15 Oct 2017 My Grandparents, being a Polar Bear (dreams) and The Two Bears (poem by Carolyn Wells)

Hello to you.  How are you this morning?  It’s morning here as I write.  We had rain last night so the pictures I drew yesterday have been lifted up to fly with the gray ships and on the wings of the large swirl of birds that greeted the dogs and I when we went out this morning.

14 Oct 2017 – woman I drew last night before calling it a day. She kind of looks like actress Gillian Anderson to me (X-files)

It’s cooler and feels like fall.  Kyle and I are talking about going to see if Half Price Books can help me with my craving for interesting words telling stories printed on pages and bound…aka a book…you remember what those are right?!  (wink).  Unfortunately, most of the books on my wish list are expensive and not for entertainment, of the non-fictional nature.  I will have to see what happens….see who finds me seeking them in the world of print.

So I have been sleeping really well the past couple of nights and am so grateful.  The cooler weather definitely helps.  With this rest has come almost a non-stop stream of dream.  There were two that stuck with me from last nights travels.

The first one was about being someone, I think my Grandma Schmidt or may be me much older.  Whoever I was talked about  not believing she was 80 years old, she didn’t feel like she was.  She showed me where they lived and it was a dump lol.  A building being held together with strips of white cloth and tape (kind of like how it feels our house is being held together sometimes lol).  I remember walking and talking with a man who looked like my Grandpa Elias Schmidt as a young man.  I remember singing karaoke.  I couldn’t remember all the words but sang really well!

http://hdm.wikia.com/wiki/Iorek_Byrnison
Iorek Byrnison – was a panserbjørn and the king of Svalbard. He was a great friend and comrade to both Lyra Silvertongue and Lee Scoresby.

The other dream was about being part of a polar bear family….actually being a polar bear.  We were traveling on sheets of ice over water and down streams.  A lot of running and sliding!  It was snowy white every where but lots of sun.  It was very liberating to travel this way.  What’s funny is before I drifted off to sleep, I heard a man’s voice say, “remember, I can be anything or anyone.”   Why not a polar bear?!  God is in all creation.

To close…time to get breakfast on and enjoy the remaining time we have before work begins again.  I found this poem and it made me smile, so fanciful, playful and silly!  I really enjoyed it.  I hope you do too.

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-two-bears/

The Two Bears – Poem by Carolyn Wells

Prince Curlilocks remarked one day
To Princess Dimplecheek,
‘I haven’t had a real good play
For more than ‘most a week.’

Said Princess Dimplecheek, ‘My dear,
Your majesty forgets–
This morning we played grenadier
With grandpa’s epaulets.

‘And yesterday we sailed to Spain–
We both were pirates bold,
And braved the wild and raging main
To seek for hidden gold.’

‘True,’ said the prince; ‘I mind me well–
Right hardily we fought,
And stormed a massive citadel
To gain the prize we sought.

‘But if your ladyship agrees,
Methinks we’ll go upstairs
And build a waste of arctic seas,
And we’ll be polar bears.’

‘Yes, if you’ll promise not to bite,’
Fair Dimplecheek replied,
Already half-way up the flight,
His highness by her side.

‘Princess, on that far window-seat,
Go, sit thee down and wait,
While I ask nursie for a sheet,
Or maybe six or eight.’

A pile of sheets his highness brought.
‘Dear princess, pray take these;
Although our path with danger’s fraught,
We’ll reach the polar seas.’

Two furry rugs his lordship bore,
Two pairs of mittens white;
He threw them on the nursery floor
And shouted with delight.

He spread those sheets–the funny boy–
O’er table, floor, and chair.
‘Princess,’ said he, ‘don’t you enjoy
This frosty, bracing air?

‘These snowy sheets are fields of ice,
This is an iceberg grim.’
‘Yes, dear, I think it’s very nice,’
She said, and smiled at him.

And then they donned the rugs of fur,
The mittens, too, they wore;
And Curlilocks remarked to her,
‘Now you must roar and roar.’

Dimplecheek looked out from the cowl
Formed by her furry rug.
‘I’m ‘fraid of bears that only growl–
I like the kind that hug.’

 

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13 Oct 2017 Friday

Hello to you, how are you doing wherever and whenever you are as you visit me here?  I hope you are well.  It’s Friday the 13th!  For the suspicious it is a worry but not for Kyle and I.  We were both born on a 13th day and sometimes our birthdays fall on Fridays and we just celebrate the day.  Whatever you believe, doesn’t assure but certainly increases the likelihood of it occurring!

I had some interesting dreaming last night.  The part I remembered just before waking was about agreeing to guide people through a meditation so they could go to sleep.  Basically do what I do for myself to try and fall asleep for other people.  So what was funny about this is I was actually doing this in the dream and it became much like a lucid dream experience.  When I woke up this morning I felt great lol!  Too funny.

