♫ You Gotta Love Someone ♫

I’m sitting here, really thinking it is past time I went to bed for a bit of reading, maybe even some sleep, but see … there’s this sleeping kittie in my lap, he’s purring his contentment with every breath he takes, and I cannot bear to disturb him.  It is, of course, Oliver, aka Ollie … the only one of our Feral Five who actually likes me!

So, since I will be sitting here for a bit longer, I might as well play a tune, don’t you think?  This one has been in my head all evening, since I was talking about it with a friend earlier on …

According to SongFacts …

“You can take on the world, go forth and conquer, but first, you gotta love someone. It’s a simple but eloquent lyric written by Bernie Taupin, and one that proved prescient when Elton John got his life in order a short time later. By 1990, Elton had spent years suffering from bulimia and cocaine addiction. When he finally decided to take action, it was prompted by his new love, Hugh Williams, who convinced him to go to therapy together. At those sessions, they were asked to list each other’s faults. Williams cited Elton’s bulimia, alcoholism, drug addiction and fits of rage. Elton flagged Williams for not putting away his CDs properly.

This got through to Elton, and in the summer of 1990 he entered a hospital in Chicago where he was treated, emerging six weeks later sober and determined to make positive lifestyle changes. His relationship with Williams didn’t last, but the sobriety stuck and Elton enjoyed a career revival, returning in 1992 with his hit album The One.”

You Gotta Love Someone
Elton John

You can win the fight, you can grab a piece of the sky
You can break the rules but before you try
You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

You can stop the world, steal the face from the moon
You can beat the clock, but before high noon
You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

You’ve got one life with a reason
You need two hearts on one side
When you stand alone and there’s no one there
To share the way it feels inside and baby

You can cheat the devil and slice a piece of the sun
Burn up the highway but before you run
You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

When you’re gonna play with fire
You let someone share the heat
When you’re on your own and there’s no one there
To cool the flames beneath your feet and baby

You can win the fight, you can grab a piece of the sky
You can break the rules but before you try
You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

Songwriters: Elton John / Bernie Taupin
You Gotta Love Someone lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

THE TREES!!! GONE!!! 😢

Yeah, I know … my 2nd rant of the day.  I promise to make this one short.

Today, I heard loud engine sounds from within my house, so I went to the front window to see what was happening.  The street was blocked by two large pickup trucks, one with a bin-on-wheels attached, the other with some sort of large piece of equipment on a pull-along attached.  The piece of equipment was running loudly, and as I watched, three men got out and started removing chain saws, rakes and leaf blowers from the trucks.

Now, last year some of you may remember, the landscapers pulled up all my sunflowers and I caught them just as they were pulling the last one.  This year, my sunflowers have succumbed to autumn, but still, the birds come ‘round every day to score some seeds, and I have a profusion of cosmos and morning glories still in bloom.  I was not about to turn my back and let these dudes chop down my flowers … I went out the front door (in plaid jammie bottoms and a holey t-shirt) arms akimbo, ready to do battle if they so much as even looked at my little tiny garden.

However, they were out for bigger game than my little flowers … they began by, I thought, trimming the tree at the south end of the street.  They trimmed branch after branch … until it was bare, and then … they chopped it down!  WHY???  Then they crossed the street and proceeded to do the same with the Asian Pear, one of two on the street that bloom so beautifully every spring.  Then the next, and the next.  They chopped down the tree next door … I have no idea what kind of tree it was, but it attracted a profusion of bees every year.  By the time they left, there were only two trees left on our entire street.

I asked the older of the three men … “Why are you doing this?  Why are you chopping down our trees?”  He looked at me as if either I had two heads, or perhaps I was frothing at the mouth.  Realizing that I was powerless here, my parting shot as I stomped off (being barefoot makes it hard to do a convincing stomp, but I gave it my best), was “You, sir, are a murderer and I hope your conscience keeps you awake tonight!”  I should have asked him if he was related to Donald Trump or Jair Bolsonaro.

As much as we need trees, and these eejits are cutting them down for no reason!  Trees provide beauty, they provide substance and shelter for bees, birds, squirrels and more.  And then, there’s that little matter of trees providing much-needed oxygen!!!  I am furious … and I am heart-broken.  And I just felt a need to rant a bit about it.  Thanks for listening, my friends!

