Thankful Thursday: tongue firmly in cheek edition

Today I am thankful for the continued political pressure that will surely be applied to the Democratic party which now holds the executive office plus majorities in the House and Senate. I am thankful for all the “resisters” who for the past four years were laser-focused on the many, many wrongdoings of the Republican party and who will now aim that righteous energy at the Democrats so they will enact bold policies to save the people and planet. Today I am thankful none of those resisters will tune out and go back to brunch now that the loathsome Tr*mp is gone and the Democrats control everything.

June 12, 2019

Truthfully? Today I’m mostly thankful for this White-crowned Sparrow photographed at the Bockman Campground in State Forest State Park.

Go with grackle

Not sure why it is, but if I miss posting for a couple days it becomes increasingly difficult to get back in the habit. So here I am at ten o’clock on a Monday night, feeling the need to post something. Anything.

But what?

Common Grackle. Grand Island, NE. June 2, 2020.

Ah, yes. Now I remember. When in doubt, go with grackle!

Thankful Thursday: all in my head

My Writing Roosters critique group had our zoom meeting last night to discuss my work-in-progress. As mentioned here and here and here, I was paralyzed with indecision for several weeks because I’d become convinced my story was an irredeemable hot mess. Guess what? It’s not! As one member said on our call, “I think maybe you were getting inside your own head.”

Me? Inside my own head? How could that possibly be?! 🤣 🤣 🤣

I’ve got some plotting issues to sort out, but the two main characters got a thumbs-up from the group. Whew. Color me noodly with relief.

Poppy blooming in front garden. May 16, 2020.

I chose the poppy image for this post because (1) it’s a very cheery and vibrant color and (2) last night one of my critique partners caught a reference to a previous manuscript about a girl named Poppy Valentine.

Better than it looks

Did the healthy thing today: got up and out of the house. After walking Emma in our neighborhood, Zippy and I went to Clear Creek in Golden. This time, I brought my camera. We sat on the boulders lining the creek to eat the lunch Zippy prepared, listening to the rushing water and the geese honking as they flew overhead. An absolutely stellar mental health strategy. 10/10 recommend.

Ice, snow, and water rushing over a rock in Clear Creek. January 12, 2021.

I’m going to make Clear Creek a habit.

 

Peering out

I feel a kinship with this robin peering out from the vegetation and wish I could hunker down in a like manner. I dread what comes next. Neoliberalism cannot defeat white supremacy because the two are deeply entwined. I believe this is what’s known as a recipe for disaster.

American Robin in Grand Island, NE. June 2, 2020.

I wouldn’t fault anyone in search of a four-leaf clover right right about now.

Today’s offering

May 29, 2019

This iris bloomed in my garden not quite two years ago, beautiful despite being battered by the elements.

Iris are hardy flowers and I look forward to seeing this one bloom again this coming spring.

‘Merica, amirite?

On our way up the street for a hike in the open space (our much-needed break from the coup attempt by the terrorists** white nationalist fascists), I was disappointed but not at all surprised to see this sign still prominently displayed in front of a house:

In case you missed it, this sign loudly proclaims POLICE PROTECT US and
VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER.

Sure, dude.

I can’t help think about how Standing Rock protestors fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline were hit with water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets during the Obama administration.

Or how over the past year of historic protests and marches for Black Lives, militarized police forces around the country brutalized protestors.

Or how almost exactly one year ago, 37 climate activists and I were arrested and jailed for singing a song outside the Colorado chamber as Governor Polis (Democrat) gave his State of the State address. We later learned from a former CO state legislator about an incident in which a spectator yelled a death threat during a legislative session. That person (a white male) was merely escorted from the building. No handcuffs. No fine or charges. No jail time.

What’s happening today as the entire world watches? Cops are taking selfies with the terrorists** white nationalist fascists who broke into the capitol.

This isn’t a shock. An armed militia entered the Michigan capitol in April 2020 , legislators in session wearing bullet proof vests, and nothing was done about it. Violence has not only been tolerated, but encouraged, throughout our nation’s history. This country was built on genocide and white supremacy, and only certain kinds of dissent are allowed. The police only protect a certain demographic.

Same as it ever was.

