Help Protect Orcas

https://www.southwhidbeyrecord.com/life/hope-dwindles-as-resident-orcas-disappear/
Time for a post and a plea about animals.
Defenders of Wildlife needs our help to protect southern resident orcas!
Stop a proposal that could allow serious harm to over two thirds of the entire southern resident population of endangered orcas.

A proposed rule from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) would allow Naval sonar activities in the Northwest Training and Testing area to seriously harass up to 51 of these orcas (68% of the entire population!), putting the recovery and even survival of this population in jeopardySouthern resident orcas are still struggling to survive and recover – we can’t let this population go extinct on our watch!

Take a stand: Tell the NMFS to reduce the danger sonar activities pose to the survival of southern resident orcas!

Orcas are the largest member of the dolphin family, and just like their smaller cousins, orcas depend on echolocation to find prey and to communicate with other pod members. With so few salmon left, it’s essential that we reduce underwater noise as much as possible to make it easier for orcas to find the food they need to survive.The ear-splitting shrieks of the sonar can make life nearly impossible for these majestic and vulnerable animals. 

These sonar activities can disrupt critical natural behaviors like feeding, nursing, surfacing, migration and more. These orcas already face dire threats from pollution, collapsing food supplies and climate change. They’re fighting for their lives – but if the NMFS approves this sonar disruption, it could be the threat that pushes them over the brink.

Tell NMFS not to approve the incidental take rule on southern resident orcas in the Northwest Training and Testing Study Area!

Time is running out to save these magnificent whales. Given this population’s already critically endangered status, we need to do all we can to help these orcas – including protecting them from disruptive sonar activity!

That’s a lot of exclamation points, but I love Defenders of Wildlife and hope you’ll help them save the southern resident orcas!!

P.S. For some crazy reason, WordPress is inserting unwanted horizontal lines in my post and I can’t delete them. I give up trying. WP, you baffle me.

[pah-tay-toe] Confessions

“GRANDMA ATE ALL OF THE POTATOES!”

I don’t care how you pronounce it, but I need to share my secret love for potatoes and there’s a recipe at the end.

Specifically, the much maligned WHITE potato: simple, sturdy, earthy.

On the last day of my most recent visit to the Angels, sadly, a very long time ago, DIL thoughtfully made a special going home dinner for me, all from scratch by the way, which made it even more wonderful.

There was vegan lasagna with a side of roasted potatoes and apple crumble. The lasagna was made with chard and kale from the garden and was SO VERY YUMMY and healthy.

Apparently (and rightly so) she thought I didn’t eat white potatoes because for the longest time, I would scowl at anything white: white rice, white flour, white sugar, white potatoes–as the source of empty calories, zero nutrition, and a great friend of diabetes. Not too healthy.

From the oven there emanated a most delicious perfume. I asked DIL what I was smelling and she said, “It’s roasted potatoes but you don’t have to eat them. I know you don’t like white potatoes.”

Not so fast, DIL.

I want to not like them, but I’m addicted to French fries (has anyone ever seen me hoard them? It’s not a pretty sight.) I actually dearly love white potatoes, but I try NOT to eat them and have some semblance of self control, like I say I don’t eat chocolate, only because I have no off switch. Once I start eating chocolate, I can’t stop. I don’t ever have any around because of my lack of restraint, which is also the reason why I buy Halloween candy like Skittles and other stuff I don’t like so I won’t be tempted.

OK, enough of the sidebar; back to the story of the roast potatoes.

Dinner was ready and we were setting the table. I was actually STARVING and had most likely once again forgotten to eat for the entire day.

DIL handed me a bowl of roasted potatoes and before they even reached the dining room table, I had eaten EVERY SINGLE ONE.

I brought the empty bowl into the kitchen and asked DIL where I could get seconds. She took one look at me and the empty bowl and started laughing.

“That was a sharing bowl! Did you eat all of them?”

“Well, yes, oops, sorry! I didn’t know they were for sharing!”

“T, Grandma ate ALL the potatoes!”

“YOU DID? HEY DAD, GRANDMA ATE ALL THE POTATOES IN THE SHARING BOWL! SHE REALLY DID!”

I hadn’t tasted anything so delicious in FOREVER; OMG they were so good, I’ve been thinking about them ever since I came home.

And by the way, I had never heard of the term “sharing bowl” before that day. It must be a British thing, as DIL is from the UK.

I finally broke down and bought two WHITE IDAHO potatoes and since it’s a bit rainy today and not devil hot, I’ll attempt a recreation of DILs heavenly dish. I’m even going to add salt and that’s also something I rarely do.

They tasted pretty yummy, but to be honest, not quite as good as DILs, but maybe that’s because it’s such a treat for me to have someone else cook, ‘cos I usually have that job.

I’m not sharing these, either!

Ma…the space between things

I’m inspired by the spartan aesthetic of Zen Buddhism.

Is less really more?

Ma (pronounced “maah”) is a celebration of not things, but the space between them. It’s negative space, voids, emptiness. The place you get to (if you’re lucky) in meditation. Like the space where that tree used to be.

I’m not exactly sure why this tiny little ceramic vase IS. Like why it even exists.