Read The Book!

What book?  Any book, because Friday, my friends, was National Read-a-Book Day!  When I made this discovery on Thursday night, I told daughter Chris not to expect any house chores to be done that day, for Miss Goose and I would be spending the day reading!  The reality, of course, was that we both proceeded to spend our days in much the same manner as always, but I did manage to finish one book and read about 100 pages in another.

I am a multi-book reader, meaning I always have at least two going at any given time, and sometimes as many as seven are works-in-progress and thus stacked on my bed.  I keep trying to limit myself to two at a time – one fiction, one non-fiction.  But then, something catches my eye, and before you know it, I’m hooked on yet another.  My only regret is that there aren’t an additional six hours or so in a day to spend curled up with a book.

I recently read a synopsis of former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ new book, Call Sign Chaos:  Learning to Lead that just came out last Tuesday.  In it, he discusses his lifelong love of reading.  A few of is thoughts on the topic …

“If you haven’t read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate, and you will be incompetent, because your personal experiences alone aren’t broad enough to sustain you. Any commander who claims he is ‘too busy to read’ is going to fill body bags with his troops as he learns the hard way.”

“Reading sheds light on the dark path ahead. By traveling into the past, I enhance my grasp of the present.”

“Living in history builds your own shock absorber, because you’ll learn that there are lots of old solutions to new problems. Strategy is hard, unless you’re a dilettante. You must think until your head hurts.”

“I followed Caesar across Gaul. I marveled at how the plain prose of Grant and Sherman revealed the value of steely determination. … Biographies of … Native American leaders, of wartime political leaders and sergeants, and of strategic thinkers from Sun Tzu to Colin Gray have guided me through tough challenges.”

Smart man.  A former coworker and friend once told me, when I was discussing something I was reading one day, that she hadn’t read a book since high school … at the time, we were both in our late 40s, so that meant she hadn’t read a book in thirty years!  My jaw hit the floor.  I simply cannot imagine it!

A few days ago I came across an article in Mental Floss titled Six Benefits of Reading Every Day.  The six are …

  1. Reading can boost intelligence
  2. Reading helps increase empathy
  3. Reading can lower stress
  4. Reading may change your brain
  5. Reading is an excuse to put your phone away at night
  6. Reading helps families bond

I probably could have thought of a different list, but still … all the above are good enough reason to turn off the television and pick up a book, yes?

And then, there is the ‘man’ who sits in the Oval Office.  Let’s hear what he says about books and the joy of reading …

  • “I never have. I’m always busy doing a lot. Now I’m more busy, I guess, than ever before.” – 2016
  • He said that he does not need to read extensively because he reaches the right decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.” – 2016
  • “I’m a very efficient guy. Now, I could also do it verbally, which is fine. I’d always rather have — I want it short. There’s no reason to do hundreds of pages because I know exactly what it is.”
  • “I just don’t have the time. … I would love to sit down and read a book, but I just don’t have the time anymore.”
  • “Every time I do about half a page, I get a phone call that there’s some emergency, this or that. I don’t get to read very much.” – 2017
  • “I like bullets, or I like as little as possible. I don’t need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page.” – 2017

His words speak for themselves, don’t you think?

So, if you missed out on Friday’s National Read-a-Book Day, take a rain check and celebrate properly on Sunday!  I plan to!

💖 Thank You 💖

Just a short one to thank all my wonderful readers and friends.

Yesterday, I wrote a post, “Why Do I … ???”  It was written straight from the heart, no punches pulled, and I wasn’t sure how it would go over, but I knew it was something that had been weighing on me for a while, and that these were things I needed to say.

The response was overwhelming, the comments … well, let me just say that each comment brought a smile to my face, some a tear to my eye as well.  I know now, even more than before, why I keep on doing what I do.

I just wanted to thank you all … thank you for your continued support of Filosofa’s Word, but most of all … thank you for being my friends.

hearts.png

 

Why Do I … ???

Friends say to me, “Why do you spend so much time worrying about politics?  What will be, will be.  Why not spend your time enjoying life?  You’re going to drive yourself to an early grave.  Just chill and have fun.”  This post is my response to those people.

