The American Civil War never ended

A few years ago, it occurred to me, the Civil War in the United States never ended. It was truly the first of the fake news phenomenon.

We thought it was over, but it wasn’t. Taking a look back at the history and how Reconstruction went down and how states came back from the ashes show this clearly. For example, the existence of all of the Civil War statues, and monuments, and the blossoming of the Confederate flag may have looked innocuous, but in fact it now looks to me as a malignancy that needed to be cut out. Clearly, in any other world conflict, such displays of the losing party were not allowed.

It was as if the campfire looked as if it were completely extinguished, but in fact it was smoldering.

The evidence of this smoldering was in lynchings, the KKK, outbursts of racism in the south and in the much nicer appearance of the north which held tightly to its own brand of evil racism, much more secretive, and in some ways, perhaps, even more deadly.

The whole issue is like that of the baobab in the story of the Little Prince. When one knows of the existence of something that needs to be attended to, like a seedling that can either look like a rose or a huge baobab, one has to remove the them as soon as you recognize them or pay the price of the explosion of your tiny planet. We have not attended to our good culture and civilization maintenance. We kept the evil seeds planted by the people who settled in our country, the Anglo-Saxons of Great Britain. In some respects, I feel that they have done a better job in getting beyond the evils of slavery and racism, in others, when you look at the current situation, you wonder if they have come forward at all. Nonetheless, we are not talking about them here. It is here that we have countless opportunities for mentally deranged and often racist people to grab their weapons and kill for no reason at all. Now, given the license granted by the previous administration (régime), they are killing every other moment, it seems.

Clearly, if we are to survive as a culture, we need to deal with the violence issues and the problems revolving around weaponry. There are solutions, but we have to do something as we can no longer afford to wait. We have to work on the racism that like a malignancy getting even into the lymph nodes, needs to be located and dealt with. The major thing, however, is that we need to take care of our entire culture, all of us, in the areas of equality, health, education, and the work force.

I have no doubt that we can do it, but it shall not be easy.

The sooner we start, the better. Too many lives have been lost already, too many families decimated, too much hurt.

We all lose by not moving forward.

Posted in Confinement, Covid-19, Life in general, The Ramifications of the 2016 elections, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Letting go and getting the house stained

I think I have told this story before.

When we moved into our current house, I was disgusted with the mustard yellow color of the upper portion of the house. The lower is brick and it is a 50s bi-level with all of the personality of a melamine plate.

I looked at it more closely and discovered that it was, in fact, beautiful redwood, painted. Redwood is not an inexpensive wood; it is durable and resistant to bugs, among other things. It should not, in my estimate, ever be painted. It should be stained.

I got it into my head back in the day, in the late 80s, that I would remove the paint and I did, with a heat gun. The fact that the house didn’t catch on fire is beyond belief.

I stained it with a Cabot solid stain, as they call it and it has been the same gray with a hint of slate blue, since the beginning of my change. This time, we are staining, for the first time, with a latex stain.

The last time we stained, I did not do it. I left it to my youngest son and it should have been redone last year. The Pandemic intervened there.

This time, we are having it done. I am amazed by how much it is going to cost and we got a really low price. Even though our house is not huge and it is only the upper level, it will be in the vicinity of $3000. I see now why in the ‘olden days’ why I did it myself. If I hadn’t, we could never have afforded it.

Moises came with his crew this morning, and started to power wash the house, something I have never done. They are going to clean the gutters and fascia as well (these are aluminum). Our house is going to be really, nicely spiffed up.

I am thrilled.

It is odd to be able to witness the work as it is being done. Moises lives in my suburb, which to me was an added feather to his cap as that means that he will do a good job for me. Truth be known, I have seen nothing but a fabulous demeanor and work ethic from Moises and I am seeing the same in his crew.

I can let go and I cannot wait to be able to enjoy the out of doors and look at my house, cleaned of its upper mildew and specks of peeling stain.

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Reading stories to the grandkids…using Technology

Given the Pandemic and the fact that I cannot spend the quality time I used to with the grandkids, I have resorted to locating favorite books in our house and reading them while recording them in video format.

The result is a whole set of books for the enjoyment of kids of all ages and even around the world.

