Monday, August 31, 2009


Peace is inextricably linked with equality between women and men.

~ U.N. Security Council ~

at their open debate on women, peace, and security (October 2002)

I mean, really...

What more is there to say?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

walking the aisle

On the issue of gay rights, I continue to strongly support civil marriage. It is wrong or our civil laws to deny any American the basic right to be part of a family, to have loved ones with whom to build a future and share life's joys and tears, and to be free from the stain of bigotry and discrimination.

~ Ted Kennedy ~
(in 2005)

I've finally figured out some potential responses to someone who is anti-gay marriage....

Do you want to marry one of the members of the couple who are wanting to get married?



...what business is it of yours?

Civil rights are civil rights. They belong to all.

Churches, however, have the right to make decisions based upon their doctrine, tenets, statement of faith--whatever. And isn't it interesting that churches are taking the lead in this matter.

Imagine that.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

putting the emPHASis on the right sylLAble

(mijo on the keys)

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they

~ Malcolm Forbes ~

American Publisher

The song continues. I wake up in the middle of the dark morning and it is there.

"Leavin' on the last train to Georgia.... I'd rather live in his world than live without him in mine."

Now more of the lyrics are there (even though it is still "last train" instead of "midnight train"). Somehow the second part seems important. And I still haven't a clue.

No one responded with any ideas last time. How about a clue--someone? Anyone?

Many thanks in advance.

Friday, August 28, 2009

be careful what you pretend

(two little kitty lumps on my foot)

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

~ Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ~
(summarizing the moral of his novel
Mother Night)

Lately I have been thinking of my word for this year: Rich. As my recovery continues and I am working less than is optimal--and as the economy persists in being in the trough--I have a plethora of opportunities to practice pretending.

I am pretending I am rich:

Today, I have enough.

I have enough to share with those who don't have.

Even when I don't have cash to share, I often have support, experience, the ability to be of service--even if it is more limited than I wish.

I have a beautiful home, a loving relationship, wonderful kittens who are almost healthy (there's still that issue of the runny poo sometimes).

I am in relationship with the Divine.

And when I put it that way...I am not pretending any more. I am all that.

Just this morning, I said to SO, "This living by faith thing is hard work." Letting go of my worry and being in the now challenges me.

"And other times, it's like breathing. It's just that sometimes...I have asthma."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

love thursday 08.27.09 ~ belonging through love

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

~ Desmond Tutu ~

So easily I assume that people agree with me: politically, spiritually, emotionally--other ways, too. I must admit, I like the illusion. I like the feeling of belonging to a group of people who share my perspective.

Then I find out we are not of the same political party--or we have different and sometimes opposing spiritual perspectives--or our emotional skill, understanding, and approach differ. I am shocked. (I am a little embarrassed to admit that.)

At that point, I remind myself: This is the same person I loved unconditionally a few minutes ago. (Or was it unconditional?) The only thing that has changed is my new found knowledge of their viewing point. Hmm. I still love them. And we disagree.

While I respectfully disagree, I hope that they, too, continue to love me. Unconditionally. We can still belong to the same each other.

Love is bigger than ideas and ideals.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

rest, ted

The torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans.... The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.

One year ago.

Thank you for your lifetime of service.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

leaving on the last train....

(shadow of my head with yarrow backdrop)

If you have made mistakes...there is always another chance for may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying

~ Mary Pickford ~ (1893-1979) Canadian Actress

I am still waking up a couple times in the early morning hours with the kittens. They are doing much better, yet they still have runny poo sometimes and are not adept at cleaning themselves up before tromping across the carpet...or my bed...or my face. I try to catch them before they leave the mat that the litter box sits on.

This morning--not once, but several times--each time I woke this song was running through my head. Except in my head it was "leaving on the last train to Georgia."

I. haven't. a clue.

Any ideas? Please--do tell.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to "jump at the Sun." We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.

~ Zora Neale Hurston ~
American Writer
Is there anything you are feeling is out of your reach? What if you were to jump--jump at the Sun?

Some days, the best I can do is step off the ledge. That works, too. The point is take the next step.

Jump up. Step off. You never know. Maybe you can fly. I can. One day I will remember.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

questions i'd like answers to


Even when the right thing to do is obvious, you may not always be the right person to do it. ... The right action for you at a given moment may not be the right action for me. That's what makes the contemplation of personal dharma so tricky and so vital.

~ Erica Rodefer ~
Yoga Journal

How can kittens poop and pee more than they eat and still grow and gain weight?

