18 December 2016

10 Things - 18 Dec. 2016

I'm grateful for:
1. The endless detail of seashells at Canaveral National Seashore (click on the photo for a larger version; I have an even larger version as well [photos on this blog are my own])
2. Jasper (the husky)
3. Bear (the human)
4. Medicine
5. My doctor
6. Time to get it right
7. Extra time off this month
8. Karina
9. The Azmus family
10. Indoor heating and plumbing (it's 2 deg F outside right now)

16 December 2016

Today's Poem Draft - 16 Dec. 2016

Spelled backward, sadness is
dust, like bricks set in
mortar too long
longer than the death of a city,
grass growing through cracks in the pavement
into which your mind's eye
can dive, layer by layer, through
man-made stone and
ground stone and mud and sand
and get trapped
ensnared by the earth
only to gush, spew, up again
like a torrent of tears

28 November 2016

10 Things - 28 Nov. 2016

In this "10 Things I'm Grateful For" post, I'm prepping for tomorrow's "Giving Tuesday." Here are my top 10 charities to which I have donated or will donate money this year:

1. Save the Kea
2. Girl Up
3. Planned Parenthood
4. The Nature Conservancy
5. The Sierra Club
6. World Wildlife Fund
7. Wounded Warrior Project
8. Canine Companions for Independence
9. Tru Community Care/Boulder County Hospice
10. Water.org

How about you?

16 November 2016

10 Things - 16 Nov. 2016

I'm grateful for ... 

1. Happy dogs
2. Aleo
3. Having a job with good benefits
4. Working out
5. Music to workout by
6. Freedom to drive my own car
7. The use of the word "neurotypical" in "The Accountant" movie
8. The tapestry backpack I bought in Eureka, California, in the 90s
9. The freedom to blog and publish
10. The BBC One show "Call the Midwife"

14 November 2016

Why She Voted for Trump

I voted for Hillary Clinton for president this year, and almost everyone I know did as well. In fact, where I live, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who voted for Trump, or at least who would admit to it (read: very liberal town).

I have met a couple of people who did vote for Trump, and one of them (someone I care about) was kind enough to answer, quite thoroughly and intelligently, a set of interview questions I provided.

Her reflections are transcribed below:

Q: Can you give me a brief summary of your education and background? 
A:  I am a 77-year-old ordinary person of Scots-Irish heritage. I grew up in a small Western town, and my childhood was happy and busy. I was a girl scout, took piano lessons, and any other lessons that I could locate in that small town. I rode bicycle and roller-skated all over town, and I went to the movies every time the picture changed. We were an upper middle class family. I graduated high school with an A average, was a National Merit Scholar and the Outstanding Senior English student. I have an Associate's Degree with a 4.0 GPA which I received when I was sixty-seven years old. In between, I worked and raised my children. I began working when I was 28 as a part-time bank teller. I worked very hard, long hours and finished up as a bank Vice President by the time I was 50. I always felt that I could do anything I wanted to do and was a "pull myself up by my bootstraps" sort of person.

Q: Have you been a Republican all your life?
A: I remember sitting up listening closely to the radio to hear the speeches and the action at the Republican Convention in 1952. There were seven names in consideration, and Dwight Eisenhower won the nomination on the third ballot. I was very happy. I was twelve. Before that I don't know what I was.

Q: How have you seen the party change over time, or has it?
A: Of course, the party has changed, just as the Democrat Party has changed. Republicans have moved to the right and Democrats to the left. This is not Eisenhower's GOP and it's not John Kennedy's Democrat Party. But the important things for the Republicans have not changed ... the belief that Federal government should be as small as possible and should stay out of the things that should be decided at the state level (like education, abortion, etc.) and the faith in the Constitution as written by very wise men about 240 years ago; and in the Bill of Rights which was written as it is to ensure that government could not enslave the people (as the monarchs had done in Europe). We are a party that believes that all people are born free and should remain free to be and do whatever they are ABLE to do and that the government should not interfere in that freedom.

