Don’t Label Me!

I would much rather live in a world where everyone has equal rights.  I would rather live in a world where free education … a good education where young people are taught to think … is affordable and available to all.  I would rather live in a world where good health care is available to all at a very small cost to those who cannot afford it, and a higher cost to those who can.  I would rather live in a world where people have been taught since birth to respect everyone and everything … humans, but also the environment, all animals, trees, flowers, grass.  I would rather live in a world where people can disagree without fighting, without screaming and yelling, without threats of violence.  I would rather live in a world where people gladly stop to help a stranger or give up something – time or money or ‘things’ – in order to help another, whether person or animal.  I would rather live in a world where it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, straight or gay, male or female, Christian or atheist, but where everyone is treated fairly and equally.  I would rather live in a world filled with love, than hate.  I don’t mind if nobody can afford to own a mansion or a private jet, as long as everybody can afford food, shelter, medical care, education, and as long as we are cleaning up our own environmental mess.  I would rather live in a world where people don’t worship money.  I don’t care if I can never afford a brand-new car, or designer jeans, or if I can never take a vacation to Monte Carlo.

Obviously, the world I would rather live in doesn’t exist anywhere on this planet, although a few countries, Finland and Denmark most notably, have come close.

So, because I want all these things, I am told that I am part of the “woke culture” and that this is a very bad thing to be.  I had, of course, heard the term ‘woke’, and in fact it was once used by my own congressman, Warren Davidson.  I thought he meant awake, and I corrected his grammar.  However, I simply thought the term meant being aware of … whatever the topic of conversation at that moment might be.  Apparently, I was quite wrong and am not too terribly bright.

Lately, I notice a number of new terms cropping up … words that have a meaning, but are suddenly assigned a different meaning by … nameless, faceless people … and then that becomes a cultural ‘thing’.  Now, I am too damned old to try to keep up with what is meant by a “Gen X” or a “millennial”.  Those are bad enough, but now we have these terms like ‘social distancing’, ‘woke’, ‘cancel culture’, and more.  C’mon people … say what you mean.  Woke.  Yes, I awoke this morning, or rather I was awakened by the body saying it needed the bathroom.  I woke Miss Goose up because I needed her to help with the house chores.  Don’t try to pin the label ‘woke’ on me and send me scurrying to try to figure out just what the Sam Hell you even mean!

Now, from a day or so of research, trying to learn just what is meant in today’s strange culture by “woke”, the nearest I can conclude is that a ‘woke’ person is one who calls for social justice, who supports Black Lives Matter, who supports Roe v Wade and Obergefell v Hodges, who believes in equality for all and is trying to make the world a better place.  If that is the right definition, than I am proud to say that yes, I have awakened and am an enlightened social justice warrior, or in today’s vernacular, I’m ‘woke’.

So, a reader claims that being ‘woke’ is a terrible thing, much worse, even, than being a trumpeter! Hmmm … something is wrong with this.  Let’s see if we can figure out why it’s better to be a corrupt racist misogynistic psycopathic liar than a person who advocates for equality and social justice.

One explanation I found is that those who are considered to be ‘woke’ are pretentious and cultural elites.  Huh?  Okay, I know what ‘pretentious’ means, and … I can honestly say I’ve never once had cause to be pretentious a day in my life!  And … cultural elites???  Heck, folks, I’m about as elite as … Jethro Bodine from the old Beverly Hillbillies show! I don’t own fancy clothes or drive a fancy car … my van is 20 years old and has 250,000 miles on it, and is only safe to drive no farther than I could walk home. In my lifetime, I’ve been homeless, I’ve been attacked, I’ve had a gun pulled on me, I’ve worked my ass off to get an education and take care of my three children, sometimes working three jobs … ELITE???  Hell no!

