Twofer Tuesday: House Finch edition

These finches (look closely, there are two) offer a good representation for my current emotional and mental state.

January 1, 2022

Sometimes my feelings are bright, cheery, and upbeat–as they were yesterday while walking in the sunshine with Emma Jean-Jean–and other times my emotions feel more drab and less hopeful, as this morning when tears overwhelmed me during my first yoga session in a while.

The good news is that nature always provides. During that same yoga session, feeders outside the window were visited by a flock of twenty or so wee Bushtits, reminding me of the power of community. Bushtits stick together, chipping and twittering as they forage in a tree and move on to another.

We’re not alone in this difficult reality and I’m grateful for my communities, including this one here.

Sunday Confessional: negative mood

More than four days after taking the saliva test, COVIDCheck Colorado let me know my test results came back negative. Great news! Unfortunately, I feel worse today than yesterday when I was actually able to take a walk around the neighborhood without collapsing in a heap afterward (which is what happened the day before).

Image by Ronald Plett from Pixabay

I’m sure it’s stress-related. What’s being done to healthcare workers, children, teachers and all school employees, service workers, etc. in the name of capitalism is horrifying and rage-inducing. Like watching a slow-motion train wreck.

Looking forward to regaining my energy so I can run some of these feelings out of my system. Please take care of yourselves and know you aren’t alone. Solidarity!

Workers unite!

After hours and hours of staring at my computer monitor as I organized information in preparation of handing off a major project, I was feeling like this sunflower looks. Then my phone rang.

July 3, 2021

It was Wildebeest calling as he walked home from his restaurant shift. He told me about a co-worker getting ripped off by a higher-up and how awesome it felt when another co-worker stood up to management on behalf of the slighted co-worker. Unfortunately (and predictably), nothing was done.

So, in the true spirit of Labor Day, I put a bug in Wildebeest’s ear about getting his co-workers to stand together. I said if they all refused to take shifts with this certain higher-up until the situation was rectified, management would be forced to take action. Wildebeest liked that idea.

Will he follow through? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, I planted an idea and the thought of those workers someday (soon, I hope) using their collective power to force change perks me up immensely.

Solidarity with all workers around the globe!

When the going gets tough

We woke in the middle of the night to the smell of wildfire smoke. Zippy shut off the swamp cooler and closed all windows. It’s only June and wildfire season has begun.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Since early May, I’ve run every other day and that routine has been crucial for my mental health. I haven’t yet missed a running day and when I got up this morning, I felt so many emotions about the climate crisis and the lack of political will to do anything about it. My despair mounted and, more than ever, I needed to run. The good news is we have a 20+ year-old treadmill (that’s gone through multiple running belts over the years) and I ran on that for 25 minutes. I pounded out the miles, my mind clearing as sweat slicked my skin.

This afternoon I made the mistake of going on Twitter where I came across this tweet:

And I began to spin some more, the anxiety and rage building. So, did I hop on the treadmill again? Nope. This time I began rereading one of my very favorite books:

I highly recommend any book by Cynthia Kadohata, but especially THE THING ABOUT LUCK which is funny and tender and makes my heart sing. *happy sigh*

I have to keep reminding myself that electoral politics is not going to save us. We the people must rise up as one and stand together against the rich and powerful. In the meanwhile, I’m focusing on mutual aid in my community in addition to lots and lots of running and reading.

This day’s been hard, but I’m still standing.

In solidarity

Today I’m in solidarity with this daffodil that bloomed last April before being buried by wet, heavy snow.

April 25, 2020

After the snow melted, the daffodil retained its vibrant colors but required support to keep its head up. A pretty apt description of me and my day. As ever, I’m grateful for my loved ones who prop me up.

Solidarity with workers

Everything is produced by the workers, and the minute they try to get something by their unions they meet all the opposition that can be mustered by those who now get what they produce.               ~ Harry Bridges


The Senate is currently conducting a farcical SCOTUS confirmation hearing (during a pandemic, while several Senators are COVID-positive) for a woman who will do the bidding of the powerful elite: crush the working class. The Republicans are seeing the culmination of their decades-long plan to stack the courts with anti-worker judges who will forever change the face of this country. The Dem party pretends to resist but they are equally comfortable with this outcome because they aren’t either jobless or working 2-3 jobs to scrape by, nor are the Dem elites starving, facing eviction, saddled with astronomical medical debt, or living in frontline communities as the climate crisis worsens. This latest SCOTUS judge will consolidate their wealth and power. All’s well.

It’s way past time we rise up.

Workers Unite

Thinking about all the workers out there struggling to pay rent, buy food, keep their lives going. Thinking about one of my sons who is struggling to find a job in this economy and who may very well be moving back home in the near future.  He’s grateful he has a place to land if it comes to that, but it shouldn’t come to that. Not for him and not for other young people facing a bleak future. They should be able to live their lives on their own terms.

