Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Halloween Tale :: The Little White Dog

There was an old woman who lived alone, she had no family still living and her only friend was a little white dog who went everywhere with her - with one exception. The dog loved the fireplace in winter, and after the old woman went to bed he would sometimes go and lie in front of the warm coals. Usually though, the dog lay on a rug right next to the bed.

The woman wouldn't allow the dog on the bed with her, but if she became frightened or had a nightmare, she would put her hand down to her little white dog and he would lick it reassuringly.

One night she was reading the newspaper just before going to sleep. She shivered and pulled the duvet up around her as she read that a mental patient had wandered off from a nearby hospital. No one knew if the patient was dangerous or not, but he was a suspect in the murders of several women who lived alone.

The woman turned out the lights and tried to sleep, but she was frightened, and tossed and turned fitfully. Finally, she reached down to where her little white dog slept. Sure enough, a warm, wet tongue began to lick her hand. The woman felt reassured and safe, and left her hand dangling off the side of the bed. As she turned to settle in comfortably she opened her eyes for a moment and looked through the open door into the living room.

There in front of the fireplace, sat her little white dog, gazing at the coals and wagging his tail.

And down beside her bed, something was still licking her hand.

Lists and routines - be flexible

Hanno's doctor wasn't in yesterday so he saw someone new. He told Hanno that the medication he's taking for his blood pressure - Coversyl Plus - can cause gout. He back to the plain Coversyl now in the hope that it will help fix the problem. Thanks to everyone who wrote with suggestions for Hanno's health. He's tried vinegar, cherries, cranberry juice and many other things, but none of them

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Busy days and busy bees

I hope all my friends on the east coast of the US are safe and sound. I've not seen any TV reports yet but the pictures online show some terrible damage. I just received an email from my agent Abby who lives in Brooklyn and works in NYC. She said she can't get in to the city, the subways are under water and the server is down in the office. The good news is that she is safe and dry. I hope

Monday, October 29, 2012

Embrace your work, it will make you stronger

If you decide to take the big leap of faith and turn your back on this consumerist society we live in, often you'll produce some of your own food, move towards a local community based economy, or you'll have a combination of the two. If you decide to make a less drastic change and simplify at home while earning a wage at work, your change will probably be governed, to a certain extent, by the

The Architecture of Burrows

A repost from 2005

The list of animals that hibernate in underground burrows, live in burrows or nest in burrows is astounding: fox, badger, turtles, some owls and parrots, ground squirrels and marmots, some penguins and puffins, European rabbits, bears, wolves and dogs, otter, some wild pigs, some wild cats, many snakes and lizards, possums, wombats, frogs and toads, moles, mice and rats, nutria, crayfish, armadillos, skunks, muskrats, meerkats, some large spiders, and several types of bees.

Many of these animals spend a fair amount of time constructing, maintaining, and modifying their den systems which, in turn, are structured in response to changing external circumstances and changing internal needs.

Anatomy, behavior, and distribution of wild animals are all greatly affected by the burrow environment, with temperature, humidity, oxygen, living space, availability of food, and protection from flooding and predation all being influenced by burrow architecture.

Despite this, the burrow structure of almost all subterranean mammals is barely known, and data and descriptions of den structures as they relate to soil composition, drainage, external defenses (rock, wire fences, farm buildings), proximity to food and water sources, is almost entirely non-existent.

All of this make understanding burrow architecture as an adaptive tool a difficult task, but it nonetheless clear, among humans digging to their terriers, that burrows are designed with a reason and that certain "tricks" keep popping up. A few I have noticed in the construction of groundhog and fox dens:

  • Water and the phreatic zone: Dens of fox and groundhogs are designed to keep the animals dry, yet fox in particular like to locate their dens very near water. Shallow dens are sometimes found carved into the sides of small humps or rises in marshy areas, but these are rarely natal dens. The deeper natal dens of fox are generally found on the rises above the flood plains -- on well-drained hillsides near a creek or pond or water-filled ditch. The ideal spot for a pipe is deep enough to be dry from surface water, but not so deep as to be encountering the water table -- the so-called "phreatic zone".

  • The "plumbers pipe" opening: In these settes the pipes run down for two or three feet before rising again and then dropping again. This createa an earthen "water stop" not so very different from the plumbers p-pipe you will find under your kitchen sink. This is a common feature in many animal burrows, from rat to fox.