So look … don’t bother to consider whether I’m “woke” or not, for it really doesn’t matter.  Consider me a person who cares very much about many things:  the environment, animals, all people, equality for all, government that works for the people, not against them.  I want people to learn to get along, to accept each other as they are, and to value diversity.  I want an end to all forms of bigotry, from racism to homophobia to anti-Semitism to misogyny to Islamophobia.  I want people to care instead of hate.  I want our elected officials to work for us, not be lining their own pockets.  I want an end to guns, the sole purpose of which is murder.  These are the things that are important to me.  Don’t label me.  I am who I am, which is far from perfect, for I am sometimes grumpy, have a fairly low tolerance for willful ignorance and stupidity, and I have a sharp edge.  But what I do, I do with kindness, caring, compassion, empathy, and love.  I am not a label, such as democrat, liberal, snowflake, woke, or any of the other labels people so frequently use.  I am me … just that.  I do my best.

Hug A Friend Day!

I had not planned to do a post this morning, for my heart simply isn’t into it.  I’m rather tired of this whole three-ring circus we find ourselves in, tired of hearing the words “coronavirus” and “social distancing” (which wasn’t even a word until coronavirus, then somebody felt a need to make isolation sound more appealing), sick to death of seeing people in creepy masks, sick and damn tired of the creep in the Oval Office, and just decided to take some “me time”, perhaps try to remember how to use the muscles around my mouth for something other than scowling and grimacing.  But then, fate intervened … in the nicest sort of ways.

Our friend Ellen sent me an email yesterday evening to remind me that today is ‘Hug a Friend Day’, and of course I couldn’t let that one slip by … especially this year when it seems that to hug anybody is verboten.

According to one source I found …

“Today is for hugging friends! Hugging has been around for millennia and is practiced by almost all cultures as a way to connect with others without using language. Hugs have traditionally been given in may scenarios: as a greeting or goodbye, for sympathy or congratulations, and for gratitude, support, and affection. The word “hug” seems to have come from “hugga,” an Old Norse word meaning “to comfort.” “Hug” was first used around 1610, to describe a wrestling hold. It began being used for its current meaning in the 1650s.

Hugs may release a hormone called oxytocin into the bloodstream. This hormone, produced in the pituitary gland, helps lower blood pressure, heart rate, and the stress hormone cortisol. It also reduces anxiety, improves mood and memory, and increase bonding and closeness. Those who hug often tend to have increased empathy for others. In order for hugs to be beneficial, those participating must trust each other and both want to hug. Otherwise, the opposite effect happens and cortisol levels rise, causing stress.

How to Observe

Celebrate the day by hugging friends! In order for hugs to have their many benefits, make sure the friend you are hugging wants to be hugged. Let them know about the day and ask them if they would like to hug before embracing them.”

Well, now obviously none of your friends will come close enough for a hug, and you’ll just end up with crushed feelings if you try (been there, done that), so don’t waste your effort on a real hug, but … there are virtual hugs!  Not quite as good, but … better than nothing, verdad?

So, when you send that email to a friend today or leave a comment on someone’s post, send them a virtual hug, with a raincheck for the real thing if it ever becomes allowable again!

And … Filosofa sends a ginormous hug to all her friends here in bloggerdom!

Hug-2Hug-3Hug-4Hug-5Hug-6Hug-7

A Heartfelt Plea

Remember when you were 15 or 16 and you’d just gotten your driver’s license?  Remember the first time you took the car out without one of your parents being with you?  You may or may not have been nervous, but your parents were scared half to death!  We knew all the risks, all the things that could happen, but … you had to grow, you needed your autonomy … so we bit our tongues, worried ‘til we saw the headlights when you came home later, and let you fly free (relatively).  We trusted you (mostly) to make wise decisions, to do the right thing.

Now, we are asking the same of you.  We are asking you to respect our autonomy, our ability to make our own wise decisions.  While we know you love us, know you will worry, we need to decide for ourselves during these dangerous times what level of risk is acceptable.  Think about it for a moment … we all risk our lives multiple times every day from the time we get out of bed.  We could fall down the stairs, could have a heart attack or stroke without warning, could get hit by a truck on our way to the grocery, and the list is endless.

