Sunday, June 29, 2008


Of course you can't see her eyes since she's snoozin'. Bandit is literally almost three and is literally "three." Like most three year olds she does her best skirt the letter of the law. As you'll notice most of her is on the papers, NOT on the table. Of course she's on the papers that are on the table, but what the hey, who's counting right? I had a nephew who was a lot like that.

She wandered into the yard while mom was outside almost two years ago come September. Because she's such a big girl we didn't realize she was younger than she looked. We let her hang out on the porch, made sure she got fed and she sort of moved in. Let her in when she wanted to come in.

When the weather turned chilly a couple of the neighborhood scroungy toms got a little too interested. She didn't show up all on day and when I went out to check late in the evening they had her cornered under my car. I scared them off, she took for house and she's been in ever since. Well, apart from a trip or two to the vet to get fixed. She's slipped out a couple of times but she's been an inny ever since. The Bandit sticks pretty close but she is not really a lap cat. Tha's a good thing what with two laps and three cats. LOL

Saturday, June 28, 2008


This is Lucky of the green eyes and the striped tuxedo. Geez, she's almost twelve now. We adopted her from a coworker who took in a pregnant kitten. She found homes for the kittens and since Lucky and her cat didn't get along she needed a home. Rena called her Lucky (as in lucky to have a home) and we kept it for her.

She likes to hold hands, pats your face when she wants your attention and will hang out in your lap for as long as possible. Lucky is the queen of the other cats. Actually she's the smallest, but she more than makes up for it with attitude. Actually the face patting is an improvement as an attention getter. She used to flex her claws in my hip pocket when she thought I'd been spending too much time at the computer desk. A little flex the frist time, and a little more and a little more...........until I paid attention to her. Thirty minutes tops. She is one of the sweetest kitties we've ever had. She also has one meow that sounds a lot like no. And she uses it when no is the right thing to "say."

Friday, June 27, 2008


We have flower pots on the porch and on the steps out front. This is the miniature rose that was saying hi when I got home yesterday. And the glowing red geranium and the white bacopa. A nice combo.

The blossom is a lot lighter than the bud. This one has a very light, sweet rose scent. I like the minis. If it was up to me all our roses would be miniatures. You can pack a lot in a small space.

Sunday, June 22, 2008




I guess you could call this the Yellow Rose of Oregon, (that isn’t really its name) and there’s a bit of a story behind it. When dad passed away back in ’95, mom’s little brother sent her a copy of the catalogue from the rose gardens up north of St. Paul with the message to order what she wanted in dad’s memory. So she did.




We planted it out back and it never really amounted to much. But, the darn thing wouldn’t give up either. So, when we started moving things around last year we gave it a new home on the south side of the house where there’s a lot more sun. It’s been a very happy and enthusiastic camper this year. Very enthusiastic. In fact I need to do a little judicious pruning every little while to keep it near the trellis and the arbor. In fact it reminds me a little of dad. It just needed the right place to stand to shine.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


The first bud on the Peace rose started opening today. Sun, sun, sun. You didn't hear me say that. The blossom will fade to deep cream with rosy undertones as it opens fully.

Cross posted in Women On.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


It's the lush time of year out here in the southern Willamette valley. It's been cool and damp so the trees, grasses and shrubs are still lush and green.

It's a riot of color along the south side of the house. Rhododenrons, red lupines, and day lily foliage along the house. The shot is through one of the huckleberry bushes. Huckleberries are related to blueberries, only smaller. And.......the berries are right on the branches, not in clusters. Picking those little suckers will be interesting. Darned if I 'm going to let anything get away though.

Just a shot of towards the hill in the back. Geraniums and hanging baskets. The base of the planter on the pavers is the chimney from a firepot. The actual pot is on the other side of the yard with a pot full of purple salvia on top of it. Well, it'll be full in a month or so. The cool weather is unusual but kind to the transplants.