Q: Did you vote for Trump?
A: Yes, I voted for Trump, and I want to tell you why. Many people don't know how much this country has been hurting for all the years under Mr. Obama's administration. You will notice if you look at the map that most of the Democrat votes came from the urban areas and that the rural areas are almost completely Republican. People in the cities are out of touch with the country. (They call it fly-over country.) That's why the election result was such a shock to so many of you, and exactly why we have an Electoral College – so that New York, Chicago, and L.A. cannot control the entire county. You may hear that things are great … that unemployment is down … that the country is strong. Meanwhile, the timber industry is shut down, the steel industry is shut down, the mining industry is nearly shut down. If you make an honest count and include the people who have given up, unemployment in many areas is close to 20%. People are pouring in over our borders. How many of can we afford to feed, clothe, and house? Do you know where most of the drug problem is originating from? Is it at all possible that some of these people might be from Syria? Might be ISIS? Can we afford to take that chance? People are frightened and want a President who means something when he says he is drawing a "line in the sand." The national debt is close to $20Trillion. This is a debt we can never pay! Do you know what $20Trillion looks like? ($20,000,000,000,000.00) Can any of us afford our portion of that debt? Can we in good conscience continue to let it grow? Trump cannot pay the national debt and cannot fix everything that has gone wrong in the years that the debt doubled, but he will make a start. He will bring back industry. He will bring back jobs – honest jobs that people are proud to do and that pay enough to live on. People were very angry. They didn’t want a continuation of Obama’s policies … period.

Q: What did you know about Trump before he entered the race?
A: I knew he was rich. I knew he had funny hair. I thought he was just a celebrity. I did not want him to run. But the more I saw of him and the more I heard, the more I thought he might just be the fighter we need to clean out the deadwood in the bureaucracies in Washington, stop the over-regulation of every little thing, and work with the Congress to pass laws instead of making "executive orders," many of which are against the law.

Q: If Trump had not run, whom would you have voted for in the primary?
A: John Kasich. I have admired him since he was a congressman and managed to balance the budget.

Q: Who else would you have chosen?
A: I’m not sure who I would have chosen. As I said, I liked John Kasich a lot. I didn't like Jeb Bush. It's time for the Bush family and the Clinton family to fade into history. Years ago I sort of wanted Elizabeth Dole to run, but she's too old now. I guess Ted Cruz would have been my next choice, but I'm happy with Trump.

Q: Do you think some people see Trump as a father figure?
A: No, I think they see him as a fighter and a leader … someone who will actually get something done.

Q: Lots of women voted for Trump even in light of what some people call misogyny. Why do you think that is?
A: The women I know voted for Trump for the same reason as the men did. It had nothing to do with gender. When will some of you young women come to see that women and men are just different … not meant to be equal in every way? Trust me, you have it so good. Hang on. A woman will be President someday soon … just not a woman like Hillary Clinton. Please look closely at her (and at her husband). Don’t be fooled.

Q: What do you think about Trump's choice of VP?
A: I think Pence is a great choice for VP. He is very smart and capable. He is good balance for Trump's over-enthusiasm and will have good rapport with Congress. (Trump knows how to hire really good people.)

Q: Are there any things Trump has said that you disagree with?
A: Yes, sure, there are things he has said that I didn't like: Calling out the judge in the U of Trump case for being a "Mexican." Saying that the people coming across the border are largely rapists and murderers. Telling people to "go f*** themselves." Too much hyperbole. He's not a politician. He's not always PC.

Q: How did your husband's political views affect your vote?
A: My husband is very vocal about his political thoughts, but I don't let them influence me. I have a mind of my own.

Q: Name 5 things you'd like to see Trump get done.
A: Just five? Well, he will do more than this, but he will start with: 1. Close the borders; 2. Repeal and replace Obamacare with something people can really afford; 3. Lower corporate taxes and make it profitable for companies to bring their operations back from overseas into the U.S. (My Ford was built in Mexico. It should have been built in Michigan!); 4. Appoint constitution-lovers to the Supreme Court so that it interprets the law instead of trying to make law; and 5. Beef up the military so that we can beat the crap out of ISIS.

Q: Name the top three leaders, alive or dead, that you admire.
A: Three only? Well, here's four: Golda Meir, Ronald Regan, Winston Churchill, and Benjamin Netanyahu.

