Soviet Spy - Part 1

It's been a tough year - decade, in some respects, while of course it always could have been a whole lot worse. I have been meaning to express some of what follows for a while, wondering how not to come across as whiny or complaining. I might sound like it anyway, so here it comes anyhow.

August of last year I walked out of a job my once best friend and client, with whom I had a falling out twice, had offered me repeatedly. My friend had become a lawyer after a decision at the ripe age of 48 that followed having gotten pissed off at not receiving a bonus she believed she richly deserved from her boss, a lawyer she had worked for. My friend needed to complete required college courses first then had to apply to law school twice and graduated as a senior to opened her own law office soon afterward. Eventually, I was no longer in a position to refuse her offer to help her out. I managed to play secretary for her for a full three years.

Those years reminded me strongly of my teens when I worked for an important lawyer in Zürich, Switzerland. Our office was involved in the creation of a third pillar to the Swiss national retirement program. I was in training then, a common work/study practice in Switzerland. After a false start of working in the fashion industry (beauty had been up and foremost in my early teen mind) and after I had taken a sabbatical (as an au-pair in the French-speaking part of Switzerland) I had emerged as a more serious teenager, eager for more meaningful work, such as I imagined happened in law offices. 

Never would I have imagined that after only three semesters I would have become a Soviet spy suspect! My conventional Swiss boss, the highfalutin lawyer, could not fathom why else I might wear a handmade, bright red cap to and from, but never at work. (In the early seventies I was in the process of becoming a Swiss-style hippie. Worldwide traveling Hippies would stop over in Zürich, their mood was infectious!) The reason for having become the object of suspicion was that the new secretary had figured out that I no longer lived with my parents and tattled on me. True, at age 18, I had the audacity to embrace an opportunity, to move in under a patrician roof top with my dear friend, not lover, Joe, an exquisite artist and dear soul. My hometown gave me a stipend, unasked for as I recall but on the urging of a social worker, with which I managed to live on my own, prematurely, according to the working class conventions of those times.

I had worked hard, and I thought good, at playing secretary at that office. I had kept records on petty cash, put out mass mailings, wrote letters by dictaphone according to standard procedures clearly outlined. I typed pages over and over until they were perfect and took notes in shorthand. I was a good secretary-in-training (Lehrling) especially during the absence of our real secretary. But when her replacement took over, my troubles started. My budding career as one of so many 'Büro Gummies" or pencil-pushers in Switzerland came to an abrupt halt, I was fired. No doubt this experience contributed significantly to my flight from my country of origin, Switzerland, and to my eventual immigration to the United States of America.

So here I was back at a law office four decades later, but this time with barely any formal education in the English language, much less familiarity with the customs,  not to speak of those of a law office. I worked for a woman that once had been my best friend and my client but I had more than one falling out with, who had become my boss. I worked for a woman whose approach to life was in many ways opposite to my own (astrologically thinking Leo versus Cancer, fire versus water.) Amazing that we lasted 3 years, the experiment should have ended after 3 months, not 3 years. One day, I walked away. Never to miss the work at that office, ever. What I do miss since is income!

Lost & Found

Found eleven pennies last week -  the good omen made my day
found a twenty dollar bill today - I am worried!

For real, I found a twenty dollar bill on my walk with dogs with no one near. Only one lovely appearance in a white flowing gown, long tresses down her back, little white dog on lead walking down alongside the train tracks. Maybe the bill fell out of her pocket when she was fishing for a poop bag as I so often do? Raised to be an honest and a good girl, I followed that lovely woman and learned that no, she lost no bills, that she is from Burundi, from where the best drumming with the best of drummers come from, and that her dog's name has the same name as my dog, Isabella. This most lovely lady with her copper-toned skin and copper-toned tresses suggested I simply accept the find as a gift from the universe.