I think the basel would be happier if the weather was warmer. I replaced the bell flowers with three volunteer lavenders. I'm hoping to have all perennials in the ground and the annuals in pots. Probably next year. There's only so much you can get in one year.

Lush greenery and blossoms along the sidewalk, including strawberries and ferns. Everything is that unbelievable green right now. Of course once it finally turns into summer and things dry out, the colors will shift. But, it will be great while it lasts.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Or at least I'll try not to let it controal me.

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.

From Dune by Frank Herbert.

This may end up being more than one entry. This is, in a way, a skeleton of an idea. I’ve got a frame, but the picture isn’t finished yet. And this does not address groups that are not only willing to use violence against the innocent to achieve their goals, but are willing to ask their own people to die to achieve it. That requires a different response.

Pieces of this puzzle have been kicking around the old brain box for a several years. I just haven’t been able to string the words together in a way that makes sense. Lisa’s post last week started them tumbling again. We watched Cry Freedom and Cry the Beloved Country again this weekend and things started tumbling faster.

Some puzzle pieces start looking for homes every time a group such as the American Nazi party or the Ku Klux Klan wants to hold a march. Usually in a very carefully chosen venue where they can be guaranteed the maximum amount of exposure for the minimum investment of party funds. Skokie Illinois in the late seventies is a great example  

An offshoot of the American version of the Nazi Party wanted to hold a rally/parade in Chicago in the late seventies. The city priced the liability insurance so high the nice people with the pretty banners (so not) were forced to look elsewhere and settled on the suburb of Skokie. The decision may have been influenced by an unusual demographic; a large number of Holocaust survivors had made their new homes in Skokie. A publicists’ dream come true.

The request for a permit to gather ignited a firestorm of protest. The ACLU ended up defending the National Socialists right to parade in court. And under our beloved, but largely unread, constitution groups like this do have a right to gather in public. Even if the rest of us are grinding our molars down to powder when they do it. The story spawned a fairly good TV movie, Skokie. The party finally got their gathering. In Chicago. In 1981. And Skokie? Their sister city is Porbandar, the birthplace one Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. AKA the Mahatma.

News of a controversial gathering usually sets a familar pattern in motion. Crowds gather to hold counter demonstrations at the office that issues the permits, at the courthouse, or at the parade. Usually there are more counter demonstrators than there are party members or Klansmen. And they are just as loud, if not louder and just as angry.

Other puzzle pieces look for mates when I consider the level of violence we’re surrounded with in this country. Sometimes I feel like the frog that was put in a pot of cool water over a low flame. If I’m not careful, I’ll end up cooked.

 I’ll be the first to admit that trying to preach non violence to the tiger isn’t going help when his teeth are already in your throat. You can no longer speak and the tiger is past listening. Choosing a non violent response doesn’t mean there won’t be confrontations or that you won’t find the tiger at the door. It does mean that you try to choose your confrontations. When you open the door to the tiger it’s as much on your terms as his.

Whether it’s Anne Coulter, Alexander Cockburn or the Klan, their goal is to provoke a reaction. Granted, the Coulters, Krauthamer’s, and Klansmen seem to be better at it. They poke, those who don’t agree react. They poke harder, we yell louder. They haul out the heavy artillery, we jump over the moon and the whole show is played over and over on every news channel in the country. It’s a strange and twisted dance we have going on here in this battered world.

But, what would happen if we didn’t react to the provocation. If we didn’t act the way we were expected to. A different, disciplined confrontation. What happens when the Nazis hold a parade and nobody comes? How do you provoke a crowd that isn’t there? What good are parade banners and white hoods when no one is looking at them? These actions don’t ignore what these groups stand for. It’s a confrontation of what they believe and why you oppose it. It may involvesmall groups gathering away from the route or demonstration with information and the strong suggestion that even watching these people act like the fools they are plays into their hands. Gives them a power they don’t deserve

What if? What if the National Socialists had been allowed to march in Skokie? March down streets or gather at a park lined with people holding placards with the names of the lost and camps where they died? Or even better, placards proclaiming “I survived.” Just picture it. A silent parade route or park lined with nothing but black bordered placards. It is a picture, isn’t it?

