Monday, April 30, 2007

I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

A politician is taking responsibility for his actions, or lack thereof.

New Jersey Governor Corzine has asked for forgiveness from his constituents regarding the injuries sustained in a car accident earlier this month - injuries which probably would have been much less severe had he been wearing his seatbelt.

Governor Corzine is also paying his own hospital bill, rather than leaving it to the taxpayers of New Jersey.

Perhaps Don Imus should toss in a few bucks. After all, the Governor was on his way to a meeting between Imus and the Rutgers' Basketball Team, trying to calm the furor over three stupid words.

May you have a speedy and complete recovery, Mr. Corzine.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Reptiles and amphibians, oh my!

On the Calcium Nature Trail yesterday:

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Woke up this morning

smiled at the rising sun

three little birds, outside my window

singing sweet songs, the melody pure and true
saying, this is my message to you

don't worry about a thing
because every little thing
is gonna be alright

Thank you Bob Marley, for the sweet song that has carried me through the days.

If you haven't already done so ..

.. check out Bill Moyers' show, Buying the War, about the role of the presstitutes in marketing the Iraq war to the American people.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day!

We've had a lovely day here. William and I planted a spruce sapling, and then William climbed a tree. To complete this rite of passage, my 9 year old climbed a little too high, then scraped his belly on a branch on the way back down. Ah, to be young and agile with swiftly-healing skin again!

The laundry flapped gently in the breeze while we had lunch outside. I prepared two of my raised garden beds with black gold from my very own composter, a garden weasel, and the sweat of my brow. I am hoping that the weather will continue to be mild, so I planted white onions and dill in one bed, and mixed greens and cilantro in the other. I might lose a few dollars on this wager, but I think I'll be vindicated when we're dining on lovely fresh salads well ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

I set up our hummingbird feeders in anticipation of the return of flying emerald jewels, and sipped locally produced wine while listening to wild turkeys, woodpeckers, sparrows, chickadees, redwinged blackbirds, robins, and marsh hawks.

It saddens me when I observe that our culture has become so polarized and politicized, that any suggestion to conserve our resources is immediately rebuffed and followed by a diatribe against Al Gore. I suspect that there is a certain subset of our society who are so pigheaded, that they crank the A/C on their SUV's and drive around with the windows down, spraying Aquanet and tossing out styrofoam burger boxes, just to piss off those who warn us about climate change.

This treehugging liberal with low utility bills wonders what, exactly, are "conservatives" trying to conserve?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My quilting style

A few people have asked about my quilts. They are all machine sewn, and free motion stipple-quilted using a darning foot attachment. The only part I do by hand is the final attachment of the binding.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Let it all hang out

Tomorrow is National Hanging Out Day. Project Laundry List exhorts us to "Hang Your Pants, Stop The Nuke Plants."

Not that I need a reason, of course. I love to hang the laundry on my clothesline. When the weatherman prognosticates clear skies, my first thoughts are not of the beach, but rather, "do I have enough laundry to justify running the washing machine?" I don't find it to be a chore, but a joyous, contemplative activity which borders on Zen-like bliss.

It is downright obscene that clotheslines are banned by more than 35,000 Homeowners' Associations in California. I could never live under such an oppressive regime. They can have my clothespins when they pry them from my cold, dead fingers!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cell phones causing Colony Collapse Disorder?

There's an article in The Independent which suggests that cell phones may be the cause of the abrupt disappearance of honeybees.

The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.

This makes a lot of sense to me. While cell phones have been around for quite some time now, it seems that their annoying ubiquity has reached a crescendo in the past year or two. In the stores, the restaurants, and most alarmingly the streets, everybody and their sister is yakking away on their cellphones. Cellphones also appear to have rendered the population incapable of making simple independent decisions, as evidenced by the traffic jams in the toothpaste aisle. Hey baby, should I get the peppermint tartar-control whitening toothpaste, or the spearmint whitening plaque-busting gel??? What? Huh? Let me move out of this dead zone. (Runs into my cart, remains oblivious) Can you hear me now?

On second thought, maybe it's not the radio frequency waves per se that are causing CCD. Maybe the bees are just sick of hearing all of the inane chatter, and have congregated in areas which are far away from the cacophony. In that case, I'm kinda jealous.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Are you kidding me, Mr. President?????

Apparently, the Commander in Chief was unaware that soldiers' tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan were to be extended.

I know it's hard, being a Wartime President and all, but this is the kind of thing that you might want to stay on top of, George.

Just a suggestion.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Imagine what it's like on this side of the border

This afternoon, the lead story on the websites of Canada's two largest news outlets, CBC and CTV, has been about the mental health crisis at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, where children "are on the brink of suicide."

This news is sad and disturbing, but at least it is being noted.

As a border straddler, I pay close attention to the news emanating from both sides of the 49th Parallel. I am struck by the sharp contrast between the respectful and thorough coverage that the Canadian media gives to its military's successes and losses in Afghanistan, and the relative lack of media coverage of the US military's gains and losses in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last week, eight members of the Canadian Armed Forces were killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. Those two incidents were the leading news stories on all of the major Canadian news outlets last week. Those soldiers were acknowledged. Their names were stated. Their lives were honoured.

As of today, fifty-two American soldiers have died in Iraq since 1 April 2007. Have they been acknowledged? Honoured? Even mentioned in the national media? Nope. To be fair, who can concentrate on these details when Sanjaya is still on American Idol? Who cares about the fact that the US Army now faces 15 month tours in Iraq and Afghanistan when some mumbling old fool said some stupid shit about some basketball players? Why should anyone care about the mental health of soldiers' children when the more pressing issue of the identity of Anna Nicole's babydaddy has been announced?

Rosie O'Donnell said it best in her brilliant blog entry yesterday:

junk food
junk news
america - we r bloated

Friday, April 06, 2007

Quilting Frenzy

After an extended hiatus, I've made a triumphant return to the world of manic quilting. Here's what I've been working on:

An homage to St. Therese de Lisieux, in gratitude for novenas heard and answered.

Spring Tonic.

Gandalf, my wabbit-hunting beast of the moors, inspects Spring Tonic. I've decided to display it on the wall, instead of on my bed, just to be on the safe side.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Who's crazy now?

I've been making my dog's food for over a year now. In the past, this has garnered a few raised eyebrows, and accusations that I have too much time on my hands. What. Ever.

It seems I'm not the only crazy dog lady out there. Christi Shaver offers a meatloaf recipe which is quite similar to the fare I serve to Lady Chocolate. It takes very little time to prepare, and I know exactly what's in there.

No chance to catch their breath

JeffDem recently requested more political commentary from your humble correspondent. I don't even know where to start ...

The rumour mill had been humming for a few months, but it was only in the past few days that the word became official: my husband's brigade, 1BCT of 10th MTN, is going back to Iraq in June, only 10.5 months after they came back from that hot dusty hellhole.

My husband won't be going back, due to his poor health. Our battle will be fought back at home, against the powers that be in the military medical system.

I have not written much about the issues that he faces, out of respect for his privacy, and out of fear of reprisals from those with the power to determine our family's financial future with the stroke of a pen.

I will say that the stories of soldiers getting screwed over by the military scare me and infuriate me and render me practically mute.

I will say that I am grateful that we live beneath our means, that we own our house, and that I have a Bachelor's degree in Nursing Science and a NY State Nursing License, both of which will be put back into use starting next week.

And I will say that I am acutely aware that our situation could be eight gazillion times worse.