What may be viewed as a gift by one, may be experienced as a misfortune by another. I feel no guilt picking up pennies, which I find fairly frequently and which tend to make my day when I bring them home and place them in my Tibetan singing bowl. Same goes for dollar bills, but with 5 bucks I start to worry that someone may really miss that bill. I found a twenty dollar bill a while back in the park, my dogs led me straight up to it. I assumed a drunken guy may have slept off his buzz in those bushes. Long gone, his scent may still have lingered when we approached. No one was in sight then too and I was worried that those 20 bucks may have meant a whole lot more to my imaginary guy that lost them than to an average person. 

I don't think of myself as being average. I once got really upset with a friend who picked up a $5 bill at the entrance of Trader Joe's grocery store to quickly and gleefully pocket it without even glancing around as to who may have lost the bill. There were a lot of people coming and going out of that popular grocery store. A twenty dollar bill in pocket or lost may make a huge difference for a street person. It may determine, I imagine, an ability to buy the kibble for their dog. Which reminds me that yesterday we received the unexpected gift of a bag of primo, organic dog kibble from a neighbor who only has one cat to feed. She had bought the wrong kind of kibble, a mistake I have made too. I was, and I still am grateful, even though I have been avoiding brown rice in kibble for the last 5 years. Since my furry friends have been on a grain-free diet.

Back to the idea that one man's gift may be another man's misfortune, or not. It does not hurt to try and double check one's assumptions and extend our compassion to others in times of plenty as well as during hard times. 

Us



We took a break from the horrific news that assaulted us daily with seemingly not a moment to catch our breath. I looked matronly in my disguise of a green, patched together, cotton dress that made me act and look like a farmer's wife, except hard labor was never really my thing. A cool breeze had me still wear my winter shawl. Isabella looked ridiculously happy and fluffy having gotten her shower only recently. Sumo found the most comfortable spot to settle on, my lap. My neighbor had offered to take some pics of us, the first ones in years, so with Sumo's recent health crisis, I was glad to accept.

Sumo seems fine, while according to the vet his 3 months are up and he is supposed to be a goner by now. Instead, he again runs after the bunnies, but with a bit less enthusiasm, with a bit less stamina than he used to have. I guess that is o.k. considering both of them will be 12 years old this year. He still has a hard belly, I assume a fibrous mass inside, probably cancerous and he is still on his CBD oil, albeit less of it.


Since we just celebrated Father's Day, a pic of us about 60 years ago!



Rogue Hollyhock


Sadly this rogue hollyhock blooming out of the middle of a pretty blue pot of mini roses, collected over several years, got stolen in the early morning hours today. I woke because Pretty Kitty asked to come indoors. Wide awake, I sat at my computer when I noticed the sound of a truck with bright head lights on right outside our driveway. My dogs barked, which is rare for them during nights. Next, the truck drove off, I can still hear that sound in my ears. Later this morning, as I still wondered and got outside to check, our lovely pot of roses was gone, the hose dribbling water toward the concrete driveway. 

I reported this to the police, for the records, not because I harbor any hopes of recovery of that pot, but because my neighbor reported his loss of everything stolen out of the side pocket of his Harley Davidson motorcycle to me the week before. The cop told him that burglaries were on the rise in our neighborhood. We both were aware that there has been a lot of comings and goings of late with all kinds of constructions and people moving in and out. Correlations of burglaries with concurrent construction sites have been noted by both of us before. 

Oddly the very friendly, female cop asked me for my for proof of ID, my social security number and if I worked, was employed or retired, something outside the norm of sanctuary cities. Something that might prevent undocumented citizens from reporting crimes. Something I don't remember having been asked before. So, I reported this to our Mayor's office who confirmed that this was not usual and that they would look into it and get back to me. 

Meanwhile, I feel vulnerable and wonder why anyone would steal a pretty, but funky, blue terracotta pot of an assortment of colorful mini roses with one rogue hollyhock in the middle in full bloom?

Take Refuge


in beauty


in fluffy, furry friends


in good company


in good food


in reflection


and the knowledge that this too shall pass.


What Will It Take To Stop The Maddness?

