Weekend Update

Plants are coming along!  I am encouraged that no rats have eaten the core out of the broccoli and brussels sprouts (SO FAR) this year.  Fingers crossed that we will get to harvest some.  We’ve had several tasty salads with our greens.  Anxiously awaiting the rest of the veggies.  It’s been warm for December so that’s probably helping.

I’m really disheartened by the tax bill in Congress, the growing list of sexual harassers, the craziness that is our so-called president, and the general state of affairs in the world today. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does.  Hurry up, Mueller, and let us know if there are more indictments coming.  Fingers crossed.

Here are some interesting reads for this week:

We loved Iceland when we visited a few years ago.  This is encouraging!  I believe there’s a new young female leader in New Zealand as well.

I am not a football fan but I am proud of Colin Kaepernick’s devotion to social justice.

Speaking of the tax bill….

Cool news from my former home in Alaska.  I knew these two when they were kids.

Great choice. 

I’ve been trying to do more of this.  


Have a good week!



Weekend Update

We’ve been having some beautiful fall-ish weather in Dallas.  Of course, who knows if it will last.  It could be 90 again tomorrow (I didn’t bother to check the forecast). Rich has been busy doing lots of yard work and fixing things up outside.  Ajax and I hung out on the front porch “spotting” Rich in case he fell off the ladder with the power trimmer in his hand. Thankfully he did not.  🙂

Grandson Jack came over for an hour yesterday morning while his mom volunteered at the kids’ school and dad went to work.  We had a nice visit and then I took him to his preschool.  Did a little shopping to spruce up our apartment before some friends come to visit from out of state on Monday.  Had a coupon from Nothing Bundt Cakes–buy one bundlet, get another free, so of course I had to stop by and get a red velvet for Rich and a lemon for me. I thought I was getting the mini bundts that are kinda like cupcakes but these were actually small cakes.  Dessert after dinner!

I’m a little obsessed with all of the horrible news lately.  Hurricanes and fires and people suffering in too many places in the world.  Our ridiculous president and his responses to those disasters.  Should I say his disastrous responses to those disasters? Mass killings and yet the NRA and the administration pursue the “more guns, all the better” philosophy.  Dismantling the Affordable Care Act, which Rich and I rely on at the moment.  Doing away with subsidies for health insurance, which we again rely upon.  Thinking about canceling the Iran agreement.  Inept and incapable appointees at every cabinet department. Honestly, how can anyone support these f-ing morons? I wish Tillerson would just admit that’s what he said and be done with it.  Despicable Harvey Weinstein is finally confronted publicly and once again the floodgates open with more and more women telling their stories. I am so sick of (mainly) old white men who think they are entitled to do and say anything they want to women. Every woman I know has encountered these guys throughout our lives.  Isn’t it time for it to end?

With that in mind, read on and try not to be too despondent.  Yes, I am in a mood.  🙂

Higher premiums predicted for people who supported Trump.

This.  I really don’t get it.

Sociopathic baby men. 

It’s The Onion but it rings true.

Okay, a feel good story. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a national treasure.

I’m impressed with these local folks in the American Black Cross. 

Allrighty, have a lovely weekend, all. Get up, stand up, resist.



Weekend Update

Back home and back to the routine.  I returned to my volunteer work on Tuesday, we’ve babysat the kids a few times, attended some soccer games, Elle got her ears pierced, I went to lunch with Sarah and a teen mom-to-be she’s mentoring, scored big at the thrift store, went back to the gym, cleared out the garden plot to get ready for fall planting, took some walks around the neighborhood since the weather is cooling off a little in the mornings and evenings, all of the grandkids are now back at school (and preschool for the littlest ones), loving it so far.  We had a quiet Labor Day weekend. Solidarity forever, now more than ever.

Worried about the hurricanes and the devastation they are causing. Thankful that everyone we know has been safe.  Continuing to be appalled by the current administration and the latest action to dismantle DACA. How much more can we take??

I finished a book called Evicted and highly recommend it.  Most of us at my volunteer agency have been reading it as it applies to our clients in many ways.  If you don’t understand the difficulties that people go through when they are living in poverty and can hardly make ends meet, this book will expand your knowledge.

