As Above, So Below

Photo by Visit Greenland on Pexels.com

As we transition into another Mercury Retrograde (whatever that means) and another super moon, this Sunday finds me in a sort of melancholy mood. The Full Flower Moon coincides with a total lunar eclipse in some areas, so a lot is happening above us.

As above, so below.

These words from Rainer Maria Rilke resonate deep within my heart.

“So you mustn’t be frightened, if a sadness rises in front of you, larger than any you have ever seen; if an anxiety, like light and cloud-shadows, moves over your hands and over everything you do.

You must realize that something is happening to you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall.

Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going?

Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change.

If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.”

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

“Mama, Mama, I can’t breathe…”

“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! Oh my God! Mama! Mama! Mama!! Mama!!”

I’ve started and stopped several posts in the last few days; lighthearted words and pics about my garden, about the Angels, about a hawk feather I found and uncharacteristically and unselfishly gifted to a friend (I hoard stuff like that and RARELY am able to let them go) but I’ve been following the George Floyd trial, and it seems almost callous and lacking of any human empathy NOT to talk about what happened last May.

I am not a POC. I have never been arrested. I’ve had a couple of mild encounters with the police during my life– most of them were because I needed their help and protection, not because I had committed a crime of any sort.

I feel it’s my obligation as a human to place myself in the shoes of those who have been harrassed, targeted, even murdered because the color of their skin contributed to the way they were treated by law enforcement. In my opinion, it’s something we all need to do. I have so much respect for the heroic bystanders who stayed to document and memorialize what they saw, who tried to help, who called the police to report what they saw.

There are those people who say it’s too ugly or too painful to watch the video of George Floyd crying out while being slowly and deliberately (ALLEGEDLY) murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes–while his coworkers watched and did nothing to intervene and prevent his death. They watched him DIE. We watched him die. I don’t even care what he did…so he ALLEGEDLY paid for a purchase with counterfeit money? I don’t care whether or not he was under the influence of drugs. That’s not the point, that’s diverting attention away from the real crime.

To those people, I will look straight in your eyes and tell you it’s our duty to watch.

Don’t turn away. Don’t turn away in denial of truth.

It’s the same way a certain segment of society turns away when there’s factual evidence of animal torture and abuse, child abuse, or those who still refuse to acknowledge the evidence of German concentration camps.

Say his name. Watch the video. Be upset. Be traumatized but don’t be silent. DO SOMETHING. Take your own videos. Don’t ignore it. We have an obligation to make things right. For George Floyd. For Breonna Taylor. FOR ALL OF THEM.

Watch The Blinding of Isaac Woodard on PBS.

I DARE you to keep your eyes and ears open and NOT do something to protect our fellow humans.

What if it were your son or daughter? Hmmm? How would you feel?

I wonder what the answer is. Peeling back the layers of racism, I wonder where all the hatred came from and why it’s persisted and become so pervasive. When will it all end? How many more people will die like George Floyd?

Friend/ship

This is funny.

A certain website I needed to access for an important document had been giving me a consistent error message to close out my browser every single time I input my password. No matter what I did, I encountered the same message.

I couldn’t figure out what the problem could possibly be, so I called the company tech support number. I wasn’t angry or frustrated; it seemed like this could be easily solved if I took a deep breath and asked for help.

An hour later, I have a new friend.

She instructed me to close out my ENTIRE browser, not simply the tab that was open to her website.

I said, “Oh my goodness, not that! All those tabs? That’s going to ruin my life!”

She started laughing and told me I made her day, and then I started laughing, and that in turn opened up a conversation about life, the weather (she’s on the east coast), and our kids and grandkids. We shared that each of our moms had lived with us and we both took care of them while they were sick up until they died, and what a blessing it was to have been able to give back some love and kindness.

She asked me why I was laughing about the tech issue instead of getting angry and yelling at her (which is the emotional state she usually encounters) and I explained to her that in the grand scheme of life, this seemed to be a minor blip on the screen of my universe.

She told me she had been depressed and I cheered her up and that in turn made me happy.

Oh, and she solved my access problem so I was able to get into the account and acquire the info I needed.

If I hadn’t had a problem, if I hadn’t made the call, I wouldn’t have connected with a beautiful soul three thousand miles away, and I wouldn’t have been able to shine a light and a laugh into her darkness. In my opinion, this was a win-win scenario.

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels.com

An outstretched hand.

Friend/ship.

Covid-19 Vaccine: Second Dose

No rainbows or IVs this time!