Yes, the coronavirus pandemic is dangerous, and I do not minimize that.  But I would like to give you something else to think about.  Older people, especially those who live alone, are prone to loneliness and depression.  We worked hard all our lives, had friends we socialized with, had … purpose.  And now, suddenly, you are telling us that you want us to stay confined to quarters.  Some may be satisfied with this arrangement, but I think most of us are not.

One thing I’d like you to remember is that our emotional health is every bit as important as our physical health, and in fact one almost always affects the other.  We greatly appreciate your offer to do our grocery shopping for us, but … we like to select our own celery and chicken legs.  Some of us thrive on that briefly exchanged smile with the man stocking the apples, and the short, “Hey, how ya doin’?”  We don’t just like that … we need it.

There is a difference between being alive and living.  After all these years of hard work, of raising our families, we feel that if there is no joy in life, then … why bother?  We feel we’ve earned the right to be respected, to be trusted to make our own decisions, and it is deeply disturbing when we are told what we must do, no matter how well-meaning the intent is.

The reality is that nobody knows how long the threat of the coronavirus will last.  I’ve heard that it might be August, I’ve even heard that it could last into next year.  Now, if you tell us that we must stay in our homes for 2-3 weeks, that’s one thing.  But you can’t do that, for you just don’t know how long it may be.  Keep in mind that our days are numbered anyway, that some of us wake every morning and say, “Wow … another one?”  Most of us don’t expect nor desire to live to 100.  Yes, we know you’d like to keep us around that long, but really, once we aren’t living our lives, but merely existing, then … why bother?

My own daughter and I had this conversation many years ago, under similar but different circumstances, and while I’m sure she sometimes bites her tongue, she does understand and respects my autonomy.  But I have seen too many friends these past two weeks having their autonomy, their joy taken from them by those who would wrap them into a plastic bubble to preserve their health … at the cost of their emotional well-being.

We’re not asking to go run a marathon, or snuggle up with a group of 100 people — we’re only asking that you let us live — take a walk, go to the grocery store, maybe even visit the library or bookshop (if they’re even open), or visit a neighbor for a cuppa coffee.  By all means, if you hear me say I’m going to go skydiving, though, please feel free to stop me!  But seriously, we’ve lost so much of our ability already to do things we enjoy — we are hampered by arthritis and other physical limitations — don’t take any more away from us.

Most of us will likely survive this, but I’m not sure what sort of world we’ll step back into at the end of the day.  I just read something a friend sent where scientists are predicting it could last up to 18 months.  Will there be a world left to come out into?  How many decades will it take to rebuild global economies?  I don’t know … nobody knows.  I only know that today I am alive, and I wish to live my life … not as others dictate, but in the manner that I see fit. I’ve earned that right. I know you all have the best of intentions and what you do is done out of love … please love us enough to let us decide how we will live these next days/weeks/months. Thank you.

Saturday Surprise — This ‘n That

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the …weekendI wonder what this weekend will bring?  I imagine the crowds will be much thinner in restaurants, malls and the like.  Whatever you do, wherever you go, take your little bottle of hand sanitizer with you and keep safe.


I got my own Friday Surprise yesterday afternoon!  My friend Anne Lawson of Anne Lawson’s Art  had emailed me a couple of weeks ago and generously asked if I would like a piece or two of her art.  Well, of course I would … she does beautiful work!  I tried to offer to at least pay for the postage, for having shipped packages to the UK, I know that it can be quite expensive, but she wouldn’t hear of it.  So, yesterday afternoon when I was diligently mopping the kitchen floor, Miss Goose came in from taking out the trash and checking the mail, and announced that I had a package from Australia, so I knew immediately what it was!

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Aren’t these just beautiful!!!  Miss Goose took the photos for me, but left them in the plastic sleeves Anne sent them in, hence the reflection.  I’ll post another after I frame them and hang them.  Thank you so much, Anne … you have brought a huge smile to my face!  I already have the perfect frames for them and the perfect spot to hang them this weekend!