I made the mistake, and I am trying to get better about it, of looking at the headlines.  Yeah, it’s like an addiction for me.  I wish I could just wave my hand, like we wave them over our Smartphones these days, and just make all the devastation, hurt feelings, fear, sorrow all that stuff filling so many just change to something else.  Silence the drums playing louder and louder war songs.  Alas the only special powers that I have, that are within all of us, can’t work all alone.  We lived in a shared reality.  Our thoughts, hopes and dreams whether they are positive or negative visions, all overlapping each other.  I truly feel that unless we figure out a path to unity,  define a unified vision of peace, the world will never truly advance beyond these times.

It will always be two steps forward and sometimes ten steps back.

We are taught from when we are very young that this is the law of nature.  This is how “balance” works.  If we don’t suffer then we can’t know what happiness is and vise versa.  I get it!  I guess this concept wouldn’t be so awful if there seemed to be some kind balance in our world between the suffering and happiness parts!  In my opinion, I think a lot of this imbalance is being driven by global media.  Not to jump on President Trump’s “Fake News” bandwagon, and he certainly hasn’t helped with all the stunt he’s been pulling since January, but there is definitely something going on.

To look at or watch the news, it feels to me, more times than not,  like everybody is out to destroy each other and the world!  I know a big part of that is because of how I’m getting news now versus when I was younger.  It was easier to avoid it when I was younger…just don’t read the papers and turn off the television.  Now that I live in a world where I do most everything using a computer connected to the internet…it’s almost impossible to avoid some snippet or another of news be it positive or negative!  Think about how long it took for people to find out about the sinking of the Titantic versus how quickly we found out what was going on during the Vegas shooting earlier this month!

Newspapers and news media outlets are having to work harder and harder to grab our attention to stay afloat and I think it is doing great harm.  I realize by reflecting on the direction my blog here has taken sometimes that I do the same thing!  I am constantly having to remind myself and Kyle reminds me too that I need to be writing for myself first – not writing with the sole intent of notoriety and to garner a bunch of followers!  Just my linking a bunch of negative news headlines isn’t helping make the world a better place!

So many people talking…shouting….sending messages…SOS!  SOS!  There is only a certain capacity in the world for the actual receipt of all these messages.  For every message there is a messenger and a receiver but now there is another problem.  With there being SO many messages, the messages aren’t getting through at all.  They can’t get through the wall only the condition of apathy can build!

I feel like one of the most dangerous conditions that has arisen from our modern world has been apathy.

ap·a·thy
ˈapəTHē/
noun
noun: apathy
  1. lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.
    “widespread apathy among students”
    synonyms: indifference, lack of interest, lack of enthusiasm, lack of concern, unconcern, uninterestedness, unresponsiveness, impassivity, dispassion, lethargy, languor, ennui;

    rareacedia
    “widespread apathy among the voters”
Origin
early 17th century: from French apathie, via Latin from Greek apatheia, from apathēs ‘without feeling,’ from a- ‘without’ + pathos ‘suffering.’

After a point of saturation people either care too much and check out or just stop caring at all.  I feel the way the media is going about trying to grab us is with a disproportionate amount of negative headlines about EVERYTHING!  There has got to be some sort of balance restored in this.

To wrap this up.

I used to think our special power was love.  I don’t believe that anymore.  Love has become a term used in dichotomy just like anything else human beings have anything to do with.  Just as I would love a butterfly, another would love to hit it with their car for sport.  I didn’t want to believe my Mom and Dad when they said they had been to church and the priest said people use the word love too much.  In looking at my own use of the word in my daily life, yep!  I use it for everything, even things not even worthy of it.  That priest was right.  I am starting to live a very cause and effect existence.  My faith and trust in my fellow human beings has been sorely tested these past 49 years. I have resolved not to be Pavlov’s dog.  I have decided as of late that I will be God’s dog.  Some of the greatest lessons of this life have been taught to me by my life with dogs.  If I can continue to learn and become even be a fraction of the good all of the dogs I’ve know in this life have been for me, then I will eventually be a fantastic human being.

 

Pavlov‘s dog is classical conditioning, originally experiments using dogs by the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. In 1904, Pavlov was awarded the Nobel Prize for his physiology work.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlov%27s_dog_(disambiguation)

 

 

 

 

11 Oct 2017 Today’s Youth are Depressed, Here’s Why (Thoughty2, You tube), THIS is Why The Sumerians are NOT Taught in School – Sumerian Tablets – Lost Ancient Civilization (Bright Insight, You tube) and Evening Star (Poem by Edgar Allen Poe)

Hello to you.  It’s 9:28 pm on this Wednesday evening.  How are you?  I’m doing better after Kyle and I were able to talk with our neighbor about the fence, dog and poop situation this evening.  Sounds like chicken wire will be the solution until we can all afford to replace the fence entirely.  Works for me!  It made me feel better to be able to apologize for the outburst this morning and get things sorted out.  All he heard was yelling and wasn’t sure what was going on.  It had been bugging me all day!  I don’t like being mad at people or having unresolved conflict with people.

So this evening Kyle and I were able to squeeze in part of another episode of the Living and Dead BBC One program…make it last as long as we can lol.  We also did our You tube channels scan for stuff to watch and came across this very insightful video from the Thoughty2 channel about why the youth of today are having so much trouble with depression.  It ties in nicely to the links I shared on my previous post today about Smartphones and their effect on young people’s mental health/self esteem and suicide related issues.   This video addresses a lot of things people may have not considered when making harsh judgements about young people of the past couple of generations.