This is a disgrace and we must do better. Much better.

Centuries in the making

March 1964 photo by Marion S. Trikosko (donated to public domain)

I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.  — Malcolm X

People before property

              Denver from my front yard.             May 27, 2020.

Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on. It is not man.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Chipping away

Bushtit , March 11, 2019.

As I work chapter-by-chapter to revise my manuscript, my task feels similar to that of this Bushtit. We both take aim and then chip away at what’s there. The difference is, this feathered friend gets a tasty treat for her troubles while my satisfaction comes from page count.

Maybe I should print out a page or two, and see how they taste . . .

Solidarity, old dude!

Wildebeest made this paper mache sculpture in elementary school and it sat in our storage room for years. I finally cleaned out said storage room this summer and took a photo before disposing of the body. I texted the photo to Wildebeest.

Me: Cleaning out storage room. Saying goodbye to your pirate!
Wildebeest: That’s just horrifying.
Me: The pirate? Or saying goodbye?
Wildebeest: The pirate. Get rid of it ASAP.

Now I’m kinda wishing the sad, old pirate was around to commiserate. I think he’d understand.


Just stuck this sign in our front yard.muslim-solidarity

A small gesture on this dark day but an important one, I believe. There’s a Muslim family up the street and my stomach hurts thinking about how they’re feeling right now.



America is NOT Broke by Michael Moore


Micheal Moore went to Madison, Wisconsin, to speak to the courageous
people who refuse to budge in the face of greed and lies.

Here is the transcript. If you read nothing else today, please read this.

Here’s an excerpt:
"Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true."
The powers-that-be pit us against each other, relying on cultural and social issues (gays, guns, and god)
to fracture what should be a united front against the nauseating greed of the upper class.

So, while moneyed people around the country bemoan the "greed" of public employees
fighting for their right to collective bargaining, these courageous people in Wisconsin stand strong.
We ALL owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.

As Michael Moore says:
"Never forget, as long as that Constitution of ours still stands, it’s one person, one vote, and it’s the thing the rich hate most about America — because even though they seem to hold all the money and all the cards, they begrudgingly know this one unshakeable basic fact: There are more of us than there are of them!"

Here’s a YouTube video of him in Wisconsin on March 5.
The opening is especially inspiring because of the emotions expressed by Moore and the protesters,
but also because he reveals this powerful, spot-on piece was written in a couple hours at the end of a very long day:

We need heroes now more than ever, and I salute Wisconsin workers for drawing the line in the sand!

On Wisconsin!


Yesterday I blogged about my preparations for
the Denver rally held in support of Wisconsin workers.

Today I am back with a full report.

The good news: the weather was beautiful and lots of sane people showed up.

The bad news: a bunch of ill-informed, resentful people also made an appearance
(one person even self-identifying as an extremist):

Here’s the very first photo I took from the lower steps (apparently at the exact moment
everyone’s arms got tired and they lowered their signs):

I got there a couple minutes late and was on the outer fringes of main crowd and speeches, 
but my little sign was an immediate hit:

(I was interviewed by Jonathan Brown of NPR/CPR
but have not tracked down his report so don’t know if I made the cut.)

However, not everyone understood by my sign that I supported workers and their
right to collective bargaining.  When I walked silently past the anti-union crowd on my
way out, one man said about my sign, "That’s a good one."  I was stunned until
I looked at my photos later on and saw this:

(And yes, those are Colorado State Patrol officers.
They formed a line between the groups, appearing simultaneously bored and tense).

Here’s a sampling of the support and goodwill flowing from Colorado to Wisconsin
(and other states preparing for their own union-busting assaults) . . .




And, perhaps the day’s most compelling argument:

It was a good day and I’m so glad I rallied.
Zippy joined me, and we ran into other friends (Happy Birthday again, Ron!)

This fight is for the heart and soul of workers’ rights,
and I hope the brave people in Wisconsin don’t back down 
in the face of Governor Walker’s ideological war on unions.
(Lest there be any doubt this stand-off has nothing to do with budget deficits and everything to do
with ideology, follow the story regarding billionaire Tea Party-backer David Koch and Gov Walker).

Also, please remember: The unions early-on accepted the wage and benefits reductions; 
they are only demanding their right to collective bargaining.

Wisconsin, we are with you!
All good thoughts headed your way . . . 


In Solidarity with Wisconsin Workers


I’m headed out the door for the Denver rally in solidarity with 
the awesome people of Wisconsin.

I was born and raised in Wisconsin,
and have never been more proud of my roots.

This morning I put on my 30-year-old Bucky Badger hoodie
and made a sign:

I don’t know what I was thinking.
Just in case you don’t want to hold a mirror up to your screen in order to decipher my sign:

I’m taking my camera and hope to capture much great signage.



I salute the people of Egypt.

Your courage is inspirational
and your resolve is awe-inspiring.

You did PREVAIL.

                                                         Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images