Q: Do you feel like liberal Democrats and/or liberals would tear you down if they knew your views? Do you feel safe talking about it?
A: Some liberal people are tearing me down. Some people don't want to know my opinion. Some people think that all Republicans are evil – homophobes, bigots, racists – or just plain Christian fanatics. But I'm just an American. I know I have faults, but I do not hate or discriminate. I have worked and lived with gay persons and black persons and even bigoted persons. As Ben Carson said, "We all bleed red blood." And I think a great many of my fellow Trump voters are the same. And I would like to add that Trump was elected mostly because of Hillary. She was a bad candidate. She took the ordinary folks for granted and assumed that she would be elected just because of who she is. She never stated a real reason to vote for her. And she carries a great deal of baggage.

Dear Readers: It's important to look at this issue from all sides, all facets, so that we can understand how to navigate the road ahead. I ask for thoughtful, considerate, and constructive comments only.

12 November 2016

More Volunteer Opportunities - Stand Our Ground and Help Those Around

See yesterday's post "Volunteer and Stand Our Ground" for the first 20 vol-opps I have listed.

21. Deliver "Meals on Wheels."
22. Go shopping for an elderly or disabled person.
23. Start a reading circle focusing on books and magazines that empower women; for example, Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg; Pivot by Adam Markel; The Complete Poetry of Maya Angelou; the Harvard Business Review, esp. the compilation issue, "How to Work with Toxic Colleagues"; and Ms. Magazine.
24. Volunteer at Head Start.
25. Make friendship pins and pass them along.
26. Teach someone to read. Your local library probably has a program. In Boulder it's called "Literacy Volunteer."
27. Get involved in an oral history project. The most famous one is NPR's "Story Corps." There's even an app for that.
28. Buy stuff via Amazon Smiles and see part of your purchase price go to the charity of your choice.
29. Go shopping in your own closet and donate what you never wear.
30. Volunteer at a thrift story (or a, what I call, charity shop [Miranda Hart fans will get that]).
31. Take calls at a national, local, or veteran's suicide prevention crisis line office.
32. Make and send cheerful greeting cards to hospitalized kids or to folks in nursing homes.

Now I really am depending on you, my dear readers, to comment with more ideas and/or to let me know if you have taken up any of the 32 I've listed

11 November 2016

Volunteer and Stand Our Ground

Yesterday evening (10 Nov.) Senator Elizabeth Warren was interviewed by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Among other things that struck a chord with me is a call to action: We can all volunteer — find something that matters to us and stand in and stand our ground.

Following on that, I tweeted last night my own call to action: What will you do? Let's list it out. Me: Hospital pet therapy work. Help heal the sick and sick at heart.

Here are some other ideas (and please add your comments or "tweet me back" at @Colo_kea):
  1. Teach English to immigrants or citizens for whom English is not their first language.
  2. Volunteer for Night Ride or whatever safety program you have on your campus that offers women and vulnerable people rides home at night.
  3. Knit caps for babies and quilts for hospice patients.
  4. Does your church have a "Deacon's Closet"? Those are great places to interact with the homeless and the poor and provide nicer clothes and hygiene assistance.
  5. Find out if the adolescent "attention home" in your area needs a cook, even for just one meal a week.
  6. If you are an adult with Asperger's, find a teen with Asperger's to mentor.
  7. Speak up, even if you have to do it anonymously, if you have an illness that carries a stigma, such as bipolar disorder. Others need to hear your voice.
  8. Write about and share your experiences with prejudice, racism, gender-ism, and misogyny, even if you have to do it anonymously.
  9. Use the "Charity Miles" phone app to track your miles and donate to the charity of your choice at the same time.
  10. Check in with your neighbors, especially the elderly or those with children, to see how they are doing and if you can help them out.
  11. Provide young women with birth control counseling.
  12. Volunteer for the recreation program at your local senior center or nursing home.
  13. If you live in the city, see if you can help your corner store bring in fresh fruits and vegetables.
  14. "Pay it Forward."
  15. Write letters to your representatives expressing your concerns and support. Start here.
  16. Join up with Habitat for Humanity.
  17. Volunteer to teach journalism at your community center and maybe start a local newspaper or blog, using teens and the elderly as correspondents.
  18. Donate magazines to local "people's clinics," nursing homes, community centers, and your public library.
  19. Beautify your street (flowers, paint, etc.) and help keep it clean.
  20. Be alert to your surroundings and look out for each other.

