Monday, February 27, 2012

Earth Sign Man

 I was out looking at the Moon, Jupiter and Venus tonight. All lined up...bright in the sky. This groovy Donovan song popped into my head.... as I am an Earth Sign. Virgo. Here's more on Earth and other signs.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Sunday Morning Muse, February 26, 2012

 The muse is a bit late today. I spent part of the morning learning about a battle that took place in the Netherlands during World War II. I'm smiling as I write this because that statement would have been ridiculous to me if I had read it yesterday. I probably couldn't have imagined why I would even be searching out such a thing, let alone find myself completely engrossed in it. But that is how the internet works.

Things you find looking up other things....led me to do some searching for a family name at a war memorial site and lo and behold there it was.I happened upon three men whose photographs were on a wall at a museum...and one of them is probably my great grandfather's nephew. I entered a world completely foreign to me, starting with that photograph.

Let me back up to a conversation I had with a friend last Monday where I couldn't quite understand his absolute fascination with going to Civil War sites and learning about all the events that happened there. Walking the ground where hard battles were faught, reading endless accounts from dozens of books that he owns, and never losing his excitement over a topic that I just sort of grazed over in High School and hadn't revisited it since. Unless you count the movie Gettysburg.  But that was a long time ago, too.

And so I wrote to one of the contributors of the museum and literally overnight I have all this information about this long lost cousin, who helped liberate a town in the Netherlands, and who was buried with honor at a beautiful cemetary, and whose fellow soldiers to this day are remembered through a beautiful museum and war memorials. 

Then...through the magic of Google...this led to reading up on the fateful day in a particular battle, which led to finding out whole books are written about the journey he and his fellow infantrymen made, and there are pictures of their equipment and tanks, and even accounts up to-- which would be my cousin's very last day of life......when he and the others tried to make a bridge across a river.... at a very crucial point, and he drowned. But other soldiers DID make it and did manage to save that town and to this day people are grateful for all these men had done for them and post their names and photographs in honor.

And I think to would be nice to go to Holland. Maybe see the museum, the grave...and a trip perhaps to the river. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Sunday Morning Muse, February 19, 2012

Today I thought I'd have a go at a random update of basically how things are, and I would do it in a Bridget Jones style in the manner of numbers or similar. First, an update of sorts from last week.

24--the number of times I had to suffer through hear a portion of "I Will Always Love You." Oops...25. I just heard it in the other room on recap of funeral coverage. I really hate TV when I am not just watching something, and it invades my thoughts from another room.

11, the standing count of times I walked past a TV that happened to have Fox News on and the info babe or info-babe-pseudo-expert had on a red top.This number may get smaller when (if?) someday I chance upon Fox News and see a different color.  I will start over again at ONE. But it is no short of astounding that the number is 11 right now based on random chance. There is a lesson in this or I wouldn't be commenting on it. (side note: completely blown away when I flipped to the Golf Channel for coverage last week and saw the two male announcers in their boring conservative suits and ties, and one woman with them providing coverage at the desk clad in a red, sleeveless top.  Upping the ante? Don't imagine Golf Coverage will ever include men in sleeveless shirts. But that is a good thing.

1736 calories averaged per day this week without even trying to diet. I have a new APP which keeps track and can immediately update with say, the number of calories in a Shamrock Shake,  or 9 Candy Kisses. It's a starting point. But, seriously have to limit Candy Kisses and Shamrock Shakes if I want to eat any real food and stay on track to be the same weight I am now in 6 weeks, let alone lose weight.

22(?) or close, number of lottery dollars won and then reinvested with friends from work this week.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"So here we are once again, arguing over how to honor religious liberty without it becoming the liberty to impose on others moral beliefs they don't share. Our practical solution is the one Barack Obama embraced the other day: protect freedom of religion -- and protect freedom from religion. Can't get more American than that."  Bill Moyers

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Sunday Morning Muse, February 12, 2012

No phone call last night. Probably didn't win the Powerball Jackpot with friends from work. But it is still early. Maybe once all the tickets are gone through, there is a smaller prize lurking. Even small amounts of unexpected money are nice. It'll help with the flower seed budget. I'm ordering all kinds of stuff today. 

Am I turning into the kind of a practical person who wishes for small things and never takes the time to dream the really "big" dreams anymore? Ohh. I'd hate that. But I admit I didn't spend time dreaming of winning millions. I do know I would donate a lot to animal shelters. I did think of that as I wandered the pet store on Friday. 

