Debt & Deficit Ceiling


"End the wars -- save one trillion over ten years. 
Repeal tax cuts to the wealthy: Save another trillion."
Rep. Dennis Kucinich 

... "the American people have consistently stated, in poll after poll, that they want wealthy individuals and large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. They also want bedrock social programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to be protected." Sen. Bernie Sanders
"The 'debt ceiling debate' is an invented crisis with a very particular goal: destroy the public commons and social safety net to make way for private profit and unfettered market greed. Cut funding. Gut regulations. Cry "We're broke." Outsource a formerly public service to a private for-profit entity. Repeat until the will of the people, the framework of democracy, and the common good is mangled beyond recognition." CommonDreams. org

Bonnie & Verne

- July 19th 2011
Almost 90 years old, Verne passed peacefully
if unexpectedly in his sleep,
on their recently acquired Tempurpedic mattress,
it took years to convince them to treat themselves to.
Their last exchange was "I love you."
 Happily married for over 60 years, since 1950,
Verne would go wherever Bonnie would go.
Real partners in life they looked out for each other.

At the ripe age of 82, both, they decided to design
and to build a new green, solar home, closer to downtown.

Bonnie would water her plants with rain water.
Shovel snow in the winter
and then wonder why she ached.

They took their brand new bed frame in to the living room
where Bonnie simply sawed off those legs to proper height.
Mind you most in their eighties barely move, much less saw!

They got around in Prius,
but to drive when one might walk
 was not part of their equation.
Why waste precious gas and money?
Rather use the ski poles to hike up a steep trail
to the dog park and gorgeous views, right behind their home.
Here an exhausted Bonnie had just brought home Tia-Maria,
rescued from the shelter, a 4 hour ordeal, only 2 years ago.
Tia was 1 of 50 dogs
found in horrid conditions inside a hoarder's home. 
Surprisingly, Tia-Maria has excellent social skills.
 They bonded quickly,
despite a belief of being 'big-dog-folks'.

Today, Bonnie and Tia-Maria will board a plane
to live closer to family,
They are so blessed to have each other now.
I miss them already terribly.
I adored the couple,
but I trust that Bonnie has good years still ahead of her.
Bonnie's independent spirit will survive 
and I sure hope thrive.

Time

Wagogo in concert for free on the plaza 
brought out knotty kneed, vein popping 
baby boomers with their brood.

What happened?
-
Time did not stand still.

Time


Once again that time of year
when taking on the care of another Orchid
becomes an imperative,
a ritual of recent years,
to celebrate the passing of time
and honor life.

Comfort

During my 3 months stay,
as much on the side of my ailing Dad's bed as I could bear,
I found great comfort in living only minutes on foot,
from this gorgeous, crystal clear lake
with an awesome 180 degree view
to glaciers in the far distance.
This picturesque home was situated along the lake and path,
easily reached by bike and near my favorite spot 
to bath among the swans and ducks.
Up hill, an organic farm offered delicious honey ice cream
and real strawberries picked only hours prior,
red, ripe and ready to relish.

 Pfaeffiker See, Zuerich, Switzerland, 2005

Pappi

4.26.1923 - 7.12.2005, 6:15 p.m.
 My Dad in his late teens I believe.
As a school age girl I kept this photo in my purse.
A happy moment.
 A final peaceful passing,
I was honored to attend.

Santa Fe International Folk Art Market


Omani Beauties led the opening procession of the 2011 International Folk Art Market. Simple wooden blocks were banged in rhythm, Frankincense dispersed a lovely fragrance and so started the largest Folk Art Market, some say in the world, which brought 132 artists from 49 countries together for another record breaking success.
This Omani beauty looked kindly down on my pups. These ladies perform, sing, play music, tattoo bodies and last year offered their brand of coffee with date paste - for free.
I love the smile on this Omani patriarch. Everyone was happy and seemed to feel festive and ready for business. Record sales numbers might get close to half a million dollars of goods sold!
This dude wore cool shades, obviously no country pumpkin.
While the prices on goods could be stiff, as much as $5,500 for one piece of fabric, which placed such surely above the average local working stiff, collectors and gallery owners scooped up the best at the $125 entry fee preview prior to the event proper. The average artist takes about $16,000 back to the community or cooperative.
Our own Akeem Ayanbisi Ayanniyi, Nigerian master of the talking drum is part of a larger local Nigerian and West African community. Obviously he looks ecstatic, I assume at the prospect of sales of drums, performing, teaching and not least meeting up with friends and partying all weekend long.
I cheered when I noticed a representative of Palestine and he seemed pleased to feel the support for a people that have gotten a really rough deal.
The opening night brought my very favorite band from the bay area, the West African Highlife Band, right to the park in my 'hood, where those seasoned musicians got those bodies moving, no matter where they had come from, how tired they might have been. This band knew how to play an infectious, irresistible rhythm, they put on a great show. What a way to welcome those 132 artists.
I love parties that are enjoyed by all ages and different cultures. After all we are all human. Those kids had a ball and so did I. No doubt the 10,000 visitors enjoyed their experiences. I already look forward to next year's event.