25 October 2016

Dear Reader Promise Here

Costa Rican monkey by keagiles
Sigh, yeah... I'll believe it when I see it.
Dear Reader,

I promise, promise, promise (current writing style is influenced by Miranda Hart) that I will soon write a longer, more substantive post rather than just popping up the 10 things each day.

With warm regards,


10 Things - 25 Oct. 2016

desert garden photo by keagiles
I'm grateful for ...
1. Botanic gardens
2. Being able to desaturate a color photo to make it look like I was there in the early 1960s (by the way, you can click on the photos in this blog to get a closer view)
3. Aunt Lucia
4. A great workout tonight
5. Workout soundtrack, including Bruno Mars, Linkin Park, Lily Allen, Meghan Trainor, and Sia
6. Miranda Hart and her book Peggy & Me
7. Health insurance even if premiums are going up and coverage is being cut back
8. My neighbor's dog, Lucy, and playing fetch with her (the dog) tonight
9. Jasper
10. Bear (when in doubt, right?)

24 October 2016

10 Things - 24 Oct. 2016

sign photo by keagiles
Trail signpost in Colorado. Photo by keagiles.
I'm grateful for ...
1. Choices
2. Not always knowing which path to take, but at least knowing there is a path
3. Being able to vote & vote early
4. Easy access to my polling place
5. The determination of voters who struggle to attain our "inalienable rights" because others will not uphold them
6. Folks who "jump into the deep end" and try to make the world a better place
7. Michelle Obama
8. Joe Biden
9. President Barack Obama
10. My grandma Lillie

23 October 2016

Taking up the 10 Things Again - 23 Oct. 2016

Ten things I'm grateful for ... 

1. The interplay of light and dark
2. Neighbors
3. Play
4. Saltine crackers
5. My camera
6. The wolf spider in our kitchen
7. Settling down
8. Miranda Hart
9. The color red
10. Being able to just make random lists ...

09 October 2016

Gone Dark on the Ten Things for a Little While

Too many things going on in the world both in my microcosm and in the actual world. I leave you with this (and will be back on the series soon):

dream lake by keagiles  RMNP

06 October 2016

10 Things - 6 Oct. 2016

Canaveral National Seashore photo by keagiles
I'm grateful for ...

1. Canaveral National Seashore, and I hope this beautiful area can hang on tight during this storm (Hurricane Matthew).
2. The folks at Walt Disney World who decided to shut it down for a couple of days.
3. Particle board and duct tape (or duck tape, depending on your generation).
4. Folks who know how to seal up windows and such in prep for a hurricane.
5. Weather forecasters.
6. Electricity.
7. Indoor plumbing.
8. Shelter.
9. Dry clothes and a soft warm bed.
10. Florida National Guard and Coast Guard.

05 October 2016

10 Things - 5 Oct. 2016

I'm grateful for ... 

1. Having been able to go to Costa Rica and photograph this familiar site off shore of Manuel Antonio National Park.
2. Knowing I can (will) go back there again someday.
3. Jasper's lower pH level.
4. The $10 gift card someone gave me that I used to buy steak to cook for dinner tonight.
5. The acceptance, now by the Washington Post, of using "they" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun.
6. The Udemy class "Drupal 7 for Beginners" that I'm signing up for.
7. Being able to make things better.
8. The nice young lady from the Colorado Democratic Party who called me tonight.
9. Substitute cheap eyeglasses holding me over until I find my computer glasses or get some new ones.
10. Being able to afford to buy new ones.

04 October 2016

10 Things - 4 Oct. 2016

I'm grateful for ...

1. Old dogs can learn new tricks! Jasper is much happier now (just see him go!). We are giving him more things to think about, like how to find his food in his awesome new toy, and upped the pain meds.
2. The freedom to disagree.
3. The freedom to disagree.
4. The freedom to disagree.
5. OK, you get it. The freedom to choose. At least for now.
6. Bear.
7. Solid local companies.
8. Time to exercise.
9. The ability to choose the food I eat (see this Ted Talk by Ron Finley).
10. Some paths not taken.

