Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A poem for Wednesday

I took a writing workshop in Des Moines. This was one of the things I wrote down there. The really neat thing was reading it aloud to the group and hearing their applause. that is a memory I'm keeping. The picture isn't really Cochise or his grandson but i liked it. It is done with crayolas

Cochise's Grandson

Looking Back --

What can I see?

I see back to when my people were free.
Before the stealers came.

I see vast plains and unpolluted skies.
Before the spoilers came.

I see enormous herds of animals, buffaloes, deer, elk!
Before the killers came.

I see homes and families working together free and happy
Before the dividers came.

I hear the music of my world -
joyful, rhythmic, haunting

Before you came.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Non Sequitor today seems to have been drawn just for me.

Comment - On Marriage and Women's Rights

"Women in Saudi Arabia are considered property, not people.  Most spend their lives locked away indoors.  They're not permitted to drive an automobile.  They're not permitted to go out in public without a make escort and without first concealing themselves beneath an abaya and a veil.  They're not permitted to travel, even inside the country, without receiving permission from their fathers or older brothers.  Honor killings are permissible if a woman brings shame upon her family or engages in un-Islamic behavior, and adultery is a crime punishable by stoning. In the birthplace of Islam, women cannot even enter a mosque except in Mecca and Medina, which is odd, since the Prophet Muhammad was something of a feminist. 'Treat your women well and be kind to them,' the Prophet said, ' for they are your partners and committed helpers.'"

The above is from the book, Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silva.  It is the book I am currently reading and it is a novel. However, it reminded me of the time I was in Egypt in 1976 and one of the lecturers arranged for us to go to an Egyptian wedding.  We were told that what we would be attending was the party after the wedding.  The wedding itself took place in a small room of the Mosque and the bride did not even attend.  She would be at the party but her presence was not necessary at the wedding itself which took place between her father and her husband,  It was a "transfer of property."  She went from being the property of her father to that of her husband. We were told that many times the woman only left the house to go to her husband's house from her fathers at the time of her wedding and also that her bridal veil was her burial shroud. On top of that the Islamic man may have up to four wives.. (at least to my understanding)

When I think of the storm we have going in our country right now over marriage and the presidential candidates have all signed a pledge to define marriage between one man and one woman the mind boggles.

One of the candidates (whom I will not mention by name) goes around saying that a paper towel is not a napkin and a glass of beer is not a glass of water in his homophobic rants he insists (as do the others) that the only kind of marriage anyone can have is between one man and one woman.  

Well, I wonder... What kind of marriage did Abraham have.. Three wives??  Yep.  And don't tell me that two and three were concubines. He had those also.  Later down the line King David wound up with EIGHT wives.

King Solomon - 700 wives and 300 concubines.   Most for alliances but wives never-the-less. 

And as far as their claim that the only type of traditional marriage is between one man and one woman.  I got to wondering.  I knew that there was a couple of men who were "married" in ancient Egypt and were buried together as a married couple.  I found the following:

Various types of same-sex unions have {existed throughout history}, ranging from informal, unsanctioned relationships to highly ritualized unions. It is believed that a same-sex union was a socially recognized institution at times in Ancient Greece and Rome, some regions of China, such as Fujian province, and at certain times in ancient European history. These gay unions continued until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. A law in the Theodosian Code (C. Th. 9.7.3) was issued in 342 AD by the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans, which prohibited same-sex marriage in ancient Rome and ordered that those who were so married were to be executed. "

So their "traditional marriage dates only from 342 AD. And it was not even a sacrament of the Catholic Church until about 1350.

Paper towel or napkin.  It depends on what you use it for.  For the Catholic Church marriage is for procreation.

Some folks, beyond the age of procreating, still get married.  They do so for other reasons. Some get married because they are lonely,  or because they want someone to take care of them or they want to take care of someone.  Some get married for money.  I remember in one of my college classes the professor asked us about our dreams. The men had various things which they dreamed about.  Most of the women were dreaming about getting married.  Some of them could see their groom.  Others could not see a specific person but they were marrying someone.  It seems our culture has programmed little girls to think of being married as the end all, be all of their lives.  Not for all but for most. (And remember this was in the years 1961 - 65.

In those marriages described to me by our Egyptian guide the wedding was for the transfer of property... "What's Love Got to Do With It?" as the song goes.  

