From Blissful Butterflies to Bans Off Our Bodies

I did a lot of “B” things today all before noon, which leaves me the rest of the day to enjoy in the garden.

First of all, I went to a butterfly festival. I mean, how could I NOT, right?

It was the North County Monarch Butterfly Festival in San Marcos, which isn’t too terribly far from me, but it’s inland and since we’re having a heatwave, I thought I’d go early. It was 95 degrees at 10:00 a.m. That’s HOT!

The North County Monarch Butterfly Festival featured butterfly-inspired art, crafts, clothing, gardening, live music, and food. I really wish the kids were here because it was the perfect fun and educational event for children.

Here’s what the event website had to say: The fate of the iconic Western monarch butterfly is tied inextricably to the health of the planet, and that means our fate as human beings is informed by the same forces that impact the monarchs. Simply put, if monarch butterflies thrive, so do we, along with all of the other inhabitants of the monarch universe; conversely, if the monarchs can’t thrive in this universe, then human beings can’t either.

This event – hopefully the first of many – will feature any and all aspects of the monarch universe, from monarch-inspired arts and crafts to jewelry, clothing, biology, pollinator gardening, milkweed and nectar plant propagation and cultivating, to discussions and presentations on a wide range of subjects, from conservation and migration to habitat restoration and creation, from diseases and predators to native plants vs tropical, from children’s activities to seed exchange.

I held a snake too, from the San Diego Herpetological Society, the same organization that helped me identify that Great Basin lizard that visited for a while last year. I’m not 100% sure what snakes and lizards have to do with butterflies, but me and all the other children loved it. The snake’s name is Matt. Isn’t he handsome?

All kinds of milkweed; I purchased the native variety. I also got a variety of milkweed called Hairy Balls, again, how could I NOT? Gomphocarpus physocarpus, commonly known as hairy balls, is a species of milkweed native to southeast Africa, but it has been widely naturalized. It is often used as an ornamental plant.

Yummy smelling soaps and lip balms. Lovely!

After that I drove back to the coast where it was noticeably cooler and stopped by the Bans Off Our Bodies rally gathering at our local train station. I was happy to see an awesome and exuberant crowd of like-minded folks while I took a few photos.

Bans Off Our Bodies

Blocks and blocks of people all the way to the beach! This is in front of Spin Records.

I like to take photos of the signs, all with their permission, by the way.

A little butterfly bliss and a show of support for reproductive rights sounds like a great day to me, don’t you agree? Time to plant that milkweed!

Johnny Depp: When Misandry + Intimate Partner Violence + Defamation Collide

From Jada Pinkett Smith’s puppetmastering of Will Smith which led to the Academy Awards slap heard ’round the world, to Johnny Depp’s failed relationship with Amber Heard, the term misandry is now in our lexicon.

If misogynist is the word we use to describe a woman-hater, the correct word for a man-hater is a misandrist. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, misandry is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against men or boys. Misandry can manifest itself in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of men, violence against men, and sexual objectification of men. The belief in a matriarchal structure like this is the true ideology for those who wish to completely switch the power structure. http://www.aiesecus.org

I knew of people and situations like this, but never before had specific terminology to clearly define these particular patterns of behaviors.

I’ve known of toxic women who have falsely accused their partners of rape and assault. I’ve witnessed the damage it wrought: emotional, psychological, and financial.

It does a total disservice to those real and true victims — any gender — of intimate partner abuse; it damages their credibility and believability.

For those of you who aren’t my regular readers, I’m nobody special. I’m nothing more and nothing less than a mom and a grandma. I have one son and two grandchildren.

I’m not a medical or mental health professional, but my opinion from my own observations, is that misandry, narcissism, and other Cluster B personality disorders go hand in hand.

I knew I wanted to opine on Johnny Depp, but I wasn’t sure when I would post it. I think now that his case-in-chief concluded, it’s the right time.

Have you been following this trial?

Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard has given us a glimpse of what it’s like to try and prove (or disprove) intimate partner violence in court.

He claims that her false abuse allegations defamed him and caused him financial damages, ruining his entire career; especially the loss of acting as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and other films.

In a recorded conversation presented as evidence, Amber was heard taunting him, “Tell the world, Johnny, tell them, Johnny Depp — I, Johnny Depp, a man, I’m a victim too of domestic violence” and challenging him to “see how many people believe or side with you.”

And that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Johnny Depp has sacrificed his money, his ego, and his privacy to show the world what domestic violence looks like behind closed doors. #mentoo

Tragically, what this trial shows us is that a man must go above and beyond to prove he’s been abused — simply because he is a man. Amber Heard only had to SAY the words and many believed her. Johnny Depp has had to expose every personal and painful detail of his life to just get the world to listen.