All of the recent hullabaloo about Civil War statues and monuments is playing out in Dallas, too.  Recently a statue of Robert E. Lee was taken down (but not before some group managed to get a court injunction first, which was then thrown out…seriously, why does anyone care that much??).  This is a thoughtful article about the subject.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the most brilliant writers today.  His latest piece is a long read,  a devastating one, but very important.

Defending the American Dreamers from the Dream Hoarders. I’ve been reading a lot of John Pavlovitz lately.  I am not very religious,  but if I were I’d want to be in his congregation.

And a lovely tribute to our former home in Unalaska. Oh, and if you want to see pix and watch a fun video of the annual Tundra Golf Classic back in Unalaska, click here.  Made me miss my job and my community there.

Happy weekend, all.



Weekend Update

I haven’t done one of these in awhile.  When you’re retired, sometimes the weekdays and the weekends run together and you don’t remember it’s the weekend till it’s gone.  Other times the weekend is just too busy to sit down and gather your thoughts and post anything at all.  And sometimes the new neighbors next door are having a very very very loud party in the back yard on a Saturday night and you want to be friendly and welcoming and not a crotchety old lady and so you don’t say anything even though it’s super annoying to have to listen to a bunch of whooping and hollering at 12:46 AM.  You wonder what in the world they are finding they have to yell about at this hour. Seriously, have fun, kids, but don’t yell so loudly that I can hear you even with my windows and doors shut, the air conditioner on, and the TV turned up to something like 45 on the volume-0-meter (hubby’s doing; I will just place the blame on him right here and now).

So since I am still up enjoying the party to which I was not invited, I think I will do a weekend update.  Here ya go.

I haven’t done much with Refugee Services lately–they haven’t had a lot of tasks listed on the weekly opportunity email and I think perhaps the numbers of refugees have diminished. I’m hopeful to do something again soon. Meanwhile, here are some books that look like interesting reading.

Sad that this brilliant woman’s life was cut so short.

A fun story from my former hometown.

I’m in a tizzy about the health care bill.  If you think you will never need Medicaid, read this.

Or this.

Awesome. Watch! 

Great books for encouraging kindness in kids.

I love this guy. Wish I lived in Wisconsin so I could vote for him.

Odd.  But amusing.  Or amusing but odd.  Whatever.

Happy weekend, everyone.  Sleep well while the partiers party on.





Weekend Update

Wow, there sure has been a lot going on!  I am shocked and amazed every day by the new Administration and its shenanigans.  We had quite a bit of excitement at DFW airport when the refugee travel ban came down and there were individuals and families detained as they arrived in Dallas with valid visas and green cards.  I was pleased to see lawyers volunteering their time, supporters showing up in large numbers to protest and bring attention to the issue, and even our mayor and a county judge greeting and apologizing to those who were finally released the next day.  I REALLY wanted to go to the airport but we were keeping grandson Jack for a few days and I decided it probably wouldn’t be best to subject him to the crowd and the noise.  I did tease his mom that I was thinking about breaking him in early and taking him along to a protest.  🙂

A few days ago I went with about 40 other people to our US Representative’s office to discuss the Affordable Care Act with his aide.  The aide was great; he listened, took notes, acknowledged our concerns, and didn’t argue or dismiss our worries.  I am not too hopeful anything will happen with our very conservative Rep but it was good to make contact and make our voices heard.

As I mentioned, we had Jack for four nights while the rest of the family went skiing.  He is such a sweet kid and usually very happy and agreeable.  It was cold so we didn’t get out much but we did take him with us on the one warm and sunny day to dig up the garden, lay down some compost, and get ready for spring planting.  He had lots of fun digging in the dirt.

I picked Elle and Beck up from school the day before their trip and we went out for some frozen yogurt.  According to all reports, they had a blast skiing and did great on their second time out on the slopes.

We’ve also been to a couple of Beck’s basketball games. Oh, my goodness, 6 year olds are a hoot on the bball court.  They don’t have a clue!  They are improving game by game and Beck made a basket tonight!

And our son in law Corey had his birthday on Feb. 2.  Corey’s a fine husband and father, a very hard worker, a reliable and responsible guy, not to mention funny and lots of fun.  And he tolerates his liberal in-laws pretty well, thankfully!  We love you, Corey!

My reading is very political these days.  Check these out.

