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Sunday, January 29, 2012


    The path from the road to the house is an eight of a mile. It curves a bit  to the left before it reaches the house. On an August morn arrived a tiny noir package, only two and a half pounds. It parked itself on the deck near the barbacue grill. Next day it was still there. We put out a small dish of milk and ignored it. Another day passed and we noticed it had climbed up to the lower shelf on the grill where the folded fire blanket is.

    Three days and it still is here. Bill loves cats, maybe it is time to have a pet. We knew the vet from the last cat that had wandered to the deck and we tried to rescue but was too late to do any good. So we took the black ball to the vet to make sure it was healthy and get whatever shots were necessary.

    First we named her Augusta to remind us we found her in August but the vet said it was a he. It was so small we could not tell. So we named him Augustus, Gus for short.

    All was well, we let him in the house, gave him a bath and adjusted to a small creature among us. He was an indoor pet, young and energetic. He seemed too active for indoors so we began to let him out for some fresh air and another look at the world.

    One day, he came home and could hardly walk. He could not be touched and cried a lot. Finally we ventured to pick him up and take him to the vet. Without an x-ray machine the vet could not be certain but he thought Gus had a broken leg, and we would have to take him to another vet two towns east of us. It was Sunday night and the vet would meet us at the  clinic. The vet and his wife had been to the movies. X-rays proved that Gus had a broken femur and would need surgery. The vet would operate tomorrow morning and we could pick Gus up on Tuesday.

    The top part of the femur had to be removed, the vet said, and he would heal fine. He needed to see Gus in a week to remove the stitches. Three days later we were back at the vet because Gus had pulled out two of the stitches. Now Gus had what they called staples in his hip, and again we would have to return in a week to have the staples removed, four of them. And it would only cost us one thousand dollars.

    What we did learn at this new vets office is that our Gus is a Maine Coon, with his long black hair and  could grow as large as thirty-pounds. We gasped!

    He is an odd little fellow, not so little any more at sixteen pounds. He loves to go out in the rain and has no problem getting soaked. I think he does it just so we can wrap him in a towel to dry him off so he doesn't leak all over the house. He understands English and does come when called. He is definitely from Missouri, 'Show me' is what he does when asked what do you want, show me. He sits in front of the refrigerator when he wants wet food, he stands in front of his bowl when he is low on dry food. When he wants to go out he stands or sits by the kitchen door and screams for someone to let him out.

     When Gus catches a field mouse, he of course wants to bring it in, we do not humor him that far.
After he comes into the sun room he must be brushed before he is permitted into the house. His long hair catches too much brush and leaves to let him wander free. He runs into the sun room up to the door to the laundry room. I stand half way between both doors and order him, commere, commere, commere(slang for come here). He turns around from the laundry room door and comes to be brushed or combed. Then, once the door is opened he makes a mad dash for the food, eats, maybe has some water then turns around and yells to go back out.

     He sleeps with Bill, curled up near his knee. Sometimes he jumps up on Bills chest at three in the morning and smells close to Bills face. A quiet wake up call to be let out.

    We don't know where he goes when outside, except for the times he brings us mice, or when he chases the  birds that rest in the bush near the house. He disappears for hours and Bill worries. Sometimes we can easily notice the limp. Occasionally he lays down near his bowl of food and paws a few pieces out of the bowl and brushes them close to his mouth to eat. He will only drink water standing up or sitting up. He has a pitcher near his food. He loves when there is fresh ice cubes in with the water and spends time trying to catch a cube, or he like the ice water on his paw to wash other parts, either and or both.

    We bought one of those towers for him to scratch at and climb, it also has a little cubby hole. We had to put stones on the bottom to hold the tower secure. It is really made for little cats that don't have much weight. We added about twenty five pounds of rock to the bottom so he could not tip it over. It has little pompoms hanging and a rope to scratch at. Gus is mildly amused with them.

    One of his favorite amusements is when I walk around the house dragging a length of twine, about a yards worth. He chases us through the rooms until I am tired of the exercise.

    A favorite is when  we roll a crumpled scrap of paper in the palms of our hands as for meatballs. He hears the sound and runs behind a piece of furniture poised to attack. When it's thrown he jumps at it like a ping pong ball. He  will only fetch when HE wants to play.