Words fail me, we live in outrageous times. The Liar-in-Chief seems intent on dismantling our system in blatant disregard of existing laws and common decency. Tomorrow former FBI director James Comey will testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee, today he offered his prepared statement. Obstruction of justice in regard to Flynn seems obvious. Liar-in-Chief on tv denied having made such requests. Nope, there is no contest as far as statements go from our Liar-in-Chief or from our former FBI director. One I trust, at least in what he says, maybe not in what he may withhold, the other deserves no trust of any kind, none, his lies are so obvious and easily refuted. James Comey likes to present himself as non-partisan, yet, he withheld the ongoing investigations into the Trump campaign, but not into Clinton's. But Republicans think Comey obstructed justice when he claimed there was no criminal intent and let her off the hook, they are furious with the man. Democrats, of course, believe Comey cost Hillary Clinton the presidency. I believe Don-the-Con has no business occupying the White House. 

This privileged childish, immature, malignant narcissist believes the world should rotate around him. Until now he has gotten away with surfing the edge of legality, but as a public servant the rules have changed and the Con has been slow to catch on. Rachel Maddow has illuminated for us some of the shady finanical ties that criss-cross the globe and likely involve extensive money laundering schemes. Every day would be a good day for Don-the-Con to reveal his taxes like every other President has done before him, but no such luck.

Without his willingness to reveal potential conflicts of interest of his business interests around the globe to the interests of the United States, while having attempted interferences with investigations certainly in regard to Flynn, but likely in regard to Russian interference in the elections, this guy currently in charge of the nuclear button lacks legitimacy. What more will it take to stop this madness? I share Keith Olbermann's outrage:

El Museo Cultural

My 'hood


and across


Mami


Mother's Day and I can not help but remember my Mom, my Mami. I had turned three when this photo was taken by my Dad. I got to wear white knee socks in new black shiny shoes and this very pretty white, winged, lacey dress. I still remember my excitement in getting dressed for our outing, while still in the bedroom of our old apartment up on the hill among the well-to-do rich folks. An area of town we would abandon 3 years later in favor of a working class neighborhood with more suitable friends for me, my parents thought, I disagreed. 

I loved physical proximity with my Mom, sitting on her lap, holding hands or snuggling up in bed on Sunday mornings. Mami knew how to make reeds sing, I never learned. Mami liked to laugh, whistle and sing especially while riding her bike. I learned to like that as well. For a while, I rode on back of her bike until my foot got caught between the spokes right near our central train station in Zürich. I still remember the spot and how scared I had gotten, probably screamed more in fright than actual pain. I remember Mami's brown sunglasses and brown, wooden pearl necklace, the one I eventually inherited. I also remember a pin of a little black elephant she liked to wear with her gray striped suit. Eventually, that pin graced my black felt hat, until I lost it at our dog park. I also inherited a black elephant sculpture she must have brought back from Kenya, one of those various vacations to Africa my working-class parents treated themselves to. Mami loved to travel, loved geography and loved to explore and made sure they had plenty of opportunities to do just that.

I was born with black hair just like my Dad's but only a year after this photo was taken the hairdresser found my first white hair on the top of my head. I remember it clearly, the young hairdresser's loud exclamation, expressing her surprise to the whole hair salon. I was not sure if I should be embarrassed or pleased. Like my Mom and before her Dad, I too was to turn gray early on, but unlike my Mom, I swore to myself to never ever dye my hair, not a fake blond or an odd blue, ever. Mami was frequently mistaken for my grandmother by strangers, but my Mami was not old in spirit. Mami was energetic, expressive when she wanted to be, and she was the only Mom that ever played hide & seek with the whole gang of us kids and afterward treated us all to some chocolate. 

