Saturday, August 5, 2017

August Is Here!

Yes, August is here and that means I'm off to the UK for two weeks!!  I  can't believe the time has arrived!  The Wingrove Event Planners International have designed a great itinerary for me, allowing me to have time with lots of longtime friends.  So, in addition to Katie and Adrian's wedding, there will be lots of reunions, to which I'm really looking forward.  

Eileen is my first stop, and while I'm with her we will travel to Manchester to visit Allan's sister and her family.  There have been three additional grandchildren since my last visit, so many little ones to meet.  On the weekend, Eileen and I will travel down to Bath for the wedding, which should be a happy, festive weekend.  She will then drop me off at the Camerons for a couple of nights.  While I saw Dave and Jenny at the 2015 reunion, their "children" are now young women!!  Ann and Martin will pick me up there and I'll have some time with them, which is really exciting as I haven't been to Dorset or seen their new house.  We also plan an overnight in Bristol in hopes of meeting up with the Thomases and possibly the Marshes.  No doubt there will be many embarrassing memories shared over a glass or two of wine!  I wish I could see everyone, but I'm a bit disoriented about where Ann and Martin are now located.  In any event, we are really maximizing my time - and we ladies do have to have some time to just sit and "chew the fat".  I'm really looking forward to it all and it's great that it"s centered around such a happy occasion.

Started packing today - at least selecting clothes and seeing that all will fit before pressing, etc.  Even that presented a problem as Mama Mia decided she might want to travel a bit, too!  She kept moving to whatever section of the bed I was working, until I finally had to give up and try again later.

Preparations were not without drama.  Several weeks ago I had to take Rosie to the vet.  She was very lethargic and two days straight she threw up clear, bubbly stuff immediately follow by a white, thick mucous that she could hardly spit out.  When I threw a squeaky toy down the hall and she didn't move from her bed, I knew something was really wrong.  The vet didn't know the source of the problem, unless she had eaten something that made her ill.  He gave her and antibiotic shot and sent me home with another antibiotic and something for the vomiting.  It took a few days, but she recovered and returned to her usual happy, perky self.  This is the first time she has been sick and I was very concerned......am so glad she is better.




Then this week it was Mama Mia, who had a severe case of constipation.  This has been an ongoing problem for her, but this was an extreme case, to the tune of about $500!!  Because she was (and pretty much remains) a feral cat, they had to handle her with gloves and anesthetize her in order to do the examination.  They gave her an enema and kept her overnight to be sure she was pooping.  Then the vet sent me home with some chew-able tabs to put in her food - that was very iffy!  Plan B was to add coconut oil or mineral oil to her food, which she stopped eating!  After two days without pooping (partially because she wasn't eating) one of the people who will be caring for my pets while I'm away stopped by and asked if I'd tried Miralax.  So I researched it online and most people added it to moist food, which Mama doesn't eat.  Finally, I found people whose cats only eat dry food and they added Miralax to the dry food.  So, I tried that and it seemed to adhere to the dry food and is tasteless and odorless.  I put it on her food one night and the next morning she had eaten it all.  Twenty-four hours later - poop!!  Who would ever expected one would be so happy about poop!  I'm hoping things will be normalize by the time I leave........never a dull moment!

Otherwise, I devote much of my time to The Resistance!!  We actually prevented the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) from being repealed even though the Repugs hold all branches of government.......and it's mostly women doing this!!  In fact, when they determined who was active in this process, the answer was "your mother"......not the vulgar term, but women old enough to be your mother or grandmother.  Also, it appears that many more women are running for office, which I think is a wonderful thing.  My feeling is that the world will be a better place when women claim their power and use it for good!! HOWEVER, I have to confess that it has all been exhausting and depressing!  I really can't imagine having to do this for 4 (or God forbid, 8!!) years......but if we don't, the USA will be a 3rd world autocracy of some sort that you will not recognize.  I think much of this was inspired by the Women's March in DC the day after the Inauguration, which makes me even more proud that I participated.....on the day after my 70th birthday!!  WOMEN ROCK!!