Today’s Youth Are Depressed, Here’s Why…

Thoughty2

Moby & The Void Pacific Choir – Are You Lost In The World Like Me? (Official Video) – this little film sums it all up so well….so sad but true.

This is a video I saw yesterday that was very interesting to me too.  It inspired the chalk drawing I did of the Sumerian and the Reaper.  I have found the story of the Sumerians quite fascinating and kind of crossed paths with some of their history, specifically their language of the cuneiform, when I was trying to get some closure on the character Vanessa Ives from the show Penny Dreadful: https://saymber.com/2016/09/20/20-sept-2016-vanessa-ives-of-penny-dreadful-and-lilith-cuneiform-sumerian-language-finding-mementos-of-your-past-revisiting-harsh-lessons-of-farm-life-and-death-as-a-city-girl/

THIS is Why The Sumerians are NOT Taught in School – Sumerian Tablets – Lost Ancient Civilization

Bright Insight

Published on Oct 5, 2017

How is it possible that the Sumerian’s ONLY get 1-3 Sentences in the Textbooks? The world’s FIRST human civilization that dates back 6,000 years, that created our modern system of time, the calendar, writing, agriculture, and everything else is not required learning in school. This video outlines what the Sumerian tablets/records.

Here to close…this beautiful poem by Edgar Allen Poe that I have never read before:

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/evening-star/

Evening Star – Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

‘Twas noontide of summer,
And mid-time of night;
And stars, in their orbits,
Shone pale, thro’ the light
Of the brighter, cold moon,
‘Mid planets her slaves,
Herself in the Heavens,
Her beam on the waves.
I gazed awhile
On her cold smile;
Too cold- too cold for me-
There pass’d, as a shroud,
A fleecy cloud,
And I turned away to thee,
Proud Evening Star,
In thy glory afar,
And dearer thy beam shall be;
For joy to my heart
Is the proud part
Thou bearest in Heaven at night,
And more I admire
Thy distant fire,
Than that colder, lowly light.

Sending hugs, love, hope and all the good I can muster through the wires to you…..please do pass it along 🙂 

11 Oct 2017 God’s Pop Quizzes – broken fences and dog poop

Hello to you. It’s a chilly Wednesday here as I write to you. Love the cooler temperatures! Really beginning to feel like fall but this is Texas, so give it a blink or two and that can change.  Did you chuckle when you read the title I chose for my blog today?  I hope so….it was intentional lol!

So this morning I was up early, just couldn’t get and stay asleep. Kyle’s current work schedule has us both pretty messed up sleep wise. We’ll probably fully adjust as he’s finishes the outage….just the way it seems to go.

I’m not a very pleasant person when I’m overtired and our neighbors dogs, who busted yet again through our side fence, got some choice words this morning as I shooed them back into their yard (think A Christmas Story with more expletives you can actually understand.)

Sons of B*tches! Bumpuses! (A Christmas Story Quote)

We’ve had this going on literally since we bought this house. My fuse gets shorter and shorter every time something like this happens. This goes back to the loan for buying this house not even being approved yet and one of their dogs was already busting through the fence. They’ve been through probably 10 or more dogs in the past 8 years. Nothing we’ve been able to do or say has dissuaded them from continuing to get dogs they don’t take care of like we take care of our dogs. They usually end up running away or getting picked up by Animal Control, dying , or doing what they are doing now, busting up the fence trying to get to our yard.  This said, our neighbors are good hard-working people.  They work a lot and the kids are in school most of the time, so the dogs get left alone a lot.  Dogs left alone do what dogs left alone do – they get bored, curious, hungry, restless and sometimes destructive.  These dogs seem to just want a different place to go poop.

I wouldn’t ordinarily be so nasty about this but this but I’m overtired and they have not only busted several holes in our fragile, rotting wood fence…they leave doggy presents for me to step in too. The fence needs to be replaced and we can’t afford to do it and I’m pretty sure our neighbor isn’t too eager to spend the money or effort on replacing the shared fence either.

Every time I get pissed off about this, I feel like I failed another “test.” God seems to do that to me with certain things….remember those pop quizzes you used to get in school with no warning? Yeah, it’s like that lol. Just when I think I’ve got something I don’t like about myself all sorted out, God will drop one of those pop quizzes and show me the truth. Nope! Big fat F!

After all, how can I expect the world to live in peace when I can’t even deal with something that simple without getting angry? I have some things yet to work on within myself. Leave it to the dogs and their smooshy stinky gifts to remind me of this glaring reality!

Does what I’m going through resonate at all with you today? Is there something you keep getting “tested” on that you know you need in improve about yourself?