Tidbits: Wet Blankets, Hope & Happiness

Due to the cool and moist comfort of a wet blanket, or rather a pretty silk cloth draped over me, I slept several hours in a row, a first in a while due to the discomfort of intense smoke inside my home, especially late nights and early mornings. Earlier I had been told how folks in Kansas, where temperatures can soar (no wonder Alice took off to Wonderland) coped: They hung wet linens in their doors and laid out wet blankets on the ground to sleep on. For me the moisture lasted about an hour and a half, but the coolness stayed on longer. Pulling the wet cloth over my face I actually was able breath! Why were we not told a month ago?

I also discovered that mist from a water bottle sprayed toward a fan will redirect delicious moisture all over me if I place my body right in front of it. But for some reason around midnight the smoke gets so intense, the particles will hit my eyes and skin and the fanned air no longer offers any relief. I am starting to wonder if smoke seeps in through cracks, maybe vents or why this is possible with all doors and windows closed for hours?

Meanwhile there is hope! I had almost given up, but today I witnessed one woman right at the check out counter near mine at Trader Joe's explode in to happiness because she had become the winner of the week. I am sure you know what the winning is about? It is to reward us green shoppers for bringing along our bags and/or baskets so as to assure that we have no need for brand new grocery bags, especially those made from live, precious trees. I had suspiscions that their game was a gimmick, a ruse, to keep those addicts hooked on excitement and gambling coming back to improve their chances of winnng. But I am happy to report that there are winners out there in this world of our.

It so happened that I read recently of studies that have shown monkeys at their happiest in the anticipation of something good coming their way. Their oxytocin levels were highest in expectation of their reward. Hard to believe when I watch my Isabell-girl, now a days as a grown adult dog that no longer shows any excitement about going out, because she has learned from experience that it takes me a good long while to get ready for real. I may wear my shoes, my hat, hold lead in hand, but she knows better then to expect that out the door we go. There are keys and money and shopping bags and sunscreen and decisions to wear a hat or not and on and on it goes. My Isabella is a smart girl. 

Personally, as a toddler I never liked dwelling in the anticipation of my mother's return. Instead of finding it stimulating and exciting, I found it deadening. Nevertheless, scientists tell us to create anticipation in our pets if we want their levels of happiness to go up. Since life seems to run in circles infusing pets with happiness surely ads to our own I can attest to such with each walk at the dog park.

Silver Lining




Is there a  silver lining?
What good may come from those terrible fires?

For over one whole month the fires have devastated glorious open lands of the Southwest, including one of New Mexico's most sacred American Indian outdoor museums, Bandelier National Park. The nearby Santa Clara Pueblo, known for it's tradition in exquisite pottery, lost homes and experienced truly devastating damage to it's watershed. To date the Conchas fire has grown to 136,955 acres, currently contained 40%. We must all be grateful to those that put their lives on the line to fight those fires for the good of us all. I can not imagine the hell of such intense heat and smoke at the fire's edge. It is bad at a distance of 60 miles. I dare not complain about my inability to sleep, night after night, due to the thickness of smoke, the dryness of the indoor air, the inability to air out and cool down.

This too shall pass, the land will reseed some, monsoon rains in the forecast will dampen the fires, maybe as soon as this upcoming weekend.

Liars, all too human.

Liars have been dominating the news. Only yesterday Casey Anthony managed to sway the jury in her favor, despite the many lies she seemed to have fabricated out of thin air, and so surprised the US and likely herself with a not-guilty verdict. Last week we got Dominque Strauss-Kahn's accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, wholly unrelated to her current accusation of attempted rape, told dramatic tales of supposed prior sexual abuse and genital mutilation revealed to exist only to secure herself a visa in to the US. While Weiner a supposedly mature, aggressive and ambitious politician with a currently pregnant, high powered wife, aid to Hillary Clinton, tried to blame hacking for his utterly embarrassing sexting of photos of whats some still seem to consider an enviable package. And then the not to be yet forgotten Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and revelations of his supposed love-child with the saucy housekeeper, conceived under the nose of his wife, Maria  Shriver, both women impregnated close to the same time. I never understood why the media labeled this child as a love-child? Did the media attempt to make us believe that Arny was in love with the maid and wanted the child? In this context of course we are reminded of Clinton and his insistence "I did not have sex with that woman." that resulted in debates world wide of what was to be considered sex and what not.