This is a sweet thing that happened today. The lady who cleans my house every couple of weeks in from Mexico.  She originally worked for a cleaning service that abruptly shut down, but she contacted me about continuing to clean my house.  Eventually, her niece joined her.  Well, Anna, her niece, was away for awhile, visiting her family in Mexico.  Today was her first day back and she brought me this cute little basket and some sweets - dried sweet potato and fig.  That was just so sweet!!  It made my day!

Will close now but wanted to touch bases before I head out.  I hope this finds everyone doing well and enjoying the season.  No doubt I will have lots to share when I get back!  In the meantime, take care and enjoy every minute!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4, 2017

Well, July is upon us, much too quickly. It appears I missed the whole month of June! This year the 4th. seems a bit somber as so much is changing in our country, at headlong pace.  I was invited to a few things tonight, but just decided to stay in, not wanting to be dealing with traffic after fireworks, etc.  Someone recommenced a Netflix movie - Thurgood, about Thurgood Marshall, I assume - which seemed a good, patriotic substitute for fireworks (and I can be in my PJs!)!

I and many of my friends continue our work in the Resistance, which is wearing after 6 months. It is amazing how much destruction can be done in such a short time.  A shoe drops almost every day, each one more terrible than the last. In my case, I make calls or send faxes almost every day, but you do get to a point where you just have to take some down time!  We are all beginning to wonder if we can maintain 4, or God forbid 8, years of this!!  It really is depressing and totally disappointing!

I have maintained my usual groups and activities, all of which are great diversions.  June included a very nice Liberal Ladies cocktail party and the Democratic Picnic.  On the 17th, my friend Melodee and I went to the Juneteenth celebration at Mitchelville Beach.  We especially enjoyed the McIntosh County, GA. Ring Shouters (seen HERE in Library of Congress video) and the Praise Singers.  It was a pleasant afternoon and something a little different to do.



The photos of me in the video prove that I have become my mother!  I never really thought I looked like her, but actually gasped when I saw the photos!  Looking like her is not a bad thing, just a surprise!  Oh, the joys of aging!

For years, I've wanted to go to the Port Royal Street Music concerts....but it seemed like too much of a drive.  They're held every other week through the summer (except July...hot, hot, hot!).  Since Melodee lived there for a while, she was familiar with the area and the concerts, so we headed over one Saturday afternoon/evening.  It really was a delight.  I was dreading the heat, but the area was shaded and people just brought their chairs, or wheeled up in golf carts, with wine and snacks, and listened to the music.  There were people of all shapes, sizes, colors, ages....socializing, dancing, just enjoying the music.  It really was fun and I will definitely be going back again.



This past Friday, Chris and I had a day in Savannah, another place I don't go often enough.  We started with a great lunch at Kayak, an excellent little restaurant, and then did a little walk around the area.  There are lots of interesting shops, which we enjoyed.  Then we went to the Jepson Museum to see the Kahlil Gibran art exhibit.  It happens that he had a long, enduring friendship with Mary Haskill, who eventually settled in Savannah and donated many of his art pieces to the Jepson Museum.  I was totally unaware that he was also an artist and his work was very impressive.  To counter that, in another area of the museum, was an exhibit by three Arab women which showed the stark reality of what is happening in parts of the Middle East today.....very thought provoking!  We made our way home just before the afternoon thunderstorm began.  It was a great escape and I really enjoyed it. Chris does her share in the Resistance and I think we're going to have to come up with more distractions like this!

I've also started walking again - about 2.5 - 3.5 miles a day, about 5 days a week.  Katie Wingrove's wedding is the major motivation, but it also gets me away from MSNBC for a while.  in addition, rather than watching MSNBC all the time, I've started listening to NPR on my computer.  Even though they, too, talk politics, it is not the same thing over and over - and they do cover other topics.  So, I am trying to find ways to keep current without the constant barrage.  Walking does make me feel better, both physically and mentally.....though not sure its helping with the weight at all! 

July seems to be a sparse month, but things usually crop up.  I do need some time to prepare for my trip to the UK, to which I'm looking forward!  In addition to the wedding, it will be great to see friends...and the country itself!  It may be the "get-away" I really need!!