Here is what we have to offer:

Miss Nelson is Missing!

How the Trollusk Got his Hat

The Giving Tree

Go Dog, Go!

The Butter Battle

Oh say can you say Di-no-saur

What Kind of Car Does a T-Rex Drive?

Bears Don’t Read!

The Little Prince

Posted in Books, Confinement, Covid-19, Grandkids, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cold, gray, gloomy April days

The gloomy view of the backyard.

The afflicted tulips that the deer got, inches away from the house.

I went out this morning with the dog and was surprised by the fifty degree temperature. I have been walking during the past few days in t-shirt and shorts. Today, I was back to wearing a winter jacket, but with my shorts!

It was a little iffy, weather-wise, as it looked as if it were going to rain and it was very gray. It did, in fact, drizzle a tiny bit and then mist as I was walking. Luckily, I was not wet and got my hour walk in, about three miles. I am happy that in reading the book about walking, that the optimum speed of walking for benefits that are both physical and mental are at the speed I use. My twenty minute mile is right on point.

I have had a busy few days where I actually was getting into repairing some things that have been on my docket for some time. The downspout that was damaged on the corner of the house needed replacing as the metal was dented due to someone hitting it while backing out of the garage area. I was concerned that it would get plugged up. I also put in some extra slow closers that we had from our kitchen job in the upstairs bathroom, where the doors closed too fast and banged. I also managed to do a Lowe’s outing to get some paving sand to raise some concrete slabs I have which should be angled away from the house.

The front entrance to the garage I managed to clean out leaf-wise and get a bit more organization, while finding a nice out of the way location for the half dozen snow shovels. Our middle son is living with us and we have many of his possessions as well as our own as I attempt to work on my Swedish death cleaning.

I continue to work on our ant issue. You might be in the kitchen and you see one, two, or maybe five ants. All over the house, we have been seeing one or two ants here or there. There is no military ant onslaught, as one might expect. I have been putting the borax-based ant traps in the appropriate areas. In retrospect, for years we had ant issues in the lawn. It was like mini-volcanoes of sand everywhere. Now I don’t see them. I am wondering if the ants have just surrounded the house. In the past, we used to get, every once in while, a big onslaught next to the driveway, in the house. That stopped.

I have also taken to putting coffee grounds not only in the flower beds (as I did all winter), but also next to the the house as it is something apparently ants don’t like. My goal is to have liquid and coffee grounds next to the entire foundation of the house.

Another ecologically sound thing I did was to take the ashes we have accumulated from the fireplaces (both indoor and out) and spread them on the lawn, as it is a perfect fertilizer. I have been taking our banana peels and cutting them up for use on the rose bush up front.

On a happy note, I will have a few tulips, despite the deer having eaten them to the quick. I am hoping that it will warm up a little soon.

Meanwhile, it is one of the best springs ever. We deserve it.

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Kis angyalom

My grandmother and mother loved all flowers.

I am almost seventy years old.

I have not heard my grandmother speak since 1975, the year when she died.

Today, April 7, 2021, I was reading my book on the patio and looking out at the pond, while I listened to the waterfall. The expression, « kis angyalom » came into my head. I have always said that learning languages is like riding a bike. You will never forget once you have learned although you may be rusty at it.

I immediately knew that it was an expression from my grandmother and that she had said it all the time. I knew that it was in reference to me and yet I honestly had no idea, whatsoever, as to its meaning. Grant you, I asked my grandmother a lot of questions about life in the old country and about her experiences. I know also that I would give my eye teeth to be able to ask her about things I never thought of asking before. I wish I had sat down with her and pen and pencil and put down all the info she had on her origins and relatives.

Kis angyalom!

So as I was sitting on my patio, I took what I knew of the Hungarian sound system, what with working with Duolingo for over a year every day and also with Pimsleur to assure that I can actually say things and respond to oral questions, and I went to Google translate.

I typed in exactly what I needed, the actual words, in fact. Hungarian is very phonetic, for the most part and there are not a lot of exceptions to the rules.

Kis angyalom!

Lo and behold, I found out that she was calling me her little angel!

OMG! All those years and although I knew that I was a favorite, I had no idea.

How odd that all of a sudden it flew into my brain!

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