Share Your World – February 20, 2017

February in my neck of the woods is a gray month. Oh, we get bits and pieces of sunshine now and then, and occasionally it will manage to last for nearly a whole day, but those days seem to be few in number. That adds to the cabin fever that visits me in February every year – although I think this year it arrived in January. One of the ways I escape the gray, if only for a little while, is to immerse myself in the computer, and sharing with Cee is a good way to do that.

When you cut something with scissors, do you move your jaw (as if you were about to chew)? I don’t think so. I tried to test this yesterday, but I was so aware of what I was doing, I’m not sure I got an accurate reading. I can tell you that I hold my mouth open when I put mascara on though.

Do you chew your pens and pencils? No – I don’t think I’ve ever done that. I don’t chew my nails either, but I do pick at them a lot.

Are you a collector of anything? If so what? I think I’m a collector of way too much. I have a collection of cat figurines, for a long while I collected clown figurines (those are all gone now), then there was the time I collected small pewter figurines. And hobbies – I collect hobbies. When I move on to a new hobby, which happens every couple of years I think, you can tell by looking around my house what I’m into now. Currently, it’s alcohol ink painting. It’s just everywhere.

What size is your bed? My bed is a queen size, which is a good size. Now. When husband was still alive and Bailey could still get up on the bed, it was way too small. Bailey is a black lab/border collie mix and always sleeps on her side, legs stretched out. In the middle of the bed. Which meant we each had a small space on the edges of the bed. Plus, we always had a cat that would be sharing my space with me. Then Bailey’s old hips wouldn’t let her get on the bed, but we had gotten Shasta, who also likes the middle of the bed, although she sleeps more curled. And likes to snuggle up right against me.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for having a hobby to keep me occupied during these gray February days. I am grateful for the one afternoon when the temperature was pretty nice and the sun was shining, and I went outside and swept pine needles off the front deck, which I could finally do because the warmer temperatures and rainy days had melted the snow off it. I am looking forward to being one week closer to spring.

Yesterday, I decided to paint this tile with a little tree frog on the flower stem – I found the reference photo on Pixabay. As usual, when I first finished it I was not happy with it, but today I like it better. That’s pretty normal for me.
Followed by a shameless pitch for my other blog: I’d love to have you visit!

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Please! Go see this video. If only we could all trust. If only we could feel that there is something to trust.

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Are These the Changes You Wanted?

Many of us in this country have felt the need for some changes in our political environment for some time – less partisanship, more cooperation, Congress remembering that we elected them to work for the best for the people and the country, not their party. This need for change led to the last election – well, the need for change along with a little help from the Russians and Wikileaks – and now, after less than a month of this new regime (and I use that word purposefully), we are seeing changes. Therefore, my question – are these the changes you wanted?

From The Week magazine:
“On Wednesday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held hearings on legislation to “modernize” the Endangered Species Act, part of a push by Republicans to roll back environmental regulations and protections. The Republicans on the committee, led by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and three of the five witnesses at the hearing argued that the 1973 law to keep animal species from extinction impedes oil drilling, mining, and farming, and infringes on the rights of states and private landowners. The proposed legislation would make it harder to list animals on the endangered species list and limit legal action under the 1973 law, among other changes.”

What I hear is that oil drilling, mining, etc. are far more important than our environment. I do not like what I hear. Not a change I asked for.

Again from The Week, regarding Rex Tillerson’s first overseas trip:
“Tillerson refused to take questions after delivering his statement on Ukraine, and State Department aides asked the press to leave Tillerson’s meeting with Lavrov immediately following Lavrov’s introductory remarks. The New York Times reported the Russian news crew was “bewildered-looking,” and Lavrov was apparently overheard asking Tillerson, “Why did they shush them out?”

Transparency? Apparently on the same level as honesty and real facts, as opposed to alternative facts.

“House Republicans just introduced a bill that would terminate the Environmental Protection Agency by the end of next year, full stop.

H.R. 861, which was introduced on February 3 by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) and cosponsored by Reps. Steven Palazzo (R-Mississippi), Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky), and Barry Loudermilk (R-Georgia) only contains one sentence: “The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on December 31, 2018.” The bill is currently awaiting action in the House Science, Space, and Technology committee.”

Of course. Our environment doesn’t need protecting. We’re doing just fine, right? Not a change I asked for.