03 October 2016

10 Things - 3 Oct. 2016

I'm grateful for ...

1. A beautiful day for reading and writing out on our deck yesterday
2. Answering questions in new ways
3. Vernā Myers and her Ted Talk "How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them"
4. Thrift store (or as they say in the UK, "charity shop") finds
5. Charity shops to give things to
6. My cats vs. waterbed story (dive bombing was involved)
7. NeuroTribes
8. Fact checkers
9. New clothes
10. GIMP

02 October 2016

10 Things - 2 Oct. 2016

Yes, I skipped yesterday. You didn't miss it (doesn't that have a double entendre?). I was still grateful, but mostly for not having to be at the computer for a whole day and for being sleepy in bed.

Here's my top-ten for today:

I'm grateful for ...

1. Cool photos of bubbles (if you want more, see my companion website, KeaNeato!)
2. Beautiful weather today
3. Getting to the gym and swimming today
4. Seeing a coworker friend at Costco and giving a hug as if we had not seen each other in weeks
5. Soft, pointy husky ears
6. Time to reflect and grow
7. The guy at the gym yesterday who gave me a thumbs-up when I was balancing on the fit ball
8. Music
9. Giving a pretty good talk on Friday
10. Jackery

30 September 2016

10 Things - 30 Sept. 2016

I'm grateful for ...

1. Knowing I can now just go stick my head in a pot (no, not that kind of pot!) and hide from the world after a very busy few days
2. Having a bed I can just go do a face plant in
3. Soil
4. Thank you cards
5. Having fun giving my talk at AESE
6. Lt. Uhura (the original)
7. Ens./Lt. Rho (next generation)
8. Sheryl Sandberg
9. The Chronicles of Narnia
10. Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches

29 September 2016

10 Things - 29 Sept. 2016

I'm grateful for ...

1. Goofy Buddy
2. Using this picture in a PowerPoint presentation
3. The AESE (Assoc. of Earth Science Editors) annual meeting at which I will present this presentation
4. Not having to be perfect
5. YouTube (the slide video is online)
6. A good massage today
7. A good lunch today
8. Getting my iPhone memory rebooted
9. Peanut Butter
10. Dogs

28 September 2016

10 Things - 28 Sept. 2016

I'm grateful for...

1. Digital cameras
2. GIMP free software
3. Water drops
4. It being Wednesday and the job stress meter flipped from overdrive to purr
5. This fortune cookie fortune: "Do not wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it" —I'll be writing more about that soon
6. This Ted Talk by Sheryl Sandberg
7. It's Closer night!
8. My old iPOD with no screen or buttons. Perfect for workouts; nearly indestructible.
9. Bear teaching me about patience.
10. Learning, learning, learning!

27 September 2016

10 Things - 27 Sept. 2016

Left Hand Animal Hospital Logo
Left Hand Animal Hospital Logo
(not my work)
I'm grateful for ...

1. Everyone at Left Hand Animal Hospital
2. No more broccoli (for Jasper)
3. The best app ever: Notepad
4. Mr. Geological Society of America (you had to be there)
5. This week's weather
6. My gym
7. My trainer
8. Bear
9. Being able to repeat stuff I'm grateful for
10. Caffeine 

26 September 2016

10 Things - 26 Sept. 2016

I'm grateful for ...

1. Change
2. Gaining more insight into what Jasper, Bear & I need right now
3. Being able to take a step back
4. Knowing this stress-sick and exhaustion brought on by work will be over by Wednesday afternoon
5. Not having to debate anyone
6. Grandma's old glass paperweight
7. Being able to take this photo in London showing three eras of building type
8. Crystal Geyser Sparkling Water
9. Owning a carpet washing machine and Bear knowing how to use it
10. Having a good veterinarian

25 September 2016

10 Things - 25 Sept. 2016

I'm grateful for ...