  He's been with us now seventeen months, a member of the family, boss of the bosses. He has us wrapped around his paw and as long as there is food in his bowl, water in his pitcher and someone to open the doors for him, everything is fine, there is peace. The boss is satisfied.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fw: CNN Republican Folly 1.26.12

Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2012 2:01 AM
Subject: CNN Republican Folly 1.26.12

If the Republican Party believes they have done anything to advance their cause, think again. In the history of debate nothing comes close to this dismal display of rancor. The candidates have imploded.
More harm has been done to the Republican Party from within than anything the Democratic news army could throw at them.
These men showed no harmony of party, no respect for themselves nor America.
Who would want to vote for men who attack each other and call each other friends.
Who would want to elect someone who can not accurately berate a party member.
They are supposed to be on the same side.
We again heard nothing new.
We again heard no voice for America, or if we did it was a whisper.
Let us see, a voice for America:
Mr Santorum is so angry and cannot contain himself to debate. His anger rages before him. Would you want him near the switch.
He continues to remind us that his father came off the boat, and that he, Rick Santorum has fathered children. He also reminds us that he has been a fighter for twenty years to fix what is wrong with Washington. But Washington is not fixed.
Mr. Romney, the smooth one with the expensive education and expensive life reeks of money. He claims he made his own fortune, but with whose fortune did he get his start. Poverty has never touched him nor has anything. Mr Clean. The guy will never be able to meet with a third world leader and make them feel as an equal. How will he be an asset to an ever shrinking wealth of nations. How many clean shirts do you think he puts on in a day. Do you think, when he was a kid, he took out the garbage, once, just to see where it went. The Marie Antoinette of America. Let him eat cake.
The newt is the ever changing salamander, remaking himself, or is he the newton that studied light. His baggage is suspect. Although he is the brightest of the bunch he is the sloppiest, resting on his laurels. Perfection is not what he strives for, more for, amusement. He has thought things through. The trip to the moon although realistic in the sense that the race for outer space is leaving us in the dust of the milky way and that is a shame on America. It is a good dream for the nation and should have been delivered with some care. Because the roads to Florida all need to be repaved. Silly man thought we were not listening. We were.
the Doctor, like Dr Who, scares us too. His islolationist stance reminds us that we all must live on this small planet and play together. We cannot live on our own little island. We are all connected by the economic game. And unless he changes his rigid position about the world and what our role should be, he is the loosest cannon too.
The more they speak, the better Obama looks, at least we know  he does not care about america.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dear Diary 1.18.12 Not easy to read

We are becoming worried.

There is this nagging distress. It is growing to an overwhelm. It
is eroding any sense of well being. It is discomfort, it is a sore
festering, to seethe and foam, it spreads threads of the warning signs,
danger. The knot in the pit of the stomach, the raised hairs on the back
of the neck, the chill at the spine, all the commonsense alarms to
harbingers of hazard.

Sadness, disappointment, pain, anguish. Decades with knowledge,
compassion, regard, equality, justice, rights, freedoms now threatened.

A war is being waged on terror. A war is being waged on drugs, and now
again there is talk of waging another war, A war on females. Not
physically to kill them but to maim for life, in prison, coraled like
cattle, devouring rights and voice, freewill and choice. Chained to
pillars. Tied to rails. Slaves. Scarred for life, branded, altered.

A movement gaining strength. A massive crowd with no regard for
female. The group that is fighting to choose to deny female any rights
to control what happens to the body of female, a burgeoning voice
forcing their will to condemn female to a gulag. Using female to
reproduce against their will.

As a machine, to sustain, without regard, chained, enslaved
without rights, feelings, aspirations, dreams. Detached from the stage
of freewill, the backbone of the Great American Dream, the right to
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, locked into the dungeons of
despair, disfigurement, degregadation, owned, used, forgotten.
Carelessly without regard, a machine for reproduction, possession,

Female, unable to prevent one result of sexual intercourse, without
the advantage of privilege, a male equally unable to prevent this
outcome, but who, will *not* be forced, *not be* imprisoned, *not* be
forced to suffer the result, the one who gets 'the get out of jail free
card'. Female is punishment, one sided retribution , for in fact, it
is punishment for two errors, male and female, an error of
irresponsibility or ignorance. She, female, forced live the sentence,
entombed in the constancy, no where to hide, no eyes to close, no rest,
no sleep, no dreams, no choice, only the nightmare, 'doing time'.