  • Depth is determined by soil: This is near-truth. The softer the earth and the easier it drains, the deeper the den is likely to be. One of the chief functions of a den is to keep the animal dry, and in soils that are very light, dryness tends to be achieved with some depth. You may cut through very soft stuff for three or four feet, but below that will be the harder stuff -- a layer of hard sand below the soft, or a layer of hard dry clay below much softer and friable soil. The pipe is likely to be in the softer soil just below the hard vein. The hard vein works to structurally support the pipe and to keep out the last bits of water. The one exception that I would note is where a ridge is made almost entirely of small cherts, flints or flaked slate. Here digging by a fox or groundhog is so hard, and the drainage is so rapid, that the den pipe may be very shallow since water runs through the den as fast as it falls. These shallow and breezy loose-rock dens will not be used in winter, but are likely spots in summer.

  • Rocks, roots and barbed wire at the entrance: This is so common that it is clearly a planned design feature. It is not uncommon to find dens exiting inside a stump or hollow tree, or to have a strand or two of barbed wire running along the lip. Groundhog dens frequently start on one side of a barbed wire fence and exit out another. If there is an abandoned vehicle on the edge of a farm, a groundhog will invariably makes its home under the chassis -- a nice shelter from the rain, but also from predators who will have to slow down to a crawl to avoid beaning themselves on the I-beam and suspension. Hard structures not only makes digging out more difficult, it makes a mad dash at the den hole a dangerous and maladaptive strategy for large predators. In addition to hard structures at den entrances and exits, there are "soft structures" such as thickets of multi-flora rose, bramble, poison ivy, and thick wild grape vine.

  • The hard turn after the den entrance: This is a frequent feature of groundhog den entrances and serves two purposes: 1) it makes it difficult for predators to enter, and; 2) water entering the entrance will tend to follow the straight line of gravity and soak into the ground at the end of the pipe rather than run sideways with the turn of the pipe. I have encountered some rather incredible animals that took this "hard turn at the entrance" technique to absurd levels as they never stopped turning -- they corkscrewed their dens in full circles all the way down in a spiral that went four or five feet deep.

  • The pocket room close to the entrance: This is a common feature of groundhogs dens, and I believe these serve as "loafing parlors" where the animal can tuck in out of danger between feeding forays. If you are quiet, and the dog is too, you can often bottle a groundhog in one of these little rooms before it goes deeper into the sette.

  • Right angle turns inside the den pipe: These are very frequent features of groundhog and fox dens and seems to serve two purposes. The first purpose is that they help keep the den dry, as water running down a pipe will tend to follow gravity rather than take a sudden turn to the left or right. The second purpose is clearly defensive; a groundhog or fox can take a stand at a hard corner and slash out at anything coming down the pipe, inflicting considerable damage if the corner is tight, as it invariably is. Often a sette will have several right-angle turns, each providing additional elements of security, like doors on a hallway. A human digging on a dog will often break into a pipe where the dog and quarry are at a standoff at one of these turns, at which point all hell will break loose as the animals grab each other, or else the fox or groundhog will manage to retreat to the next hard corner in the pipe system -- a kind of running battle that can be very frustrating to the digger!

  • Side pipes and stop-end branches: These are common features of both groundhog pipes and fox dens. Some of these represent unfinished den digging, but for a fox they also provide a place where one animal can scoot into in order to let another pass by, where one animal can lay up without getting overheated from the warmth of its mate and where it can get a better supply of air. Earth dens are all about keeping dry, maintaining the right temperature, keeping the air flowing, and staying secure. Side passages increase the options on all counts.

  • Field settes are generally deeper and larger than hedgerow settes, and often harder for the human to dig as a consequence: I believe this is due to a conflux of opportunity and necessity. The opportunity for larger and deeper settes is due to the lack of obstructions like roots and rocks. The necessity is that plowed fields with friable soils require deeper dens to remain dry, while larger more complex settes are an element of security, allowing a groundhog or fox to escape danger in one part of the sette by going to another -- or even bolting out of one entrance into another.