1. Jessie
2. My mom's "I'm grateful for" list
3. Lessons learned
4. Having Lucy over (friend's dog)
5. Perspective
6. Knowing when not to adopt a dog
7. Meeting the great GSA Today science editors
8. Interesting science that ties to current issues
9. My job
10. Everyone who is walking around with the program book I edited for the Annual Meeting as if it really isn't a "throw-away piece"

24 September 2016

10 Things - 24 Sept. 2016

Dream Lake photo by keagiles
I'm grateful for ... 

1. Fresh air
2. Rocky Mountain National Park
3. The sound of the breeze through the leaves of the cottonwood trees outside my window
4. A second chance
5. May Wah
6. Fortune cookies
7. More good advice
8. Working from home
9. Jasper's upstairs bed
10. Knowledge of HTML

23 September 2016

10 Things - 23 Sept. 2016

I'm grateful for ...

1. Sweetness aka Opal
2. Beth who is fostering her
3. The possibility that Opal could be the right dog to fit into our household
4. Jessie who made me want another sweet dog
5. Jasper for being a sweetheart
6. Bear for patience
7. My doctor
8. My friends
9. My brothers
10. Acia

22 September 2016

Book of Poetry - Thank You Maya Angelou

I just purchased the book Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry (2015, Random House). It's a beautiful volume; holding it, I'm almost in tears because of what it represents.

I'm starting what I hope will be a continual dialog between her poetry and me, and you, my dear readers. (Note: I will not be reproducing full poems here; that violates copyright and just isn't ethical.)

I met Maya Angelou when I was an undergrad at CU Boulder back in the '80s. Spectacular. I got her to sign my copy of her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I was in awe and awkward and asked her if it was OK if I could say she was my hero. Of course she said yes.

Had I not been afraid of the unknown, of a complex alteration of my life's course, I might have gone to grad school at Wake Forest University, where she taught in the humanities department. But I didn't. I stayed here and got a master's in Journalism. I wonder what if ...

Today's selection:
"On a Bright Day, Next Week," first published in 1971 in Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water before I Diiie (part 2: "Just before the World Ends"). The lines, "All my tears will powder / Black in dust like ashes" (p. 30) speak to me as if written about the pain of now — with so many African American men (and women) dying violent deaths at the hands of police.

Let me write it out again: "All my tears will powder / Black in dust like ashes."

The poem also refers to "Just before the bomb falls," and I think that is in reference to the atomic bomb. In the late '60s, early '70s we all were walking clench-jawed in fear of the A-bomb, and in school we practiced hiding under desks (the same as our earthquake drills; I grew up in California) to shelter from what we didn't understand.

[[Aside: This reminds me of a chapter, "Snow," from the book, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez. Trying to summarize the chapter takes away from this post; just thought I'd mention it, and you can look it up. Good book.]]

"Just before the bomb falls" could also signify the weight and shock of knowing that even "on a bright day next week" one's world could fall apart. But all is not lost; Angelou writes. "Then will mercy tumble ... Falling from the sky."

That's what we need now; mercy falling from the sky to spread like dust on all Earth's children.

10 Things - 22 Sept. 2016

bird drawing by keagiles
I am grateful for ...

1. Maya Angelou
2. Madeleine L'Engle
3. C.S. Lewis
4. Zenna Henderson
5. David Brin
6. Julie Edwards
7. Lucy Maud Montgomery
8. Louisa May Alcott
9. Harper Lee
10. Dean Koontz

21 September 2016

10 Things - 21 Sept. 2016

I am grateful for ...

1. Video cameras (cell phone, dash cam)
2. Not being alone and on the road
3. Not being in the horror (news) business
4. Food
5. Security
6. A roof over my head
7. A fresh, clean bed
8. Towels
9. Fresh, clean clothes
10. Knowing I can have something to eat to cure my growling stomach this morning

20 September 2016

Fortune Cookie's Take on Fear

I'm going to circle back to one of the fortunes I discussed in my 18 Sept. post: "There is no fear for one whose thought is not confused." I wrote a little metaphorical bit and referred to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's take on fear.

My thoughts are confused. I'm confused, afraid, and angered at police violence, the killing of so many African-American men and women. I bet everyone is confused. And it's right to be afraid, not only of the immediate consequences, but for our future as a supposedly united people.