I would like to introduce you to a critter that crossed my radar last night.  Meet Xherdan …Xherdan-1Xherdan is a six-year-old Canadian Sphynx who lives with his owner in Rüti, Switzerland.  Xherdan is covered in wrinkles from head to toe which has earned him comparisons to aliens, brains and dumplings.Xherdan-2Though he often sports an angry-looking frown, his owner says he’s “cheerful” but also “cheeky”.Xherdan-3Here’s what Xherdan has to say about himself…

“My skin is light pink, soft and warm – everyone always wants to touch and pet me. I love it! If you hold us in your arms, you’ll never want to let us go. Did I say I love it?”

Xherdan-4

“At home, my people love me, and I am allowed to cuddle soooo much with them. I love to play and jump around the apartment. Sometimes they’ll laugh at me because I’m obviously very clumsy. That makes me happy. Laughter is the language of the soul, and I am grateful for the gift of making people laugh.”

Xherdan-5

“I also like to purr, trill and prowl curiously. But I prefer to dream and be lazy. I curl myself up into arms, on legs or bellies, and nestle my pink, wrinkled body against my human family.”

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Xherdan even has his own YouTube video … take a look!


And, since I seem to be on a critter theme today (surprised, aren’t you?), here’s another.  Bats get a bad rap … I think it’s because when they are flying toward your head, wings flapping loudly and screeching at a high pitch, they are a bit off-putting.  However, up close and personal, they are really quite adorable … even if they do sleep upside down in musty old caves.

This little guy is a fruit bat and seeing him eat this banana is just too darn cute!  Take a look …


Just a bit more humour before you go …

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Okay, friends … go forth and have a fun weekend.  Please take extra precautions and keep safe.weekend

Islands in the Stream

I first played this song, the Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton version, back in July 2018.  Since then, I have been made aware of a couple of other versions, so I will include them, as well.  One is the Bee Gees own version, the other is an alternative version done for charity in 2009.


Tonight’s song, Islands in the Stream, was written by the Bee Gees and is sung here by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton.  Named after the Ernest Hemingway novel, it was originally written for Marvin Gaye in an R&B style, only later to be changed for the Kenny Rogers album. It was released in August 1983 as the first single from Rogers’ album Eyes That See in the Dark.eyes that see in the darkThe song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, giving both Rogers and Parton their second pop number-one hit (after Rogers’ “Lady” in 1980 and Parton’s “9 to 5” in 1981). It also topped the Country and Adult Contemporary charts.

I like the song … I like the energy and the camaraderie between Kenny & Dolly.  And … yes, I admit it … I don’t mind a bit looking at Kenny Rogers … he is not at all hard on the eyes!

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Islands in the Stream
Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers

Baby, when I met you there was peace unknown
I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb
I was soft inside
There was something going on

You do something to me that I can’t explain
Hold me closer and I feel no pain
Every beat of my heart
We got something going on

Tender love is blind
It requires a dedication
All this love we feel needs no conversation
We ride it together, ah ha
Making love with each other, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

I can’t live without you if the love was gone
Everything is nothing if you got no one
And you did walk in the night
Slowly losing sight of the real thing

But that won’t happen to us and we got no doubt
Too deep in love and we got no way out
And the message is clear
This could be the year for the real thing

No more will you cry
Baby, I will hurt you never
We start and end as one
In love forever
We can ride it together, ah ha
Making love with each other, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Maurice Ernest Gibb / Robin Hugh Gibb / Barry Alan Gibb
Islands in the Stream lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Margaritaville ♫

Now, this song isn’t likely a favourite of most of you, but bear with me, for there is a reason I’m playing it tonight.  You know that when I get a song stuck in my head, you’re going to hear it, for that’s about the only way I can exorcise it!  And there is a reason … a single line, actually … for this one being in my head!  I shall attempt to ‘splain.

I had concluded that I was losing what few marbles I had left.  On Monday, I was upstairs gathering towels for the laundry, when I remembered that the downstairs bathroom needed some toilet paper, so I tossed two rolls into the laundry basket to bring it downstairs.  Well, long story short, by the time I got to the bottom of the 15 stairs, I had forgotten all about the toilet paper, so it, along with numerous towels and washcloths, got tossed into the washing machine.  Took me an hour-and-a-half to clean up that mess!