Here’s a timeline of my experience subsequent to the second vaccine:

Due to my visit to urgent care after the first vaccine because I had an allergic reaction, my doctor told me to drink at least 64 oz water for a few days prior to my appointment. I know that’s a great idea anyway, but I never really drank that much water, so I definitely know it’s important.

My appointment was scheduled for Saturday, February 13 at 8:15 a.m.

Again, the facility did such a great job that we were checked in and promptly seen. Because of my allergic reaction following the first vaccine, I was whisked away to an enhanced observation area. I must have made quite an impression (lol) because the same nurse was there and she remembered me.

This time, perhaps due to being well-hydrated, I didn’t experience an allergic reaction and went home. My arm was a little sore but no other major symptoms–until about six hours later.

I became super fatigued, had a pounding headache, muscle/joint aches, and abdominal pain. Still no fever.

I continued to hydrate the rest of the day.

Around 6:00 p.m. I took my temperature and had a fever of 99.8. I had prepared for side effects by stocking up on soups and made a batch of my ubiquitious lentil veggie soup

I fell asleep on the sofa watching Vera on PBS. When I woke up, I was alternately hot and shaking with chills. This time when I took my temperature, it was 101.5. I took Tylenol and went to bed.

I woke up at 1:00 a.m., took my temperature again and it was 100.8, so I went back to sleep but didn’t take more Tylenol.

The next morning I still felt pretty badly and managed to make a cup of tea, wrap myself in a blanket and lie on the sofa. I was extremely tired and unable to do anything but vegetate, and that really annoyed me. The headache was as dreadful as the day before. All morning, my temp was steady at 99.8.

At around 4:00 p.m. I started to feel marginally better; the aches were dissipating, and my temp was 99.

I watched a bit of American Idol but couldn’t take more than five minutes of it before I turned to PBS. After “All Things Great and Small” was over at` 10:00 p.m, I took my temperature again. This time it was 97.6 which is my normal. .Other than a still slightly sore shoulder, it’s as if all the symptoms disappeared at the exact same time. I could feel an immediate absence of all aches and pains

It’s very strange to feel unwell and poorly but not actually BE sick. I didn’t have the flu. I didn’t have Covid. I didn’t have any other virus or infection. I kinda sorta feel as if I’m a human guinea pig involved in a gigantic science experiment.

Anyway, it’s over, I’ve had both doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. It’s supposed to offer 95% protection against the virus. I sure hope it does but to be safe, I’ll still follow protocol and wear a mask out in public.

Read about my first Covid vaccine experience by clicking on this link.

Fire in Carlsbad!

UPDATE: Forty-nine-year-old transient, Dawn Ann Crawford, was arrested for causing this and other fires in Carlsbad.
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What a day!

On this auspicious January 20, 2021 when we welcomed President BIden and Vice President Harris along with their beautiful families, the weather here was warm and super windy.

I saw a notice on PulsePoint that there was a vegetation fire down the street from me. Hmmm, I thought to myself, should I go see what it’s all about?

And then I saw another alert for another fire just a couple blocks from the first one and then all hell broke loose around here with the sound of sirens and fire engines and police cars speeding down my street.

I didn’t even change my clothes. I was wearing old animal print leggings and a “Someone at Yale loves you” t-shirt. My hair was in a messy bun and I was wearing my glasses, but I couldn’t resist being nosy, so I got my good camera and jumped in the car.

Streets were already blocked off and homeowners were being evacuated so I had to turn around and find my secret pathways (not gonna tell). I was able to get super close and take incredible video and photos.

A couple structures were slightly damaged but I had to leave after the planes dropped fire retardant because it was hard to breathe.

I don’t have official confirmation but off the record, I heard it was arson.

All the firefighters and the police did an absolutely amazing job. Many thanks to Cal Fire, Vista Fire Department, San Marcos Fire Department, San Diego Fire Department, and Encinitas Fire Department.

If not for their heroic efforts, this entire neighborhood would have burned up.

Here’s my raw video and a bunch of photos:

And a few videos:

Out of Darkness

The last five years have been a collective dark night of the soul for this country as well as for many people who have endured their own somber and murky life experiences.

We were collectively ravaged by a malignant sociopathic narcissist. By all rights, in 2016 Hillary Clinton should have been our president; there’s no argument that she won three million more votes, but because of our weird system of the Electoral College process, for whatever reason it didn’t turn out that way.

Ultimately she conceded, not by inciting riots and insurrection, but in a super classy way. However, she knew. She KNEW. And so did I.