How can anyone think that a white (or any color) man is more fair and impartial than a Hispanic (or any color) woman? [If you look at the famous blue eye-brown eye experiment, men are much more likely to be treated compassionately if a person from an oppressed group now were to come into a position of authority.]

Why is it that when I find a product I really like, the manufacturer discontinues it--especially bras?

Why do time, energy, motivation, and resources so seldom coincide?

What can I use that will reach far enough to scratch the itch inside my ear?

Saturday, August 22, 2009


"Feelings...wo wo wo...feelings...."

Nothing brings up our own stuff more than being in relationship and looking at the mirror our beloved provides for us. Throughout my life, relationships have provided (and continue to provide) the crucible for purification of my elemental self.

This excerpt from today's Yoga Journal daily email, "Daily Insight" (by Erica Rodefer) spoke to me. Since I got nuthin' else to post this morning, I thought I would share this wealth:

Stop, Count to Ten

When we enter into an intimate relationship, few of us escape visitations of insecurity and shame, of aversion and jealousy. Learning to bring an openhearted presence to these kinds of feelings, rather than reacting out of fear or hurt, is not easy. But when we are willing to stay put and pay attention at precisely the moments when we most want to lash out, cling tightly, or pull away, our relationship becomes a path of deep personal healing and spiritual transformation. As with any type of yoga, one of the blessings of the yoga of relationships is the profound inner freedom that comes from realizing the goodness and beauty of our essential Being.

Learning to pause is the first step toward transformation and healing. We pause by stopping what we're doing—we stop blaming, withdrawing, obsessing, distracting ourselves. In the space a pause creates, our natural awareness arises, allowing us to be mindful, to recognize what is happening inside us without judgment. By pausing, we begin to dismantle lifelong patterns of avoiding or distancing.

Anyone else resonate with it? Care to share?

Friday, August 21, 2009

more on health care: drug company edition

(tomato in my garden)

Time and again, men and women of faith have shown what is possible when we are guided by our hope and not our fear.

~ President Barack Obama ~

And right after we change the way health insurance companies operate, let's start on the drug companies. How do you spell greed? I spell it p-h-a-r-m-a.

Now don't get me wrong. I understand the costs involved in doing research and development and some medications truly are life savers. For that I am grateful.

A few of the practices, however...let's just say I have a problem with how Big Pharma operates:

1) They, like the insurance industry, push through legislation that keeps their profits up and accessibility down.

2) If a natural vitamin form is part of a pharmaceutical study before it is sold as a natural vitamin supplement, that vitamin cannot then be sold in its natural form as a vitamin. [See #1.]

3) Natural products (vitamins, herbs, etc.) must be changed from their natural form in order to be patented. Without a patent, the drug companies cannot make money. [See #1 and #2 above.]

4) They get to charge whatever they want for their drugs:

Example #1: One medication I am using was produced by two manufacturers--one in China and one in the US. The Chinese product was substandard. Unfortunately, a number of people died because of the impurities in their medication. Fortunately, mine was from the US manufacturer.

When they shut down the Chinese production (as they should have--or perhaps they should have used better oversight from the beginning and not tried to cut so many corners in order to increase profits?) the US company was overloaded with orders and my prescription was delayed until they could catch up with production. Eventually they did. In my case, the delay was not life threatening--perhaps not so for others.

Now here is the kicker--I have used this medication for about a year and a half. Since the Chinese operation shut down (and now there is only ONE manufacturer) the cost increased 500%. In other words, it now costs 6 times what my original prescription cost. (I am one of the fortunates who has health insurance to cover it.)

Example #2: Another medication I take has been around for decades. Many years, I tell you! When I tell medical people what I am using, they say, "Oh, good. That is an inexpensive one." Because they know how long it has been around and how much it costs to produce it. Ha! Not so.

One month's supply costs nearly $1,000 out of pocket. Again, I am fortunate to have insurance that will cover it--AND I am fortunate that this medication is one that my insurance will cover. (Just because someone has insurance doesn't mean that their insurance company will cover the cost. Insurance companies get to choose whether they will pay for a medication--oh, yes, they do.)

Too many people go without medication because they can't afford them. Too many people who don't have insurance don't get to use the natural equivalent because drug companies have blocked access. (Don't even get me started on the FDA. It is not about consumer protection.)

The driving force is greed. I know that businesses need to make a profit to stay in business. I have no problem with that. I am a business owner. I need to make a profit. However, profit comes way before greed. Here--Big Pharma crosses the line.

This is just wrong.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

love thursday 08.20.09 ~ health care reform? how about insurance reform (or love your neighbor as yourself redux)

If enough people think of a thing and work hard enough at it, I guess it's pretty nearly bound to happen, wind and weather permitting.