I mean, who designed it, procured a company to manufacture it, and filled a cargo ship full of them bound for the USofA?

I have no idea, but I fell in love and brought it home for $1.50. How could anyone NOT love shopping at Daiso?

Only four inches tall, it holds about a tablespoon of water and I continued to replace flower after flower until I got the brilliant idea of searching around the garden for beautifully shaped little twigs.

These are the last remnants of the ficus tree that is no longer there, and I decided it would be a simple way to honor that once living entity by saving a little part of it.

At first I was going to embellish them with faux gems, pearls, and seashells–like I usually do–but the more I looked at it, the more I loved the bare simplicity. I didn’t want to detract from the design of the vase.

I should write a haiku about the tree and these twigs. Being a minimalist with words is just as difficult for me as NOT gluing shiny things to those tiny little branches.

Goodbye, Tree

A while back I wrote about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and I’m guessing I could also call this post “A Tree Dies in SoCal”

Usually the loss of a tree I’ve lived with and loved for years feels like how I imagine a phantom limb might feel- a certain emptiness, a vacant unfillable void–like mourning the loss of a loved one, but this was different.

It actually feels lighter; freer–all in all a good decision that I had procrastinated about for years because I hate to destroy any living creature or growing thing.

The first cut is the deepest–I know those are song lyrics, but there’s a point you can’t go back, when the decision to cut down a tree is beyond the point of changing your mind. Too late to say WAIT, let me rethink things! You can always plant a new tree, right? Replace the old tree with a new one, right?

This was a ficus. I know ficus trees have invasive roots, I know they are much better as potted plants, but I seriously had thought this one was situated far enough away from the house so that it wouldn’t become a problem.

Then I looked under the deck and saw roots, which meant that it would only be a matter of time before there could be real damage to either the foundation or the plumbing.

It’s gone now, and I really don’t miss it at all. I’m thinking about what to plant as the empty space looks a little barren.

Maybe a fruit tree or two? Something that’s a bit more giving than the ficus which was definitely NOT an example of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree–more like the TAKING tree, sucking all the life out of the plants around it and leaving a mess to clean up.

I feel as if I most deserving of some reciprocal quid pro quo in return for all my love and nurturing and caretaking.

…to an infinite degree

Did you think I was referring to love? I could have been, but nope, not this time.

While this isn’t my photo, it’s worth sharing. In a cool social media twistyturny kind of way, I was chatting with a fractal artist on Twitter and shared my previous fractal post with him, Fractals Freak Me Out.

Here’s a link to Dan’s site and a post about fractals:
https://www.redideostudio.com/what-in-the-heck-is-a-fractal-why-should-i-care/

His book of fractal art is soon to be published and he kindly shared a photo with me, so here it is for a very wordy #WordlessWednesday. I am sooo jelly of creative people.

I wish you every success in your awesome endeavors!

Daniel Travers
Multimedia Producer & Artist
www.redideostudio.com

Vote!

Because somebody set fire to several ballot drop off boxes in California and because there are rumors of fake and tampered ballot boxes, I decided that it was worth the one-hour roundtrip drive to the Registrar of Voters office to have the peace of mind that my vote would be counted in this most important election year.

They had created a drive-through drop off at the Registrar’s location. It was so easy and there was no line, just a steady stream of cars. The nice lady confirmed that my signature was correct and that I had dated it, said thank you to me, and sent me on my way with the “I Voted” sticker.

Now I can check online to make sure that the barcode was read, and I’ve done our most important civic duty.

I believe this is the most important election of our lifetime. I’m beyond shocked at the racism and misogyny and targeted hatred that’s been uncovered these last four years.

In my opinion, it will take a lifetime to scour their systemic toxicity and re-educate certain sectors of our country about things I thought we all learned decades ago.

Here’s just a couple of the major things that piss me off.

  • Black lives matter. We can’t continue to allow this systematic murder of people simply based upon the color of their skin. It’s INSANE.
  • NEVER EVER strip babies and children from their parents and put them in cages because they were looking to escape violence. This is beyond disgusting. Those poor children.
  • Women have the RIGHT to choose what happens to our bodies. No one else. NO ONE.
  • Trust Dr. Fauci.
  • Stop killing animals to profit from their habitats.
  • Climate change is real.

There are many more issues, but for me, these are intrinsically the basis of what I fight for. Also, NEVER EVER again allow a failed reality TV show narcissist to run for office and cheat the system. EVER.

We all know Hillary won the popular vote. That’s why an overwhelming turnout this year is the antidote we need.

VOTE!

#BidenHarris2020

Walk with me again

Join me on yet another Odysseus-like journey through my town. I’m not sure what I’m searching for, but maybe like Odysseus, I’m trying to find my way home, facing challenges along the way.

This was an interesting morning.

When I began my pilgrimage, there was so much fog! It was coming down from the heavens like rain. Super cool for walking, not so good for curly hair, but I like to look on the bright side so I braided my curls and wore a hat.

Check out the Halloweeny spider webs on this pine tree, brought to life by the heavy fog.