Being absent, turning your back, or refusing to speak unless you choose to do so on your terms does not imply consent. Far from it. It puts any violence or provocation squarely on the shoulders of the person or persons who set out to use the situation for free publicity or to serve an agenda. They poke, we don’t react. We say no to their power play. They have no power over us if we don’t concede it to them.

It doesn’t matter which band of the political rainbow you live in. Our reactions grant the professional provocateurs power over us. Power that they have no right to hold and, I coming to believe, we have no right to concede.

Cross posted in Women On.


Sunday, June 1, 2008


Unusual, for us, lavender iris showing the "beard." We had just enough misty rain this morning to put rain drops on everything.

Another beautiful color combination, also showing the beard. I am going to have to make note to much the living daylights out of that side of the bed. I don't want to lose any of these bulbs this winter.

And how do bean vines know where to go? Yesterday those runners were waving around pointing every which way. Today they're zeroed in like a pointer on a pheasant. But, how do they know where to go. I mean it's like Audrey looking for lunch.

Note the cobbled together trellis arrangement. What works for the rectangular trellis on the other side of the bed doesn't exactly work here. At least not without a little help. LOL

Cross posted in Women On.


Some sweepings from the recent news.


Had one of those B@#$##%T moments this weekend. The regional cable news channel ran a story last night about the sales jump for hybrid cars out here. I was only paying half attention to the story until they focused on a young family that had just bought one of two hybrids just delivered to a local dealership, I think it was a Honda; like I said I was about half there until the guy mentioned that he’d been discouraged from taking a test drive because and I quote “by the time you get back we’ll have sold it to someone else.”


And it was like what the F&*^! You’re going to sell the car that someone is test driving out from under them? And you’re buying a car you haven’t at least driven around the block? Granted, the father of the family didn’t strike me as the brightest bulb on the tree, but really. At least make sure the wife, the kids and the car seats all fit.  My own reaction would probably be something like this. Well, good for you; I don’t sign on for a twenty to thirty thousand dollar purchase without knowing what I’m getting, have a really nice day.


Scott McClellan’s new book. I haven’t read the book and I have no intention of reading the book. But, I have gotten a kick out the news stories and the foaming at the mouth columns in the paper. I do have memories of seeing Mr. McCellan on the news when he was press secretary.. He was really good at the no answer answers that this administration is famous for.


There’s two kinds of people who don’t know what’s going on. Those who tried to get the truth and couldn’t get any answers in spite of repeated attempts to find them. And there are those who don’t know what’s going on because they’re following the good old sit in the corner, close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and hum real loud. Really, really loud. Think Ronald Reagan and Iran/Contra. There isn’t a damn thing I’ve heard discussed from that book that hasn’t been in the news over and over since 2003 except his claim that he didn’t realize what was going on. Yeah, and I have a slightly used bridge I’d like to sell you.


 Spent about an hour picking spent blossoms off some rhodies yesterday morning. And found myself thinking about a couple of conservative pundits who don’t mind showing off their ample curves. Namely Coulter and Malkin. Coulter in her slinky little black dress and Malkin in a bikini, more than once. The shots are on the web.


On the surface they are beautiful women. And they know it. But, like those short lived rhododendron blossoms the showy beauty fades. Once the flowers are gone you’re left with the shrub; and sometimes you find that the showy blossoms were disguising a pretty homely shrub. So be careful ladies. One of these days what’s on the inside will start showing on the outside and I don’t think botox or plastic surgery will do you any good.


I could be wrong though. Karl Rove is a certified, vindictive, manipulative, asshole and he still looks as smooth, sleek and smug as ever. Maybe he has a Dorian Gray style painting stashed in an attic or cellar somewhere.  


Cross posted in Women On.