Asked by his attorney what he lost, he replied, “I lost nothing less than everything.” I will live with that for the rest of my life because of the allegations,”  “No matter the outcome of this trial, I’ve already lost. I lost when these allegations were made cause they will stay with me forever. My life is ruined forever”.

Because of his courage, millions of survivors no longer need to feel alone and unheard.

In my eyes, he’s a hero.

Dr.Shannon Curry provided a court ordered psychological evaluation of Amber Heard. She reviewed audio recordings, videos, photograph, and witness testimonies to result in a dual diagnosis of Borderline Personality disorder and Histrionic personality disorder.

Here’s a link to excellent clear and concise information about personality disorders: Abuse in the Media: The Johnny Depp Case

I am proud of Johnny Depp for standing in his own truth with authenticity and vulnerability in the face of raw testimony that included getting a part of his finger cut off, Amber defecating in his bed, cigarettes put out on his face, being punched, and cans thrown at him.

From @Sophie_Choudry So happy #JohnnyDepp is speaking up! Someone very dear to me has suffered years being married to an abusive narcissist. His biggest fear was that being a man, people wouldn’t believe him. Praying this case changes that & people recognise Men get abused too!

No matter what the jury decides, I believe that Amber Heard is the abuser and Johnny Depp was her victim.

I’m #TeamJohnnyDepp #JusticeforJohnnyDepp

Call to Action: How to Help Ukraine NOW

I brought a carload of donated items to House of Ukraine in San Diego’s Balboa Park. While I was there, the HOU was alive with many people who stopped by to help. An elderly gentleman brought 1800 sterile syringes while a person in military fatigues dropped off a Kevlar vest. Another, a retired soldier, brought the vest that had saved his life many years ago and he wanted to donate it, hoping it would do the same for a fellow soldier protecting his homeland in Ukraine.

There are no people pics because I thought it prudent to protect their identities. You just never know, especially active military.

This photo isn’t from World War II. This is NOW, 2022, Ukraine.

Did you hear this? A six-year-old girl died “alone, weak, frightened, and thirsty” after she was trapped under the rubble of her destroyed home in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol https://telegraph.co.uk.

Putin’s aggression needs to be stopped, but it’s going to take all of us to help Ukraine.

Before anyone gets too bored of hearing about Russia’s atrocities, this is scary info: In case you didn’t know, Russia is approximately ONLY 55 miles from Alaska. Pretty close to home, don’t you agree?

Image

This horrendous invasion has names and faces, helpless victims of insane megalomaniacs. Animal rescuer Sasha chose to stay in Ukraine to take care of her animals. A Russian rocket hit her home. Her son found her body. Another innocent life ended.

Non-financial Donations:
In the San Diego area, bring all non-financial donations to the House of Ukraine cottage, 667 Pan American Rd W, San Diego, CA 92101 (OPEN daily 12 pm – 4 pm), BRING or SEND to our storage: St. Mary Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 9558 Campo Rd, Spring Valley, CA 91977

The people I met with said their supplies are sent out every few days with materials eventually arriving by air to some of the surrounding European countries and then brought to Ukraine.

Not in San Diego area? Locate your own Ukrainian community and find out how you can help where you live.

1.High Priority Needs:
– Military supplies (helmets 3A, Kevlar vests protection standard IV, Kevlar plates, monoculars with a magnetic arrow, thermal imagers, boots, knee pads, gloves, military clothes)
– Military aid kits and medicines (QuickClot, First Aid Esmarch Medical Tourniquet Rubber, thermal blankets, hemostatic drugs, blood transfusion systems)
– Thermal underwear: men’s underwear, warm socks
– NO MORE DIAPERS NEEDED at this time. Cannot accept used clothing at this time.

Humanitarian Supplies:
– Medical supplies (Theraflu, any painkillers, Gelofusine, dressing bags, needles №20,10, catheters, Iodine, antiseptics, needles КВ-3, Sets for measuring central venous pressure, infusions of sodium chloride, drip systems etc.)

Political Support:
Write and/or call your area’s elected officials. *Sample template below, I didn’t craft the letter; take what feels right for you as I know the no-fly zone concept causes some concern regarding retaliation.

Write NATO urging no-fly zone over Ukraine.
USNATOPAA@state.gov

Financial Support:
There are several vetted charities; please research for your area.

My opinion is pretty straightforward. We simply can’t sit back and do nothing. I’m doing what I can, and I hope you will, too. ‘Nuff said.