That's about it for me.  I hope this finds everyone doing well and Happy 4th to all Stateside!



Monday, May 29, 2017

Days at Home

Well, I have some enforced at-home time, and I feel it was just want I needed.  Yesterday I joined some friends from Beaufort to attend the Gullah Festival.  It was a very nice afternoon, sitting by the waterfront enjoying the music and people watching.  I headed home in time to give Rosie a walk, when my car died on me halfway through the trip.  AAA towed it to my repair shop, but they aren't open today, so I figure Wednesday is the earliest I'll see my car.  This morning I've spent a little time cancelling all plans through Wednesday, and I feel an immediate relief....so I'm thinking so at-home time was just what I needed.

As I waited for the tow truck, I did have a nice experience.  I waited outside by my car and saw lots of people come and go (was in a service station parking area), when this one, nice, Black man came over and asked if I was okay.  I told him my story, we chatted a bit, and he went on his way.  I thanked him again and told him I really appreciated his asking....that one moment renewed my faith in mankind! 

After about 4 trips to the computer doctor, I seem to have a working computer again.  The repairman was very patient - the last episode involved losing the functioning of my keyboard!!  He was determined to solve the problem and didn't charge me for the various things that sprung up.  He predicted that I should now be able to get another year our of the computer.

While it seems that everything mechanical in my life is breaking, I do have some good news!

  • My mother's house has finally sold!  In early April, the realtor called to say there was an offer on it.....at the price, cash, and to close ASAP!!  After a month, it closed and it is now a done deal.  It seems that the purchaser's house had burned down and I guess she had insurance money and wanted to get it done as quickly as possible.  While selling it was sad, it was also a relief - and I know my mother would be happy that it is being used and maintained, rather than sitting and going to ruin. 
  • While I was visiting Jan, we planned a trip to Africa - Kenya and Tanzania.  It is through Overseas Adventure Travel and you can see details HERE.  It is truly a trip of a lifetime and something I've wanted to do for a long time.  We are also going a day early so we can see the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where they rescue baby elephants. Anyway, it is something to look forward to, and while it seems a long time away - February 2018 - it will be here before we know it.  It's so exciting!
  • I could not have gone to Seattle and considered other trips without knowing that my fur-babies were well situated.  I am so fortunate to have found a wonderful lady to stay in my house with them and maintain our routine.  Even though she works, she is able to come home at noontime and let Rosie outside, as well as maintaining her morning and evening walks (and sleeping with her at night!). She also sent daily updates, with photos and accounts of whom (Smokey, Paulie, Max, etc) Rosie encountered on their walks.  Needless to say, that made me feel better.  Rosie was ecstatic to see me when I got home, all wiggly and squealy, but none less from the wear!  What a great relief!  She is already booked for my next two trips.
  • And last, but certainly not least, I just bought my ticket to the UK for Katie Wingrove's wedding in August.  I will be visiting Eileen first, which will be fun. I hope to see her quilting group, the boat on which she volunteers, and so on. Then she and I will drive to Bath for the wedding.  From there, I'll have time with the Wingrove family.  Since I'm staying a bit longer than I had originally planned, we're thinking of doing a girls' road/train trip to catch up with other longtime friends......so, longtime friends, be forewarded!!!  it should be a festive and happy occasion and I'm looking forward to it all (except the grief I'm likely to get over our man-child president!!).....just joking about that last part.  I'd be disappointed if I didn't get grief over it!
So, that's my good news and I'm looking forward to it all.  As I was writing, my phone rang and I had another uplifting experience.  Upon hearing that I needed coverage to feed feral cats due to my cars problems, a member of the group called and offered me a car to use while I am without.  They have just bought a new car and still have their old one, so they offered me the use of the old one, for which I'm very appreciative. I need to go grocery shopping for a few things and had planned to walk to Kroger tomorrow in the morning before it gets too hot, but now I can use the car.  I doubt that I use it for anything else, but it is good to know I have wheels if anything unexpected beckons.