  • Large "race track" settes are fairly common in fields. These large settes circle back on themselves several times and may have several layers of pipe. More commonly they are simply four-, five-, or six-eyed settes with connecting pipes. A groundhog can run around in these large settes, shoveling dirt behind it to block the dog, and effectively preventing the dog from bottling it in a stop end. The solution I employ is to earth stop the den at two or three spots (generally at exits where the pipe goes left and right). If needed I will also allow two experienced dogs that know each other well to enter opposite sides of the settes and work the animal to the middle. This generally prevents the groundhog from digging in and gets the animal pinned against one of the newly-minted stop-ends in short order. Putting two dogs to ground should be left to people who know their dogs well and who are experienced diggers. It is better to lose quarry than a dog. Two very hard dogs to ground, or two dogs in a den occupied by a skunk, could be a disaster! Never enter two dogs on a fox -- it is simply not necessary, as the fox cannot dig away.

  • Winter "fox porches": A fox will often dig out the first three or four feet of a groundhog den and create a kind of "loafing porch" where it can tuck in out of the wind but still not be fully underground. Fox can easily overheat inside the earth, and this "porch" area allows for easy temperature regulation -- go a little deeper if it is very cold, stay right at the entrance if it is warm. The breezeway allows the fox two excellent avenues of escape if danger approaches -- into the nearby woods or thicket, or deeper underground.

  • An observation on what does not dig: Raccoons and possums do not dig earth dens -- they occupy holes made by other animals or find hollow trees, brush piles, rock crevices, hay bales, barns or crawlspaces. Neither animal is equipped to move dirt beyond a little scratching for worms and beetle grubs. Neither animal will modify a den in a significant way (though both will pull plastic bags and other debris into a den in order to improve insulation and provide bedding).

Early A.M. Light

The good thing about sleep issues,
cause there must be something...

is the early morning light
in my home.
No retouch here.
Yes, my home always has this yellowish glow...
I think it is the light palette paired with
the heavy cream color on walls

Here is the living room,
haven't shown it in awhile.
Not much has changed.
Compare this to Holiday pics to come!!!
Winter wonderland lol

You walk into the bowling alley style room
via the front door where I stood to shoot this.
There is a soaring 2 1/2 story slanted ceiling.

That doorway in front of the honey colored
 pie safe leads to kitchen and family room.

Cabinet by front door.
Yes Sue, you have dibs on it.
(She already knows where she would put it)

Stair wall below studio

So early a.m. at Z's
Coffee in hand with salted caramel mocha
creamer.. oh my!
Waiting for carpet cleaning estimate appointment,
watching the Sandy reports
and worrying some...

Stay safe my eastern family and friends.
We love you

Sunday, October 28, 2012

OH, and Z's and 2 and 3

 How I love numbers and letters.
I collected type for many years
filling up two cases before I stopped.

I don't know why numbers and letters 
make me so happy
but they do.
I may have inherited this quirk
from dear dad.
I think I'll make a tree this year
with nothing but numbers and letters
in my favorite shades.
Grey, brown and cream.
Lots of paper around this holiday.

Think I'll do that this week.
First I have to finish a weird chandelier
I painted yesterday and finish up 
some samples for a class, ( show you soon)
and Oh, there's the yard work to complete 
and the new burlap ottoman cover,
and the pillows, the stockings,
and of course the worry over Sandy...
Stay safe my dear friends,
my darling daughter.


Miss Justice is a wee bit better
and darling daughter has passed 
the half way mark, every $5 and $7
inching her closer.

I made a quick trip to UT with
my pal Sue and slept 11 hours straight Friday
finally catching up on sleep.

All is well.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Christmas advertising

With Christmas coming I've been thinking of offering a frugal advertising option on my blog. Way back I used to have a few Adsense and Nuffnang ads here but I found them intrusive and ugly, I had almost no choice over the ads shown, so I stopped both, even though they were quite lucrative. Since then I've gone to a fairly unique form of advertising in that I barter space for goods for most of my

Friday, October 26, 2012

Beautiful gifts

On Thursday, I stepped down from my role as secretary of the Maleny Neighbourhood Centre. I left as a volunteer when Hanno had his accident. It was a good AGM, with a new group of eager community people to step up and take over. I felt sad to leave but relieved as well. I've been there for six years and have a place in my heart for the Centre that I know will be there until I die. But it's time

Follow the Frog

An epic little bit of online advocacy from the Rainforest Alliance. This is how you do it with style, wit, humor, realism, and grace.  Will it work?  Dunno.  But they got the first part of the pitch right, at the very least.