Why do I spend so much time worrying about politics?  I don’t.  I spend that much time worrying about what is happening in this nation, in the world.  I spend that much time speaking out, sometimes ranting, about the injustices I see in this world.  I look at our government taking innocent children from their parents’ arms, tossing them into detention centers with naught but a piece of tinfoil for a blanket, and I say, “This is wrong!”  I see decisions being made by a few in the upper echelons of government that completely disregard the concerns of scientists and environmentalists … decisions that are hastening the end of life on this planet, and I say, “This is wrong!”

I see a ‘man’ who is supposed to represent this nation, who is supposed to represent the ideals of a nation founded on “liberty and justice for all”, denigrating people in the LGBT community, calling Hispanics and Muslims terrible names, making racial, homophobic, and misogynistic slurs and more, and I cannot help but say, “This is wrong!”  I see decisions made that ensure the rich get richer while the poor are denied adequate health care, housing, food, and the basic necessities of life, and yes, once again I say, “This is wrong!”

A number of my friends claim that I just don’t like Trump.  No, I don’t like him …anti-TrumpBut, it isn’t only Trump … it is also those who either support or applaud the policies of this administration, policies that are discriminatory against minorities, against women, against non-Christians, against LGBT, and against the poor.  Policies that put this nation and its people in grave danger.  Policies and rhetoric that alienate our allies, while patronizing our enemies.  And it is also the people who turn a blind eye, who know that these things are wrong but bury themselves inside their bubble, their comfort zone, and pretend they don’t see the children in cages crying themselves to sleep at night.  It is those who believe that they have no obligation to do their part to clean up our environment, who tell me that somehow some magical creator of the universe will make everything right again in good time, so they can continue tossing away their plastic bottles, driving their gas-guzzling SUVs, and living life just as they have always done.

And it is those who believe that somehow, they are better than others, either because of the colour of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation, or their ethnicity.  Those who worry that the people with pale skin will someday not be the majority, will not have the final say in what this nation will be.  It is the arrogance, the ignorance, and the greed that I do not like, can no longer tolerate.

Those same friends then say, “Well, you cannot fix the problems, so why not relax, enjoy life, have some fun … lighten up.”

No, I cannot fix the problems by myself … no one person can.  But I can do my part, and I can keep using the little voice I have to make others aware of the many injustices happening right under our very noses.  There is an old saying that, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink”.  I am attempting to lead the horse to the clear, cool stream in hopes that he will drink.  I cannot do otherwise, it is who I am.  But, I am getting tired …

Tired of seeing people surrounding themselves with so much noise that it drowns out the things that actually matter.  Tired of people burying their heads in the sand, wearing their rosy-coloured glasses, sticking their fingers in their ears and singing, “La-la-la-la-la … I can’t hear you!”

Why do I do what I do?  Because it matters, at least to me.  Because we are on a collision course, and much like the passengers aboard the Titanic, the majority will still be dancing, posting pictures of their last meal on social media, and pretending they just don’t see, when the ship hits the iceberg.  We all have a choice to be a part of the solution, or a part of the problem, but there is no neutral choice.  If you choose to ignore it all, if you choose not to be part of the solution, then you ARE the problem.  We have all contributed to the problem for long enough.  Now it is time to be part of the solution.

Quite by coincidence, as this post was a work-in-progress this morning, I saw a comment by our friend Roger who offered the following quote by Elie Wiesel …

“Always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Think about it.

A Grand Clear Out!

My UK blogger-friend Mick is selling some of his artwork, and has asked for re-blogs! If he shipped to the U.S., I would be tempted to buy that Poppy, but sadly, postage between the U.S. and UK is cost-prohibitive, as I have learned the hard way. Still, if any of my UK readers are interested, take a look! Nice work, Mick!

Mick Canning

Most of you are probably aware of my Etsy store, where I put up some of my artwork for sale.

At the moment, I desperately need to make some space in the house, and so I am selling off a number of paintings for very much less than usual – not much more than the cost of materials and the postage.

If you’ve ever felt like owning one of my paintings (and, let’s face it, at least…er…one or two people have…) then now would be a good time. The only catch is that I’m only mailing them to UK, because otherwise it would still make them more expensive than I want to sell them at, due to the cost of the postage.