"The myth of the natural inferiority of women greatly influenced the status of women in law. Under the common law of England, an unmarried woman could own property, make a contract, or sue and be sued. But a married woman, defined as being one with her husband, gave up her name, and virtually all her property came under her husband's control.During the early history of the United States, a man virtually owned his wife and children as he did his material possessions. If a poor man chose to send his children to the poorhouse, the mother was legally defenseless to object. Some communities, however, modified the common law to allow women to act as lawyers in the courts, to sue for property, and to own property in their own names if their husbands agreed."[1]
In the 1970's there was a push for the Equal Rights Amendment. It made sense to me. Why should women not have the same rights as men?  Why not get equal pay for equal work? Why would any woman be against them.  There was a perfectly horrible woman named Phyllis Schlafly who became the point person for the arguments against it much as that Maggie woman heads up the National Organization for Women today, both are really awful persons.  

"Arguments by ERA opponents such as Phyllis Schlafly, right-wing leader of the Eagle Forum/STOP ERA, played on the same fears that had generated female opposition to woman suffrage. Anti-ERA organizers claimed that the ERA would deny woman’s right to be supported by her husband, privacy rights would be overturned, women would be sent into combat, and abortion rights and homosexual marriages would be upheld. Opponents surfaced from other traditional sectors as well. States’-rights advocates said the ERA was a federal power grab, and business interests such as the insurance industry opposed a measure they believed would cost them money. Opposition to the ERA was also organized by fundamentalist religious groups". [2]

Wow,  the same mentality today as we had then. And all of it bogus.  People ought to be able to get married to join together as a family with the person they love.  Those fighting same sex marriage are fighting Love and Love is God so they are fighting God.  They want to blame God for everything from hurricanes to earthquakes.  Unfortunately for them God had nothing to do with any of that. At least not if you worship the God of Love.  As for the mentality of the people who are fighting this (and who fought the ERA and the Women's right to vote and the right for women to own property.)   

These people have the same mentality of the Islamic men who hold their women as property as described above and also the Puritans who burned the women at the stake as witches.  They would establish a Theocracy.  They would run our country by religious principles as defined narrowly by them. And they would punish according to biblical laws.. Many of them use the Code of Leviticus as a guide for their prejudice or at least parts of it.  

One major problem I have is that not all Christians believe the same thing.  Whose Church is going to be in charge.  I don't agree with those who say that the Bible is the inerrent Word of God. The Bible was written by men.  It is an oral history written down. Sometimes long after the facts of the case.  Men differ.  Even in the four Gospels there are variations in the accounts.  So who is going to be on this religious Council in Charge of our Theocracy?  

The Founding Fathers wisely knowing that the religions of men were many and varied decreed the separation of Church and State.  It should stay that way. Religion should stay out of the government business.  And government should stay out of the religion business.  And that includes giving them tax money (or for that matter tax breaks)  Faith based initiatives should not be run with public money. If you want to be religious and have a religion fine. Up to you. However stay the hell out of anyone else's religion and let them be.

Here are some thoughts on Marriage from a PBS Newshour spot. Interesting ideas on how marriage is evolving:

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.

I admit that most of my thinking is pretty simplistic but that's the way I see it.  If you don't agree that is your privilege.

Addendum -  Just in case you don't believe me about the Fundamentalist Agenda go read this. Found it this morning.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Found this at Child of Illusion

He could have been speaking of today when he gave this speech  - " We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob."

Miles and the Pickle

 Miles had an open mouth. He wanted some of my supper.
 He knows how to wait.
 So I gave him a pickle.

 He actually seemed to like it.

He got it down so that it looked like a "Snozzcumber"
 Bailey came out to look it over so of course Miles had to finish it. And then he settled down to survey the rain and look over his back yard.

Have a great week.  Hugs, j

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week-end thoughts

Irene came to the East Coast for a visit.  She was not a welcome guest and she left a mess but it could have been worse.

People seemed to take it in stride.  There are videos of hockey being played on the streets of New York and of course cartoons were drawn and the pundits on MSNBC and CNN repeated themselves for hours while showing us photos of the storm surge and other weather related images we don't see often.  They also made sure to let us know that this was not an unusual thing by telling us the history of hurricanes from Colonial times to the present.  (Probably so the Pat Robertsons cannot tell us that it is God punishing us for some misdemeanor or another...I mean if he is punishing us with this hurricane was he punishing the Puritans for coming here in the first place?)