That about catches you up with me.  
  • Jan will be pleased to know that I had two friends contact me specifically to compliment all of the photos of Seattle!  
  • I continue my Resistance work, though I do have to take breaks from time to time.  My assignment for this afternoon is to compose a fax to all representatives, to be faxed tomorrow.....regarding the heartless budget and healthcare bills, both of which show total contempt for women, the elderly, children, and generally anyone in need.
  • I have one chapter left to finish Dark Money.  If you want to be totally depressed and scared s@#tless, read Dark Money.  The Russians have nothing on the fake news front compared to the infiltration and propaganda, law drafting, network of conservative billionaires.  They probably look at Russian as a handy diversion to allow them to advance their evil deeds.  Anyway, read it!
I hope this finds everyone doing well, and those stateside enjoying a nice Memorial Day weekend.

Gratuitous Rosie clip.  You're welcome!

video

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Time Away


Yes, earlier this month I returned from a week in Seattle visiting Jan, a longtime friend from Saudi days.  It was great to see Jan again and Seattle is such a beautiful city to visit.  The day after I arrived,  we went on at tour of Dunn Gardens, where Jan volunteers.  So, she took Mary Ellen, Katie and me on a private tour.  I had no idea so many things would be in bloom and I'm sorry I can't do justice to the names of all I saw.  All I can say is that the grounds were beautiful.  It is the 7.5 acre estate of Arthur G. Dunn, Sr., who made his fortune in the fish cannery business.  The topography and flora as so different from the east coast and I love experiencing the contrast.  The garden was absolutely beautiful and we finished with a nice lunch.



 The second day we went to Roozengaarde Tulip Fields, which were spectacular.  While the day was a bit overcast, we were lucky the whole week in that it never rained when we were out and about.  The tulip fields were about an hours drive outside the city and well worth the drive.  The colors were almost overwhelming, more than the eye could take in. 



 From there we went to La Conner, a very scenic, little town, for lunch overlooking the river.  We strolled around a bit before heading to Edison, "the center of the world" in the middle of nowhere.  Edward R. Murrow grew up there and it is now a funky little town with an art museum, a great bakery, and several other shops.  It seems it is the town all the techies flock to on weekends for food and fun.
I was surprised to find this quote, which seems to sum up our current political situation, emblazoned on a wall in Edison. Needless to say, Edison is in liberal territory!
-----------------------------------------------
Oops! A little snafu!  I get this far in updating the blog and my computer flipped off, goes completely black.  I turn it on again to resume, and it flipped off two more times.  So, I took it to a computer guy, who kept it overnight, did some magic, and it appears to be working better and faster.  He saved all of my documents, photos etc. but he basically wiped it clean and started over, giving me the most current operating system, Microsoft Office program, etc.  So, while it is working much faster and not cutting off, I am having to learn how to retrieve what I want and include it in the new OS. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anyway, back to vacation....we also had a day at the Space Needle and surround areas.  As many times as I've visited Jan, I'd never been to the Needle.  We had planned to go last year, but it was under renovation.  This year, we finally made it.  The interesting thing is that the Chihully Garden and Glass Exhibit and the Gates Foundation are all right there, so we went to the Chihully exhibit before lunch and the Gates Foundation.  For some reason, I took no photos at the Gates Foundation, but, needless to say, it was very informative and interactive. The day was also clear, sunny day, which provide a splendid view of Seattle and the restaurant rotated.  A very nice day!


You can tell that we covered a lot of territory in the time I was there, including checking our some of the nicer neighborhoods, browsing two Asian markets, a day of wine tasting in Woodinville, and having dinner with several of Jan's friends. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but it really was a nice break from my overly-political life. Now that I'm back, I hope I can maintain a little more balance!!  Thanks, Jan, for a wonderful, relaxing visit.

I came back to a much busier week than I had anticipated.  It was the following weekend before I could even get my laundry done!  One of my concerns about being away was what to do with Rosie and Mama Mia.  I was lucky to find a wonderful lady who stayed in my house and looked after them.  While she did work, she was able to come home at lunchtime and let Rosie outside for a bit.  She also maintained her morning and evening walks, as well as sending daily updates.  Rosie was very happy to see me, wiggling around and yelping when she saw me, and she seemed to have done well. I'm pleased to have found Janice, as it will free me up a bit to travel.  