** edited to replace my use of “terrorist” after reading this tweet:
https://twitter.com/bodega_gyro_ao/status/1347245711482646530
absolutely not my intent to amp up the “war on terror” with added policing, surveillance, etc. that would target other groups

Twofer Tuesday: shadow edition

I’m making a concerted effort to focus my gaze on activities and topics that bring joy rather than churning anxiety. Today, along with Zippy and Emma, I went out in the BLOWY sunshine to hike/run on the trails. I felt so much better as a result, even if I did have to carry my running hat that would NOT stay on my head.

Yesterday’s act of self-care was to photograph lovely shadows on the patio. Here are two of my favorites (the one on the right also contains sunflower stalk shadows):

         

So much going on in the world demands our push-back, but sometimes I need to  lower my gaze and focus on the small stuff. Sunshine, wrought-iron patio furniture, and shadows. Who knew?

Waving goodbye

Wildebeest was with us for a little over two months, helping out with his grandma, before he left to spend time with friends in Denver. This morning, he made one more stop here where we had a socially-distanced visit outside in the sunshine. Then he went out through the gate.

January 4, 2021

He’s heading back to his home in Durango.

Doing the baby goat dance

After weeks of angst and confusion over my latest middle grade project, I just hit SEND on an email to my critique group. I am so relieved! The email has multiple attachments including an unfinished first draft + a Word document with my revisions ideas and a whole lot of questions for them + an alternative chapter written in 3rd person (rather than 1st person). Basically, I sent them a big, fat mess, the likes of which I’ve never done before. I didn’t want to inflict that on them or embarrass myself, but I had no choice. I need help.

Now, I’m going to try my best to stop thinking about the project until January 13th, when the collective genius of the Writing Roosters comes to my rescue.

This calls for a happy, hoppy goat dance!

Psst, it ain’t 2020’s fault

People are understandably eager to say goodbye to 2020. I have no issue with that sentiment. However, I do take issue with the belief that the many horrific things we experienced this year are because the year was cursed.

December 13, 2020

I hate to be Debbie Downer, but it’s the system that’s killing us. Not 2020. And the only real difference starting on January 20th is that there will be a veneer of civility as the machine continues to grind us down. People are starving, being evicted, and collapsing under debt. That inhumanity will continue.

Last May, when Biden was considering VP candidates, Senator Kamala Harris co-sponsored legislation to give everyone $2000/month for the duration of the pandemic. This past week, there was a movement to increase the single survival check from $600 to $2000. The VP-elect did absolutely nothing to make that happen and, in fact, yesterday, voted to squash the filibuster that might have forced the loathsome Mitch McConnell to hold an up or down vote on a one time $2000 check. And what about the president-elect? Did Biden put pressure on the Democrats to fight for us? Hell no.

Joe’s out there hawking inaugural memorabilia:

Look, here’s a medallion you can pre-order if you AND your partner pool your $600 survival checks:

What about that record-breaking $740 BILLION defense budget they passed yesterday? Well, that included $1.3 BILLION for Trump’s border wall. Remember the border wall? The one that so greatly offended the Democrats? Hate to tell you, but they’re fine with it.

It’s one big club here in the ol’ US of A and we ain’t in it.  Please stop blaming 2020.

Infinite storm of beauty

Uncompahgre National Forest, July 30, 2019.

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.  ~ John Muir

Same old, same old

It’s cold, gray, and snowing right now. Ten days ago, it was cold, gray, and snowing when this Northern Flicker posed on the wire.

Northern Flicker, December 18, 2020.

Today I’m battling indecision and feelings of overwhelm as I work to instill a semblance of structure and order to the draft and memo I need to send my critique group in a week. Ten days ago, I battled indecision and overwhelm as I worked to instill structure and order to the materials for my critique group.

I guess I could take comfort in the consistency?

Bee wisdom

Bee and Fern Bush, August 4, 2020

The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them. ~ Saint Francis de Sales

#Caturday napping

December 26, 2020

I was just in the basement, tending to the worm bin, when I heard a sound I assumed came from the dog and/or cats upstairs. Nope. It was Marcel, shifting position in his sun-soaked napping place.

Glad someone’s getting use out of the treadmill.