But then, on Monday night, I lost the salt shaker.  It’s a nice salt shaker, big enough to only need re-filling once a month or so, lots of holes in the top …salt-shaker

I had used it to salt my food on Monday evening, and then … poof … it was gone!  We always keep it on the back of the stove, but it was nowhere to be seen.  Miss Goose and I both searched high and low yesterday … every cabinet, drawer … the pantry, the freezer, the fridge.  I even routed through ashes and kitty litter in the trash, but to no avail.  So, the song connection now becomes obvious, right?  There is a line in this song that goes … “Searchin’ for my large shaker of salt”.  As I tore my kitchen apart seeking my ‘large shaker of salt’, I was belting out this song at the top of my lungs, and … it got stuck in my head.  Oh, by the way … we found the salt shaker after daughter Chris came home tonight and I, with my head hung in humiliation, admitted that I had lost the salt shaker.  She, then remembered that she in fact had ‘borrowed’ it and buried it between the cushions of the sofa!  To my credit, I only yelled for a few minutes, and mostly in jest.

Long story short … if I’ve gotta have it stuck in my head, then you’ve gotta at least give it a listen.

Buffett wrote this song in Key West, Florida after he finished a tour with his group, the Coral Reefer Band. They had just toured Texas, and Buffett spent some time drinking Margaritas in a Mexican restaurant with a friend before going back to Key West. When he got there, he sat at the Old Anchor Inn watching gridlock on the roads – and used it as inspiration as he composed the song.

Buffett recorded this song at Criteria Studios in Miami with producer Norbert Putnam. Buffett and Putnam met in Nashville, which is where each did most of their work. When Buffett asked Putnam to work on an album of songs about a carefree lifestyle by the water, Putnam told him that he needed to be near the water when recording it if he was going to pull it off, so Miami it was. Putnam said …

“One day in the studio, he comes in and starts telling me about a day he had in Key West. He was coming home from a bar and he lost one of his flip-flops and he stepped on a beer can top and he couldn’t find the salt for his Margarita. He says he’s writing lyrics to it and I say ‘That’s a terrible idea for a song.’ He comes back in a few days later with ‘Wasted Away Again In Margaritaville’ and plays it and right then everyone knows it’s a hit song. Hell, it wasn’t a song – it was a movie.”

Margaritaville
Jimmy Buffett

Nibblin’ on sponge cake
Watchin’ the sun bake
All of those tourists covered with oil
Strummin’ my six string on my front porch swing
Smell those shrimp they’re beginnin’ to boil

Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville
Searchin’ for my long lost shaker of salt
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame
But I know it’s nobody’s fault

Don’t know the reason
Stayed here all season
Nothing to show but this brand new tattoo
But it’s a real beauty
A Mexican cutie
How it got here I haven’t a clue

Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville
Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame
Now I think hell it could be my fault

I blew out my flip flop
Stepped on a pop top
Cut my heel had to cruise on back home
But there’s booze in the blender
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on

Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville
Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame
But I know it’s my own damn fault

Yes and some people claim that there’s a woman to blame
And I know it’s my own damn fault

Songwriters: Jimmy Buffett
Margaritaville lyrics © Coral Reefer Music, Kobalt

Bastards! R.I.P. United States

The vote began shortly after 4:00 p.m. and by 4:20 this afternoon, the Senate had decided that Donald Trump should be given the keys to the kingdom, should not be held accountable for his crimes, and should be henceforth allowed to run the nation as he pleases, without interference from either the Courts or the U.S. Congress.

I was writing a letter to a friend when the verdicts flashed across my screen.  Sure, I expected it, knew the final outcome would be that the GOP members of the U.S. Senate — those whose salaries and luxurious lifestyle WE support — would have neither conscience nor male-parts enough to do the right thing, to hold the excuse for a man who sits in the Oval Office accountable for his actions.  I was prepared, right?  No surprises.  And yet, when I saw those news briefs cross my screen, I honestly felt as if I had been punched in the stomach.