Other than that, I've caught up with the Drinking Liberally and canasta groups, had a delightful evening out with friends, and read The Underground Railroad.  

I'm going to have to stop here as my computer has flipped off twice in the process of finishing my update.  So, obviously, it is not repaired.  So, I'll deal with that tomorrow.  In the meantime, I hope this finds you doing well and enjoying each day.......and Happy Mother's day to all you moms out there.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Resistance Report

Sanford Town Hall. Can you spot me?  With friends Rhonda, Melodee & Pilar.
It appears that I missed the whole month of March!  I remember when I posted several times a month, and now I'm struggling.  Not that there isn't a lot going on and even time to post about it, if anything there is too much!  Since this election and the havoc it has created, it is difficult to know which fire to (try) to put out.  Each day has another shoe dropping, so we're fighting issues most important to us, and adding, adding, adding others as they come along.  You can see how quickly it becomes overwhelming.  Since last posting, my schedule has looked something like this:
  • Two Sanford Town Hall Meetings, one in Beaufort and another in Hilton Head.
  • An immigration demonstration (our sheriff wants to voluntarily agree to devote 5 officers to work with ICE in rounding up undocumented immigrants.  Our area depends heavily on immigrant workers and this only causes fear and chaos in their community.  I wonder if they even imagine what our life would be like without them.)
  • Lowcountry Indivisible meeting and responding to frequent Calls to Action
  • Maintianing ties with Lowcountry Suffragettes, Liberal Ladies of the Lowcountry, Drinking Liberally and our more casual, monthly Progressive's Lunch - all of which bring different information and outlooks to the table.
  • Almost daily responses to those issues most important to me - by phone or fax
Drinking Liberally Motley Crew

Some interesting resources have sprung up in this tech age:
  • Resistbot is a phone service.  You can text "Resist" to 50409 and they will turn your tests into a fax and send to your Congress people.  
  • Daily Action is another phone service.  Text "Daily" to 228466 and each morning you will receive a political action to perform, along with phone numbers to reach appropriate people
  • 5 Calls is an app at https://5calls.org which does the research for each issue, determining which representatives are the most influential for each topic.  They provide phone numbers for those offices, as well as scripts.
  • Countable is a very informative app.  It lets you know what is coming up for a vote in the House and Senate,  It gives pros and cons for each issue and lets you express your opinion.  You  may call or email your representatives directly from the app.
  • My preference is to fax...a real fax.  I can't help but feel that emails and texts can be too easily ignored.  Snail mail is too slow and often phone lines are tied up, but a fax is immediate and they have something in hand, which one hopes is less able to be ignored.  If I develop a good letter, all I have to do is change the name and send to as many people as required.  I've also found an online service that allows you to send two free faxes a day directly from your computer - GotFreeFaxes.com.  I've signed up to be able to send 100 pages for $9.95.  That should hold me for a while!
Anyway, you can see that "the Resistance" is serious and we know it is for the long haul.  It is encouraging to see so many people involved and more politically informed. We felt we played a major part in preventing them from repealing Obamacare and that was encouraging - and, Lord knows, we needed it!