Payment would be by Paypal, which is a very secure way to pay and gives the buyer a lot of security.

The prices on here are the total…

View original post 116 more words

The Man & His Dog

It was on a Saturday afternoon just over two years ago that I first noticed the man and his dog in the reading area of our local Barnes & Noble bookstore.  It was obvious that the dog was a service dog, but the man did not appear to be blind or disabled, although he did not look quite well, either.  Though I was dying to speak to the dog, give him a pet or two, I did not approach, for I know that you aren’t supposed to distract a service dog. barnes-noble-2.JPGThe girls and I frequent this bookstore nearly every Saturday, weather permitting, except on weekends that daughter Chris has a band commitment, and I had never seen the man and his dog before that particular Saturday, yet several staff members appeared to know him well enough to greet both the man and the dog.  After an hour or two, we left the bookstore and I put the man and the dog out of my mind.

The next Saturday when we went, there were the man and the dog again, in the same place.  I noticed a little more, such as that the man had next to him a large tote bag, and every so often he would reach in and get a treat for the dog.  The dog was mostly well-behaved, but occasionally curious about somebody passing by and as he started to follow them, the man would give the lead a little jerk.

And this was the pattern for the next several Saturdays.  I learned the dog’s name before I knew the man’s, for occasionally the man would say, “Skipper … lie down”, but Skipper never spoke the man’s name.  One Saturday early on, a young boy around 8 or 9 came into the bookstore and, as is the nature of a boy, he gravitated over to Skipper to pet him.  The boy was of Middle-Eastern descent, a cute little guy with glasses as thick as Coke bottles, and while his English was quite good, he had a distinct accent.  The man seemed to brighten in the presence of the boy.

As the weeks passed, the man, recognizing me as a ‘regular’, began to occasionally make a bit of small talk, and I learned his name was Chad.  The boy, also, became a regular … his name was Mohammed.  Mohammed and Chad bonded, and they each gave something of value to the other.  Mohammed gave Chad, I think, a sense of purpose, and Chad gave Mohammed lessons in history, English, and just about any topic that came up in their conversations.  And Mohammed loved Skipper.

Over time, our bits of ‘small talk’ progressed, and we would have robust conversations, often delving into politics, and of course the ‘man’ in the Oval Office.  As we learned a bit about each other, I told Chad that I write a socio-political blog, but that these days it is more political than social, and I offered to email him a link to my blog, but he informed me he had no computer, only his cell phone, and no email address.  He asked if I could print a few and bring them to him, which I did, and he said he enjoyed them very much.

We became friends of a sort, I sometimes took little treats for Skipper, and Chad offered to take the girls and I out for dinner one Saturday evening, but we had just come from the restaurant across the street.  Chad always had a warm hug waiting for me. He could converse on nearly every topic imaginable, had traveled far and wide, and knew something about everything under the sun.  He shared so much of this knowledge with Mohammed and it was heart-warming to watch them together.

Admittedly, sometimes the conversation was a bit more than I wanted, when I really wanted time to quietly peruse a few books, but Chad seemed so lonely that I never had the heart to walk away from a conversation with him.  I discovered that he had no family nearby, he was 70 years old, his wife long since dead, and he had lived with his mother until her death, and that he was in very poor health.  The reason for a service dog was that he frequently had seizures, and Skipper could detect them before they happened and warn him to sit or lie down.  He was hospitalized a number of times during the year and a half I knew him, but he rarely missed a Saturday at Barnes & Noble.

Everybody … well, most everybody … loved Chad & Skipper.  The staff at the Starbucks café loved them, the bookstore staff did, and most of the regular customers came to know and love them.  People would wander over and chat for a few minutes, some even brought treats for Skipper.  A few customers occasionally seemed annoyed at finding a dog in the bookstore, but they were the exception.

Christmas 2018 was just over a week away, and I knew we wouldn’t be going to the bookstore for a couple of weeks, so I brought a Christmas card for Chad & Skipper, and we talked for a bit.  His daughter and son both lived in Florida with their families, and they had been trying to convince Chad to move to Florida where they could help him.  He didn’t want to go, had lived in Ohio for most of his life, and yet, he really had no life here.  His life was the public library and Barnes & Noble, for he spent every day, seven days a week at one or the other place, and yet, I rarely saw him with a book.  He came there for companionship, for someone to talk to.