One of my Blogfriends lost a 50 - 60 foot tree and it broke her chimney.
Here are a couple more cartoons I forgot to add to the Sunday Funnies.

And I took this picture on the way to the parking lot after the very fine Specialis Procer Festive Board.  I essentially rested on Saturday and relaxed on Sunday.  I have been thinking of some things to write about but don't seem to be up to it. I have other things to do but since I am reading a good book I find it easier to read than to be productive. Have a great week everybody.  j

Friday, August 26, 2011

Above The Storm

Pictures from the International Space Station.  All you folks out East plan to stay safe.  This looks bad.

Medical Update

I went to see Dr. Crano (Diabetes) this morning and while my numbers (A-1c) are up a little it is not alarmingly so.  I have been on 1/2 dose of the medicine and with the steroid (which messes with your blood sugars) he did not seem overly concerned or alarmed. 

The good news is that since the first part of June when I decided that enough was enough I have lost 20 pounds.  

So I have 80 more pounds of my first goal to lose.  Think I can do it?  Check back in about a year.  I see him in 6 months and have another A1c (Whatever that is) the day before Thanksgiving.  It it is good I will have potatoes for Thanksgiving.

Oh and for some reason this past week I have really been feeling good and my leg is not swollen today. (It may have been a residual of the steroid also- at least I will blame it on that.)    Have a great week-end and thanks for stopping by.  Hugs, j

Found For Friday

 A lady went into the pharmacy, walked up to the pharmacist, looked straight into his eyes, and said, "I would like to buy some cyanide. The pharmacist asked, "Why?" The lady replied, "I need it to poison my husband." The pharmacist said 'Lord have mercy! that's against the law! Absolutely not!" The lady reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist's wife.The pharmacist looked at the picture and replied, "You didn't tell me you had a prescription.
 Old farmer decided to go down to the pond. He grabbed a bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. He saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond. He made the women aware of his presence. One of the women shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you leave!". "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked....Holding the bucket up he said, "I'm here to feed the alligator."
 "A guy fell asleep on the beach and got a horrible sunburn, specifically to his thighs. He went to the hospital and was admitted with second-degree burns. His skin was starting to blister and he was in severe pain so the doctor prescribed continuous saline, electrolytes, a sedative, and a Viagra pill every four hours.

The nurse, who was astounded, asked, 'What good will Viagra do for him'The doctor replied, 'It won't do anything for his condition, but it'll keep the sheets off his legs.
  A woman tells her priest, "Father, I have a problem. My two female parrots only say, 'Hi cutie. Wanna have some fun?" 

 "Don't worry," says the priest. "I have two male parrots who only pray and read the Bible. We'll put them in the same cage--your parrots are sure to stop saying that horrid phrase." 

 The next day, the woman takes her parrots to the priest's home. The male parrots are inside their cage holding rosary beads and praying. When the woman places the female parrots in the cage, they cry out, 'Hi cutie. Wanna have some fun?' 

 One male parrot says to the other, "Put the beads away Frank. Our prayers have been answered" 

Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, "You're next." They stopped after I started doing
The same thing to them at funerals 
 The Twenty and the One 
A well-worn one-dollar bill and a similarly distressed twenty-dollar bill arrived at a Federal Reserve Bank to be retired. As they moved along the conveyor belt to be burned, they struck up a conversation.  The twenty-dollar bill reminisced about its travels all over the country. "I've had a pretty good life," the twenty proclaimed... "Why I've been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City , the finest restaurants in New York , performances on Broadway, and even a cruise to the Caribbean    ....." "Wow!" said the one-dollar bill. "You've really had an exciting life!" "So, tell me," says the twenty, "where have you been throughout your lifetime?" The one dollar bill replies, "Oh, I've been to the Methodist Church , the Presbyterian church, the Baptist Church , the Lutheran Church    .." 
The twenty-dollar bill interrupts, "What's a church?"
(Note: When reading this, I just presumed that the one dollar bill was going to start mentioning strip clubs, but then my mind lives in the gutter some times.)
 Goat for Dinner 
The young couple invited their elderly pastor for Sunday dinner.  While they were in the kitchen preparing the meal, the minister asked their son what they were having. "Goat," the little boy replied. 
"Goat?" replied the startled man of the cloth, "Are you sure about that?" 
"Yep," said the youngster. "I heard Dad say to Mom, 'Today is just as good as any to have the old goat for dinner.' "