Believe it or not, it hasn't been all politics all the time (though it DOES consume a lot of time). I have tried to have some normalcy in my life.  Ana and I still do our zentangle, though sometimes I don't touch it from one gathering to the next!  I'm (half-heartedly) trying to get back into walking, especially since our weather has been so good.  This has been such a lovely, mild winter that I almost hate to see it begin to warm.  We are now firmly in the 80s, with cool mornings and warm afternoons.  We're enjoying it while we can.  Last summer was the hottest since I've been here and we wonder what lies ahead.
  • My political activities have crossed paths with friends I haven't see in a long time.  I shared lunches with both Pam G. and Debby R, both within the same week.  It was great to catch up and I hope it won't be so long next time.
  • Chris and I went to see Kedi, a delightful movie about the street cats of Istanbul, the lives they lead and the lives they touch.  It was very sweet - and always nice to see Istanbul.
  • Twice Rosie and I have joined my friend, Tippy, for a walk on Dolphin Head Beach, which is more private and less crowded than public beaches.  I was able to let Rosie off the leash, and she loved it!!  She ran and ran and ran.  She was truly happy and free -  so good to see!   The following photo says it all - she was like a baby that just keels over when really tired.  She slept on the way home and was done for the day.  It was also relaxing to me and a nice break from the chaos of life at the moment.
One tired puppy!
Tuesday of last week, my cousin Bill and his wife Betty stopped by on their way home from visiting their son in Florida.  It was great to see them as it had been a while.  Betty had some health issues that kept them sidelined for a while and it's good to see them able to travel again.  That was a good excuse to make a Lemon Blueberry Cake!  Rosie loved the new, unsuspecting targets of affection, and they loved her!  It was a nice visit.

I'm still feeding feral cats and making hospice visits.  I'm getting better at the hospice thing, which takes a little time - to get to know the patient and develop ways of communicating with them.  Unfortunately, two of my original three have passed away, but this week I'll be picking up three new people.  Every visit is different and I just have to go with the flow.  Something as small as a chocolate Easter egg or taking them outside to sit in the sun for a few minutes can make a difference.  I'm still learning and hope to improve.

Well, that catches you up of my crazy life.  I hope all is well with you and that Spring is in the air (except for upside down friends, who may be having fall!!).  Let me hear from you and keep me posted on your doings.  Love to all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Greetings from Trumplandia!

Thanks one and all for the birthday cards and good wishes.  Yes, it was the big 7-0, which is difficult to believe (until I look in the mirror!).  It definitely forces one to stop and think about the time remaining!  

I celebrated the day, which happened to also be Inauguration Day, by NOT watching the event.  Later that night I, along with several bus loads of people, departed for the Women's March in DC.  While there were more people coming from SC than one would expect - 22 buses total - there were many people who couldn't go and wanted to support the event.  Cheryl C. and a friend of hers provided 3 pussy hats and a survival kit, and a local lady contributed two hats. Chris and Cheryl Mc provided brownies and other chocolates (which were shared on the way home). Friends from various liberal groups showed up at the departure site and provided snacks, water, and a great send-off.  It was very festive and was even covered by the local newspaper.

Once on the road, we had an 8 hour ride, with several rest stops along the way.  We arrived at the end of a metro line at about 7:30 AM and made our way to city center.  As one would expect, the metros were jam packed, and that pretty much describes the rest of the event.  I have never seen so many people in one place and it's difficult to describe the atmosphere.  It's wonderful to see such diversity with one uniting theme.  It was totally peaceful and everyone was very laid-back.  People enjoyed talking with those from other places and took photos of interesting signs, always a fun part of these things. I had one lady take a photo of our signs because she had a friend in Belgium who vacations in SC and she had wondered if anyone from our state would be there.  She was delighted to learn there were 22 buses coming from SC and wanted to pass on the information.  It really does restore your faith in mankind to participate in an event like that and I came away feeling so glad that I'd done it.....and that I still had the stamina to do it, though I have to admit that my legs we so wobble and me feet so numb by the end of it that I'm sure I was weaving!

Early on, we were in the thick of the crowd.  We couldn't get close to the stage, but we were close to a jumbo-tron, though at a very acute angle.  We held out as long as we could but eventually moved to the periphery of the crowd.  Once we did that, we missed most of the speeches, so if you were watching on TV, you saw more than we did!  Even so, that gave us time to chat with people, enjoy the signs, grab some food, and just generally soak up the atmosphere.  I didn't take my camera (mistake) and my cell phone is crap, so I didn't get many good photos.  My friend Tippy was more successful, but when they went from her phone to my computer, to the slideshow, they appear very grainy.  Anyway, this is what we were left with...