Committing life gets the same punishment as committing death.
There is no chance for appeal no sigh of denial, no excuse, there is no
reprieve, life in prison, no parole, for female. Forced to mutate.

The abrogation of the rights of female in a country that parades
itself as the land of the free, a country that boasts the rights of
all, the country with the laws to protect all its citizens rights,
now, wishing to segregate the female into the land of the slave, the
chattel. The land that will seed the threads of the new divide, the new war.

The battle that belongs in the *Dark Ages*, with the moats,
dungeons, disease and pestilence, the time of ignorance fraught with
fear filth and the mud of madness.

Amongst us, are those who fervently believe in the sanctity of human
life and yet willfully void their alleged enemies.

Give me liberty or give me death.

Will it be seen that female will join together to renounce the
affront to their rights or will they bow to the laws /laid /by males.
Can female shoe strength, demand equality, and rights.

And if female chooses *not* to terminate the duality, thus then,
male *will *be held accountable for his actions. For female "with child"
there will be male equally responsible and accountable for said child
that enters the world.

When male is held responsible with female for emotional unions that
progeny will have the opportunity to become something, rather than a
drain on society.

As long as male steals away from confronting actions and female is
left with the burden, we have, a society that does not recognize the
rights of female. And we have a child, who will have begun a life of
need. Charles Dickens warns, "Beware the child called want, beware the
child called ignorance" and every child who begins life with want will
inevitably be a child of ignorance and need. The need of which society
can not deliver because that child would have lived the beginnings of
life unwelcome, in the first 'home', and will have shared an abode with
someone who did not like nor want to be with them, resented from the
beginning , and would not know love nor the warmth of being wanted. A
child unwanted is always looking and searching for want. This then would
be the members of the new society that would be forced upon all of us.
The new society.

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 ABC Republican Presidential Candidates Debate

     Can it get any funnier.these guys don't realize that people are listening to them.  At times they sound like bickering classmates, elementary mates at that.
    Gay marriage was an issue that was turned around to religious persecution, stealthily done by Mr Gingrich reporting that the Catholic Church in some states were prevented from offering adoption services because they would not let gay couples adopt. It seems they would rather have a child grow parentless, rather than being loved by parent or parents, regardless of what they do sexually. They all we strong for privacy rights but encroach upon homosexual rights to privacy. Judging how a person shares love is what they were very strong about. Being a loving couple gives you no equal rights, except for the newt, he was in fact in favor of concessions. There was strong feelings for keeping the male female hierarchy with recognition of no other lifestyle. The family as core is what they were pushing for.[Mr Huntsman's feelings, I am not very clear about]. Mr Santorum is the most rigid against any recognition for gay rights. The financial benefits of marriage ie tax breaks etc seem still to be a private club for male female unions. [What the gay community should do in protest is buy two family homes, have partners marry other partners i.e.  one lesbian partner marry one homosexual partner and their respective other partners marry, therefore affording them the finincial benefits of marriage(currently denied them) and they will thus be elligible to adopt. 
    That of course is not acceptable ethically, for very many feelings would have to be suppressed, but if you wanted to get even with the establishment, that is the way to do it.
     Rules, that is what is the issue, and who gets to make them. Status quo is what they want, although some of them up there have changed the rules, making divorce the norm. It is good for a child to be reared in an environment where they are made familiar with both male and female tendencies but when there are excess children thrown away, who are in desperate need of a life, why should they be denied love. The rule is the rule and that is that.
       Mr. Huntsman was the strongest character with a plan. Mr's Paul and Perry wanted to bicker. Mr Gingrich seemed the wounded dog.
        Mr Romney at one point refused to answer a question and instead went on his high horse tirade of beating up on the president. He thought it more important to dump on someone than address the issue presented. It looked like the kid wanted to play his own game.
        We laughed a lot, it was the funniest thing  we have watched in a long time, except when I decided to close my eyes to listen to see if I could hear who was telling the truth(try it for the next debate, they will appear different). Sad commentary, a debate to consider the next leader and it was more a joke.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Pantry