I gasped for air, but there was none.  I felt tears welling, yet my struggle to breath precluded all else.

This is what the bastards we have elected and whose salaries we pay have done to us.  They have laughed at the idea of holding the “president” of the nation accountable for his actions.  They scoff at the notion of values or ethics.  And, they have decided that the time has come to burn the Constitution that was ratified in 1787, some 233 years ago.  How many of them could even quote from the Constitution they swore to uphold, I wonder?  Few, I think.

We have, in the last few hours, traded in a democratic republic for an autocracy with a cruel dictator who has no conscience, no moral compass, and no compassion for any who are not his equal in wealth and stature.  And now, permit me to blow off just a bit of steam before I screw my head back on straight …

I hope … sincerely hope … that Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and every other republican in Congress, as well as those who put them there, contract the Coronavirus and die a very long, slow, and painful death, equal to the one they have just cast upon this nation.

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Nightmare

Well, the day has finally come … we will be leaving first thing in the morning to find our new home.  It has been a nearly two-year process, trying to find a nation that would accept refugees from the U.S., so hated in the world is this nation.  Who would have believed a short ten years ago, when Master Trump won the 2016 election, that it would come to this?  Sure, we knew he was inept and inexperienced, but we all thought he wouldn’t last the first four years, let alone stay in office for ten full years!

We applied for asylum first in the UK, for we have many friends there, but after Trump’s unsuccessful attempt to assassinate members of the royal family there, all Americans are persona-non-grata in the United Kingdom.  Next, we tried Australia, but ever since those fateful fires in the early 2020s, their economy has been suffering and they simply cannot afford to take on refugees, for they struggle to feed their own people.  We tried Mexico but were told “¡Vaya con el Diablo!” We petitioned France, but they stopped accepting refugees from the U.S. after Master Trump had the Statue of Liberty re-carved with his image in place of Lady Liberty’s and renamed it after himself.

And just last week, when we had lost hope of being able to flee the terror that is now our waking nightmare, we received a letter from the Canadian government telling us that we would be welcomed in Canada. We will have only 90 days to prove ourselves useful by finding gainful employment, else we will be sent packing. I am not worried, for I think we will be able to find jobs, even if only in some fast food restaurant. The alternative would be unthinkable and would almost certainly lead to our execution, or at least mine.  Now our only concern is getting across the border tomorrow night.

thought-policeMany have criticized my comparisons of the U.S. today to Germany of the 1930s, but in many ways, this is even worse.  Technology and the age of electronic spying have led to a complete loss of privacy.  Remember Orwell’s 1984 when he wrote of the ‘thought police’?  That is exactly what today’s world is, at least here in the U.S.  So far, I have been arrested four times for my writing that was critical of the government.  The last time, what I wrote was in a private email to a friend, and within 30 minutes of sending that letter, the police were pounding on my door.

If only people had listened back in 2016, or even 2020 … if only people had voted the madman out back when we still had a chance.  We no longer have elections, no longer have a voice in government.  We no longer have an independent media … all information, such as it is, is now disbursed by state-run media outlets and carefully censored.

In nearly every city, new prisons are being built to house the political dissidents, those of us who remember what it was like to have freedom of speech and who continue to speak out.  There are near-daily executions … very public executions, intended to serve as a lesson for those of us who still think we are allowed to have a voice.  “Master Trump” as we must call him now, allows for no differing opinions, and all privileges are only for those who wholeheartedly support him.  Our grocery stores are state-run and one must show a valid state ID to even buy food.  Many of us have taken to growing vegetables in our small yards in order to survive, for the amount and quality of food available to those of us who are not wealthy is poor.

Thankfully, I don’t have young children or grandchildren, for the schools are now segregated by level of wealth, with the average person’s children receiving only the barest of education, and by age 16 being expected to enlist in the military.  For a time, I was teaching the neighborhood children in my own home, the lessons of history and government, but once I was discovered, I was no longer allowed to have children in my home.  The history books that are used in the schools are all new … history has been revised by Master Trump – a ‘man’ who has never read a history book in his life.  It is whatever he says it is on any given day.