Millions didn't improve Whitney Houston's life that much. Dead at  48. I never liked her music. Not that it is her fault, but when she sang I Will Always Love You all those years ago, I was a twenty something, inbetween relationships, and everytime it came on the radio I just immediately snapped it right off. I convinced myself it was horribly oversung and later when I learned that Dolly Parton wrote it...and I heard Dolly sing it, I liked it better. Not oversung. I know... In this case 99.99999 percent of people disagree with me. Unfortunately I will have to hear the song all weekend on the news casts ( 5 times already before 7 oclock) so think of me walking out of rooms to get away from that tortured song.

Fark headline: Whitney Houston Beats Bobby Brown to Death.  

Bad, I know. But it's the internet. No manners, no civility. But it is funny. But not really. So I won't laugh. It's just irony.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Insurance Companies to Cover Chastity Belts

In a stunningly simple conclusion to a ridiculously petty contraception war on women, the Catholic Church has agreed to pay premiums for insurance companies to cover Chastity Belts for women who work in Catholic affiliated agencies. "Chastity belts were the norm of anti-temptation fashionware during the Crusades,"  an unnamed source said, "so we see only a win-win situation here in our attempt to maintain our moral standards, but also give women a choice of when she wants to be pregnant."

Women will still have the option of buying their own birth control, provided they can afford it and are willing to take the chance of getting caught by the Bishop.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Digging into the Past

Thinking about family history and genealogy. I love the show Who Do You Think You Are? This week's episode featured Martin Sheen. They have some great celebrities signed up for this season and it is well worth watching. The excitement and wonder in the faces of the people on this show is great as they find out clues about their ancestors. I felt those same things when I traced my family history, and I still get those feelings when I find out something new or get pictures from someone.The one above shows ancestors of mine carrying their spinning wheels in the snow. A great photograph.

When I did my "digging" years ago,  I found a whole BOOK written about my grandmother's ancestors on my dad's side. Unfortunately it's written in Finnish, so I can't read it. But parts I got translated included names and dates I needed and an idea of where the family name came from and where their land was located in the 1600s. A second book showed two men fighting each other with knifes. I'd like to get that one translated someday to find out what they fought about.

My Polish side hasn't been as successful way far back, but I do have a picture of a great great grandmother with her children and some younger girls I assume are grandchildren all around her though I can't name them all yet. Which brings me to the subject of names....

I found a great quote in this story about the Junkman and the Madonna.

It's from David Eagleman: "There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Morning Muse, February 5, 2012

Staring down at my English muffin with toast and jelly, and taking a sip of coffee. It's Sunday. Don't have to mindlessly stuff it down, drink it up and fly through the morning routine. I can actually taste the coffee today. And even though I've eaten it for a week now, the "Christmas" jelly on the toast is really excellent. Locally made. Musing about food.

The number one search on Yahoo right now is "chicken wings." What would we all be eating on Superbowl Sunday if someone didn't come up with chicken wings? In the interest of clarity, I'm not eating chicken wings today, I'm eating a version of chicken fingers. Another fine invention, but without the bones. And I won't need fancy sauce recipes as long as Sweet Baby Ray continues to line store shelves.

My small personal world is so much saner than what is going on out in the vast world out there. Boring, but sane. Predictable. Even Cozy for now. Yeah, as in not much happening, but no disaster ahead I can see. And that's not bad thing.

The mindless political diggy doo that passes for news has been trumped (pardon the pun) a bit by the chaos in Syria, the troubling times under Putin in Russia, and the crazy winter madness in Europe. (Minus 40 degrees in Finland!) The best for last:  the "sabre rattling" of the Jews and Iran, which has the potential to be a fine powder keg unless cooler heads prevail.

THIS is reality television. The trials and tribulations of the entire world dumped into our we mull over Superbowl squares and munch on snacks and drink cold beer.  A strange juxtaposition. The battles of good and evil, right and wrong, man versus weather....that'll still be there tomorrow. For's chicken! And the Superbowl.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rushing Things, But That's Ok

Shamrock shakes are out already. I had one yesterday and we are still 10 days away from Valentines Day. But then again there is no Valentine's Shake. Probably should be.  Like a strawberry one with lots of whipped cream and that gorgeous but not so great tasting maraschino cherry on top.

I googled that cherry and they don't grow like that on trees.(Not that I thought they did, but I was curious how they did get that way.) Suffice to say it's a process. A lot of work involving dyes and brine.

They always remind me of college with the old gag about being to tie the stem into a knot with your tongue.

Anyhow, spring can't be too far behind, with shamrock shakes out. It's like seeing the first robin.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

If winter stays like this, I'm lovin' it.  The Groundhog has spoken.