Personally with a Catholic god looking from above over me, every minute of every day, and a mom that was the closest to god to my mind, lying just was not ever an option. I do not lie to peoples faces, not because of my higher moral standing, but simply because I am afraid we all are in the know, sometimes later then sooner, but we all are connected and ideas of separation are illusory.

With this said, I believe it is part of human nature to lie when it serves an advantage, this especially so as it concerns survival, money and power. We would be very naive not to expect the telling of lies to dominate immigration forms. In fact lies have been told where the truth would have served the immigration applicant better. It is known that successful stories that permitted legal stay to an asylum applicant were repeated even in cases where their true stories would have been a lot more compelling.

A man's sex life is his and his partner's business, not the public's. Now why do we have so many polticians behaving badly? Is it a sense of entitlement and invincible sense of power along the line of Clinton's "I did it, because I could"? Is it a man's natural tendency to resort to sex when he can, when others less empowered or charismatic might resort to drugs and alcohol or tuning out say with tv? Certainly the charismatic rich and famous have the options and plenty of opportunities to engage in extracurricular sexual activity. If monogamy was not a moral prerogative, those activities would be nothing to write home about, much less dominate the headlines.

Odd kinda, that a man in his sixties like a DSK is known to chase skirts of women half his age and less, while we do have a hard time imagining someone like Hilary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher even Nancy Pelosi doing similar. What is it about guys that lets them violate the trust their mates placed in them, such as Weiner's wife, that let her self impregnate by a man with a roving eye and wild appetite for a variety of women. Ready to start a new life and a new family, married only last year, she is now on leave of absence from her job and her hubby. We women can easily imagine the depth of her grief and the anguish she must be feeling. Will she go for divorce like Maria Shriever decided? 

While many feminists took it hard that Hilary Clinton stayed by her man, I never had a desire to dictate to another woman the choice of divorce. In Maria Shriver's case I find myself glad to hear of her decision, hard no doubt to make for any devout Catholic. In Hilary Clinton's case it is not hard to see how her husband the former President of the US may still be the most interesting man to her to have a conversation with. That does speak volumes.

Bach to lies. Maybe we should not make such a federal case out of the discoveries of lies. Maybe we  should expect lies more and stop holding especially those in the limelight to impossible moral standards. Maybe we should judge politicians by their political performance and values, not their personal transgressions, especially when they are not of a criminal nature. Which also means that maybe we ought to decriminalize such things as the personal use of Marijuana along with the use of adult prostitutes (but persecute to the fullest extent those that molest minors.) And as in the case of DSK afford even liars the right to fair trials.

Men seem to think that DSK was set up, something like out of a political thriller, maybe so. But the woman complainant sustained vaginal bruises and torn ligaments in her shoulder, not likely self-inflicted, injuries compatible with excess force. Attempted rape of course is not about sex, but power. Inflicting pain on a woman, even if she is liar is wrong. Rape victims throughout the ages have had to endure personal attacks usually won by those in power. Would we have a justice system that served above and beyond those with or without social means and standing. But as we have seen with O.J. Simpson that is not so, not then and not now. Those with means can buy those to gather sufficient cause to doubt to evade conviction. 

As regards the cases of DSK and Casey Anthony we are reminded that we should not try such cases in the media. We are long passed the stone age. We are not to judge and especially we are not to condemn another with the little bit of public knowledge we may likely base our assumptions on. Those modern public stonings have to stop! Remember all the Dalai Lama's credo: My religon is kindness or Jesus who told those without sin to cast the first stone.

We should always wonder and try and fill another's shoe, but not jump to conclusions and not condemn. Instead mine the human field of psychology, the mysterious mechanics of the mind. We are all human, we are fallible and the higher we soar the deeper we may fall.

Too Cocky For His Own Good?

Surprise, Sumo-boy, a 14 pound Yorkie/Poodle/Maltese mix just told a huge Irish Deerhound off!