A couple interesting articles about us and our technology habits…addictions:

http://www.dailygood.org/2017/10/11/mind-the-stream-where-mindfulness-and-technology-meet/

Oct 11, 2017— “Look around you. How many devices are bidding for your attention? If someone came into your dwelling space, could they tell what year it was by the technology that immediately surrounded you, or would they have to dig a little deeper?” Writer Emily Barr poses these questions, and others in this reflective essay that weaves together the latest findings around how our minds and our lives are being shaped by the technologies we use, and the steps we can take to make our interactions more conscious.

http://time.com/4974863/kids-smartphones-depression/

We Need to Talk About Kids and Smartphones

Markham Heid

Updated: Oct 10, 2017 8:24 AM ET

(excerpt)

“It seems like every generation of parents has a collective freak-out when it comes to kids and new technologies; television and video games each inspired widespread hand-wringing among grown-ups. But the inescapability of today’s mobile devices—coupled with the personal allure of social media—seems to separate smartphones from older screen-based media. Parents, teens and researchers agree smartphones are having a profound impact on the way adolescents today communicate with one another and spend their free time. And while some experts say it’s too soon to ring alarm bells about smartphones, others argue we understand enough about young people’s emotional and developmental vulnerabilities to recommend restricting kids’ escalating phone habit.”

 

 

7 Oct 2017 Angels with paws (service dogs help Las Vegas shooting victims) and drawings

Hello to you this Saturday afternoon.  I hope this finds you doing well.  I wanted to share this wonderful story from the folks at Today about what I and so many others who share their lives with dogs or cats already know – they are healers!  To me they are angels with paws.  I think  what the folks from Lutheran Church Charities did by bringing these dogs to folks trying to heal inside as well as out after the mass shooting in Las Vegas is just a beautiful and loving thing to do!  There is a reason dog spelled backwards is God.  Our Sammy was one of the first to show me here on earth God’s love….no judgement, no boundaries, no limits….just pure unconditional love.

Me with our cocker spaniel Sammy on 25 Dec 2009. He passed away 27 April 2011.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/paws-on-the-ground-comfort-dogs-bring-much-needed-love-to-las-vegas/ar-AAt1zyL?OCID=ansmsnnews11

Paws on the ground: Comfort dogs bring much-needed love to Las Vegas

Ethan Sacks
For many scarred by seeing the carnage inflicted in the Las Vegas mass shooting, a little comfort came courtesy of man’s best friend.

 Nineteen trained golden retrievers from across the country padded their way to Las Vegas this week courtesy of Lutheran Church Charities to provide comfort for those affected by the attack, which left 59 dead, more than 500 wounded, and thousands of families and friends emotionally devastated.
But even those who survived the carnage at the Route 91 Harvest festival without physical wounds desperately needed that nuzzle — like Sunrise Hospital director of guest services Tracy Szymanski, who is still persevering through her job despite having been in the crowd Sunday night.

“I came straight to the hospital from the venue at 10:30 at night, still wearing my concert clothes, because I knew there were things I could do to help the families,” Szymanski told TODAY. “It was a sigh of relief when the first dogs arrived Monday morning, because I knew the cavalry had arrived.

“I felt I had help at a time when I felt helpless.”

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs These are trained Comfort Dogs for @lccharities. They interact with people at churches, hospitals, events and in disaster situations.© LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs’/Facebook LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs These are trained Comfort Dogs for @lccharities. They interact with people at churches, hospitals, events and in disaster situations. The comfort dogs, along with their 30 human handlers, are part of the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs unit — veterans used to having their “paws on the ground” after disasters, natural or otherwise.

The unit’s canine caregivers brought survivors some solace after the Sandy Hook shootings, and more recently, provided comfort to parts of Texas and Florida hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

And even amidst all the horror of the Las Vegas shooting, it’s amazing to see how quickly these four-legged pros can spread smiles, LCC president Tim Hetzner told TODAY.

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs These are trained Comfort Dogs for @lccharities. They interact with people at churches, hospitals, events and in disaster situations.

© LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs’/Facebook LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs These are trained Comfort Dogs for @lccharities. They interact with people at churches, hospitals, events and in disaster situations. “Dogs are non-judgmental, they don’t take notes and are comfortable to talk to,” Hetzner, who oversaw the Las Vegas mission, said.

“A key part of healing in any crisis or disaster is to be able to talk about (the trauma), and people find it easier to do that with dogs.”

Those dogs — including one, Lois, who is based in Las Vegas and a regular visitor at the Sunrise Hospital — have been busy. “Because of the magnitude of this event, just about everybody who lives in Las Vegas has been affected,” said Hetzner.

Besides working with survivors and grieving families, the comfort dogs visited a high school where several students were injured in the shooting, hotel workers helping victims’ families, and traumatized first responders.

They have also visited the coroner’s office, both to support victims’ loved ones and staffers wading in such overwhelming grief.

It’s extremely emotional work for the dogs.

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs These are trained Comfort Dogs for @lccharities. They interact with people at churches, hospitals, events and in disaster situations.

© LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs’/Facebook LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs These are trained Comfort Dogs for @lccharities. They interact with people at churches, hospitals, events and in disaster situations. “The dogs have an ability to tell when someone is suffering, so after working with them for a few hours, we take their service vest off, pull a ball out let them run around and be dogs for an hour,” said Hetzner. “These are golden retrievers, they like to retrieve. That’s how they work off their stress.”

