Somber Anniversary: September 11, 2001

9/11

I won’t show photos of burning buildings, no video of towers collapsing; simply think about where you were on September 11, 2001.

Those lost are remembered on this anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Who could forget that day?

It was just after 6am on the west coast. I had turned on the morning news and taken a sip of my first cup of cup of coffee when all hell broke loose.

In real time, I watched the World Trade Center’s South Tower burn at 9:03 a.m., moments after being struck by United Airlines Flight 175.

I put down my coffee and ran upstairs to wake up my then twenty-year-old son.

We didn’t know what was happening–if similar attacks were planned for anywhere else – but we watched the unfolding of tragedy after tragedy.

Never forget the loss of life at the Twin Towers or the Pentagon or Flight 93, which crashed into a field in Pennsylvania during an attempt by the passengers and crew to regain control.

We will never forget.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died today at Balmoral, surrounded by her family.

She’s free now to join the love of her life, Prince Philip.

I loved to watch her interactions with her grandchildren, to see the genuine love in her eyes, and that’s how I’ll remember her.

Waiting For The Sky to Fall

It’s HOT.

6:30 a.m. and already 85 degrees. There are some monsoonal clouds drifting by and a bit of wind, but no rain.

I don’t think the temp has ever been this high this early, not that I can remember, anyway.

We are in an extended high heat warning. It was nearly one hundred degrees yesterday. Scorching, brutally hot.

It’s not often that we have humidity but that’s what made it all so unpleasant. Several records were broken. Climate change, anyone?

It was too hot to go outside. Because of the fires around here, air quality was poor.

And then critters started invading the house.

I heard the raucous chirping of a cricket and located the sound coming from the dining room.

Then, the family room was invaded by dozens of diminutive flying insects that seemed to have materialized out of nowhere.

A lizard clung to the patio screen door. I told him it wasn’t any cooler inside–there’s no air conditioning and he’d fare better by hiding in the shade of a rock.

I filled a bowl with water for my bobcat and coyote family.

I’m now waiting for the locusts.

Nothing to Celebrate on the 4th of July

How anybody could enjoy Independence Day this year after what’s been happening to erode our reproductive rights and other freedoms that were fought for and taken for granted, I have no idea.

FFS, what the hell happened to the United States of America? I’m disgusted.

The Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade

What an absolutely horrible headline. I fear dark days ahead.

Our rights, including reproductive rights, are being rapidly eroded. Soon, contraception will be regulated, and possibly marriage.

It’s simple. Stay out of my uterus. You do you. If you don’t want to have an abortion, then DON’T do it, but no one has the right to police my body. Or any woman’s body.

I know it sounds crazy, but I believe this is the direction our stupid country is headed.

It’s all so depressing and disgusting, I can’t even think about it without getting too upset.

Final thoughts…

Land Rape in Carlsbad

I can see this area called Marja Acres from my backyard and it’s several blocks away, but even so, I watch and hear this land rape on a daily basis, and it makes me feel sad and angry.

It’s one of the very last pieces of land around here that hadn’t yet been violated by earth movers and concrete and plundered by developers who don’t care about anything except making money for themselves. They tore down a couple of nurseries, a little old fashioned store, and a couple of other businesses that had been here for decades, coexisting peacefully amongst the native flora and fauna.

Here’s what the plan is, to build a strip mall and way too many homes without any consideration for the existing community so negatively impacted by yet another ugly and unnecessary development.

We fought against it, of course; to no avail, as usual.

Even more sadly for me, there was no thought nor consideration for the creatures that lived here: coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, possums, birds of prey, AND RATS. They’ve all been displaced and this is where our RAT infestation emanates from.

I swear, this city continually never fails to disgust me.

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.