Decades later I learned that what I had believed to be my good friend from across the street, who frequently came over to our home, came not so much because of me, but because of my Mom. Because Mami was so different, not kindly looked upon by her very conservative, fundamental Christian parents. My Mom smoked in public. Over the phone, Mami's voice would frequently be mistaken as that of a man. My Mom could be loud. Mami could laugh so hard I could hear her across the department store where she worked in the wine department. Those women working under younger men would drop wine bottles on purpose, on occasion only, so they could finish up the content and have some fun. Unlike her Dad, my Mom did not overdue it with alcohol, I have never seen her drunk ever, not even close. 

My Mom insisted on her bread and butter - and meat, steak preferably, but neither one of my parents were alcoholics. I am grateful. I always believed myself to be vulnerable to addiction and therefore stayed clear of most addictive substances. While still in ninth grade, I rebelled by stealing and smoking my Dad's hidden cigarettes, those he really never touched and had gotten for free in cute little packages. The desire to smoke left me as suddenly, at the age of nineteen, as it appeared, at the age of 15. Same goes for the desire for meat that had left me the moment I had left my parent's home to live on my own. To this day I will trade in a bar of chocolate for a piece of meat anytime unless it is Hershey's kind of an abomination of what goes for chocolate in the US.

Today I am grateful for the good memories I do have with my Mom. We were estranged from since I was a teen to a year prior to her passing. It was painful. It seemed impossible. I moved to another continent with an ocean to separate us. Mothering is not easy and does not come naturally to those that have not gotten it right from the start. Wounds heal, the best we can do is try to keep our hearts soft and care to the best of our abilities. To all Mothers that try to do their best and love the best they know how.

Love, A Thing Of Beauty


Mother’s Day "perpetuates the dangerous idea that all parents are somehow superior to non-parents." - Anne Lamotte

I am nobody's Mom is a favorite saying of mine and is my attempt to escape the stereotype that a woman of my age and my shape with my kind of silvery/gray hair inevitably will find herself in. While I have done plenty of nurturing, cared for my clients for more than three decades, and while I am currently doing my best, but never enough, to nurture my furry companions, I truly am nobody's Mom. That is how I like it and how I prefer it.

My Mom passed away suddenly while she had been pan-frying steaks. Earlier that day she had gone out shopping by bike, while the steaks were sizzling my Mom keeled over. For a fiercely independent woman, her heart attack was a merciful quick means of transitioning. She would have hated a stint at the hospital and worse an extended stay at a nursing home.

We were estranged for several decades until I got a chance to help my parents move from an apartment they had occupied for more than 40 years. This move into a new place at their advanced age was huge for them and so was my willingness to help them. It changed us. For that last year in my Mom's life, living on different continents, we enjoyed frequent phone calls that nurtured us both.

Unlike Anne Lamotte, I hold no animus against Mother's Day, it is only one of many holidays I don't celebrate. I don't feel slighted either by the focus on mothers, same as I don't feel slighted by someone focused on eating steak, something I have not cared to eat since I left my parent's home even though some considered my Mom's steaks the very best. Holidays have become so commercialized, why should I care, much less begrudge a woman a bit of special attention?

Endearing to read Anne Lamotte's annual piece on Mother's Day in which she states that flowers and chocolates "can fill me only if it is ordinary and available to all." Such a moving sentiment that reminds me how as a 10-year-old girl I felt similar in regard to the kingdom of heaven. I imagined it impossible to enjoy heaven in the knowledge that others might not be allowed in, worse, might be roasting in the supposedly cleansing fires of purgatory. Needless to say, I don't celebrate Christian holidays any longer either. I will admit, I even resent holiday greetings or token presents that lack authenticity and are not embedded in a real and caring relationship. This goes without say for birthdays too. Those yearly cards from those that one never hears from otherwise or those facebook well-wishes from those that never bother to visit much less interact with one's facebook posts, I can do without.

I am rather convinced I did the world a favor in not having set loose one more human on an already overpopulated globe. So this tidbit by Anne Lamotte rather surprised me. "Ninety-eight percent of American parents secretly feel that if you have not had and raised a child, your capacity for love is somehow diminished. Ninety-eight percent of American parents secretly believe that non-parents cannot possibly know what it is to love unconditionally, to be selfless, to put yourself at risk for the gravest loss." Really? In my professional life, I have seen way too much dysfunction from inadequate parenting that perpetuates trauma from one generation on to the next.