The current team is being flown out Friday to be replaced by a new, rested crop that will stay through the beginning of next week.

“They come up to you and get dog hair all over you, and then just nuzzle up to you and put a smile on your face,” said Szymanski. “Every morning, as the person who supervises their visits at the hospital, I get to get my first dose.”

“It helps me process everything.”

My father-in-law gave Kyle and I this after Sammy passed away. It is so true!

 

 

5 Oct 2017 A skim over the headlines and what it shows me

Hello to you.  It’s Thursday morning yet as I finish compiling all of these articles.  I did it because I had to find some healthy way to channel the energy in the generally shitty attitude I have about this world right now!  My neighbor asked me how I was doing yesterday after she brought us half of a delicious cake she had made and I was honest with her.  I said tearfully, “Not very good, I am just pissed at the world right now!”  I know I’m not alone in how I’m feeling.  I got a letter from one of my pen pals yesterday and she even said that she and her family have tossed around the idea of moving to Canada, anywhere but here,  until this bullshit is over.  It doesn’t matter where you go now though really.  Look at what happened in Germany’s recent elections!  

http://www.turkishny.com/taha-meli-arvas/160-taha-meli-arvas/253745-germany-elects-nazi-sympathizers-while-the-krg-wants-a-better-deal

Germany Elects Nazi Sympathizers, While the KRG Wants a Better Deal

On Sunday, German voters gave Chancellor Angela Merkel a resounding vote of no-confidence. Nearly 66 percent of Germans voted against Merkel and her Christian Democrats Union, their worst showing in nearly 70 years. Despite losing a quarter of her supporters, Germany’s arcane electoral system will allow Merkel to become chancellor for a fourth term. The remaining votes were split between several smaller parties, including the “Alternative for Germany” party, or AfD. The far-right AfD is known for being a party that has morphed into one of Nazi sympathizers and radical xenophobes from its humble anti- “common currency” beginnings.

The powers that be have been massaging this game for quite some time and with few bumps to impede their progress, are putting all the pieces in place we swore would never happen again after WWII.  They have got plenty of desperate and ignorant fools to help them do it too!  

So anyways. 

I was curious to see what was going on with regards to things besides the rising gun debate, which I’m happy to see this morning that there is sensible stuff going on – the Democrats and Republicans at least agreeing we don’t need bump stocks being added to guns to make them more deadly to shoot. 

https://www.salon.com/2017/10/05/republican-proposes-ban-of-bump-stocks-used-in-las-vegas-shooting/

 Republican proposes ban of “bump stocks” used in Las Vegas shooting

“A question that I have started asking around here is, ‘Why are these bump stocks legal?’'”

Matthew Rozsa10.05.2017•8:33 AM

Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida announced that he would support a ban on “bump stocks,” devices that allow semiautomatic guns to fire more rapidly. The Las Vegas mass shooter reportedly had two bump stocks in his Mandalay Bay hotel room.

“I definitely think we need to revisit the issue of gun safety. A question that I have started asking around here is, ‘Why are these bump stocks legal?’” Curbelo told WLRN, Miami’s NPR affiliate. After noting that bump stocks are “a blatant circumvention of the law” banning automatic weapons, Curbelo argued that “I believe this presents an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to finally come together to build consensus around common-sense gun policies.”

He added, “Right now the best candidate for a common denominator is to focus on these bump stock devices, which are so deadly and so potent.”

Curbelo has advocated gun control policies in the past, such as a bill he filed in 2016 that would have banned people from owning guns, who were also prohibited from flying. The difference here, though, is that there are other Republican congressmen who feel the way he does about bump stocks.

“I think they should be banned. There’s no reason for a typical gun owner to own anything that converts a semi-automatic to something that behaves like an automatic,” said Rep. Bill Flores of Texas to The Hill.

With just a skim over the internet looking at key issues going on in this country, I can see where President Trump and the GOP is focused and where they are not.

I have not put the entirety of the articles here, please use the provided links to read the articles if you wish to read them in their entirety.

Overall, what I see is President Trump, his cabinet and the GOP seem to think it’s more important to fund building walls and the war machine than it is on the people and the programs the people of this country desperately need.   It would appear as long as you are in line with the Fuhrer’s in Chief’s *cough Trump’s agenda, have corporate/lobby funding, are championing corporate interests and don’t get caught hitching rides with oil barons you are gtg…..these people have sold their souls and our country and seem to have absolutely no remorse for doing so. 

As Jimmy Kimmel said the other night after the Vegas shootings , “It’s like somebody has opened a window to hell!” Yeah Jimmy, they have. 

4 Oct 2017 Jackie Wygant outdoor chalk drawing Jimmy Kimmel’s Window to Hell Alvarado TX

These are just a fraction of the headlines I could have listed here…..there are just so many:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/2017/09/28/59533ed8-a4b8-11e7-ade1-76d061d56efa_story.html?utm_term=.7fb38933e5b6

Zinke took $12,000 charter flight home in oil executive’s plane, documents show

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke chartered a flight from Las Vegas to near his home in Montana this summer aboard a plane owned by oil-and-gas executives, internal documents show.