For a while, I was a few houses behind a woman who was walking her Rottweiler. I was actually across the street, but couldn’t help but notice that she was roughly pulling on the poor creature’s leash/collar. The collar was one of those mean ones that have little barbs in them. I was already upset that the dog had a cropped tail. I believe that sort of mutilation is outlawed in other–more humane–countries, as is that nasty hurtful collar.

OK, I said to myself. Don’t say it, I said to myself. You know what to do, girl, I said to myself, keep walking and don’t speak. Don’t say a word this time, I said to myself. Just DON’T, I said to myself. Look away, I said to myself. Take a deep breath, I said to myself. You can’t protect every animal in the world, I said to myself. This might not go well, I said to myself. Take another deep breath, I said to myself. Mind your own business, I said to myself. Slow down your pace so you’re out of hearing distance, I said to myself. I mean it, have some impulse control; this time just don’t say it, I said to myself.

And then the woman and her dog slowed down, so they were within the range of my voice.

What do you think I did?

Yup. I really did. I couldn’t help myself. I TRIED really hard to get my Zen on, but my one little inner voice was joined by yet another little inner voice and the words spilled out…

“Umm, excuse me, but I couldn’t help but notice how you’re jerking your poor animal’s neck that way with that awful chain around its neck. It looks really painful from my point of view.”

“She needs to learn to listen. It’s just a little pinch.”

I said…”Well, you might want to learn another more positive method of training that poor girl because as I’ve observed during the last two blocks, your way isn’t working out very well.”

I concluded by saying, “I’ve trained a lot of animals, and actually think those types of chains with the hooks on them are banned in other countries. It’s abusive. You might want to research using a harness which doesn’t choke your beautiful dog.”

Well, she didn’t say anything else to me because at that point she walked up a side street, in all likelihood to get as far away from me as she could.

To her credit, we didn’t get into a screaming match. Walking away was her best choice, as she would have lost.

I took a deep breath and felt good that I had spoken truth and possibly opened her brain to a nicer way of training. Or not. Maybe I just ruined her day. Either way, job well done, in my opinion.

I looked down and was rewarded by a treasure! This is the most beautiful hawk feather. I carefully picked it up and placed it in my backpack. I think this might be a tail feather, don’t you?

At the beach, there was the usual non-compliant non-mask wearers, but I wore mine, took my ocean photos, and turned back to walk home.

No wave too small if you’re on a SUP.
Still foggy, but beautiful.

The lights were out at the intersection of Carlsbad Blvd. and Tamarack. There was utter chaos with cars and pedestrians, near misses, and impatient drivers. I crossed the street, defying a white SUV who was inching slowly toward running us all down, and saw a few police cars show up to direct the shitshow, so I thanked them for saving our lives and continued on my way.

This was a new sign at the railroad tracks. I swear there’s a deeper, more profound meaning here, but I can’t figure it out. I don’t have a clue. What do you think?

I stopped at RiteAid and bought a couple of cute Halloween decorations to add to my display ‘cos they were on sale.

Six miles or so again. Except for a still sore left arm where I had the injections, I think I’ve fully recovered from the horrible side effects of these vaccinations. I’m no closer to answering life’s existential questions, but the song that came on as I was almost home was Sting’s If I Ever Lose My Faith in You, and I’m even more confused.

Happy Sunday!

Should You Leave WordPress.com For Blogger (Blogspot.com)?

As I’m sure a lot of us have been doing lately, I’ve been contemplating Blogger or some other blogging platform because in all seriousness, the Block Editor SUCKS. I’ve tried to surmount my initial criticism of it and learn how it operates (an old dog learning new tricks) but it’s still REALLY not user friendly. Anyway, here’s a very interesting and intelligent post regarding the pros and cons of Blogger.


Renard's World

Some of you probably know of bloggers who left their blog on WordPress to set up a new blog on Blogger.

And, some of you are also aware of the fact, that some of the bloggers on WordPress are thinking about going over to Blogger.

A lot of the older folks (and some of the younger people too) disliked WordPress’s decision to replace the Classic Editor with the Block Editor (That caused them to consider the option of blogging over on Blogger).

For the record, I am not going to discourage anyone from creating a blog over on Blogger because they are within their rights to do so.

However, they should do some research on Blogger (Especially if they have never been on that blogging platform before).

One of the greatest mistakes that any blogger can make is jumping blindly into something that they know nothing of; which in this…

View original post 1,423 more words

Fractals freak me out.

 

 

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

America, Memes, and News: Indigenous Peoples Day
 Today we celebrate the people who first
 called this land home. We remember the
 struggles and tragedies they endured.
 We honor their place in and contributions
 to the shared story of America.
Alternative News Network

I don’t acknowledge Columbus Day because it’s more of the same; entitled men making unilateral decisions without regard for anything but their own selfishness.

How fitting they’re trying to push a Supreme Court appointment that will once again unilaterally strip me of my right to my own body.

Even my AB 2.0 knows what this day really is all about, good for my son/DIL talking TRUTH.

happy indigenous peoples' day!  |  HAPPY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' DAY! A CELEBRATION OF SLAVERY, CANNIBALISM AND HUMAN SACRIFICE! | image tagged in columbus day | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
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