This said, wherever we find love, be that between mother and child, between parents that honor and respect one another, among best of friends that confide in each other, in the sacred bond between client and therapist, or in those special moments when strangers meet and reveal themselves with authenticity and an open heart, and not least in our caring for those that depend on us such as our animal companions, it is always a thing of beauty.

Sumo Got His Groove Back


In a long overdue update, I am happy to report that Sumo got his groove back. Since May especially, he just about returned to normal, his energy back up, able to jump up on beds and benches, eager to pursue bunnies, alert, wagging his tail in anticipation of my homemade food, eating on his own again, including regular kibble, on his initiative.

Sumo gets his CBD-oil only twice a day since May. I make a point to feed both of my pups a bit of raw tripe just about every day. It is supposedly so good for them, they tell me if I am in danger of forgetting, they like it. Buying the beef tripe dust raw in frozen little squares makes it rather economical, easy to use, with the stink far from unbearable. I transfer a few frozen squares into a closed container to thaw in the fridge and may later mix them with pumpkin puree or anything else suitable on hand. A bit of soft, thawed tripe is a great carrier for Sumo's oil and Isabella's thyroid medication. 

I assume the vet was correct in diagnosing the mass in Sumo's belly as cancer. I can still feel the mass, but Sumo no longer suffers, so for now, we keep on going, taking one step at a time and hoping for the best.



With Maher 100%


Absolutely yes, we have an urgent need for Liberal Purists (I am not one of them) to learn the difference between an imperfect friend and an enemy. Yet, still, DNC shenanigans are brought forth as excuses for not having voted for her, Hillary. For the sake of future elections, get a grip! 

Gorsuch already placed the deciding vote on the recent killing spree in Arkansas where they were intent on clearing out their death row in one big swoop, in one week, with the use of drugs about to expire! Gorsuch placed the deciding vote on the denial of a DNA test, that is on everyone that took a gamble by either voting for him or not voting for her. Ultra-conservative Gorsuch would not be on the Supreme Court if we had more voters able to hold a big picture and perceive nuances.

Trump-Care, an abomination of a proposed bill by, yep, you guessed it mainly old white & rich men, would do away with pre-existing conditions and have seniors pay as much as 6 x the normal insurance rate, in effect guarantee that I would never ever enjoy the benefits of insurance, ever. Trump-Care-lessness would also have a devastating effect on more rural hospitals, such as ours here in Santa Fe in the poor state of New Mexico, when needs will outpace the ability of patients to pay. Trump-Carelessness would take away funding for Planned Parenthood from clinics I have gotten excellent care from for decades, I am not talking abortions. This monstrosity of a bill would never have passed the House as it just did with her at the helm. While Hillary could not be fully trusted to support Single Payer healthcare, I assume because she of all people does know the mindset of the far right that opposes what the majority of people want, I would be so happy to settle for incremental change for a bit longer then having to witness what is unfolding and the dire suffering so much of this will cause.

I am so upset with those that still insist not voting for Hillary was the right thing to do yet refuse to take any blame in what we have got now. Get some perspective, learn to hold the long-term goals in mind & heart, rather than demand instant gratification, appreciate the nuances. We need to do better, a whole lot better in the future.