    Dictionaries define a pantry as a small room used for storing foodstuffs and implements. Our pantry is more than that, it is a storeroom of  family history and ethnic diversity.
   There, on that shelf are grandma's Guardian Service pots and pans circa nineteen-forty - nineteen-fifty. Thick aluminum vessels to first be warmed by low heat,  which becomes stored in the pot which will becomes hotter than the heat source and is retained. The pots crackled exterior is difficult to keep clean but grandma and mom kept the pots spotless. The thick dome shaped glass covers sport a knights helmet and crossed axes in the shape of gingko leaves on poles. Pieces have been added to the collection, little gems found at yard sales, these 'new' old pots are not immaculate, time has not been as kind to them.  The griddle is a solid aluminum about an inch thick.  Sunday mornings Mom made silver dollar pancakes,  then, our eyes were level with the griddle and we would watch the batter rise from exposure to the heat.
    To scour the griddle, pots and pans a small piece of steel wool was used. It was kept in a plastic container with lid, within, a mixture of water and Rokeach soap (kosher soap) which as a matter of fact, kept the steel wool from rusting and thus one scant patch of steel wool would last until it was scoured away instead of rusted away. Bon Ami powder also would be applied to the pots to remove the oxidation stains without nicking a surface, it  by her side like a sidearm ready to fire.
    The view of mom at the sink when she was cleaning a piece of Guardian Service had a distinct rythmn, the motions of her arms and hands a waltz , as she rubbed, rubbed, her body a symphony.  Meticulously inspecting and scrubbing  back and forth, top to bottom adrift and at peace, maybe, she hummed a silent tune to herself, one two three four, one two three. Magic pans in her hands a genie creating something out of nothing. The simplest meals, no meat, colorful, tasty and filling and satisfying. Their honored place of rest a shelf close to the door close to be picked first ot make magic. 
      At the far wall a pegboard holds tools for the grill, for the hotdogs, shrimp and hamburgers of summer meals without the mess of clean up, carefree fare.  the optimism of spring greets the eye, the subconscious mind wanders to warmer sunshine and short sleeves.
The winter segue that satisfies. The relish is waiting near the saurkraut mustard and ketchup, the four musketeers of spring.
    One night I saw the oppossum sitting on the sideboard of the grill. Venturing out to snap a photo, quietly moving closer, it dawns on me that I know  nothing about the personalities of oppossum and  moving closer might be a stupid thing to do, closer,  claws and fangs glare, hastily retreat.
     Twice starting the grill without opening the cover, resting frogs have been cooked, ruinning all appetite. Frogs legs are good eating, but  imaginating them incinerating alive is too vivid to consume. And yet, blue gill from the pond, thrown into the fire, be good eating. Primitive meals, primate.
   Strainers and collanders hang from their hooks, waiting, for pasta or salad, porcelain, aluminum, fine screens, punched holes, orange yellow and gun metal. They have seen the last of broccoli, cauliflower, peas, green beans, spinach and struffoli too. They have seen vegetables at their best. Some were bought, others  gifts or inherited. More than necessary colorful decorations, art in the pantry.
    Waiting on the lower shelf is the bowl made in Italy, a painted flower wistfully brushed into the center, it smiles at us when all the pasta is finished. It is near the pasta in boxes or celophane, imported and domestic.
   Those annoying empty plastic containers are in there too. They annoy because they are empty.  must reside In the sanctum, the vault of treasure, they must reside, even the scarred, must be saved for the collected leftovers, the tidbits of tomorrow and the extras that get shoved into the freezer, a squirrels acorns an insurance deposit buried for security.
     Near the crockpot on the topmost shelf the obsolete food proccessor, so says the manufacturer when  attempting to purchase parts . A small pimple of plastic to secure the bowl has long since disappeared, now the tip of a skewer reached down into the space where the dimple was is the only way to get the machine to hum the whirls into the consistency for a mixture. It is more than thiry years old, resting in the warmth of an uppermost shelf, obsolete.
    The most used utensils are stored in the pantry, ready and handy. The others, the once in a while used tools , the piepan and cake pans are stored on the laundryroom shelves.  The lesser tier in the hierarchy of the kitchen{unless you are a baker by trade}.
    Lining the short wall in the pantry to the left, in little cubby holes five inches deep, debut the life of spices.   A large bottle with the last of the Hungarian Paprika. Purchased at Botany Village, New Jersey more than fourteen years ago. It sits in a cubby hole all it's own. It is added sparingly to savor our past and to reinforce our heritage, to warm us and wake us up. Bought in specialty shop with fresh homemade appetizers, sausage and cheese. There was a room separated by glass, where the machine to make fresh mozzarella sat, a big metal vat maybe five feet in diameter. The store had  shelves filled with goodies, cookies, candies, pastas sauces, beans, olives anchovies, nuts and on an on.
    If all the spices that crowd the shelves in the pantry had containers the same size they would be stacked  alphabetically, Chili Powder, Chinese Five Spice Powder, Italian Parsley, Indian Curry, to find them easily.  The cinammon container is much larger than the ground black pepper or the cracked black pepper near the cardamon seeds and the star anise sitting next to the large jar of this years dried hot peppers alongside the cans and jars of olives, black and green that are below the capers and tuna fish. All the spices are on the short wall out of order. The most useful way of filing them is to put the most used closer to the door and the larger containers towards the back of the pantry. The order always changes when something new is added like Thai Fish Sauce or the Oregano and Basil dried from the garden. Musical spice.
 There is ofcourse a spot for bandages, in various sizes, the little covers, handy when the knife has to test itself, or the grater nicks the knuckles.
    That same short wall holds sweet jams from the summer berries, store bought marmalades, salad dressings for the local greens, oriental spices to throw into the wok.  
        Pantry, from the old French word Paneterie, a bread closet and Panetier, the servant in charge of bread.  The pantry a servant in charge storing and securing the foodstuffs. The many foodstuffs that have  evolved since the first man made the first loaf of bread.
    For your consideration, the sevant in charge of bread, someone who stares at, yet can not touch what is in front of him. Was he in the tent, in a building, how did he get to be in charge of the bread, was it a promotion or demotion. Oh, what do you do for a living, I am in charge of the bread. Did the servant make the bread or guard the bread, dictionaries do not tell the whole story.
    To the back shelf  sits the  antique glass juicer, a round object with a reamer in the center and a well below the reamer, for fresh 'squeezed' orange juice or lemonade with a sprig of  the spearmint from the garden. This juicer was a great invention, dense yet not heavy, misleading at a glance, light enough to grab with one hand with a glass ring at a side, to securly hold for pouring or reaming.  An old piece of glass that looks brand new, who owned it before, what did they pay for it, was it as respected then, as it is now.
    Jars of pickled red cabbage and pickled beets are on that side too, near the stone mortar and pestal, a tool used by the ancients, as we, to grind  seeds into spice . It too is on a low shelf to protect it, a place where maybe it will not fall to break. When in use, transforms a kitchen into a cave filled with aromas. 
    Pantries have personality, charm from around the globe. The whole world in a closet. There, the whole world is home.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