_______________________________________________________________________

*TEMPLATE:
Dear Senator/Congressperson /name/,

I am a US citizen and I would like to express my concerns about the atrocities in Ukraine where homes and livelihoods are violently attacked by Russian troops.

Despite strong and consistent promises from the US government and its allies before the attack and invasion by the Russian forces, we are yet to see a strong and powerful response. The people of Ukraine are bravely facing the heavily militarized and massive Russian Army. We understand that the US is not ready to send American military forces to Ukraine, but we do expect that the US government should be able to help the Ukrainians.

The following is critically needed for an effective response by Ukrainian troops from the sea, air, and land:
• Heavy anti-aircraft launcher systems similar to Patriot MIM-104
• Additional man-portable air defense systems similar to FIM-92 Stingers
• Additional man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missiles similar to FGM-148 Javelin
• More ammunition

The people of Ukraine are in desperate need of protection and, unfortunately, expressing concerns and prayers alone cannot protect their children, women, and seniors, but No Flight Zone over Ukrainian territory can. The no-fly zone will provide for the protection of the civilian population against cruise and ballistic missiles and air assault debarkations.

This war is the largest and longest war in Europe since World War II. It began in 2014 because of Putin’s fear of Ukrainians striving for their democratic future and independence. Russia occupied Crimea and orchestrated a war in Eastern Ukraine taking over its territories and people. Russia’s recent invasion disrupts and threatens the lives of millions of Ukrainian citizens today and potentially millions of European citizens in the future. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

As a US Senator/Congressman/Congresswoman, you are in a unique position to stop the beginning of World War III.

Sincerely,
YOUR NAME
YOUR ADDRESS



I Stand with Ukraine

There aren’t enough words to express how terrible we feel about what that Russian idiot Putin is doing in Ukraine. It makes me very angry, especially since I’m part Russian, and I hope it’s all over soon for Ukraine AND Putin.

I am proud of Ukraine’s Zelenskyy who has been serving as the president since 2019.

He turned down an offer from the United States to evacuate.

“The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,”

Words of a true hero.

Rest in Peace, Thich Nhat Hanh

Today is a sad day; another truly good human has transitioned…

The International Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism announced “our beloved teacher Thich Nhat Hanh passed away peacefully at Từ Hiếu Temple in Huế, Vietnam, at 00:00hrs on 22nd January, 2022, at the age of 95.”

In honor of his life of kindness, how about we do this:

Practices to help cultivate self-love and loving-kindness from Sister Dang Nghiem (ordained as Dharma teacher by Thich Nhat Hanh).

From her book ‘Flowers in the Dark’ (Parallax 2021)

Update on Saturday to add this from the Dalai Lama:

“In his peaceful opposition to the Vietnam war, his support for Martin Luther King and most of all his dedication to sharing with others not only how mindfulness and compassion contribute to inner peace, but also how individuals cultivating peace of mind contributes to genuine world peace, Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh lived a truly meaningful life. I have no doubt the best way we can pay tribute to him is to continue his work to promote peace in the world.” https://bit.ly/35dUncV

Texas Can Kiss My Ass

Here’s what I think about the insane and repressive new Texas law restricting abortion…

They don’t care about the fetus; all they care about is controlling women. I’m right, don’t try to argue with me.

If you don’t have a uterus, you have NO RIGHT to tell ME what to do with my uterus.

If you DO have a uterus, you have NO RIGHT to tell ME what to do with my uterus.

My body, my choice. You do YOU, and I’ll do ME. We’ve done this before, we already fought for the right to make our own decisions for our own bodies. This is such BS.

I’m proud of Lyft, Uber, and GoDaddy who have made statements in support of women’s rights.

I will protest with Naral and Planned Parenthood for all women to have a CHOICE.

FACTS: A new law (SB8) went into effect in Texas that bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. That’s well before many women even know they are pregnant.

The law allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone else who helps a woman obtain an abortion — including those who give a woman a ride to a clinic or provide financial assistance to obtain an abortion. Private citizens who bring these suits don’t need to show any connection to those they are suing.

The law makes no exceptions for cases involving rape or incest. (Source:NPR)

Learn more here: https://www.aclutx.org/en/know-your-rights/abortion-in-texas

Situational Calm

Late yesterday afternoon I dragged my poor little broken body out for a walk. “If you don’t use it, you lose it”, that’s my motto. I think it’s best to keep moving unless it’s impossible.

I was about three blocks away when I saw a few neighbor friends in their front yard so I stopped for a chat, mainly to bore them with photos of the grandkids.