The flight, along with private flights during a trip to the Virgin Islands, could propel Zinke into the growing debate over the costs of travel by Cabinet secretaries, some of whom have chosen expensive charter jets and military planes at high expense to taxpayers over the cheaper option of flying commercial.

https://hotair.com/archives/2017/10/03/pence-chief-staff-hey-whos-purge-gop/

Pence chief of staff: Hey, who’s up for a purge in the GOP?

Old and busted: Ambassador Mike Pence. New hotness: Inquisitor Mike Pence? Politico got its hands on an audio recording of the vice president’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, meeting with big-ticket GOP donors to plan for the midterms. Rather than follow Pence’s public signals for intra-party unity between Trump loyalists and everyone else, Ayers told donors that they needed to conduct a purge that will eject any Republicans with insufficient loyalty to the president:

But Ayers reserved his harshest criticism for congressional leaders and members who have not offered full-throated support for the president.

“Just imagine the possibilities of what can happen if our entire party unifies behind him? If — and this sounds crass — we can purge the handful of people who continue to work to defeat him,” Ayers said, according to an audio recording of the remarks obtained by POLITICO.

Did that sound crass? Not as crass as what followed:

One attendee later asked how the donors could “rally the congressional delegation that does support the president and vice president, and rally them and push them to change the current leadership in both the Senate and the House.”

“I’m not speaking on behalf of the president or vice president when I say this,” Ayers responded. “But if I were you, I would not only stop donating, I would form a coalition of all the other major donors, and just say two things. We’re definitely not giving to you, number one. And number two, if you don’t have this done by Dec. 31, we’re going out, we’re recruiting opponents, we’re maxing out to their campaigns, and we’re funding super PACs to defeat all of you.”

http://federal-budget.insidegov.com/l/120/2017-Estimate

2017 United States Budget Estimate

GDP: $17T

Total Receipts: $3.21T

Total Outlays: $3.65T

Total Surplus or Deficit as Percentage of GDP: -2.6%

* Note: Budget estimates are based on projections from the Obama Administration. To the extent feasible, the data have been adjusted using chained 2009 GDP to provide consistency with the 2015 Budget and to provide comparability over time.

2017 Key Facts

The U.S. government is estimated to collect $3.21T in tax revenues and spend a total of $3.65T in its 2017 budget, resulting in a deficit of $443B. The deficit is expected to be 2.6% of its total estimated GDP of $17T that year.

All numbers are adjusted for inflation.

total revenues

$3.21

trillion

total spending

$3.65

trillion

total surplus/deficit

$-443

billion

total surplus/deficit as % of GDP

-2.6%

GDP

$16,985,900,000,000

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/house-panel-approves-dollar10b-for-border-wall/ar-AAsUDwd

House panel approves $10B for border wall

The House Homeland Security Committee approved Wednesday a border security bill that includes $10 billion for a border wall.

The Border Security for America Act, proposed by committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), was passed along party lines, 18-12.

The bill now heads to the House floor amid debate over whether border security provisions should be attached to potential legislation to protect recipients of the rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/18/us/politics/senate-pentagon-spending-bill.html

WASHINGTON — In a rare act of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, the Senate passed a $700 billion defense policy bill on Monday that sets forth a muscular vision of America as a global power, with a Pentagon budget that far exceeds what President Trump has asked for.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/10/03/555166767/lapse-in-federal-funding-imperils-children-s-health-coverage

Congress finally seems ready to take action on the Children’s Health Insurance Program after funding lapsed Sept. 30.

Before the deadline, lawmakers were busy grappling with the failed repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

CHIP covers 9 million children nationwide. But until Congress renews CHIP, states are cut off from additional federal funding that helps lower- and middle-income families.

CHIP, which has enjoyed broad bipartisan support, helps lower- and middle-income families that otherwise earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid. Besides children, it covers 370,000 pregnant women a year. Like Medicaid, CHIP is traditionally paid for by state and federal funding, but the federal government covers most of the cost.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee posted its bill just before midnight Monday. It mirrors the Senate Finance plan by extending funding for CHIP for five years and gradually phasing down the 23 percentage point funding increase provided under Affordable Care Act over the next two years.

http://educationvotes.nea.org/2017/10/04/public-service-loan-forgiveness-thrust-peril-trump-devos-budget/

Public Service Loan Forgiveness thrust into peril by Trump-DeVos budget

Greg Cechak is a 31-year-old sixth-grade teacher in Pennsylvania, who owes about $80,000 for his state university education. He and his wife, another public school teacher, also are the parents of two small children, who he worries he’ll never be able to send to college because he’ll still be paying off his own student loans.

The light on the horizon for the Cechak family—and more than 600,000 additional teachers, firefighters, and public-service employees—is the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which hopefully will erase the majority of his federal student loan debt after Cechak has paid 120 on-time monthly loan payments.