And who decided you have to stand for the national anthem? The same folks who decided that I must start every school day pledging allegiance to the flag? Being a patriot, being an American, is about more than symbolism. It's about working together for a common cause: The uplifting of democracy and equality among all men and women.

I don't think I'm the best person to expound further on what it means to be an American. But I know it doesn't (shouldn't) mean that one whole class of people fear for their lives on a daily basis.

10 Things - 20 Sept. 2016

water drops on a web photo by keagiles

I'm grateful for ...

1. Taking this picture which says to me "we are all connected"
2. Not getting pulled over by police
3. Knowing with near certainty that I will never get shot by police
4. Not being racially profiled
5. Having gray hair
6. Having dogs to enjoy, not to be protected by them
7. The luxury to sit here writing my 10 things
8. Having a job to go to after writing my 10 things
9. U.S. Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard
10. Paramedics

19 September 2016

I Just Don't Have a Picture for This One

How does a person live in a world of such dichotomies, such mind-bending inequalities, that I can sit happily at my computer typing out my "10-things-I'm grateful-for" lists while this happens, over and over, every single day?

10 Things - 19 Sept. 2016

water drops by keagiles
I'm grateful for ...

1. Rain
2. Knowing the truth
3. P!nk
4. Linkin Park
5. Aleo and Hsutphin
6. Goofiness
7. My gym
8. Perseverance
9. Grit
10. Bear

18 September 2016

Fortune Cookies

Last night my family and I enjoyed a great get-together over a huge meal of Chinese food. As you know, at the end of such a meal, folks will open their fortune cookies.

Here are ours:
1. The best times of your life have not yet been lived.
2. Do onto [sic] others as you wish others do onto [sic] you.
3. Try your best to avoid arguing with your elders and superiors.
4. There is no fear for the one whose thought is not confused.
5. Winning starts with beginning.

The oldest person (85) in the room got #1. Everyone laughed and wondered how that could be possible and what did it say about everything that had happened in his life up to now.

I got #2. I wish I could get that one right more often.

The other three "fortunes" strike me as something to spend more time writing about. What's up for me now is #3. I think it's time I actually start pushing that boundary. Not arguing per se, but moving past the quiescent underling role I feel I should maintain and toward being someone who questions more and, for lack of a better way to say it, refuses to die for the job. A career should bring joy, just as one seeks joy in a career.

"There is no fear for the whose thought is not confused." That sounds a lot like President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's line, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." But more so, like how clarity shines a light through the darkness of confusion. Fear is disorder like a hoarder's house; having thoughts that are not confused is like a straight path in sunlight.

Finally ... "winning starts with beginning." Yes. It also cannot be upheld without perseverance.

Next time: Addressing "the best times of your life have not yet been lived" and my idea that, in some way or another, we all live in a world of make-believe.

10 Things - 18 Sept. 2016

Boulder Chautauqua
I'm grateful for ...

1. Sunshine and shadow
2. A rainbow way out yonder
3. Colorado
4. Air conditioning
5. Having a washer and dryer
6. Oceans
7. The sound of papers fluttering in the soft breeze of our ceiling fan
8. Not really having to do the thing you think you have to do 
9. Living without "one-more-thing–itis"
10. Left Hand Animal Hospital

17 September 2016

10 Things - 17 Sept. 2016

bumble bee on thistle flower
I'm grateful for ...

1. Bumble bees
2. Thistle flowers
3. The Little Golden Books
4. April's new book
5. Love
6. The ability to see and hear
7. Soil
8. Being able to afford medication
9. Macbeth
10. That there are no spots to get out

16 September 2016

10 Things - 16 Sept. 2016

dew on a net web
I'm grateful for ...

1. Net spiders
2. Morning dew
3. iPhone cameras
4. Silence
5. Dermatologist doing good by burning things off my body (ouch!)
6. Helpful coworkers
7. Cards by Papyrus
8. My younger brother even when he's cranky :)
9. Mom
10. Dad and Betty

15 September 2016

10 Things - 15 Sept. 2016

Canada, photograph, Bow Lake
I'm grateful for ...