Today we’re witnessing the tortuous climb out of the depths of hell, reaching toward light out of darkness.

Do you think I’m being melodramatic?

I don’t. We’ve all witnessed an absolute decline in humanity, of empathy, of compassion, of civility, and now, the universe is setting things right.

The kaleidoscope shifted just a bit, but enough.

Part of President Biden’s inaugural speech:
“Our better angels have always prevailed”

As above, so below.

Did you know that a good friend of mine recently died from Covid-19? He was only fifty-two years old and in good health. It was a mere three weeks from the first day he felt sick to the day he died in hospital in a medically induced coma on a ventilator and dialysis. I went to RiteAid for a sympathy card and noticed that all those racks were empty. There were a lot of birthday and anniversary cards, but slot after slot of folded pieces of paper designed to express our care and concern were empty. EMPTY. I went to another store and another and found the same scenario. That’s when it really hit me. There are so many deaths, now 400,000 — that we can’t keep up with the demand for condolence cards.

Witnessing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take the oaths of office as President and Vice President will once again allow us to feel proud of being Americans. We’ll have rational humans in charge again. Thank goodness.

I regret not being able to see and hear Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Namaste and I’ll end this with the great and beautiful Lady Gaga singing The National Anthem

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Here’s what I’m reflecting on today:

Since astrologers say that we’re in another Age of Aquarius, I hope 2021 marks a new desire to stop killing people because of the color of their skin.

This injustice needs to STOP once and for all.

The last few years have revealed a very dark and ugly side to the United States of America that I honestly thought no longer existed.

But parts of this country are as racist and filled with hate as they were one hundred years ago, and that’s incredibly disturbing. And disgusting. And ignorant.

Personally, I’m weary of the constant spewing of delusions and distortions intended to incite a base of brain-dead cult followers.

In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr….

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.The time is always right to do what is right.

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

I know where I stand. Where do YOU stand?

Well, this was an adventure…

I think by now I can safely assume that y’all figured out that I’m a tiny person with very curly hair who lives in a Southern California beach town.

You know that I love seashells and rocks and being outdoors. I have an amazing son and brilliant DIL who combined their DNA to create two of the most adorable humans to ever exist.

Moreover, I’m a passionate animal protector and defender.

My dad was an attorney and my mom was a SAHM — an RN who went back to nursing when I was in junior high. With certainty, I admit to living a less than edgy life. More like ballet or the symphony and learning to bake my mom’s best ever apple pie than drunken brawls and broken windows on Saturday nights. My memories are of a slightly quieter and more genteel childhood. You get the picture, right?

Maybe that’s the reason why, every so often, I crave a bit of excitement or an adventure or maybe the truth is that I’m too naive (or stupid) to know what it really means when I put myself in potentially dangerous situations.

So this happened.

Would you be at all surprised if I told you that I watched a burglary in progress and then I offered to chase after the guy with the store manager (yes I really did and FYI he declined my offer.)

Definition: Burglary (entering a building with the intent to commit a crime inside) and larceny (theft) are two different crimes, although burglaries are often committed for the purpose of theft. Shoplifting is typically defined as the unauthorized removal of merchandise from a store without paying for it. In certain cases, the intent to steal, along with an act in furtherance of that intent, can also result in criminal charges for shoplifting (or retail fraud). 

Here’s the whole story:

Monday is my pandemic grocery shopping day; I try to do it all early while there are fewer people out and about to reduce the amount of viral aerosol drops. Traders and Sprouts are my go-to stores for my vegan food; stuff like tofu and hummus and veggies and lentils and beans, along with pea protein powder, coffee and tea. Not very exciting food, I guess, but I stock up for a couple of weeks, because you never know when stores will close again, either for the pandemic or because we’re in an insane civil war.

After that, I went to ATT because I was having a potential issue with the charging port on my phone which decided NOT to exhibit the malfunction while I was there so it was a wasted trip.

After that waste of time, I drove to one of my favorite retail stores because I need a new black zippered hoodie. I love to bleach pretty much everything, but made the mistake of wearing my black hoodie to bleach the kitchen tile and I ruined it.

Since the recent alarming surge in Coronavirus cases, retail stores again limit the number of people that can shop at the same time, so there was a very short socially distanced line. We were all masked. The masked employee was counting people in and out. From my vantage point, I could see a man walking very fast on the sidewalk toward us. For some reason, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. He was dressed all in black with a black hoodie pulled down low over his forehead, black sunglasses, and a black backpack. He had a black mask that wasn’t on correctly. He flew past the employee at the front door. Uh oh, I thought. What a jerk.

