The George Santos effect and Martin Luther King Day


I need the catharsis of writing down my thoughts.

Despite thinking about it and having subjects I would like to treat, as I sit down and start letting the words flow from the head through my fingertips, I have no idea where this is going.

Maybe that is good.

I have just come off of several days of posting George Santos photos with catchy expressions that make us aware of the lying and modification of truth that he has been involved in as he worked toward being a member of the House of Representatives. It amazes me, or maybe not, that he is getting away with it.

I remember back before the elections of 2016, when I was nervous about the outcome, that I always thought that the lies and truth modifications would catch up with the individuals. I was wrong. For whatever reason, lying seems to work for some people as they become covered with some sort of teflon that allows them to continue on. How they avoid criminal prosecution and prison is beyond me.

We are living in a strange time when that kind of lying is commonplace. For some reason, it is okay for some, and not for others. I know, deep down, that this is not a situation that will last forever. I know that at some point in time, as for other horrific times in history, people will look back and say, “How did that ever happen? How did those people get away with that?” I long, though, for that and I wonder how long it will take.

It is a time period when the news is nothing but depressing. It is a time when the clock seems to have turned backwards instead of moving forward. It is a time when it seems as if respect for others and their lives doesn’t seem very important to some factions of the population. It is especially bad when people perpetrate their negativity on others under the guise of religious beliefs.

I still believe in the basic goodness of humanity and long for it to blossom and become more evident than the hate that seems to grow out of every crack and crevice of our society.

Let’s leave my thoughts there, for the moment. The day is relatively warm for a winter day and the sun is shining. Tonight, we are going out to dinner with beautiful friends to celebrate a job change. I am looking forward to that. Sometimes, you just have to hold on to those small, wonderful moments to get through the tough ones.

WWMLKS?  What would Martin Luther King say?


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Thoughts on 2023

A gurglng British pitcher…apparently commonplace in most English homes…


The weather is gloomy. The skies are gray and there is little view of the sun. That is the way it has been for the past few days. The dark days have been brightened by the young, shining faces of the grandkids in our house, creating a beautiful chaos that brings great joy. It is tiring and yet it is rejuvenating.

I don’t even know where to go with the insanity of the times in which we live. The politics and craziness in the world is overwhelming. The crazy leaders, the false narratives that abound, even a politician in New York who made up his own history, falsified everything, denies that he is a fraud and even though raised a Roman Catholic, said that he was Jew-ish… When does this end and when will the insane people who fabricate realities to sell to the masses be prosecuted or at least shut down? How is it possible for liars to continue to get away with things and how is it possible for criminals to continually avoid being put in the slammer?

Meanwhile, across the world in Europe, of all places, a war continues to be waged in which a huge superpower is performing so poorly that what I had thought would be a short invasion like maybe, that of Czechoslovakia, is now almost a year in length. The destruction and chaos this war has produced boggles the mind. Once again, an evil ruler who has his own narrative is at the forefront of the struggle and his own people, for the most part, have no real understanding of what is taking place.

I pity the poor Russian people who in 1917 thought that they had finally gotten rid of an oppressive government only to find that it was alive and morphing into different forms. I am saddened for the Ukrainian people who had found a better way to live and are now under siege because of a mad ruler in a neighboring country. At this point, they are fighting for more than just the country, they are also fighting to manage and live what they believe is their true destiny.

Surprisingly, I have hope. I realize that although things change, as they French proverb goes, they always remain the same. Things are no worse now than they ever have been, it is just a reconstituted version. Human beings have not changed. There are good ones and bad ones. Unfortunately, in the age of the Internet, we hear more information.

Hope, hope, hope, a four letter word that we need to hang on to as we all do our best to remain vigilant and work toward maintaining our democratic ideals.

Happy 2023!

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“Ça va bien aller” and Forgiveness via Louise Penny and her recent book: A World of Curiosities

The Christmas tree is up, as of December 16th and decorated on December 17th.


“Ça va bien aller” means it is going to be okay.

I have been struggling with forgiveness for some time now.

I know rationally why I need to forgive and I also know that clearly, an inability to forgive is detrimental to my health and certainly not anything of good for anyone having anything to do with me.

I was gifted with a background in Roman Catholicism and yet I cannot take solace from it in a traditional way since I have issues with the institution. I realize that I had always had issues with the institution, even going back to my childhood and yet I was in denial. As a great ‘Cafeteria Catholic’ who would pick and choose what I could believe in and ditch the rest, for years I went through the motions. I must give tribute to my own children for my finally seeing the light. Despite the fact that I am not a believer, I do take solace from bits and pieces of other religions, and bits and pieces of what I call ‘Good Catholicism  that help me find a meaning to my life. I am also thankful for my study of French literature, existentialism, and the Theatre of the absurd, for giving me added fodder for my thoughts and philosophy.

Every so often, it seems that something happens that makes me wonder about the meaning of life and who is in charge, if anyone or any entity. Periodically, in my reading, which is mostly fiction, I encounter things that confirm and help me reset a direction of life. There are also mini signs and omens that occur somewhat often.

My struggle with forgiveness goes back a bit. I do buy into the idea, but the reality is that it is hard for me to let go. I tend to hold a grudge. I am not sure I am all that different from other people. There have been times in my life when the struggle has been particularly hard. 