Help refugee organizations by purchasing one or more of these posters.  🙂

DFW Airport CEO thanks protesters for their peaceful demonstration.

Just in case you were wondering (wish Trump would read)

Proud of my profession.

Hate has no home here.

Sobering and heartbreaking 

Non political….these are pretty.  🙂

Happy weekend, friends.  Let’s work for justice.


Weekend Update

With the inauguration approaching, I am ready to lace up my activist shoes and get back to work.  I have to admit to being a little bit complacent the last few years, a little tired of the fight, feeling a little older and isn’t it some other people’s turn?  But apparently not!

I’m getting involved in a local group that has evolved since prior to the election and we are “fired up and ready to go” as we used to say during the 2008 election. 🙂  I held my nose and signed up for updates from my US Senators (yes, THAT Ted Cruz and John Cornyn…how lucky am I?) and my Rep (Jeb Hensarling…conservative Republican).  It makes me cringe to get messages from them but I want to know what they are up to!   And then we have the Texas Legislature, which is doing its best to out-conservative NC with a bathroom bill, among other things.  SO yes, there’s work to be done and I am anxious to connect with these like minded women to work locally, state-wide and nationally on issues we’re concerned about.  There was a meeting today and I chose not to go while Bonnie and kids were still here, but I hope to make the next one.

And now that the holidays are over and we don’t have any  more guests, I am ready to begin my volunteer work with the refugee organization.

With that in mind, and more, here are a few good reads.

Proud of my professional organization.

I am making a point to finish all of these articles.  As a white person, I know I still have a lot to learn.

Thinking about signing up for this.

Yeah, it’s the new year and I need to do better.  But I love it so.  🙂

Lots of cool posters here.

Interesting challenge; might do it.

Comic relief, these crack me up every week.

Happy first week of 2017.  I hope it’s been a good one.



Weekend Update

I haven’t done any weekend round-ups in awhile!  We have been super busy trying to get everything unpacked and organized in the house, which is going slowly because there are so many other things going on at the same time.  We took time out to finish fixing up the apartment and cleaning it top to bottom because we might have some people staying in it in a week or two.  Man, I am telling you it is really a lot of work to get a place spic-n-span for strangers to stay in.  You know how your family might give you a pass if there’s a little bit of dust on the furniture or the oven isn’t quite sparkling but it’s not the same story when you don’t know the people who are coming.  We’re thinking about doing Airbnb or a similar business eventually but we just happened to hear of a need through word of mouth so this will be sort of a test run to see how things go.  Still needs a little more decor but here you are:

Meanwhile the garden is coming along okay; we had to pull up some cabbage plants that were infested with bugs and dying in the ground and we had a freeze the other night so we are hoping we can still harvest more goodies.  We did cut a bunch of greens before the freeze and have had several delicious salads — everything sure does taste a whole lot better straight from the Earth!

I went to an orientation to volunteer with a refugee organization; it was very interesting and there were quite a few people there.  The trainer said they’d had a lot more volunteer inquiries since the election, which I can understand because part of my reason for contacting them was to give my own personal middle finger to Donald Trump. 🙂   \I found out that Texas receives more refugees than any other state and about 1000 a year come to Dallas.  There are needs every week from picking people up at the airport to shopping and making their apartments homey and welcoming before they arrive to transporting people to their many appointments to mentoring to helping with English classes and so on.  I learned that they are immediately eligible for employment and have to pay back their plane tickets and take over their bills pretty quickly. So those who are worried about refugees being a drain on our society, that’s just not the case. Anyway, I am looking forward to getting involved.

And now for a few interesting reads from around the web:

Wish I’d been there for this.

I’ve barely started reading but the stories are really interesting.

Great idea  right here in Dallas.  Unfortunate that there’s a need for it but at least people are willing to help.

Beautiful (and haunting) photos. We can’t let this happen again.

A thoughtful piece.

980,000 in Texas, including Rich and me.

Rich and I watched “Suffragette” last night.  It was infuriating.  I will never understand why (some) men think that they are superior to women, that they have the right to control our lives and our bodies, and that they can treat us any way they wish.  Thankful for those women who came before me, and worried that we still have more of a fight ahead of us.


Back to work.  Have a lovely week ahead, friends!