We were at the plaza when Isabella-girl spotted a dog park regular and strained towards Liam, the Deerhound, excitedly wagging her bottom. I have been concerned about my girl and her sudden temper, now I believe evoked due to a maybe long standing pain in her hip that may have made her feel more vulnerable and defensive. Since I recognized the symptom and treated her accordingly (diet, supplements and lack of exertion) she is almost back to her former sweet and social self. So I was pleased to watch her rump swipe side to side. She had always shown a liking in this Deerhound. 

But as things go this hound likes little ones and tended to ignore Isabella's advances in favor of the pursuit of Sumo. Liam would try and lumber over my little guy, not let up, even when Sumo gave no  signs of encouragement, or reciprocal interest, but kept following his own nose. What is it about those large dogs that seem to take such a liking in tiny ones? Is it a matter of opposites that attract,  or might little ones seem more easily subjected to being dominated?

Well, Sumo will have none of it, he will tell anybody off, if he is not in the mood. Size does not seem to matter to my guy. That is why sometimes I get incensed with all the comments by strangers that see only his small size, not his large spirit and associate his size with puppiedom, when in reality Sumo is a very athletic, independent, fearless, adult male hunter and explorer. So, on occasion Sumo will give a short bark to indicate I am here, don't mess with me, I am someone to be reckoned with. He demands respect and usually gets it.

As we come upon Liam the Deerhound at the plaza this evening, the hound as usual ignores Isabella's excited advances and leans forward towards Sumo. My little guy gives out a short bark and jumps  up and right in to this hound's face. A whole bunch of folks happened to watch and were about to smile at the little dog's audacity. But the Deerhound had an expression of disbelief, shock. His body retreated and he started to shake and next their was blood dripping from his tongue. Oh no, Sumo bit the hound! I like to believe by accident, I am not totally sure. We were all shocked. I made Sumo sit. The hound was dragged away, I was stunned and not sure what I ought to do next?

Only upon reflecting on the incident did I realize that my pups immediately recognized Liam, the hound from the dog park even though we had not seen this dog in maybe 2-3 years. The hound was then a lumbering, a bit overbearing, giant, gorgeous puppy. Not unlike another gigantic pup, but a Wolfhound, Oscar and Liam, both then pups, could both act intimidating with their refusal to take no for an answer or for that matter  follow any corrections. To the credit of the Deerhound's guardian he would always pay close attention and not let things ever go out of hand, or too far.

Might my guy just be getting too cocky for his own good? The Dog Whisperer  Cesar Milan advises us to not allow any kind of aggression in the presence of a pack leader, which would have to be me! It is very important to me to have well socialized dogs I can trust in public and take along just about anywhere.

Could this be a reflection on me in some way? Are there areas in my life where I go overboard, act arrogant, get in to others faces? Yes, maybe so, but I believe I am not abusive, never intentionally hurtful, only sharing, unasked for, how I see and experience things.

Do I need to take this boy of mine a notch down so to say? No more leeway, but strict heel on our walks downtown? No more sleeping up on the bed with me? Yesterday I told him to stay downstairs and what does he do? The moment I turn off the light and settle for sleep he sneaks up anyway. So should I make a federal case and disallow him his independence and overriding desire to sleep near me? Friends I ran in to right after the incident said that nothing could be done. One street guy was so impressed with Sumo, he asked to touch him and obviously was afraid and then checked if I might be open to deal, as if I ever could or would sell any furry friend of mine.

One mitigating factor for Sumo might be his lack of exercise due to the intense smoke of several wild  fires that make it not advisable to exert oneself out in the open air. So he may have missed as many as 12 x 12 mile runs up on the mountain during this past month. He might be feeling mighty cooped up. Yesterday he got real cute in his rambunctious mock-attacks on Isabella. My girl loves every minute of it, but knows he has to initiate the rough play, the most seductive lying on her back and inviting a tussle will not do. It's got to be on Sumo's term.
To top it, on our arrival home, both pups on proper heel, our black panther was in a stand off with the neighbor's calico cat, both covered in white feathers, with tension lingering in the air. I scolded our Pretty Kitty and of course now he has not come home. He does wear not one, but two bells. Darn, I will just have to sleep on all this.

Bits of bribes build budding friendships!

 The nose knows.
 Got one!
 But what about me?
Got them all!

Our neighbor's dogs,
  since I remember to bring them treats,
never bark at us,
but only excitedly wag their tails.

Bribery if you want,
or loving, kind attention,
can yield all kinds of benefits,
cute photos may just be one of them.