This week marks the 10-year anniversary of PSLF, but the program recently has been thrust into peril by the Trump-DeVos proposed budget, which would eliminate PSLF. In response, a congressional caucus dedicated to protecting PSLF was formed this fall by two Pennsylvania Republicans—U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle and U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, and thousands of NEA members have called on Congress to protect PSLF.

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/knowledge-bank/articles/2017-05-23/donald-trump-and-betsy-devos-budget-would-destroy-public-schools

President Donald Trump released his administration’s first full budget Tuesday, and the reactions from Capitol Hill make it look like it’s dead on arrival. That might be true, but it shouldn’t make those of us who work to improve outcomes for students any less concerned. As former Education Secretary Arne Duncan said whenever he talked about President Barack Obama’s budget proposals, budgets reflect our values. And when it comes to education, the values of Trump and his education secretary Betsy DeVos couldn’t be clearer – private schools deserve money, and public schools and vulnerable students don’t.

At a high level, the outlines of Trump and DeVos’ education priorities became clear in March with the release of the administration’s so-called “skinny budget.” As a result, much of what is in today’s full budget isn’t surprising. The proposal would cut the Education Department’s funding by more than 13 percent and slash overall funding by almost $11 billion, including eliminating $2.1 billion in funding for teacher professional development and support, which could pay the salaries of more than 35,000 teachers, and $1.2 billion for after-school programs, which support working families and serve 1.6 million students.

At the same time, Trump and DeVos would push over $1 billion of new money for private school voucher schemes and other school choice programs. In essence, states and districts will have to enact DeVos’ preferred school choice policies in order to recover some of the cuts to longstanding programs.

http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/353905-dems-release-own-infrastructure-principles-in-absence-of-trump-plan

Dems release own infrastructure principles in absence of Trump plan

A group of House Democrats released their own set of infrastructure principles Wednesday, as the White House has yet to unveil more details about Trump’s long-awaited infrastructure package.

The New Democrat Coalition laid out three major steps Congress should take to revitalize the nation’s infrastructure: fund it, fix it and foster it.

The group prefers to use the revenue from repatriation, or taxing corporate earnings stashed overseas when it returns to the U.S., to upgrade U.S. infrastructure. They also want to see robust, long-term funding for the Highway Trust Fund.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/science/2017/10/04/trump-administration-denies-endangered-species-protection-pacific-walrus-and-two-dozen-oth-25-specie/732704001/

From walruses to turtles and woodpeckers to toads, the Trump administration Wednesday declined to list 25 species as endangered, noting that extra protection “is not warranted at this time.”

Of particular concern to environmental groups is the Pacific walrus, which had been considered a candidate for the list due to the dramatic loss of its Arctic sea ice habitat.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which determines which species can be classified as endangered, reported that it can’t say with certainty that the Pacific walrus is likely to become endangered, despite an extensive loss of Arctic Sea ice due to global warming.

“This is a truly dark day for America’s imperiled wildlife,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “You couldn’t ask for a clearer sign that the Trump administration puts corporate profits ahead of protecting endangered species.”

Ahhhh some sense?!!  Whew!

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/03/gop-leader-shelves-nra-backed-silencer-bill/

GOP leader shelves NRA-backed silencer bill

WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders called for unity and prayer Tuesday after the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, but offered no new legislation to tighten gun laws and said a bill to ease regulations on gun silencers would be shelved indefinitely.

“We are all reeling from this horror in Las Vegas,” Speaker Paul Ryan said at a news conference. “This is just awful.”

Ryan said there’s no plan for the House to act soon on a National Rifle Association-backed bill to ease regulations on gun silencers. A House panel had backed the bill last month and lawmakers were expected to move ahead on the measure.

The bill is “not scheduled right now. I don’t know when it will be scheduled,” Ryan said.

 

 

 

23 Sept 2017 Word Challenge to myself today – Snail

Hello to you today…..if your reading this then we have averted the latest predicted apocalypse for now….(http://www.foxnews.com/science/2017/09/22/doomsday-writer-david-meade-who-is.html) lol. Yay for us!

13 Oct 2016 – The game begins….but I have made this particular game appear more like the one we are all playing together….the pieces and their respective colors on both sides of the board…

So this morning I was lead to the word snail as my personal Word Challenge for today. I was looking at my feed on Facebook and saw a picture of Ben and Sophie Cumberbatch together at a Sigur Ros concert and had never heard of Sigur and was curious. In my search to find out about the artist on You Tube, I was lead to this video.  I caution you, it is not easy to watch for many reasons but it is symbolic, beautiful and the underlying messages brought tears to my eyes:

https://sigur-ros.co.uk/ – you can see picture of Ben and Sophie I’m talking about at Sigur’s official UK website

Sigur Rós – Ekki múkk [Official Music Video]

(Icelandic for “Quiet Here” and Snail is Snigill)

I love the snails we have here in North Texas. Most of the people I know don’t and try to do anything to remove them from their property. I see them as living reminders for me to slow down.  I see them as part of Mother Nature’s clean up crew and think the trails they leave are beautiful in the morning sunshine. After it rains, they come out and clean up after the dogs in the yard and all the other messes natural and not that need cleaning up. Kind of like fish you put in your aquarium that clean up after the other fish. During the dry times, like now, they find a solid structure and seal themselves in until wet times return. I love their shells….spiral shapes! A most sacred design!