And yes, it's good enough to pass on.  So do that; pass it on.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Jack O'Lantern

This post recyled from October 2005.

If you are artistically-minded, get a large pumpkin and carve a nice "Jack O' Lantern" this Halloween (yes, all puns are intended).

Click >> here for a pretty large pattern to fit a good-sized pumpkin. You can enlarge the picture you see by going to the bottom right of the picture and clicking on the expanding arrows that should appear. This pattern is 800 pixels wide.

Transfer the pattern with pin pricks through the paper into the pumpkin.

Carve the yellow parts of the jack very deeply, but not so deeply as to go through the entire pumpkin. The goal is to leave a thin bit of yellow pumpkin flesh which the light will radiate through. Again, use the needle to ascertain pumpkin thickness.

If you need a larger or small pattern, simply increase or decrease the pattern size on a Xerox machine.

A Word from the Republican Leadership



One picture shows personality 
in an instant.
Justice.... quiet, curled up inside her bed,
Howie.... hanging half way out, looking for trouble.

Justice has been ill, and 
will continue to be so.
She is now completely deaf,
blind in one eye 
and has very little sight in the other.
Many lights have to be left on at night 
for her to find her way.
She has an infection we are trying 
to bring under control. She's a trooper.

Their beds are under the desk where I 
write, where I peruse your blogs, and surf.
I can stretch out my toes and give a quick ear rub,
and frequently get a little kiss and a lick.

As the weather cools they will be here
a good bit of the day
searching out warmth.
I too, settle in tight,
keeping the heat off, wearing flannel shirts,
fluffy socks and leave a cozy throw
upon each seat. 
Candles are lit from early morn and
into the night.

I wait.
I wait for the family to be here,
 secure in the warmth and love
of home and hearth.

My personality...
my family here with me.

It is who I am,
what I've been,
and what I choose.

I am much more than "just...."
but my family is my life's work.
I make no apologies.


Darling Daughter is nearly at the half way mark 
with her INDIEGOGO campaign.
Thank you again to all who've so
generously helped and written
her emails of encouragement.
Casting is complete, location is set
she'll be filming soon.

btw...My favorite blue bucket and mop 
are the today's special on HSN, 
cheapest I have ever seen.

A blessed weekend to you all.

Weekend reading

I have just signed a petition at asking that Coles increase the price of their generic milk so that dairy farmers get a fair price for their milk. I hope you'll join me because dairy farmers are walking off their farms and if that continues, not only will there be no cheap milk, there will be no fresh milk. Since Coles began selling cheap milk in 2011, 45 Queensland dairy farmers have

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Doc Martin Learns About Ratting With Russells

Martin Clunes gets it right.  Jack Russells are simply an "enhanced wolf".  The code explodes.

A Land Out of Balance

The above video of a jack rabbit roundup near Rupert, Idaho in 1931 is a reminder of two things: 1) how wildly out-of-whack American lands got at the turn of the century, and; 2) that Ken Burns' two-part, four-hour documentary on the Dust Bowl will air November 18th and 19th.

I have written about the Dust Bowl jack rabbit roundups in some detail in the past, and even got an email from a researcher for Ken Burns when they were putting together their documentary.  The four links at the bottom of this post tell the story of how it all came to pass.

A special thank to Doug P. for sending the above video link!  The video, below, has sound, and is from Kansas in 1934.

Note that "Jack Rabbits" are not actually rabbits -- they are hares.

Hot topics - the books you are reading

There is a wonderful giveaway prize of Amish dolls clothes and a book here. Hurry, it closes today.

I've had an unusually large number of people ask me what I've been reading lately. Well, apart from the obvious, in the past two months I've finished The Contented Chook, The New Home Larder, and Annie's Garden to Table, this last book was sent to me by the lovely Anne (calico ann) at the

A Very Special Kind of Lizard

Right now, Mitt Romney is changing colors
faster than a Chameleon on LSD.