Weekend Update

We’ve been back at home for a few days, catching up on chores and errands and bills and other things left waiting while we were on the road.  Today we weeded and cleaned out our garden plot so we can get ready to plant some fall veggies, then went to the grocery store to replenish our goods.  Rich was going to mow the lawn but our brand new lawnmower wouldn’t start so he’s been troubleshooting and trying to figure out what’s wrong.  Perhaps the fact that we left it out in the rain while we were away?!   Oh no.  Now he’s washing the car instead!  We’re happy to be back with the kids; I helped Elle with her homework a little bit last night and babysat Jack while Sarah did the school pick up.  Elle has volleyball and soccer games tomorrow so we will go to those and/or stay with Jack while he naps, depending on how the schedule works out.

I haven’t posted my favorite internet finds in awhile but here are some I’ve been reading the last few weeks.  As you can probably tell from the links below, I have a lot on my mind about equality and justice.

If this doesn’t make you stop and think…..

What kind of protest would be acceptable?

Good to know.  I can see the reasons, can’t  you?

Great idea!  And I would love a taco truck on every corner, just saying.

I am not a fan of Walmart.  And I don’t understand all these people who dislike public assistance but who support Walmart’s policies all the same.

An art exhibit about work.

Cool stuff happening here in Dallas. Food over football=great decision,  in my opinion.  🙂

I love Springsteen. BRUUUUUUUCE.  Love him.  I am excited that my copy of his new autobiography just arrived. ‘Scuse me while I go read.

Have a fun weekend.






Weekend Update

Late Sunday update!  We celebrated Miles’ birthday tonight–Rich made watermelon margaritas, beef and chicken fajitas with all the fixins, and a peach tart with ice cream for dessert. We’ve found THE BEST peaches at Trader Joe’s!  Went back today and bought another box!  Here are a few interesting reads from the last week.

School starts tomorrow.  I liked this thoughtful piece.

My middle daughter Bonnie ran track in middle school, high school, and college. I spent a lot of time at track meets in cold, wind, rain, and burning hot sun, loving (almost) every minute of it.  She was a hurdler so I got a special kick out of seeing these amazing US women win 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at the Olympics.  Awesome!

Discouraging.  🙂  I’m gonna have to step it up!

I worry about my grandkids coming across a gun at someone’s home (we are in Texas, after all). Or another child finding a gun and shooting one of mine by accident. I posted this article on my Facebook page and it garnered a few comments by pro-gun people stating that it’s all about education.  I’m sorry, I don’t think education is enough.  I hope every parent asks about guns when kids get together at each other’s homes, even if it’s awkward to do so.

We do our boys and men a disservice by asking them to keep their emotions to themselves.

Botanical tattoos.

Picture at the top from our former  home in Unalaska, AK.  Lovely, isn’t it?


Weekend Update

How’s your week been?  Here are a few interesting things I’ve found while browsing online.  Check ’em out!

Having lived in Alaska, I like coming across articles about places I know.  St. Paul Island is in the Pribilofs, not too far from the Aleutians, though I never had an opportunity to visit.  When I worked for the Native Alaskan clinic, I was supposed to go to St. Paul and my flight got cancelled for weather EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. My friend/fellow blogger/social worker Suzasippi worked on St. Paul one summer. We joked that we were so close and yet so far.  Never got to connect in person the whole time she was there, if that tells you anything about the difficulties of traveling in remote Alaska.

Rich and I  loved Denmark when we visited last year.  And I love the idea of hygge.

A thoughtful piece from the Dallas Observer.  As a newcomer to town, I am really enjoying Jim Schutze’s writings.

Another Alaska story–I’ve seen this hashtag trending but didn’t realize where it started.  What were your #FirstSevenJobs?  Mine: babysitter, pizza server, clerk at a bluejeans store, student assistant to a German professor (who slept in a rumpled suit on the office floor while I was working), accounting clerk at a turkey processing plant (ugh, only lasted 3 weeks), hospital social worker, juvenile probation social worker.

I haven’t watched a whole lot of the Olympics but the rampant sexism is driving me crazy. When do women get credit on their own instead of as an appendage to a man? I liked this rejoinder.

Reminds me of social work school and social justice work I’ve been involved with over the years.  It would be great if everyone could take the time to learn about others’ lives before passing judgment.

Don’t you wish you’d been there to join in?  

Have a great weekend, all.