23 Sept 2017 – A few snails that have been on the side of our house for quite some time now. I don’t know if they are alive and won’t until the next time it rains! If the shells are gone, that means they were alive and sleeping in there!

So anyhew…..here is my silly Word Challenge poem about snails – like my cartoons, I’ll get better if I keep practicing lol:

The Snail

Wound up tight

Without a tail

A slow forever of little time to travel

Then sealed on the wall until water returns

Waiting….years to unravel.

——————

I hope however, wherever and whenever this silly post finds you that you are in a good space of mind, body and spirit. I hope that there is happiness, joy, laughter….good things for you! Find and try to genuinely exercise those smile muscles today! I will be!

PS – thank you Sen McCain (and all the rest who are standing up for the American people) for your latest act of courage!  It’s not easy doing what is right but it is necessary. 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/republican-sen-john-mccain-announces-opposition-to-health-care-bill-dashing-hopes-for-gop-leaders/ar-AAsmlvo?OCID=ansmsnnews11excerpt, use link for complete article

WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain declared his opposition Friday to the GOP’s last-ditch effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” dealing a likely death blow to the legislation and, perhaps, to the Republican Party’s years of vows to kill the program.

 “I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” McCain said in a statement, referring to the bill by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. His opposition likely leaves the bill at least one vote short of the support needed for passage.

“I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried,” McCain said. “Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it.”

An undated official U.S. Navy portrait of John S. McCain III. (Courtesy Naval Historical Center)

 

 

 

22 Sept 2017 Revisiting capturing moments with my pets in ink (cartoons)

22 Sept 2017 – Kyle’s FFXIV character Morrigu healing me with the Astrologian class. Isn’t it beautiful?! Like a painting in a fairy wonderland.

Hello to you!  It’s Friday night, 7:56 pm as I write to you.  I decided to flex my rusty cartooning muscles this evening and try to capture something so endearing Link and Spot do almost every time I go to sit down at this computer…..they beg for treats!   It never fails.  They will be nowhere in sight or sleeping and I will go to sit down at the computer and there they are!  They will both start talking and pawing at my legs until I shamble over to the kitchen cupboard and get them a piece of mystery meat *cough TREAT!  Who is the master in our house….not me lol!!!

Anyhew.  I tried to scan this so you could see it better but our scanner is too small and so I took a picture.  I started drawing cartoons like this after our cocker spaniel Sammy died on 27 April 2011 as a way to cope with my nearly soul-crushing grief.  For anyone who has loved and lost a pet, you know how much the loss part hurts!   I have realized recently that may be revisiting this art form would make me happier in these heavy times and in the process may be bring a smile to someone else’s face too.

(These are pictures of the perp’s lool – the first two are what they look like when they beg and it’s nearly impossible to resist them!)

So please forgive the “roughness” of this, I need to get back into practice!  I’ll probably go back to drawing these on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets so they can be scanned and more legible.

22 Sept 2017 Jackie Wygant cartoon Link and Spot begging for treats Alvarado TX

ABSOLUTELY!

21 Sept 2017 Enjoying time together – Slow Down

Hello to you.  It’s 12:17 pm on this…Thursday?!  Is it really Thursday again?!  Where does the time go?!  One place….away lol.  Kyle is going to be starting work again in a couple of days and we are both experiencing that panicky sort of feeling.  It’s the feeling of being excited about his working because we really need the money and the feeling of sadness that we will be apart so much while he is working.  So we are making the best of the time we have, like we try to do every day, before it all starts.  Today it was doing something simple together in FFXIV, fishing!  I have fished in “real life” and a part of me misses that experience but I probably won’t take it up again.   I would say the most beautiful place I ever fished was on top of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs!

It’s important to take the time, to MAKE the time, for the most important people and beings in your life like for me, Kyle, our Link, Spot and May.  It’s not about doing big and elaborate things together either – just truly “being” together.  It feels like the world has got itself up into such a hurry!  Whenever I think of the world’s pace, I think back to this sad scene from The Shawshank Redemption movie (1994) about the prisoner Brooks who is released from prison as a very elderly man and how hard it is for him to adjust to the fast paced world he is thrust into:

One of the cruelest things I think there is to be born a human is that moment when you find out you aren’t immortal in the physical sense.  I think it’s this “knowing” that pushes people to try and cram as much as they can into whatever time they are allowed….to make their mark in this world.   What are the quality of those experiences?  How meaningful are those moments?  What I’ve learned is rushing through life makes you tired and takes away from the overall enjoyment of experiences.

I would ask you to make the conscious effort to stop and smell the roses…….be mindful of “now.”

You have to stop and smell the roses sometimes!

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/slow-down

“If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in? Slow down and enjoy the moment you’re in and live your life to the fullest.”
Nanette Mathews

My prayers, as always, go out to all those who are suffering in any way today – especially the recent natural disasters!

DivineSpice

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I LEAVE YOUR ROAD TO WALK ON MY GRASS.

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