Your Map Lesson of the Day

Africa can fit all of the U.S, plus China, plus India, plus Japan, plus most of Western and Eastern Europe. And the reason you do not know that is that maps lie.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Toad on the Driveway

This little fellow met Mountain on the driveway, and gave the dog a bitter taste, as toads will do.  I scooped up the toad in a water dish and released it unharmed in the front yard.

Preparing for retirement

I've had a couple of requests to write about ongoing changes as you age and get ready for retirement.

Hopefully, by the time you're in your mid-to late fifties, your children will have packed their things and moved out to start their own lives. This is one of the things you've worked towards for many years - not for them to leave but to see them set up their own home, maybe with someone they

Austin and Lucy

My son and his dog.  He's done very well with Lucy, and Lucy has done very well with him.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A child in the house

It's quiet here. We hear the general noise of most small neighbourhoods, like an occasional car driving by, lawn mowers and sometimes a dog barking, but most of the time it's birds or wind or just silence. Late in the afternoon, especially around this time of year, flocks of ducks and magpie geese fly overhead. At the moment, willy wagtails are swishing over the grass, competing with the chooks

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Preserving food the old fashioned way

I had an email from seagreen last week asking:

I am getting more and more interested in preserving. I've always done a bit, jams and such, as well as drying tomatoes and apples, but this year, thanks to your blog and the forum, I've been making salsa and pickles, using just vinegar, sugar and/or salt to preserve.

I don't have a water bath kit but read on the forum today that the water bath

Friday, October 19, 2012

Back In The Studio

When the volcano candle from Anthro gets lit,
and my fingers start to sift through 
the stacks of linen and 
burlap and wool, well there must be 
something new created. 
I have purged most of my "store bought" decorations,
so this year, in my goal for a handmade
holiday... out came 12 days of Christmas 
stockings for the upper railing.

Vintage MOP buckles, just enough in one jar,
and some luscious pearlized organza, some linen...

Some small grunge tags, 
covered with a book page, 
then stamped 1-12

Behind the railing, my memory wall,
mementos from friends, bloggie and life long.

A wee cone in  my Mom's tin,
a precious memory
typed some 40 years ago,
always, always Macky.

Life of Z

This Dog Should Be Named Lazarus

Wow, this is some sick stuff... and, in the end, a miracle worthy of the Bible.

The story is out of France. ABC News reports:
A Jack Russell terrier has survived after being poisoned and buried alive — and he can thank the man who saw the ground wiggle.

Ethan came back to life on his third birthday after someone tried to kill him. He had a whole chain of saviors: the man who dug him up, the firefighters who rushed him off and a veterinarian who nursed him back to life.

Sabrina Zamora, president of an animal association in Charleville-Mezieres, 200 kilometers (125 miles) northeast of Paris, said Friday the little white dog with a black ear was "flat as a pancake" when he was dug up from his grave Tuesday near a lakeside pedestrian path.

"It's extraordinary. We only see this in TV movies," said veterinarian Philippe Michon. "He came back to life and without a scratch. It's rather miraculous."

The vet said when firemen brought the dirt-covered terrier to his office "he was completely cold, he was barely breathing."

Michon used hot water bottles to warm up Ethan's seemingly lifeless body. The dog was so cold his veins had collapsed and it was hard to find one to hydrate him but within 24 hours the dog was back on his feet.

According to the veterinarian and Zamora, a man walking by just happened to see the ground moving — an apparent result of convulsions from the dog's poisoning. The man then got a shovel and dug the dog up.

Ethan was identified through a microchip that showed all this happened on his third birthday.

His owner says he had given the dog away but police are investigating, Zamora said.

"(Ethan) had an unbelievable chain of luck," Michon said. "If the ground hadn't trembled, no one would have taken a shovel to it."

Yesterday Was Moby Dick's Birthday

The “Google Doodle” of the day yesterday was a reference to Moby Dick, which was first published in England (no, it was not first published in America) this week in October of 1851.

This rainy morning I spent a half hour in Starbucks in Chinatown prior to an interview around the corner.

The Starbucks’s coffee chain is named after the First Mate on the Pequod, the boat in Moby Dick. The three guys who created Starbucks (an English teacher, a History teacher, and a writer) wanted to name their coffee house “The Pequod,” but the bank would not lend them money on that name, so “Starbucks” it was.