Without warning, lights and sirens from no less than eight police cars, two fire engines, and paramedics drove right by us at a high rate of speed in our residential ‘hood. I checked PulsePoint and noted that they were going to a house just a few doors down from where we were.

A medical emergency isn’t unusual, but when it’s accompanied by heavy law enforcement–well, that’s a different story.

“Let’s go see”, I said, and we did.

It turned out that the medical emergency might have been related to an overdose, which sort of explains the police.

The person was on the ground and when my friend saw who it was, he became upset because it was one of his best friends. I instructed him to immediately call the spouse who wasn’t home at the time, had no idea, and was grateful for the call.

Allegedly, the person was impaired and fell, sustaining injuries, and someone else in the home called the paramedics.

My friend didn’t seem to know how to acquire info from the police or paramedics, so I did what I do–take charge of an emergency situation, communicate with all parties, liaise, and sort out the situation.

After the injured person was worked on by paramedics, was talking and breathing OK, stabilized for transport to the hospital and the spouse knew where to go, I continued on my walk.

I contemplated the many times I’ve been either personally involved in crises or as a bystander, and how I seem to exhibit a calm demeanor that encourages others to look to me for answers, to take charge, and to coordinate all aspects of the situation.

I KNEW I did those things but I had never before realized that is something I’m pretty good at. I don’t know where I learned them. It’s just something instinctual, I guess.

Whether it’s a fire or an accident or my son’s surgery, I don’t panic. I go to a place of calm, unemotional, rational, measured assessment while others tend to become stressed and unable to function.

My son once asked me how I survived his life threatening brief illness and major surgery because I seemed so calm. He asked me if I got upset or if I cried because he saw me as strong and capable during that horrible time and I told him this: during his surgery, I went into the bathroom in the waiting room and broke down and cried only one time. Then I looked in the mirror and told myself to STOP. What I never divulged to him was the mantra I kept repeating to myself, “If I cry, he dies. If I cry, he dies.” Truthfully, without the lifesaving emergency surgery, he would not be here now with those two adorable children. I felt as if I willed him to survive. And he did. After it was all over and he was on the mend, I was able to let go of my steely resolve a bit and helped to love him back to health. Every once in a while we talk about that dark time and how his wife and I never left his side, how we both spent every day and slept next to him every night at the hospital until he was released. SIGH.

I realize now with a little self awareness that I have been able to endure unspeakable pain by being stoic. It’s not that I don’t feel the emotion and the fear and the danger, but my mind seems to go to a different place and I compartmentalize (as my therapist would say) the feelings until later. Stuff needs to get done, someone needs to take charge and be a leader or there’s chaos.

If no one else steps up, you can count on me.

P.S. I made my first Anchor podcast — not my voice though because my microphone didn’t get recognized so I’m using Remy’s voice. Here’s the link, it’s kinda freaky. https://anchor.fm/enchanted-seashells/episodes/Situational-Calm-e16np97

Crazy California: Vote NO on the Recall

If you don’t live here, have you heard about the recall of our Governor Newsom? I got my ballot in the mail. Personally, I think he’s done a great job to keep us safe during the pandemic. That’s one reason why I’m voting NO on the recall to keep Newsom in office.

It was conjured up by a partisan, Republican coalition of national Republicans, anti-vaxxers, Q-Anon conspiracy theorists, and anti-immigrant Trump supporters.

Remember Bruce Jenner? Well…now as Caitlyn Jenner, he’s thrown his/her hat in the ring to become governor of Cali. Years ago when he was Bruce, I met him and was appalled at the horrible way he treated people. Running very fast is NOT a qualification to govern. That’s about all there is to know.

Here’s what stupid Larry Elder is promoting: minimum wage should be $0. No Medicare or Medicaid.

The other idiot who gets some press is the guy who brings a bear with him. Yes, you read that correctly. A BEAR. I guess because the state animal of California is a BEAR, but we animal activists have launched an investigation–anyone who thinks that bear isn’t abused has their head in the sand.

Lastly, there’s Angelyne, Here’s her pic. She’s known for her billboards and other assets, but we’ve learned that she’s close to 70 years old. ‘Nuff said but I’d love to meet her plastic surgeon!

According to the Los Angeles Times, the candidates are comprised of “peddlers of Q-Anon doomsday conspiracies; ‘patriots’ readying for battle and one organization allied with the far-right extremist group, the Proud Boys.”

POLITICO reported how one of the co-founders and chief organizers of the recall suggested it would be a good idea to “microchip” immigrants, and anti-immigrant rhetoric has been central to recall organizers’ appeals to supporters.

