Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Occupy Movement

Here's a pic of some Occupy Cincinnati marchers, where I had a class last weekend. I'm anxious to see if this movement grows to be the liberal equivalent of the Tea Party or if it dwindles out as winter nears.
I think that the only solution to America's partisan gridlock is for more parties to evolve. I never expected that to happen here, but along comes the Tea Party. I don't know if it has staying power, but as much as the platform differs from my beliefs, I'm happy to see them. I hope the Occupy Movement can organize itself into something, too.
One of the participants in my class had been to Spain in the early Spring. He said that there were protestors in nearly all cities of any size who were unhappy with government bailouts and unemployment rates. Yet, typically, the American press is determined that this movement started here.
What's the news with your local Occupiers?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Not Ready

It was 29* when I got up this morning; I had to scrape my car windows.
It's coming! I have to get the hoses in, put the storm windows in the porch, make room for my car in the garage . . .

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Great Lake

Western Michigan, bounded by Lake Michigan, is all about sunsets. Every evening, folks gather in waterfront parks all along the coastline to see nature's display. I've even seen a crowd burst into spontaneous applause after the last sliver of sun sinks below the horizon.
I was on the west side of the state recently. It's fun to be reminded how special a sunset is, even if we do get to see 25,000 of them over the course of a lifetime.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Just What The Doctor Ordered

A few days ago, I felt like I was coming down with something – headache, intermittently feverish, achey, and tired. It was so nice out, though, I just had to make a quick trip through the trails at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

You have to concentrate as you walk through the labyrinth.

What's softer than the silky innards of a milkweed pod?

Even a babbling brook . . .

Evidence of geocaching.

The smells, sights and sounds were wonderful and 90 minutes later, I felt fine. Who needs chicken soup?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Zanesville Tragedy

This is a dead lion. He was shot by sheriff deputies yesterday, along with about 30 other exotic animals which were running loose near Zanesville, Ohio. It’s suspected that their “owner” let nearly 50 animals loose and then took his own life.
I don’t want to make judgments about folks going through emotional disturbances. Nor do I see much point in determining why someone feels the need to keep these majestic animals; this particular man is hardly the first person to have exotic pets. Personally, I’m not sure that I think zoos are ethical, let alone private ownership. These animals are supposed to be running across the Serengeti, for God’s sake!
I sure would like to know, though, why states, counties, municipalities, etc. allow it. Why, why, why is it legal to “own” a lion???
This is why we need government. We’re too dumb to keep ourselves safe.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I had dinner with my newly-found cousin. She's a lovely lady who works with veterans with PTSD.
This lady has been researching her family tree for over a dozen years. She brought me loads of pics of ancestors I've never met. How nice!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain

Sometimes, the universe just SELECTS us for a task . . .
I recently learned, completely by accident, that a relative is planning to take financial advantage of a few other relatives. This isn’t a momentary lapse in judgment; it’s a calculated plan that would take some years to develop.
I don’t like thieves . . .
I can halt it (I think) by simply making all parties aware of the trickster’s prep work, which is a matter of public record. I can even make my exposure of him appear innocent. I’m sending out notifications today.
I feel privileged to be able to do this. I’m blogging about it so the police have a lead if I get shot. ;)

Monday, October 10, 2011


********In case you've forgotten, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I found a few blatant reminders around west Michigan this weekend.
Two of my friends - one a survivor, the other in the middle of her treatment. They are both an inspiration.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Nine Hundred Seventy-three and 40/100. That’s how much thieves got from my account before I realized that my ATM info had been swiped, probably from a device placed on the machine. I’ll likely get at least half of it back from the bank, but still . . .
I was really lucky, for a few reasons. My bank has a $400 daily limit, a huge help. They likely got the info 4 days ago, but I haven’t checked the account since last pay day, two weeks ago; they hit it every day for the last 3 days, but they could have been doing it for 13 days! Best of all, my bank is currently performing electronic maintenance that results in only your primary account showing on the ATM screen; they could have been getting $400 every day from two different accounts!
My bank wasn’t very concerned, despite that they will probably end up paying for it. I can pinpoint precisely which machine was jimmied, down to the day, but they don’t even collect that kind of info. I guess they just budget for a certain amount to be stolen each year and don’t worry about finding the thieves.
Sheesh, how much do you suppose this costs us every year? Odder still, how many people are employed as a result of ATM theft?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Eastern Screech Owl

There's an owl in the woods that border my house. Its screech is quite loud and I've been hearing it for years. It sounds nothing like a bird, but more like a horse whinnying. Here's a recording (which I snatched from

Imagine hearing that moving above you at night and not knowing it's a bird - creepy!
With the days shortening, it's still dark when I leave for work. My neighbor, the owl, has been greeting me every morning. I wish I could see it!
When I was a kid, Sarge and I, along with our two neighbor girls, caught an owl and brought it home to our parents! It was sitting still on a log and my sister "snuck up behind it" (how could we be so dense?!?), put an old metal washtub over it, and slid the owl off the log into the washtub. I took off my jacket, put it over the top, and the four of us carried it home.
My mom about fell off her chair when we got home; we called people to come and see it, but nobody believed us. Lord, that thing could have clawed our eyes out of their sockets! But, it seemed to go into a trance when it was on its back.
Great memory of being a dumb kid . . .

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Perfect Autumn Meal

This weather just makes me want to cook!
Yeseterday, I roasted a pork shoulder with potatoes, made a Carrot/Horseradish casserole and used an old German recipe to make an apple cake.
It was a nice, cool weather treat.