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder ~

Let's talk health care. (Why not? Everyone is doing it.) Everyone needs care and what we have isn't working.

In my former life, I had health insurance through domestic partner benefits. When that relationship ended, I was able to go on COBRA and then to a "portability policy"--which means the coverage is not nearly as good and the premiums are not much less than COBRA, but the insurance company was required to offer me something.

In the meantime, I started looking for coverage through other companies that might cost less and cover more. They all rejected me. I hadn't used my insurance (except for an occasional chiropractic adjustment). I didn't have a disease nor was I on medication.

They all rejected me because my Body Mass Index (BMI) was too high. That's right. They rejected me because I'm too fat.

Now, I admit I weigh more than I want to and I have to shop in the fat girl catalogs (people who shop in those catalogs can call them that--people who don't can't). However, I can still sometimes buy things that fit me from regular catalogs, too. The insurance companies? They think I am too fat and they rejected me...because they can.

What we need is health insurance reform. Everyone needs to be able to have / afford health care. I don't really care how that happens as long as the new system works.

As long as the "for profit" insurance companies can pick and choose and reject whomever they want, and the "for profit" insurance companies write the legislation that their lobbyists then push through the system, we will not have care for everyone. The "for profit" insurance companies make the laws and the profits. Who pays? We do.

I am not a huge fan of paying taxes--at least not to support the war machine--but, I don't mind paying taxes that buy me services and support my well-being. Enter health care. As long as the only option is a "for profit" insurance company, I will continue to pay more and more in health care costs and premiums to maintain their profit. Not my health.

Don't kid yourself. We will pay for health care one way or the other. What do you say we try doing it the kind, compassionate, humane, neighborly way?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

get real


I thought that being faithful was about becoming someone other than who I was, in other words, and it was not until this project failed that I began to wonder if my human wholeness might be more useful to God than my exhausting goodness.

~ Barbara Brown Taylor ~

Leaving Church

I was in junior high. We were on the school bus ride home. A boy I was interested in had a book about auto mechanics so I asked him about it.

"What's your book about? Pieces of cars?" Partly, I was trying to be amusing--partly, I was pretending to know less than I knew, because everyone knows that boys like girls who aren't as smart as they are. (Don't they?)

He laughed at me--mocked me. "Pieces of cars! They're car 'parts'!" I knew that.

His derision hurt me. And that was the last time I dumbed down. I am not good at pretending to be other than who I am (except when I am on stage playing a role--then I am pretty darn good, if I do say so myself).

If I can't pretend in order to fit in with people, how could I possibly be other than who I am with God?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Hope is the strongest driving force for a people. Hope which brings about change, which produces new realities, is what opens man's road to freedom. Once hope has taken hold, courage must unite with wisdom. That is the only way of avoiding violence, the only way of maintaining the calm one needs to respond peacefully to offenses.

~ Oscar Arias Sanchez ~

excerpted from his 1987 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

I don't know if it is a driving force. It keeps me going sometimes. Is that the same thing?

What about you? Tell me about hope for you.

Monday, August 17, 2009


(look at that face)

One thing is certain and the rest is lies.

~ Hafiz ~

Sunday, August 16, 2009

bonus entry: kitten update...because you asked

I took Mijo off his meds and he was better. However, both of them continued to have runny poo and that is one of the issues of the coccidia--the reason for the meds in the first place. So I put them back on the meds at 1/2 dose (the vet suggested I try that). They tolerate it much better.

Both are eating. Except for the liquid poo, HoneyBoy is seeming to be fine...except for the part where he finds creative litter box alternatives. Mijo is a little bit behind in his recovery. He eats some and I am having to supplement with syringe feeding. However, he knows where the litter boxes are. Yes, boxes.

In addition to their medicine, I give them probiotics and lysine. Mijo also gets eye drops twice a day.

They are a lot of work right now--and they bring much joy with their sweet little beingness.


(my front yard)

The God of life summons us to life; more, to be lifegivers, especially toward those who lie under the heel of the powers.

~ Daniel Berrigan ~

Jesuit priest, poet, and peace activist

Yesterday I posted my 400th entry on this blog.

To those of you have been here from the beginning, thank you.

To those of you who keep coming back, thank you.

To those of you who leave questions for me, thank you.

To those of you who comment, thank you.

And to those of you who don't comment...why the hell don't you? (Wait. Is that a disconnect after the quote you just read?)

Have a good Sunday.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

larry redux?