Other outstanding moments:

  • The roar of the crowd!  Generally, the crowd was quiet, especially when you think of how many people were there, but every once in a while a cheer would emanate from the stage and just roll on down the length of the crowd, like an audible wave.  It was fantastic!
  • This experience is a good example of the difference between liberals and conservatives - bathrooms became an issue as there were obviously more people than expected.  We got word that there were bathrooms in a mall nearby, so we headed in that direction.  As soon as we got into the building, we joined a bathroom line.  It was only when we got close to the door that we realized the women had taken over a men's bathroom.  Well, the men needed to use the facilities also, so they were just waved to the front of the line!  There were three urinals on the far wall (providing some privacy), so they went in, did their thing and everything proceeded calmly.  
  • We headed back to our metro station at around 4PM, hoping to avoid the rush - not a chance.  When we got there, we had about 2 hours to grab a bite to eat in a mall.  While Tippy was in the restroom, I was hanging around outside a specialty tea shop.  One of the clerks, whom I took to be gay, noticed my signs and motioned me to over.  As we were chatting, he took my hand and said, "Thank you"!!  He then hugged me!  Another lady came over with her sign and he thanked and hugged her!  It was very touching....and a reminder of how vulnerable some groups must feel under this rule.  
  • Then, after another 8 hour ride home, I went to pick up Rosie, who was staying with the local dog trainer, from whom we'd taken several classes.  Her first words were "Well I hope you didn't get caught up in any of the violence!"  I explained that I saw no violence, nor did I even see or hear the police responding to violence.  "Well, there was.  They were breaking windows and that just tainted it for me!"  Welcome back to South Carolina, land of alternative facts!!  
It was a great experience and I think it served to encourage others to stand up and get engaged.  Look at how quickly people showed up at airports to protest the immigration ban.  It's going to be a long 4 years for many of us and I, for one, and feeling the stress of non-stop stupidity and hatefulness.  We are in it for the long haul and need to pace ourselves accordingly.  The Women's March served as a great motivational experience.

At about the same time, Chris and I somehow found ourselves among the 14 founding members of our local Indivisible group.  We've attended an immigration protest at Congressman Sanford's office and plan to attend his town hall meeting in early March.....while still writing, calling and doing whatever else seems pertinent at the moment.  You can see how it becomes exhausting.  Thank goodness for Drinking Liberally (which had about 40 people last meeting) and our monthly Progressive group where we can just get together and "be liberal"!!

What have I been doing aside from politics?  
  • I've shopped for and purchased new sofas, which will be delivered Thursday.  I hope I like them once they're here!
  • I've volunteered with Tidewater Hospice and will be visiting three of their patients one day a week beginning tomorrow.  I certainly saw the need when my mother was under their care in a facility and I hope I can be helpful.
  • I've also maintain the usual social connections and events - lunches, plays, movies, etc.
Just to end of a positive note, I can't describe how mild our winter has been and how much I've enjoyed it.  Most of our days have been in the mid-70s.  This week we will hit 80 on two days.  It may then drop down to the 60s for 2-3 days, and then back into the 70s.  It's been great!

I hope this finds you doing well.....and not having to be so consumed with politics.  Count your blessings!

You might want to turn your volume DOWN, but it's worth watching to the end.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Where Does the Time Go?

This is a quick and dirty update.  I couldn't even remember the last time I posted, but wanted to get a note to you before the Women's March in DC on the 21st.  Originally, my plan was to reclaim my life after Hillary won the election and divert my focus to something other than politics.  Well, we all know how that went!  And, if anything, my political activities have even increased, which means that my time and thoughts are even more scattered....and my house looks like a bomb hit it. So, I'll try to make some sense of all that is happening.

It appears that Twitler has lit a fire under a lot of women.  Today I attended an organizational meeting of our local Indivisible group, named Lowcountry Indivisible.  A lady from Liberal Ladies of the Lowcountry took it upon herself to get the ball rolling after hearing about the Indivisible Guide - A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.  The women in attendance today are ready to do what is called for to begin making changes - or preventing changes - as they related to our agenda.  It's really great to see so many people energized and involved.

About three months ago, Lowcountry Suffragettes (Continuing the Work!) was formed here in Bluffton.  This women's group is more diverse in age, ethnicity, etc. - which is one reason I like it.  Their first action will be to participate in the local  MLK March on Monday and having a table to distribute information, introducing the group to the community.  It will be interesting to see how it goes.