                  A new beginning
                 A new day
                  A new life
                   And a new opportunity

          Before we begin
          Behind the future
             Better prepared
           Be there
                    Begin at the beginning

           Can be done
             Can do

            Develop a plan
               Determine a goal
                Devote the attitude to succeed
           Disappoint no one, especially the self

        Expand, let the mind absorb the new
Expect nothing, so whatever you get will be appreciated
         Express yourself without vehemence
     Extend yourself to extraordinary

         Free, a new beginning
Free, a new opportunity
   Free, without unhelpful
Free, with helpful, say something helpful
    Free, do not waste time on useless
         Free, avoid unhelpful
  Free, to think happy thoughts
     Free, to see every day, as a new day
 Free, every day to be a new person
    Freedom, to let go of the thoughts and things that do nto work
Free, light and airy
   Free, happy AND sad
      Free, knowing happiness you must also know sad
Free, to enjoy the happy, to really feel happy, because you know, somewhere you will get to know sad

        Gee,  a new year, a new day, a new me
 Gee, a new year, a new day, a new you
     Good is far more enjoyable than bad[sometimes always never]
    Grateful - that there is a roof over my head when it rains
        Gallant to march forward
     Gentle to touch someone with kindness
Gibberish, the opposite of genuine
      Give a gracious gift
   Gossip with goodwill
Grown up, responsible for the self
 Gulp and grin and gather, rather...