1. Canada's Bow Lake
2. The ability to travel
3. My workout last night - such fun!
4. BBC America
5. Nichelle Nichols
6. The little family upstairs
7. Toaster waffles
8. Crofters raspberry fruit spread
9. My National Geographic world map
10. Opals

14 September 2016

What's Fibonacci?

weed, golden ratio
In one of my recent "10 Things I'm Grateful For" articles, I mentioned the Fibonacci sequence. What's that?

This website, "Math is Fun," explains it well and even has a neat little interactive gadget to show you how the Fibonacci numbers affect what you see. The numbers are part of the "Golden Ratio" as seen throughout nature. It's beautiful! Just have a look at a few of my photos to see what I mean. If you click on the image, you should see a bigger version.

10 Things - 14 Sept. 2016

dog, beach
I'm grateful for ...

1. Happy dogs
2. The dog beach in San Diego
3. Prang watercolors
4. Paper
5. Clean clothes
6. Bear again
7. Jasper again
8. Olives
9. The trip to the UK with my mom
10. Audio speakers

13 September 2016

10 Things - 13 Sept. 2016

I'm grateful for ...

1. Bubbles
2. The Fibonacci sequence in nature
3. Symmetry
4. My grandmother's Worthington, Ohio, block print
5. Misty rain in the morning
6. YouTube
7. Sleep
8. Light
9. My car
10. Learning not to be perfect

12 September 2016

10 Things - 12 Sept. 2016

I am grateful for ... 

1. Purple
2. Yellow
3. Hiking through meadows
4. Taking a shower at home after a few days no water
5. Income
6. Time
8. The Internet
9. Facebook friends
10. Twitter

11 September 2016

10 Things - 11 Sept. 2016

I'm grateful for ...

1. Beauty among life's prickly problems
2. Sundays
3. Possibilities
4. Credit cards
5. More than one way out
6. Meghan Trainor's new album "Thank You"
7. Music videos
8. Flowery workout leggings that fit
9. Sunshine
10. Blue skies

10 September 2016

10 Things - 10 Sept. 2016

I'm grateful for ...

1. Trees, especially the ones outside my window
2. Soap
3. Saturdays
4. Auntie
5. Erick
6. Lindsay
7. Natalie
8. Scott
9. Dora
10. The Rocky Mountain Lab Rescue

09 September 2016

10 Things - 9 Sept.2016

I am grateful for...

1. My friend April.
2. The flowers she just gave me.
3. My friend Karina.
4. The trip to California that I just took to see her.
5. Fresh, crispy Red Delicious apples.
6. My friend Corissa with whom I used to pick apples and hangout under the trees.
7. Warm days in Sebastapol when I was in 6th/7th grade.
8. Picking strawberries on the beach at Bodega Bay in my early teens.
9. Our neighbor Cookie.
10. The opal I bought in Bath, UK.

08 September 2016

10 Things - 8 Sept. 2016

I'm grateful for ...

1. Tea - Earl Grey - Hot
2. Clean water
3. Indoor plumbing
4. The Golden Retriever Freedom Rescue (through whom I got Jessie)
5. The Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies (who were able to find a new home for Gem)
6. Postcards
7. Peanut Butter
8. The Black-Eyed Peas' song "Anxiety"
9. Composer John Powell (Jason Bourne series)
10. The Jason Bourne series.

07 September 2016


despacio sign
I visited Costa Rica a couple of years ago and got some great pictures, but these two come up in my mind most frequently.

The first is the despacio (slow) sign for the roadway. Person, dog, sloth, monkey. I noticed the monkeys used power lines to get around, and I didn't see any sloths, perhaps because they were moving so slowly they were camouflaged.

People, yes, dogs, yes. And lots of speeding cars, all headed to Manuel Antonio National Park.

woman iPhone photo monkey
This second one stands out because of it's irony: A picture of a woman taking a picture of a white-faced monkey that you can see on her iPhone screen while the monkey is looking back at us. This photo was taken at the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park, where the monkeys are just steps away from the water.

Perhaps in another post I will discuss the philosophical meaning behind the photos. For now, they just give us something to think about.