It occurs to me I could write a very good ad for Starbucks with a one-word substitution from the opening page of Moby Dick. Here it is:

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to Starbucks as soon as I can.”
. . .   
― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick 
. . .      . (with a one word substitution)


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weekend reading

Teaching manners to the young faithful

Food prices rising in UK

Greedy for Colour - a lovely blog I'm sure you'll enjoy

Meal planning and the pantry principle

Thanksgiving table runner to make

How to cook perfect hash browns

Dutch Sisters


Deb's Daily Journal


Dancing Speargrass


It's been a busy week here with Hanno able to drive

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Supporting your local businesses

I'm running a bit late today after a couple of hectic days. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.


One of the reasons we decided to settle in the area we live in is for the sheer beauty of this place. We are about a 15 minute drive from the coast and at the base of a mountain range called the Blackall Ranges. On the rolling green hills there are a few cottages, farms and towns in

Coffee and Provocation

Coffee - I've Been Doing It Wrong:
Apparently, it's time for me to go "Mr. Wizard" with the magic beans.  Corrie Doctrow, over at Boing Boing says I need to go to cold brew and he details how to make it, complete with portable breast milk bags if I want to make a roadshow of it (not sure I do).  Corrie writes:  "I fucking love cold-brew coffee. Sorry, but strong sentiments demand strong language. Cold-brew coffee is extracted at room temperature or below, and is substantially less acidic than even the best hot coffee. The low-temperature extraction preserves the very volatile aromatic acids, and cold-brew coffee has a lot of chocolaty, caramel notes that are scrummy. Cold-brew tastes very strong, but without any bitterness, and is ferociously caffeinated. A couple glasses of cold-brew turn me into an ALL-CAPS TWEETING HYPERACTIVE SUPERHERO."  Yep, that's the medicated effect I am after.  And apparently, making cold brew is as simple as dirt too.

Tae Bo With Jack Russell:
And it's even worse with Zumba.
Please Move the Deer Crossings:
Listen to this one.  And yes, they are allowing this lady to vote in the next election, same as you.

Get some.  Nothing is sexier than gratitude.
Muffin Pan Omelettes:
A quick way to get your daily dosage of soul-satisfying cholesterol even when you are on the go and running late.  Nice.
The Great Badger Battle:
Over at Scientific American, they note: "Here are the facts. For more than a decade, bovine TB has been on the rise in Britain. To control the disease, which can spread to humans through contaminated milk, cattle are routinely screened and infected animals are destroyed. And, uncomfortable as it is for animal-lovers, killing large numbers of badgers does help to reduce levels of bovine TB."
The Most Interesting Man in the World Was a Red Shirt:
Jonathan Goldsmith, the fellow behind the Dos Equis' Most Interesting Man in the World ad, once played a Red Shirt in the Star Trek episode The Corbomite Maneuver. And guess what?  He didn't die!  Of course he didn't.  He is the Most Interesting Man in the World.  Dying as a Red Shirt has been done!
Selling New Zealand:
Thomas Edison for the 21st Century:
He's American, he's alive, and he's interesting.
Sanctions in Iran are Working:
Steve Hanke estimates that Iran’s monthly inflation rate has reached 70%.  Monthly.  In short, they are f*rked. Obama has already wiped them up.  They're dead and just don't know it yet.
Black Mamba Venom Is the New Pain Medication:
Supposedly, no side effects.  They said that about Vioxx too.  Whoops!
Send This One to Three People Today:
A true history and a great video from animator Lucas Gray who helps make The Family Guy and The SimpsonsWatch it, Facebook it, send it to a friend

Mitt Romney Style


Best Debate Ever!

Wrote a song about it!

Soothing My Soul

Time for coffee by candlelight once more.
A morning ritual that helps me set the day's tone,
and bypass troubles for a wee bit.

In the past you would find witches and goblins 
galore scattered throughout the downstairs, but 
they are all bewitching someone else-somewhere else,
since the "last great purges".

I now prefer a simple palette with a
whisper of fall here and there.
I found brown bottle brush wreaths
which will carry over onto the brown porch 
Holiday design where the brown paper tree resides.

Isn't it wonderful that we can find the 
vintage look now without the $$$
I am no snob.
If it looks the way I like, then good enough,
and it'll be vintage when my kids get it.