And this, from the New Yorker:
“WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—An exuberant Betsy DeVos said on Monday that Donald J. Trump’s forty-per-cent approval rating is a “clear indication” that more than half the country agrees with the job he is doing.

“I was so excited to see the President’s approval rating hit forty,” DeVos, the Secretary of Education, told reporters. “Just knowing that well more than half the country is with him gives us a great sense of confidence moving forward.”

You wanted this change, right? A Secretary of Education who thinks 40% is over one-half? Hmmm. Why am I not sharing her sense of confidence?

From the Huffington Post:
“Dairy farmers and fruit and vegetable growers, both of whom rely heavily on an immigrant workforce to harvest their goods, are expressing fears that Trump’s promise to up immigration enforcement and build a border wall with Mexico could eliminate much of its workforce.”

Thereby raising costs, of course. Are you, or your kids, willing to go out and work the fields this summer? Yeah. Me neither.

I could go on and on and on – I feel a bit like a ballistic missile about so many things right now. I could mention the purported cost of the wall. I could mention rumored cuts to Social Security and Medicare. I could mention cuts to many other departments that provide necessary aid to those who need it. I could mention 45’s obsession with having a “huge” majority in the election or many of his other insecure proclamations. I could mention a cabinet of billionaires with absolutely no experience in running a government. And no, a government is not like any other business, not even close. I could mention the apparent complete chaos in the government right now. I could mention Security Agencies that are afraid to share information with 45. I could mention people who are so concerned about our direction they risk their jobs and livelihood by leaking information in an attempt (ill-advised or not) to get us back on track. Before it’s too late. I could mention the fact that, during the campaign 45 loudly and frequently claimed Hillary as a Wall Street puppet – yet we have many Wall Street people in his close circle, and in the cabinet. Or at least nominated for the cabinet. I could mention an Attorney General who is well-known to be racist. I could mention extreme positions of 45’s advisors – again, people with no governmental experience.

Yes. Changes are needed. But I ask, are these the changes that are needed?


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Share Your World – February 13, 2017

We’re having a gray, gray day, with rain and wind in the forecast. One of those stay-inside-and-read-and-nap days. Maybe play with some inks. But before I move on to those activities, it’s time to join Cee in sharing.

Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out? Bottom of the top sheet tucked in, but with enough space for me to move my feet freely. Because my feet reach the end of my mattress, or very near it. I do not like being too confined, but I also like my feet tucked in comfortably. That goes back to childhood, when I was convinced there were things under my bed that would get my toes if they weren’t covered.

Have you stolen a street sign before? No. How do people do that? How do you get the sign off the post without making a ruckus and drawing attention? If I wanted a street sign, I’d buy a replica. So much easier and less guilt-producing.

Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? I used to. Then I learned to put them where my payment method was, so when I went to pay I’d see the coupons because otherwise I tended to forget them. Now I don’t get any newspapers or any print material that has coupons, so it’s not a problem. I do use my phone to get the coupons for places like Michael’s and JoAnn’s when I shop there.

Do you have freckles? Maybe on my shoulders, since I got a major sunburn on them several years ago. I don’t spend a lot of time looking at my shoulders however, so I’m not sure they’re still there. Otherwise, no. No freckles.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for waking up every morning. I am grateful for having a couple of sales of my ink arts – it’s always nice to think people like something you create. I am grateful for friends and the opportunity to join them for dinner now and then. I am grateful for my furry girls. I’m looking forward to more of the same – waking up every morning, friends, hearing from my all-growed-up kids, more signs of spring.

In looking for spring, here is my painting of some orange blooms:

Thank you for spending some time with me – I hope the rest of your day, your week, your month is filled with enough.

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The Chips – and Where They Fall

Last night, just before I headed to bed, I read a blog post written by a bloggy friend, whose husband has suffered and beaten kidney cancer. But those chips – they fall. Not always as we want, not always in our idea of good timing. As they prepared to head out on their annual family vacation, he went to the ER. He was admitted. There are many fears, but we pray – we pray he will be just fine.

Her story raised goosebumps on my skin – and reminders from the past, when husband was suffering, when he had a cancer he could not beat, that found it’s way into his brain. The surgery. The year following. The end. I wish, I pray, I fervently hope this is not the path she is looking at. I would wish that on no one. Her husband is younger, has much to live for. Please, let him live.