Well, I must go pack the meager bit that I will be able to carry to cross the border tomorrow night.  We will be driving up to the Canadian border during daylight, find a place to rest for a few hours, then crossing the border on foot with only a backpack each to carry our belongings.  I hope it is a good sign that tomorrow starts a new year – 2027 – and hopefully a new life for me and the girls.  Wish us lu – who is that pounding on the door at this hour of the ni …………………..

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Filosofa Gets An Award … ???

I occasionally receive a nomination for a blogging award, and while I am always appreciative that somebody thought enough of my blog to include me, I have never actually done one, for I simply don’t have time these days.  Today, though, I am making an exception.  Mathew the Wolf Boy nominated Filosofa’s Word a couple of days ago for the Sunshine Bloggers Award, and I decided to do this one.  For one thing, the last few weeks of political drama have taken a toll, and I need just a small break from it all.  For another, I consider Mathew a friend and am honoured by his nomination.  And for a third … well, there really is no third …

According to Wolf Boy’s post

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

Now, I think that saying I “spread sunshine” is likely a bit of a stretch, since for the most part, I spread darkness and angst, but who am I to argue with a Wolf Boy?  So, on to Mat’s questions …

  1. If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?
    • Just one?  That’s all I get is one?  Okay, let me see if I can combine several into one … every weapon that’s sole purpose is killing would be destroyed.  This would include every sort of gun, grenades, bombs, nuclear weapons, etc.
  2. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
    • Peanut butter – nature’s most perfect food, of course!
  3. How hot can you handle your food?
    • Well, I usually use potholders, so even if it’s right out of the oven, I … oh … you mean how spicy? Well, about middle of the road … I like a bit of kick in my food, but too much kick and my stomach kicks back!
  4. Make one prediction about the future. Be bold!
    • I can only come up with one, and it’s not fun.  I predict that if humans continue along their materialistic, greedy and arrogant path, they will bring about their own extinction by the end of the 21st century.  (See, I told you that ‘spreading sunshine’ was a stretch!)
  5. Do you think humans will reach Mars in your lifetime?
    • Mars cannot sustain human life, so what would be the point in spending millions or billions of dollars that could be used to help people and the environment here on earth, to develop the technology to go to Mars?
  6. What’s your favourite thing to write about?
    • Given the subject matter of 90% of my blog, you might guess politics, but you’d be wrong. I far prefer writing book reviews, writing about people who are making a positive difference in the world, writing about animals, writing about history and how it has impacted the present …
  7. The apocalypse has come at last. You’ve barricaded yourself inside of a Wal-Mart. The horde is gathering outside. What now?
    • Why is the horde gathering outside, and what do they want? I’d have to go out and ask them, wouldn’t I?  Perhaps they are hungry and cold, and only want some of the food and warm blankets that are inside Wal-Mart! 
  8. The strangest thing that you’ve ever seen on the internet?
    • It’s hard to say. ‘Strange’ is a relative term, and what’s strange to you might not be to me, or vice versa. Plus, I try not to wander into uncharted territory on the ‘net.  So, I’ll play it safe and say the facial contortions of Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings.
  9. What’s a perfect day for you?
    • A day is perfect if the sun shines and I get up with enough energy to get done everything that needs to be done. If I ever have one of those, I’ll be sure to let you know!
  10. How do you feel about money?
    • On a personal level, I want only as much as I need to pay my bills and have a few treats such as a meal out, or a new book. Anything beyond that, I would use to help people, to keep children from going to bed hungry at night, to keep people from living on the streets, etc.  On a larger scale, I think nobody needs millions of dollars and greed is the single biggest problem in the world today.  If it were up to me, everyone would have only enough to meet their needs and the rest would be distributed among everyone.  Socialism?  Oh yeah … more and more I lean in that direction.
  11. What would paradise be to you?
    • A log cabin in the mountains, a roaring fire in the fireplace, someone who loves me sharing the space, a little creek running behind the house, shelves and shelves of books, and lots of critters!

Thank you Mathew for this opportunity – it was fun!