Sumo Turned A Corner Thanks To CBD Oil


Sumo turned a corner so it seems. After barely eating, becoming all skin-and-bones and looking terribly fragile, our Sumo-boy regained his lust for food after his fever, probably from an infection related to a large tumor in his lower abdomen, broke.
Sumo has been on 125 Mg CBD oil, 3 droppers/day imported from my country of origin, Switzerland, of all places and 
Phytocillin, an herbal antibiotic, 6 drops 3 x day.
Tripe, unfrozen, one square at a time, mixed with pumpkin or tripe from a can (Tripett brand from New Zealand in various flavors) is what I mostly have been feeding Sumo by hand. After 2 weeks, Sumo ate a meal on his own for the very first time. His energy has been up and down, just when I thought that our boy was getting better, next day he seemed worse, low energy, barely able to walk, but sometimes by the evening or a day later, surprisingly, Sumo would lead us once again on our walks with this characteristic, determined spring in his steps. He is weak, so we rest frequently and we take whatever time needed. Of course, I am happy to carry Sumo on our walks, but mostly he comes along on his own. Nights he has been sleeping on my side under the covers as I keep repeatedly checking his bony body for the movement of his breath. After the exhausting ups and downs, I am now cautiously optimistic. Questions remain, what's next?


I have been a proponent for the decriminalization of marijuana for a long time. No doubt, people of color have been targeted disproportionately by the war on drugs and by keeping marijuana in a ridiculously high classification of drugs where it simply does not belong. While I have witnessed the adverse effects of dope on some folks close to me over an extended time, I still believe it does not even come close to the adverse effects alcohol has on our society. So the legalization of marijuana has taken on a surprisingly personal urgency for us as Sumo seems to have greatly benefitted from the CBD oil which in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is dispensed legally and without the necessity of a doctor's prescription.

The other day a friend posted this in regard to her dog and the seeming benefit of CBD oil: "About two months ago my little dog was diagnosed with cancer. Tumors on his liver, small intestine, and enlarged lymph nodes. He was given 2 to 4 months to live… 6 maximum. I started doing research and decided to give him a combination of CBD, which is a hemp/cannabis derivative that has no psychoactive effect. I also gave him turmeric extract. Over the next 2 months his appetite came back, his digestion improved significantly, he gained a pound and a half (which is significant for a 17 pound dog) and his energy returned. He is now running and playing like a puppy. Today I took him back to the vet. His main tumor is the same size. His enlarged nodes are back to normal. His small intestine tumor is gone. I am in a state of happy shock." -

CBD Central description of some of the benefits of CBD oil:

Poor immune system – Endocannabinoids can act as immunomodulators and neuromodulators in the immune system. Cannabidiol is considered as an efficient immune system booster and helps the body fight infections.

Pain – The powerful substance can help relieve pains brought about by the conditions related to multiple sclerosis. It also alleviates other pains that are caused by inflammation and muscle spasms. Cannabidiol is regarded as an effective analgesic that is also helpful in relieving pains both chronic and acute. It is a cost-effective pain reliever compared to many analgesics available in the market.

Inflammation – There are many kinds of inflammation that are relieved by the anti-inflammatory properties of Cannabidiol. It is very effective in the treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis and other pains of the joints. Aside from relieving pains, it is also known to be effective in curing and reversing the symptoms.

Nausea – The endocannabinoid system has its own mechanism of combating nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms of motion sickness. Cannabidiol also greatly enhances the system’s function in reducing nausea caused by chemotherapy and other cancer-related treatments.

Bacterial infections – The potent Cannabidiol and the endocannabinoids have antibacterial properties which make them helpful in treating all kinds of infections caused by bacteria. They also have anti-fungal properties which make them equally effective in treating all kinds of fungal infections.

Sumo Is Not Well


After days of barely eating I took my little Sumo-boy to the vet yesterday late afternoon. My usually energetic guy had seemed depressed for a while. This month he started to refuse kibble in the morning, I assumed he was holding out for my homemade treats mid-day, but when he refused even Charlies, those tiny beef flavored treats he loves to catch when thrown in the air, I knew something was wrong. He had to be coaxed to eat tiny bits of boiled chicken or sardine/pumpkin mix and when he refused even that I got very worried. I thought he may have ingested something toxic, maybe on our walks, something that might have escaped my notice. It happened once before when he had snatched up a discarded sandwich with meat and got seriously sick for days. So yesterday the vet told me without any testing, just from one visit, that Sumo likely has cancer of the kidney/spleen. A sizable mass is palpable across his lower abdomen. 

