the opinion heads online the next day but I do that infrequently. I also listen to NPR, the Associated Press, and Reuters on Alexa every morning.

We have attempted to watch Yellowstone but have found it very violent and brutal. I am not into violence and brutality, so I don't know if we will continue to try to watch that. We've watched the first three episodes of the series and neither of us have been overly interested in returning to it.

Some people have the TV on constantly. I can't stand the racket. I would rather listen to music or nothing, depending on what I'm doing. Also, we only have DirecTV and don't do much streaming except for Amazon Prime or HBO Max occasionally. Our internet connection is not that great and I am not a fan of buffering.

There are many other things to do with one's time, anyway.

The click of the keyboard is always a pleasant sound when I'm writing.

What do you watch on TV, dear reader? Tell me what I'm missing.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Thursday Thirteen

This country, the USA, is all about the Freedom To. The freedom to shoot whomever I want in the street. The freedom to breath Covid virus on the old folks if I want to. The freedom to berate officials and act like an idiot. The freedom to lie and call an election stolen when it doesn't go your way (Virginia's recent election is a good example of this - what happened to that voter problem now that Virginia is red, hmm?), The freedom to trample over other people while I make my way to top of the money pile. The freedom to drive like a maniac and run over people. The freedom to march around Charlottesville with lots of very fine people. The freedom to drive without a seatbelt or obey traffic laws. The freedom to believe the earth is flat. The freedom to spew lies on a national TV station with no push back. The freedom to publish hate speech without repercussion. And on and on.

But there is another kind of freedom, and this is Freedom From. This is the type of freedom practiced in many other countries that are just as free and democratic as the US - actually more so (and if I were 25 and not 58, yes, I'd move, so don't tell me to do that, I'm too damn old now). Do you know that in other countries people don't get spam phone calls every day? It's against the law and people have to opt in, not opt out, to get calls, even from companies they do business with. We're backwards here, we have to opt out of everything. A person could spend days trying to opt out of all the ads and crap thrown at us here.

In the bill of rights, we have five "freedom tos" and five "freedom froms." The founding fathers were aware that there are two types of freedom.

Anyway, here is a list of some "freedom froms" that I wish were more prevalent in the United States. Some of them are not such a big deal here but still exist in minute ways. What "freedom froms" would you add?

1. Freedom from unlawful arrest.

2. Freedom from harassment by others.

3. Freedom from poverty.

4. Freedom from illiteracy.

5. Freedom from forced religion.

6. Freedom from being shot or killed.

7. Freedom from fear.

8. Freedom from disease.

9. Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.

10. Freedom from unusual and cruel punishment.

11. Freedom from oppression.

12. Freedom from war.

13. Freedom from non-living wages.

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 730th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday. Or so sayth the Blogger counter, anyway.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Autumn From My Front Door


Monday, November 08, 2021

Autumn By The Creek


Sunday, November 07, 2021

Sunday Stealing

1. How big is your immediate family? Who are the members?

A. My immediate family now is simply me and my husband. But my father is still alive, and I have a brother. My husband's mother is also still with us.

2. Who are you closest to in your family? What kind of relationship do you have with that person? Is it like friendship?

A. I am closest to my husband, and it's a marital relationship. I am also close with my brother, who is like a super special friend.

3. Which day of the year are you most likely to spend with your family?

A. Christmas Eve.

4. As a child, did you go on family trips? What do you remember about those vacations?

A. We went to Myrtle Beach most of the time. I remember mostly sand and sunburn. Then there was the two-week drive across the U.S. to California and back that had as its climax my mother screaming at my father in Nevada to let her out of the car so she could go file for a quickie divorce.

5. Is there a black sheep in your family? What is different about them?

A. Baaa. Baaa. That would be me. I don't bow to the patriarchy or believe in capitalism or survival of the fittest.

6. Do you know your extended family? How many of them have you met?

A. I have quite an extended family, and I have met more of them than I can count in the time I have to answer this. I have cousins upon cousins and in my community I am related to most people whose family have deep roots here. In fact, my husband and I are 5th cousins, so my father-in-law was also my 4th-cousin once removed (I think I have that right).

7. Have you ever been to a family reunion? How was it?

A. I have been to several. Generally they have been frustrating, because family members who knew one another the best would sit in little huddles and there wasn't much communicating. I made a point of visiting the huddles to try to get to know these people but I eventually gave up and stopped going to the annual reunions. They did not have one this year or last because of Covid.

8. Who are you most proud of among your relatives? Who do you look up to?

A. I am proud of many of my relatives. My father has been an incredibly successful businessman, and my brother has built upon that success and raised a beautiful family as well. He's a smart man, my brother. My aunt who lives in Texas now has been a successful businesswoman, not an easy task because that glass ceiling still exists no matter how much it may have been raised.

9. What characteristics have you inherited from your parents? Do you look like them? Do you behave like they do?

A. I have inherited my father's talent for music, my mother's moodiness, and I hope I don't behave like either of them but I am sure I do.

10. Does your family have any heirlooms? Will you inherit anything that has been in the family a long time?

A. Musical instruments might be our family heirlooms. My grandparents on both sides of the family were not wealthy people and there was little to pass down. Since I have no children, I won't be the one to get it anyway.

11. What happens to old people in your family? Do they live with younger family members or move to a retirement home? How would you prefer to spend your old age?

A. My father lives with his wife. My grandmother, who died in 2017 at the age of 93, had dementia and was in a nursing home. I hope to die before I reach the point where I cannot take care of myself.

12. If you are married, how well do you get along with your in-laws?

A. I get along fine with my mother-in-law. She's a nice person.

13. What do people mean when they say, “you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family”?

A. They mean you're stuck with the people in your family and they're your brother or sister or parent regardless. You can stop speaking and move across the world but they're still your relatives.

14. If you live far away from some members of your family, how do you keep in touch? How often do you communicate?

A. I sometimes talk to my aunt in Texas but not often. We talk on the phone, occasionally we might text.

15. Are you so close to any of your friends that you consider them to be like family?

A. I have at least three friends that I consider my family. Maybe more. I have a big heart and love a lot of people.


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.