Instead of fighting COVID-19, Republicans are pulling a page from the Trump playbook and attacking Californians. From https://stoptherepublicanrecall.com/about/

This stupid and unnecessary pollitically motivated Republican recall will cost California $100 million – money that could be used to help vaccinate our communities.

Here’s what my hero Stacey Abrams said about the recall:  “Governor Newsom has courageously led California through a global pandemic — putting health, science and equity at the center of the state’s response. Republicans fought him every step of the way. Now, they are trying to overturn his election. Californians must stop the Republican recall.”

My other hero, Rep. Katie Porter: “From the start of the pandemic, Gavin Newsom has taken swift action to keep families safe and help them recover financially. That’s what makes this Republican recall so dangerous. It’s not just a waste of time and money that could be used to fight COVID-19 — a successful recall risks slowing down our state’s efforts to end the pandemic as quickly as possible.”

There are literally dozens of candidates. There’s nothing to see here, folks.

Let’s keep it simple.

Vote NO on the recall and let the idiots sort themselves out with their negative and toxic energy.

Murdered Wolf Pups

Will this senseless murder of a species never end? What the hell is wrong with Oregon?

From Defenders of Wildlife:

Urgent: Wolf Protection Fund

“It’s a heartbreaking world we live in when even a pair of weeks-old wolf pups aren’t safe. We’re enraged at these senseless killings of wolf pups just barely out of their dens. We know you haven’t given up hope that we can save the wildlife who need us most. These wolves are counting on us – and we can’t do this alone.”

Our ability to fight back depends on US. Please donate.

Rep. Peter DeFazio or Oregon released the following statement in response to a report that the State shot and killed two wolf pups on Sunday.

“The state of Oregon killed two 3-month-old wolf pups under the irrational premise that it would somehow lessen the food needs of the pack. Wolf pups are no threat to livestock,” said Rep. DeFazio. “Nearly 80 years after a federal extermination campaign nearly wiped out the species, I will not sit by and allow the reimplementation of cruel, inhumane, and unscientific policies that degrade local ecosystems.  I have called on Interior Secretary Haaland to expeditiously relist the Gray Wolf under the Endangered Species Act to prevent their likely extinction.”

In July, Rep. DeFazio led a bipartisan group of 85 representatives in a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland urging her to reconsider the decision to delist the Gray Wolf under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Members emphasized the support of over 400 scientists in calling for federal protections for wolves, citing new state laws allowing for hunting practices that have resulted in the killing of hundreds of wolves in the span of a few months – threatening the species’ survival. The Members also stressed that decimating the wolf population would be detrimental to local ecosystems. Full text of the letter can be found here.

DONATE NOW:

Today is the last day to make your urgent gift to protect vulnerable species that we love!

Wolf Protection Fund Fundraiser by Defenders of Wildlife:

https://www.facebook.com/donate/398988634982355/10159819700603756/

From Babies to an Insurrection

A little ugly reality slipped into my Grandma rose-colored glasses fantasy world today.

The committee in DC commenced that will FINALLY unpack the events of January 6 and hold all of the terrorists accountable.

The House select committee formed to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol convened its first hearing on Tuesday, hosting a panel of four police officers who defended the building against a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump. (NBC news)

Are you watching?

From Capitol police Officer Dunn: “If a hitman is hired, and he kills somebody, the hitman goes to the jail. But not only does the hitman go to jail, but the person who hired him does. There was an attack carried out on January 6 and a hit man sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that.”

We all know to whom he’s referring, right?

The officers’ testimony and first-hand emotional accounts of January 6 are even more horrific than what we witnessed live.

It was an attempted coup. It was an insurrection. There is every reason to believe that orange POS committed treason.

And from Representative Liz Cheney: “The fact that so many members of our leadership … that they’ve gone from recognizing what happened on the 6th to protesting in front of the Justice Dept. on behalf of those who were part of the insurrection is something I can’t explain. I think it’s a disgrace.”

What makes me really sick is the knowledge that some of my neighbors and community supported that violence and perhaps were even present in DC that day.

This is what McConnell said on January 6. Where is that coward today?

“They were provoked by the president (Donald J. Trump) and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government,” -Mitch McConnell (statement following the 1/6 insurrection)

They are truly devoid of a soul, disgusting, and morally bankrupt.

And while I’m on a rant and because she’s from my area…Ashli Babbitt was a traitor and a terrorist, and anyone who sides with her is also a traitor and a terrorist.

Rant over. Carry on.