This is Larry. He lived to a ripe old age of 18. At his prime he weighed 18 pounds. Here...probably 12 or so. He developed kidney problems and turned into a skinny little old man.

This is HoneyBoy and Mijo sitting on the back of the same chair. Notice the size difference. HoneyBoy and Mijo each weigh about one pound.

Take a look at this close up of Mijo.

Then look at Larry.

What do you think? Mijo's tail is a little longer than Larry's was. (Both of them are Manx.) Think there is a resemblance?

Happy birthday, SO!

Friday, August 14, 2009

on the mend

A woman's guess is much more accurate than a man's certainty.

~ Rudyard Kipling ~

I do believe they are on the mend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

love thursday 08.13.09 ~ maggie may

(silly people--refrigerators are for keeping warm)

The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.

~ Oscar Wilde ~
Irish Dramatist and Poet

Little known fact:
Maggie May
is in the same
key and tempo
as an MRI machine.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Head on over to Chookooloonks for more Love.

Did I happen to mention that I love those little guys in the picture?

(Update: Still more improvement. It is slow, but headed in the right direction.)

Song running through my head...can you guess?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

laughter: vive les rois

("i am the king!" says honeyboy)

Susan Sparks [a trial attorney who became a Baptist minister]:

"I can't understand why people don't think God has a sense of humor, given 1 Kings 5:9, where the Lord strikes all the Philistines with hemorrhoids."

In "Trust Jesus and Elvis," [one of her sermons] she explains what Christians can learn from the King. "Elvis fans believe the King lives, baby--there are sightings every day, from a beach in Singapore to a Burger King in Detroit," Sparks says. "If only Christians had that kind of faith."

from "Does God Have a Sense of Humor?" by Jennifer Haupt Ode Magazine August 2009

HoneyBoy and Mijo got a rough start. After being here a week, HoneyBoy stopped eating. With kittens, downhill can happen really fast. We took them both to the doctor and found that they have a one-celled intestinal bug.

After five days on the antibiotics, HoneyBoy rallied. Mijo started to slide. I looked up the medication and found that a lot of Mijo's symptoms could be side effects of the medication. Hmm.

Is the bug winning? Is he experiencing die-off? Is he having medication side effects? The vet didn't want me to stop the medication. I trusted my intuition and that is exactly what I did. Today, he is better.

Tomorrow? I'm thinking better yet.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

laughter: empowerment and solidarity

(HoneyBoy and Mijo [pronounced mee-ho])

[Robert] Provine [a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland in Baltimore] even chronicles a "laughter epidemic" in Tanzania during the 1960s that lasted two and a half years, affected 1,000 people and forced 4 missionary schools to close. The laughter "afflicted" female students and their female relatives, not their teachers, fathers or other authority figures. In that sense, it was very similar to the regular epidemics of "mad laughter" I've discovered in my research into sectarian groups in 17th-century England, laughter that marks the solidarity of a radically disempowered dissident group against a dominant, autocratic culture.

from "I laugh, therefore I am" by Blaine Greteman
Ode Magazine, August 2009

Research shows that women laugh more than men. Perhaps there is a reason for that?

Laugh on, my sistahs! Laugh on.

Kitten update: Some of you missed this post and this one where I named the boys. For your viewing pleasure...many more updates will come, I'm HoneyBoy and Mijo.

Monday, August 10, 2009

laughter: the rat tickler

"One of the biggest mistakes people still make is assuming that laughter is uniquely human; it's not," says Robert Provine, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland in Baltimore who's studying laughter to gain insight into the biology of social behavior. ...If you tickle a rat, it laughs; we just can't hear it."

from "I laugh, therefore I am" by Blaine Greteman
Ode Magazine, August 2009
If this doesn't make you laugh, I don't know what will. This video explains more of the process of how they record the laughter. The rats really like it and develop a relationship with their ticklers.

Laughter really is the glue that holds relationships together.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

laughter: women of a certain age

"wanna make something of it?"

Laughter is the sensation of feeling good all over and showing it principally in one place.
~ Josh Billings ~

Recently I found this blog: The Pauwpeepough Chronicles and this particular entry cracked me up. I laughed out loud. Perhaps only women will find it funny; however, most of my readers are women--and a number of them are "women of a certain age."


Saturday, August 08, 2009

laughter: and now for some other denominations

(banana leaf)

A rabbi, a Lutheran pastor, and a Zen monk walk into a bar. "Hey, what is this--some kind of joke?" the bartender asks.

Ode Magazine 8/09

I really shouldn't do this, but I can't resist:

Did you hear the one about the guy in South Carolina at a town-hall meeting about health care reform who stood up and told his Congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare"?