He spent the night on my side in my bed where I could feel his slightly feverish body, his heart beat, and his irregular shallow breath. I could also feel my love for Sumo, this tiny body with this great adventurous spirit. I realized that this moment in time is about love and love only. Maybe all moments in time are about love, about caring for one another, about wanting only the best for another, be that a person, a pet or any other kind of creature. How we come to experience this may be of little consequence as long as we manage to get out of the way of ourselves to make another more important than our own 'small or limited self' our own likes and dislikes and silly preferences.

In the morning the anti-nausea pill he had gotten from the vet did not make him want to eat as we had hoped, not even a tiny little bit. But he was up for a slow walk over to our nearby farmers market. I thought taking him to the dog park might perk him up, so I settled Isabella with her portion of kibble and took Sumo to our glorious dog park, the one we used to visit for years twice a day. He loves to follow his nose and explore off-lead. We got there though in the middle of an already hot day (even while it is technically still Winter, but Spring sprung 4 - 6 weeks early here, temperatures were up already in the seventies.) Sumo lagged behind, sought out shade and eventually half way on our regular route refused to budge. So sad. I carried him in my arms back to our van. I was almost in tears.


Yesterday, after leaving the vet in shock, I stopped to buy some chicken for Sumo and ran into Sunil, a fellow dog lover we had befriended at the dog park ten years ago, who recommended the use of cannabis oil. So that is where I headed next to inquire about that oil I had heard from various dog custodians but also fairly recently from one lady suffering from cancer of the lung. The dispensary on Early Street could not be kinder and more compassionate. By mid-afternoon today Sumo had his first dropper of CBD oil followed eagerly by chicken I had boiled and blended. This latest blend he accepted in small dosages offered frequently. Marty’s Meals, a specialized dog food outlet, gifted us with frozen tripe squares and lo-and-behold, Sumo showed some excitement and did not have to be coaxed to ingest this, the whole of it. By evening Sumo did not hesitate to join and lead, yes, lead us on our walk!

My first concern is how to make Sumo comfortable and we seem to have succeeded in that to a degree to my great relief. If he makes it through then I will have to consider what further check-ups and treatments from those suggested by the vet I might want to and I might be able to pursue.

Postcard Protest

March 15. an avalanche of postcards that express our protests were mailed out.

I had to resort to some ancient cards I must have acquired back in the eighties that quote Rumi and Thich Nhat Hanh. It did not trouble me to cross out the word intimacy to overwrite activism. The Deplorable currently occupying (barely) the White House needs to know that there is no blocking the flow of our speech and our actions of #resistance. There can be no legitimacy until tax documents have been revealed, conflict of interests have been eliminated and Russian interference of the whole of our election process has undergone an independent investigation. The Con claims we don't care, but he is wrong and we are making a show of it.






My other card I mailed to the Deplorable posing as Speaker of the House. The guy that can not wait to throw seniors under the bus, rip away their health care and social benefits in favor of profit for the insurance industry. He claims competition will bring prices down, but what it will only do is make those corporate CEOs richer. We want #SinglePayer health care, not a sell-out. We want patient-centered care, not profit for corporate CEOs. Those two are not compatible. This idea that those vulnerable to needing health care would have to pay outrageous prices for insurance is just on-real. When will the US become a civilized society and attain affordable insurance for all? Meanwhile, we keep up our protest, we resist.


Every day is a good day to mail a postcard that offers a piece of our mind to a Deplorable.

We Are All Walking Contradictions


This yard sign above appeared last week in front of one of my neighbor’s home. It caught my eyes as a version of what I posted below had been making the rounds on facebook. The idea of love is one I frequently trip over and in regard to our neighbors especially so. I would vote for the possibility of respect along with free, open and honest communication while toning down the despicable to maybe dislike in regard to our neighborly relations. As far as the rest goes, I am all for possibilities and embracing seeming contradictions. Personally, I hold most of those listed below and then some:

For all of you who aren't sure, it is possible to love thy neighbor and despise his actions. It is possible to be gay and Christian.