“Sir, there’s a line. Sir, Sir, Sir, there’s a line.” He completely ignored her. We looked at each other and said, “What the hell was THAT?”

Hmmm. That’s when I got the gut feeling that I normally ignore and this time was no different. I had a totally random thought that he gave off REALLY dangerous vibes and I bet he had a gun in his backpack. I thought to myself that SOMETHING might happen and it would probably be a really good and prudent idea to simply avoid it all by walking back to my car. I mean, I could fulfill my desire for a new hoodie on another day; it’s not important. Not at all.

But I didn’t do that.

It was my turn to go in the store and I thought I’d be like Nancy Drew, Junior Detective, and keep my eyes and ears open and be aware of my surroundings. I searched for the guy and saw him walking up and down the aisles really fast, pullings items off the racks and piling them in his arms. He never looked up. When he walked toward the handbags, I went up to an employee who was stocking the area and said,

“Do you see that guy over there? (I pointed.) He’s going to run out of here with a lot of things.”

She said, “Yes, I’m watching him, he’s taking the expensive purses with the security tags.”

At that exact moment, he flew by us and bolted out the door, just like I predicted. The stolen handbags with the security tags set off the store alarms. The employee who was outside tried to stop him, but he kept running.

The manager came to where I was standing with the employee and I said to him, “Let’s go after him, I’m a witness. COME ON! We can catch him.”

“Thank you, but I can’t do that. He could have a weapon.”

The manager told me the video cameras at the front captured a picture of him as soon as the alarm was tripped.

I then told him I would wait there while he called the police.

Now here’s the crazy thing. He said he wasn’t going to call the police because that wasn’t “corporate policy”.

Have you ever experienced anything like that?

I was shocked by what he said, and when I went out to my car, I called the nonemergency police number who told me they couldn’t do anything unless the store called and it’s apparently their choice whether to do that or not. She agreed with me that it was not a great decision but law enforcement’s hands are tied. Unless the store calls, they can’t do their job.

I told dispatch I wanted to run after him but the store manager didn’t and she started laughing at the thought but warned me to NEVER do that. Even thought my intentions were noble, there’s always the chance that I’d be harmed. I’m no hero, but sheesh! Right is right, right?

I still can’t believe this thief got away with armfuls of stolen items with zero consequences.

WTF.

It was a sort of adventure, slightly thrilling with a touch of danger, but nothing really happened except that I watched a guy run into a store, brazenly steal a bunch of stuff, and get away. It was like a movie and I was an extra or a bit player. Like most of my acting career, my scene will probably be cut from the final edit.

What would you do?

Insurrection/Treason/Sedition

Everyone is asking, “What can we do?”

In my opinion, impeaching again and successfully this time would be a start, that’s for sure, along with #25th Amendment.

I’ve been saying this for four years. tRump never should have been elected, no matter how it happened. He brought out from the sewer every single horrible thing about this country.

Soon, but not soon enough, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be President and Vice President.

Image may contain: 2 people, text that says 'THE MOTHER CKER! IMPEACH'
Best President and First Lady-Barack and Michelle Obama.

From Sea to Shining Sea

January 6, 2021

Today is a day that will live in infamy.

I thought I was going to watch Judge Judy; instead there’s coverage of a coup in DC, our seat of democracy–on the day we were to join both Houses and formally count the results of our election, another step in the process to January 20 where we inaugurate Joe Biden as President.

On the steps of the Capitol, on the Senate floor; shots fired, vandalism, violence. Nothing less than domestic terrorism.

Unbelievable.

It seems as if Capitol Police were apparently complicit in allowing these activities, taking selfies with the criminals, allowing them access to the Capitol.

This piece of shit president and his attempted coup will go down in history as the darkest hour in America’s 250 years of democracy. He called for a rally of his idiotic followers on this day, he stoked the fires of hatred and violence, he told the crowd to use force to change election results.

Today’s attempted coup began with Trump saying to the crowd: “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” and then telling them to head to the Capitol to give Republican lawmakers the message.

Like President Biden said, “This is sedition. This is insurrection. Enough is enough is enough.”

Senator Duckworth said they are planning to resume the symbolic vote count as soon as Capitol is secured. Democracy will not be bullied!

Trump needs to be immediately removed from office and arrested for sedition and insurrection.

This is the day after Georgia saved our country by electing Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Thank goodness for Stacey Abrams. She is truly a national treasure.

Are you watching?