Of course, the big event is the March on the 21st in DC.  We learned today that there are 22 buses going from South Carolina and 4 from the Beaufort County area.  Unless you live in a conservative area like this, you probably don't understand the significance of that.  I thought we'd be hard pressed to fill one bus, so four is just amazing.  Even so, within the last two days I've had two women contact me to ask if there were any seats left on the bus!  Others who could not go to DC plan to join marches in Charleston, Savannah or Columbia.  There are also those who are supporting the marchers by giving us a send-off on the night of the 20th as we depart for DC. Others are knitting pink, Pussy hats (2 from Cheryl in FL, 1 from Nancy in NC and 2 from Wendy of Bluffton).  So many people are involved and eager to do what they can to resist the horror that is Trump.....including political actions like making phone calls, writing letters to representatives, researching issues, and so forth.  It is my hope that Trump has awakened a sleeping giant, that women will band together and claim their power and move our country forward in a positive way for all.  I'm sure I'm overly idealistic, but I've long thought that women needed to be more involved in political policy than we have been.  My hope is that this is the beginning of that.

In any case, the march has required constant attention over the last few days. There have been the usual snafus one would expect trying to organize an event of this size.  First they were going to take us to city center, then we would be delivered to a metro station.  At that point, Kelly Tours was going to provide each of us with a metro card then, at the last minute, they couldn't procure that many and we had only two days to order them on line with enough time to receive them through the mail.  Needless to say, the metro site crashed!  Originally, we could have a backpack, then a clear backpack, and finally NO backpack - so who knows what's happening with that!  They can't expect women to march without a tote or backpack, so I just ordered a clear one, which I hope will be okay.  So, every day there's been something and I hope things will settle this week. It would be nice to have a restful week before tackling the grueling bus ride.

In an effort to have some kind of life apart from politics, I have managed to work in a few other activities.

  • I was so eager to get Christmas packed away that the week after Christmas I cleaned the garage.  I wanted to weed through my ornaments and streamline the "decorating" process as much as possible.  So, I broke out the glue gun and made an ornament storage box.  It actually worked well and reduced the number of containers needed for them. It was very hard to get into the Christmas spirit and I'm very glad it's over.
  • Before Christmas I had Rhonda and David over as an excuse for experimenting with making cheesecake in the Instant Pot.  I couldn't believe you could actually do that, but you can!  I just started with a plain cheesecake but, since then, I've also done an Oreo Cheesecake in individual serving dishes - all of which is amazing to  me!
  • I had Christmas Eve with  my neighbors and some of their friends, which was very nice.  
  • David and I went to see La La Land and Hidden Figures, both of which were very good.  On TV (Netflix and Amazon Prime) I've also gotten hooked on The Crown and The Man in the High Tower
  • Just this week I've just gotten my application in to volunteer with Tidewater Hospice, which is the service that cared for my mother.  I'm not sure what it involves, but I certainly understand the need. I'll have a better idea once I'm approved and have orientation.
  • This past week I attended "Creating the Beloved Community", a dialogue about racism.
    Just Rosie modeling her new scarf.
     It was very well done by the League of Women Voters and gave a better understand of what is happening locally
  • As if there aren't enough irons in the fire, I've also been sofa shopping.  The love-seats in the den came with me from Saudi and have been recovered, etc.  They have finally gotten so uncomfortable that I'm forced to do something.  I am NOT a shopper, so I'm surprised that it's gone as well as it has.  I've narrowed it down to several favorites, which I will want to see again before making a decision, but I can't see that happening until after the DC March.
We are back to having great weather.  So far is has been a very mild winter, with the exception of three days when it dropped down to the 40s (20s at night!).  Yikes....that was cold!  This week has been sunny and in the 70s, so we can't complain about that.  While I've bought a warm coat and gloves for the march, word has it that it may be in the 60s, which is unusually mild for winter in DC.  Keep your fingers crossed.  

Here's hoping you all got the New Year off to a good start.  I'm sending lots of love and good wishes for 2017!


Rich Text