It is also possible to believe in God and science.

It is possible to be pro-choice and anti-abortion.

It is equally possible to be a feminist and love and respect men.

It is possible to be privileged and be discriminated against,                         

to be poor and have a rich life, to not have a job and still have money.

It is possible to believe in sensible gun control legislation and                       

still believe in one's right to defend one's self, family, and property.

It is possible to be anti-war and pro-military.

It is possible to advocate Black Lives Matter and still be pro police.

It is possible to not have an education and be brilliant.

It is possible to be Muslim, especially, and suffer from terrorism.

It is possible to be different and the same.

We are all walking contradictions of what "normal" looks like.

Let humanity and love win.

Surprise Bits Of Color





Surprising bits of colors can be found in my 'hood, the Santa Fe Railyard,
here atop the #93 train, seemingly permanently stationed and progressing in rapid decay since it stopped running.

The Audacity


Sumo had the audacity to regurgitate undigested kibble IN, not on MY bed! On my freshly laundered white cotton sheets, at exactly 2 am this morning, without giving me the slightest of warning.

Loverboy Valentino, aka Pretty Kitty always announces in the weirdest of high pitched, complaining sounds the imminent inevitability of those waves of convulsions that will lead to his regurgitating the contents of his stomach. Such often self-induced by eating my decorative grasses, no doubt a form of self-help. Those dramatic announcements of his have given me the chance to quickly pick him up and carry him to the bathroom to do his thing where cleaning up is a cinch, to the point where this pretty smart kitty would head to the bathroom out of his own accord.

Kitty had a problem with throwing up for a number of years. Only much later was I able to connect the dots to vagrants hanging out in a basement of a vacant property next door. The new owner discovered an unwelcome surprise of a huge amount of disgusting litter that filled his basement. It attracted all the neigborhood cats, no doubt, including mine. I have to confess that even though my bedroom window looks right down on that area, I had never noticed any activity in that home during all those years it was on the market for sale. Yep, this was historically the home of the train master. When it was put on the market it sold the first day for more than the asking price of $350,000, but the new owners run into foundation problems and doubled the price when they put it back up for sale so it sat there empty for I believe 7 years.

Back to Sumo, how is it that this dog can do his business, meaning throwing up or peeing right next to me without my noticing? I must say in our now almost decade of living together he has done so only 4 times. I also like to say that there was a time my pets were not allowed on my bed, much less in my bed. But Sumo in particular it seems to me has maybe a genetic disposition for wanting to curl up under the covers next to his person. While kitty would like nothing better than to curl up with Sumo, nope, I am the focus of this rascal. Same with Isabella, she used to press herself into a small corner of her bed to invite him over and share, but Sumo refused adamantly in the first few years. He would choose the sofa if I would have let him to spend the night alone if not invited to my side. And behold, this tiny guy takes up space preferably right across the middle of my bed. 

So while Isabella used to have the good sense of getting up and wanting to go out to do her business until she got older and of late seems no longer motivated to make such exertions. Thankfully her stomach seems to have settled in a good and healthy routine, now that she no longer is given a chance to ingest raw bones that lacerate her innards and have me in a panic when I would discover her bloody stool. 

I was pissed this morning at 2 am when I had to get up and rinse the sheets out and place them in the washer, to then dig for new sheets to make my bed again from scratch. Anger denotes commonly a lack of understanding and truly I don’t get why a dog would soil his (our) bed? Sumo is fine, he is not sick, but was happy to eat his meal, sardines with pumpkin puree to sooth his intestines, around noon. Yep, having pets can be messy. I get upset more often than I should. My stresses and anxieties do not foster the calm and kindness at all times that I would wish for in my relationships with my furry companions. Always I feel a level of guilt that I could or should be doing better. What I do know though is that I do attempt to relate to each one for real, and not make them into an extension of myself, into babies or kids I never had, or toys to be paraded about. We relate and we do have an understanding of sorts.