My only nod to the 31st.
We made these in a class I taught many 
full moons ago and I just love the little bugger.
It is wee.

So it stays

I tend to doodle while phone chatting...
I also do laundry, dishes, sweep, pay bills etc.
Z is nothing if not a multi-tasker.
So last week on a long chat to Annie,
I doodled this, and yes it does look like a third 
grader did it. 

I also doodled over here, and hung my fall calendar.
A nod to our sweet Libbey, the two felt cockers 
that are homage to Justice and Howie,
two precious notes from my kids, 
my favorite fortune cookie fortune
and of course...
"Don't Make Me Get My Flying Monkeys"

SO I guess there is still a witch around.....
or a _itch around, cause this gal needs sleep.
and yes the coffee is half caff

Check out Hannah's progress up there right hand corner. 
We're so proud of her.

"Please Proceed, Governor"

Got Game? 

A visual depiction of the debate last night, with Mitt Romney as groundhog.   Yes, that's blood on the dog, but no it's not the dog's blood. 

As Chris Rock put it:

President Obama just combined the epicness of the ending of Braveheart, Gladiator, and Shawshank Redemption into one act.  Obama didn't even need to hold up Bin Laden's head."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Let's Not Talk About the Economy Says Romney

"Unemployment is at Reagan-era levels, General Motors is the most successful car company in the world, the stock market is at record levels, interest rates are down, housing starts are up, health insurance companies are mailing us checks, and we are getting out of wars not into them."

Do you know how you can tell that the U.S. economy is roaring back to life?

Do you know how you can tell that Al Qaeda is almost gone and that Medicare and Social Security are both in pretty fine shape?

Simple:  the Republicans don't want to talk about any of that.

Instead, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney want to talk about an attack on a consulate in a city no one can find on a map or even spell. 

Economic problems?  Not so much.

The simple truth is that unemployment is at Reagan-era levels, General Motors is the most successful car company in the world, the stock market is at record levels, interest rates are down, housing starts are up, health insurance companies are mailing us checks, and we are getting out of wars not into them.

And so an attack on a consulate in a second-tier city in a God-forsaken country, where we have never had any relations at all, is all that Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan want to talk about.

They cannot talk about the 47% of Americans that they told their owners donors they were happy to throw under the bus.

They cannot talk about their push to turn Medicare into a voucher program that will give you less and cost you more.

They cannot talk about privatizing Social Security or what they would have done to our seniors during the last stock market crash.

They cannot talk about how Mitt Romney has STILL now shown us his tax records, and neither has Paul Ryan.

They cannot talk about Mitt Romney's track record of making jobs in Massachusetts or the state of the budget when he left -- none and bankrupt are the stories there.

They cannot talk about sending American jobs to China when Romney was at Bain.

They cannot talk about taxes since Romney banks in the Caymans and avoids taxes with accounts in Switzerland.

They cannot talk about religion, since Romney Jesus lives on planet Kolob.

They cannot talk about family history since Romney's is riddled with polygamy.

They cannot talk about war, since Romney was a war-monger draft-dodger during the Vietnam era.

They cannot talk about Romney's disastrous trips overseas where he insulted,  the British, the Poles, the Arabs, and the Jews.

They cannot talk about guns since Romney is a gun-grabber.

They cannot talk about dogs strapped to roofs or or dancing horses given $73,000 tax breaks.

They cannot talk about cars since Mitt Romney said he wanted Detroit to go bankrupt, even as he was building elevators in his house for his foreign car collection.

They cannot talk about the stimulus bill, since Paul Ryan sent letters to Joe Biden begging for money to be sent to his district in order to create jobs, nor can they talk about the bank bail out since that actually returned more money to the U.S. Government than was spent.

They cannot even talk about Ronald Reagan.  After all, Reagan's economic track record during his first four years in officer was no better than Obama's on almost any level. 

"During Reagan's first full month in office, February 1981, the unemployment rate stood at 7.4 percent. It then rose steadily and peaked at 10.8 percent in November 1982, before falling to 7.5 percent in August 1984, as he campaigned for re-election."

Under Barack Obama, unemployment in the U.S. topped out at 10.1, and it has been declining pretty much steadily since.

But shhhh... We can't talk about that!