I wrote those words, re-read them – hope, if she reads them, they do not bow her lower. It is not my intention to weigh her down more. It is a reminder to me – to each and everyone of us – to appreciate more, to find fault less, to remember – always – that there are no promises. Don’t waste your time with your loved ones in anger. Make peace. Tolerance, thoughtfulness – without those, there cannot be living together.

Because those chips – they fall when and where they want. And when they fall, they can raise a fiery fury in the heart.

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Share Your World – February 6, 2017

This is me, avoiding doing the things that need doing in this house – vacuuming, dusting, you know the drill, right? So much more fun to play with Cee.

Regarding your fridge, is it organized or a mess inside? A little of both. It’s organized in that I keep specific things in specific places, but I know there are things that have gotten pushed to the back of shelves that need to be dumped, and I know the shelves need to be cleaned. But that cleaning is another of those things that is just not a priority for me right now.

Do you prefer your food separated or mixed together? I’m a one-dish person almost always. Occasionally there is a need for meat/starch/veggies all separate, but not often. Tomorrow’s dinner will be chicken with potatoes and carrots, maybe some peas – but they will all be cooked together in the slow cooker. Because, if my meal is not pretty much put together in the morning, dinner will end up being canned soup or a sandwich.

Do you prefer reading coffee table books (picture), biographies, fiction, non-fiction, educational? Reading for me is mainly for pleasure although I do read a lot of articles from news magazines that send me headlines via email. When I want to just read to relax, I prefer fiction, or historical fiction. I used to read a lot of magazines, but lately I’ve gotten away from that, even the ones that are available in digital form. Cycles – life is composed of different cycles for different times.

Close your eyes. Listen to your body. What part of your body is seeking attention? What is it telling you? If I close my eyes, my body will immediately go into relax mode, followed by sleep, cause that’s the way it is. I think, if I were to face reality, my whole body would tell me it needs to get up and move more – but the icy outside is a major deterrent to that. That, and my laziness.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for the roof over my head, the friends that are always there and understand when I am in hermit mode, the quietness of my home, and my furry girls that like to be in the same room I’m in. I am looking forward to more of the snow melting, maybe getting some motivation to do something I should do, quiet times.

Now I want to share with you an alcohol ink painting I did because a special friend requested it. It needs to have a finish put on it as well as the backing, but it’s nearly done. Let me introduce you to my friend’s furry girl’s best friend: Tashi.

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Share Your World – January 30, 2017

Another day of gray skies and white grounds – getting twitchy here. Feeling confined. I want to go for a walk on non-icy surfaces, in relative warmth. Tomorrow, groundhog, I'm wanting you to be nice to all of us! In the meantime, Cee has offered another chance to escape, and I’m going to take advantage of it.

What is the most incredible natural venue that you’ve ever seen in person? Oh, but there are so many. The Pacific and Atlantic oceans (are they a venue?), The Grand Canyon, the Badlands in North Dakota, Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, The Rocky Mountains from Colorado to British Columbia, I’m sure I’m forgetting some of the others I’ve seen.

How many siblings do you have? What’s your birth order? I had two brothers, the eldest eight years younger than I. The youngest passed on several years ago.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why? Probably a sneaker, something that holds up to lots of abuse, but keeps the feet comfortable, and is appropriate for many situations.

What is the strangest/weirdest thing you have ever eaten? When I was in my early teens, we visited some family friends in either Montana or Wyoming, I’ve forgotten which – because it’s been a year or two since I was in my early teens. Anyway, we joined them for dinner, and I took what was offered, enjoying the meat I was eating until I asked what it was – it was Elk tongue. It didn’t taste so good after I learned that. Then, as a younger adult out to dinner with friends, I was challenged to eat some Escargo – I took the challenge, and I enjoyed it.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for surviving the week without having lost friends, given my political position and need to stand up and say what I felt – on social media, not so much in person, mainly because I’ve been keeping to myself most of the time. It feels necessary to withdraw for awhile. I am looking forward to, or wishing for, more sanity in this world – in the week coming up would be wonderful, but I could make it until the week after if necessary. Wondering if the government could now get over the “shock and awe” part of starting off and settle down in a quieter, better thought out manner. Hoping.

And now, a shameless advertisement for myself, for my ink arts. I have set up a Facebook page, but then I moved on to set up a WordPress blog because the Facebook page felt cumbersome. I’d love it if you’d visit the new blog, take a look at what I have to offer, and if you’d like, contact me about purchasing something. The address for that blog is Come on over!

This is one of the items I will be offering for sale, once I get the finish put on and get it on the backing.

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