 A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal Brujo, who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the Brujo looked him in the eye and said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these, you don't need enemas."
A thief broke into the local police station and stole all the toilets and urinals, leaving no clues. A spokesperson was quoted as saying, "We have absolutely nothing to go on."
Back in the 1800's the Tate's Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products, and since they already made the cases for watches, they used them to produce compasses. The new compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California. This, of course, is the origin of the expression:  "He who has a Tate's is lost!"

 Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week-end.  Hugs, j

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Bailey

Today is my best friend's 16th birthday.  For many years my mother and I lived together and when she became ill I made sure that she was taken care of and could stay with me.  When she died in January the house was pretty lonely.  I was really depressed not only from mother passing but from just being lonely.  I had had many dogs in my life and I thought that I would look for and get a dog.  I had always wanted a Yorkshire Terrier.  I had friends who had one and had fallen for the breed.  So I began to watch for advertisements.  Someone in Story City had one and they told me I could have it. It was a year or so old and they had just had a baby and decided to get rid of the dog.  I said I would take it but by the time I was able to get up there they had sold it to someone else.

I somehow found the Millers in Boone Iowa and I went over to see them.  They had a whole bunch of puppies running all over the house.  I found one that I liked and passed their examination and the dog came home with me,  (I don't have any digital photos of him.)

What to name him?  I held him up and talked to him and decided that I would name him Bailey.  Better yet I named him Bailey's Irish Gizmo because he looked a little like Gizmo the Gremlin in the movie.  I am part Irish and the initials spell
B I G.  It all appealed to my warped sensibilities.

After I had decided on the name I realized that Bailey was the last name of my friend who had had the other Yorkshire Terrier that I had fallen in love with.

Tragically he was killed in a train accident in Iowa City in the late 60's on New Year's Eve.  I still miss him and the good times we had then.  The connection with his name and my dogs name had not occurred to me.
Bailey loves stuffed toys.  He hasn't been able to have them since Miles had moved in because they all got chewed up

Bailey has been a great friend over the past 15 years.  He spent a lot of time sleeping on my recliner with me leaning up against my leg.  He also slept with me.  He also loved to play.  He would catch his stuffed toys and bring it to me.  He would push the large soccer ball all over the place (always with something in his mouth) - I would roll it down the hallway and Bailey would run after it.  Get behind it and push it to me. Once he had a can in his mouth and another time a stuffed banana.  He would chase after it for hours.
Miles came to live with us and they both learned how to beg in tandem.

 When Miles moved in with us he changed things for Bailey.  He was bigger than anything Bailey had been around and he did not want any toy to remain whole so all of Bailey's toys had to be put up.  Bailey had been in charge of killing those toys regularly.  Yorkies are not just lap dogs.  They were developed in Yorkshire and their job was to go into the mines and catch and kill rats.  Bailey used to demonstrate his proficiency in this endeavour regularly.

One time he escaped from the back yard and a friend found him over by Meeker school. (That is about 10 - 12 blocks away) I have no idea how he got out unless he did it when someone opened the door to come in.

Jon got him this sweater for winter wearing. It helps with the shivering.  He has no extra body fat.
He likes to sleep in a cave under the antique marble top table.

He has problems seeing and many times he falls off the side of this ramp.  He just picks himself up and climbs up and then barks to get in.  He also will get lost in the back yard and go around in circles until he finds his way back. He seems to have things memorized here inside and while he will bump into things he actually does not seem as if he is in any pain and eats well and has a regular bowel movement.. usually he forgets to ask to go out but I cut him a lot of slack considering his age.
 Below is one of my favorite pictures of him.  He is my best friend and I love him. He has been with me for 16 years and I know he is approaching the end times.  Hopefully I will wake to find him gone to sleep sometime with no suffering. In the meantime I shall enjoy him as long as he wants to be here. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.  Hugs, j