True story. Really.

Friday, August 07, 2009

laughter: buddhist joke

(the yin and yang of kittens)

Why don't Buddhists vacuum in the corners?

Because they have no attachments.

~ Ode Magazine (August 2009) ~

Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

(Isn't that what the Three Stooges used to say?)

On another note...

The video below is from Playing for Change. The artists are recorded in their home countries and dubbed together later. I love the pieces they choose and the videos they produce. Take a look:

In honor of Conscious Friday hosted by my sistah, SE'LAH at Necessary Room:

Thursday, August 06, 2009

love thursday 08.06.09 ~ laughter: insurance against divorce

(catalpa blossom)

Psychologist John Gottman, who specializes in marital stability and divorce, has found that for couples who stay married more than seven years, the absence of laughter predicts divorce far more consistently that the presence of outright animosity.

from the article "I Laugh, Therefore I Am" by Blaine Greterman
Ode Magazine (August 2009)
If you are not familiar with Ode Magazine, run on over and take a look. Ode bills itself as the magazine for "intelligent optimists." I love it. Does that make me intelligent? An optimist? Oh, I hope so.

Anyway, this month's issue is about laughter. I am reading it from cover to cover--okay, I skip some of the ads and skim some of the articles, but most of this month's issue is well worth reading.

Obama's grandmother is on the cover, showing us her spontaneous laughter at hearing that Barack had won the presidential election. Sweet, sweet smile.

So many good quotes and a few good (or sometimes corny) jokes jump out at me that I decided to do a series of posts on laughter.

I love laughter and I love laughing. What better day to start than on Love Thursday? Join me in laughter and antics. If you have a funny story to add, post it on your blog and leave your link in the comments. Or tell me a joke here. Anything to keep the laughter growing.

Go to Chookooloonks for more Love Thursday....

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

absolute power

Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat.

~ John Lehman ~

One of my friends posted this quote on Facebook.

Cracked me up.

Enneagram 8s are like that.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

vet trip #1 / blog experiments

HoneyBoy hasn't been eating. Mijo has a red, squinty eye. Took them to the doctor. She thinks they are younger than I was told they are. I suspect so. So now we need to feed HoneyBoy by hand for a while until he catches up. Mijo needs a drop in his eye twice a day. The good news is that they are both FIV and FLV free.

I am trying to figure out things about my blog:
How to post bigger pictures...
What kind of template to use...
Whether "Blogger in Draft" is for me. (This post is "Blogger in Draft".)

No answers yet.

Yes, I have taken more pictures of the kittens and not much else. Oh, well. There are only so many hours in a day. Enjoy them while they are young...right?

Monday, August 03, 2009

fly on your own

(honeyboy by jas)

Run, my dear, from anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings to be able to fly alone.

~ Hafiz ~
Yes. They can both climb the stairs by themselves. In a couple more weeks, I'll have to find something else to block the stairs, since they will be able to jump over the folding table I am using. Or, maybe we will luck out and Misi will not object to them by then.

Hope. I am all for hope.

(Thanks to everyone who gave me photo editing software suggestions. I appreciate your input. Now I know who to ask for help when I finally decide what to use!...speaking of flying on one's own....)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

brain traffic

(the pier)

If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.

~ Lilla Watson~
Aboriginal elder, educator, and activist

I went to bed last night with several thoughts about blog posts. Did I write them down? Nooooooooo. Do I remember them? Nooooooooo.

Meditation takes on many forms: sleeping kittens on one's person--requiring that one not desire to move in order not to disturb said kitten--is one.

Quiet. Lovely, lovely quiet.

Sunday lists can be as long as weekday lists.

It's official--there truly is a problem with the camera's ability to autofocus. Crap.

The space bar on this keyboard has a broken spring, so it only works about half the time. Crap, again.

I think the kittens eyes are going to change colors--probably to yellow.

Need. More. Coffee. Now.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

august beginnings



1. inspiring reverence or admiration; of supreme dignity or grandeur; majestic: an august performance of a religious drama.
2. venerable; eminent: an august personage.

Meet Mijo (pronounced mee-ho).

Yesterday, I introduced you to HoneyBoy.

That's right--Mijo and HoneyBoy. They are, indeed, august personages. And they are melt-alicious. All I have to do is hold one of them. Melts me...and it is not just the heat of our globally warmed summer.

Soon, I will post pictures of something other than kittens. I promise. "Soon," however, is relative, is it not?

Oh, and by the way--happy beginning of August!