That was the last time I saw Chad & Skipper.  When the holidays were behind us, the girls and I resumed our Saturday ritual, but for several weeks I didn’t see Chad.  I finally asked a friend of mine who works at the bookstore, and she told me that they had gone to Florida for Christmas but would be back in the spring.  It is now July, and they haven’t returned, so I’m pretty sure his kids convinced him to stay down there.  I have only seen Mohammed once since then.

So, you ask, what is the purpose of this little story?  Nothing, really, just musing on how sometimes people wander unexpectedly into your life, stay a short time, then they are gone, but yet they leave behind a little piece of themselves, a memory that brings a smile.  I will always cherish the memory of that brief year-and-a-half, and Saturdays in the bookstore chatting with the man and his dog.

Good News/Bad News

The good news is I’ve got my re-blog button back, and I am told that my ability to re-blog other’s posts has been restored as well, though I haven’t tested that yet.  Apparently during the muck-up the other night, WordPress installed some plug-ins, unbeknownst to me, and they were interfering with several things.

The bad news is that to fix the problem, WordPress had to restore my blog to a point before the troubles started, which was June 30th, so all my posts from yesterday and today are …

Image result for gone

As well as comments, etc., etc.  WordPress had me export the data to a file, which I did, then she reset my blog, but when I imported the data, an error occurred, and after working for 3 hours to get it resolved, I finally gave up.  So … I can recreate those posts, but I’m not sure I have the energy left to do so.  I may re-create “Killing Children”, for that was an important one, but I’m not sure yet.

I shall start fresh tomorrow.  Thanks for your patience … hopefully this is the end of this nightmare.  Sigh.

Letting The Mind Off The Leash …

I decided just to let my mind off the leash to ramble wherever it wishes this afternoon …

mind-bounce                          mind-2


Until today, we did not live on lakefront property …20190618_151141.jpgIt has rained almost constantly since Friday night, and this is the result.  This used to just be grass, but now I’m wishing I hadn’t given away my fishing rod ‘n reel several years ago!  For a time, the flowers were enjoying the rain, but now I hear their wee voices saying, “Enough already!!!”  Anybody have a small boat we can borrow, just in case?


I remember as a small child overhearing somebody say to my mother, “We lost our mom today”, and I remember wondering why they weren’t out looking for her if she was lost.  Why is it that some people find it so hard to say, “he died”?  It isn’t a difficult word … four letters, one syllable … died.  But instead people say someone “passed” … huh?  No, they didn’t pass … they died.  Or worse yet, is when they say the person “went home”.  No!  She died.  Period.  Call a spade a spade, because finding cutesy little ways of saying ‘he died’ isn’t going to bring him back to life, and it’s confusing as hell to children and those adults like myself who take words quite literally.


Having recently hit the big 6-8, a few friends have told me that 68 is “the new 40”, and one even told me that 80 is the new 40.  I don’t believe them, of course, for I know what being 68 feels like, and I can still remember what being 40 felt like … and believe me, 68 ain’t no 40.  But it made me start thinking … what is the average life expectancy in the U.S. now, and how does it compare to other nations?  It’s plenty old … 78 … but it doesn’t rank in the top ten, and doesn’t even make the top 50!  Surprised?

The U.S. ranks 53rd in the list of life expectancies, at 78.7 years, falling behind the Nordic countries (no surprise there) and almost every country in Europe and the UK.  We also rank lower than much of Asia, such as Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea.  We even have a lower life expectancy than Puerto Rico. Why?  According to the British Journal of Medicine (BMJ), the answer is summed up in one word:  despair.

According to the report …

“In 1960, Americans had the highest life expectancy, 2.4 years higher than the average for countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). But the US started losing ground in the 1980s. US life expectancy fell below the OECD average in 1998, plateaued in 2012, and is now 1.5 years lower than the OECD average.

We are seeing an alarming increase in deaths from substance abuse and despair.”

If the substance abuse and despair were bad before, can you imagine what they will be like by the end of 2020?


And since after that, you need a laugh or two … heeeeere’s Jimmy!!!