Today, I said to myself that I had to finish the latest Louise Penny book, the most recent in the Armand Gamache series, “A World of Curiosities.” I must admit that for  over half of the book, I had a feeling of discomfort, that was inexplicable. Since forcing myself through the first book, since everyone seemed to tout it, I have been solidly hooked on the Louise Penny series. This book was leaving me cold and I could not explain it or why. Toward the end of my reading, my discomfort and lack of total interest immediately changed and I was fired up to find out where it was going and what was happening. 

It went into forgiveness. The lack of forgiveness was quite clear, it has been omnipresent in all of the novels, yet not an overwhelming omnipresence. It came to a head in this novel and it did so in such a way that for once I am totally sold on the idea of finally letting go. It is fiction, and I am clear about that, but I feel that somehow, Louise Penny has managed to help me finally conquer a demon of my own, and just doing so by writing a book of fiction. Reading it was an omen.

Thank you, Louise Penny. I wonder if you know how much influence you have and also how strangely timely my reading of this book happens to be.

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Enough of lymphoma, food poisoning, and less than pleasant aspects of the Pandemic…moving forward…

A reminder of the vibrance of youth: our granddaughter dancing in A Chorus Line after being sick all week with the flu…

It has been one, crazy, end of a year. There have been massive ups and massive downs; overall all is good. Due to the indolence of my lymphoma, as it appears that I have had it for maybe four or five years, and all sorts of other things going on…and then, the icing on the cake, getting a nasty case of food poisoning, this end of the year has been eventful.

It is cold outside and I even managed to slip on the ice this morning. It was a total surprise to me and for that I am thankful. Being a total surprise means that my body did not go rigid and I fell on my right hip without any meaningful hurt. As of today, I have put in 872 miles to  dog walking this year! Given that I am still not totally over my reaction to food poisoning and a nice bout of plantar fasciitis in my left heel, yes, it has been a year.

Enough of that all as I am ready to move on…

I feel that turning seventy was the clincher…my sixties were the years that I noticed being stiffer when I would get up after sitting for a long while; my seventies, however are showing a bit more fatigue and maybe even a slowing down of sorts…

Nonetheless, I am moving forward and excited about the first Christmas all together since the Pandemic. 

Normalizing is what it is all about.

Normal is good. 

Now I just have to get smart enough to know that if it is 0 Celsius or 32 Fahrenheit that I am smart enough to wear my special ice shoes. My Icebugs are he best as they have metal cleats on them and assure a safer trek.

I am still doing Hungarian every day. As of yet, I have still not thrown myself completely in for some reason; the language is so odd and different and I am doing a different approach of it for that reason. I am redoing my Pimsleur 30 lessons for speaking and conversational practice and I am working on building up my vocabulary. I have abandoned Duolingo after 1000 some days of study as it has changed and I am not happy with what they have done.

Okay, moving forward…

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Now I know why I needed Pepto Bismol


OMG, what a whirlwind…this is a redo of the previous post.

Thanksgiving was light, wonderful, and relaxing.

What followed, on Black Friday and on into the next week was nightmarish, hellish, and decidedly less than wonderful. On the day after Thanksgiving, we went out for a finishing walk for our badges with the Lake County Forest Preserve. It was lovely at Ryerson Woods and lovely being with Julie and Paul as well. We topped it off with a visit to a Mexican restaurant in Lincolnshire. 

The following Saturday was a day when we were seeing grandkids and I relegated myself to the background, fearing I was contagious, with the first flu-like symptoms I have had since 2019 or so…I had started the day with a bang, doing some decorating in the dining room, changing out the dishes (everyday Alsatian put away and Christmas Spode brought out), and around 12:30 pm, I felt weird. In retrospect, I should have seen the signs as my body went into highest energy mode right before crashing.

Things went from less than great to worse and the night was met with chills and an inability to get warm, coughing, and intestinal things best left to the imagination. This continued on through Sunday and each night I was so uncomfortable that I left our bed to go into another bedroom and read. Strangely, I could read because in retrospect, as I found out on Sunday, I had a low grade fever. A COVID test was negative.

Monday, I called the doctor and she told me it was probably the flu as she had lots of patients with those symptoms. She told me to call on Wednesday, if not better.

Wednesday, I called her and was requested to get to the lab facility with a sample. As it turned out, that sample ended up being dealt with in ways to make a fabulous sketch for SNL, the technicians being unpleasantly surprised and demanding that I have sample time in the bathroom, dispersing the item into small containers filled with colored liquid chemicals. I know this is TMI, but I guess the dear reader will have to just deal with that.

On Thursday, the results were coming in…negative, negative…then finally, POSITIVE! Campylobacter was the culprit, something that comes with improperly cooked or tainted chicken. As it happens, Paul, Julie, and I had the same food on Friday, and Paul had the same symptoms. My googling efforts reaped the info that women were hit less often than men…

I didn’t hear back from the doctor, but I realized that more often than not, you have to ‘ride out’ the symptoms. I did, and by Friday, I was much better and sleeping more evenly.

Monday, I called the health department after giving a heads up to the restaurant who staunchly defended themselves and said as well that they had had no complaints of illness from anyone. I reminded them that the flu is rampant, with the same symptoms, and that most people, were they sick, would not have been tested as I was.

It has been over a week and I am still not at 100% but my energy and appetite are back. 

Today I was able to remove the netting from the pond and tomorrow, I will shake it out and store it.

I am glad that food poisoning is behind me. I am also glad that I was not contagious.

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