As you may have noticed, we have changed our look a bit lately, working with a designer. We’ve been undergoing a lot of changes, and we’re not the best at keeping up with change in our own lives, much less with the blog! So, please, help us out by letting us know what you think about our new look. Contact us on Facebook or on the blog, but please please share your opinion with us, good or bad! Do you like the colors? Do you like the new look? What don’t you like? Thanks for your help! Jane
My mother-in-law got a call today from someone saying they were calling on behalf of her grandson, Parker Hatley, who had been in a terrible auto accident and was now in jail in Nevada. They appealed to her to help him get out of jail because “he doesn’t want to have his parents find out.” They then put “Parker” on the phone, who was in tears, begging his grandmother for help. They explained that he couldn’t talk loudly or for very long because of the broken nose he had suffered in the accident. My sweet mother-in-law asked them how she would know that Parker was all right, and they assured her they would let her know as soon as she wired the money, in cash, through Western Union, from two different Western Union offices.
My mother-in-law is not easily fooled. She is an extremely intelligent person who does not suffer fools easily. But here is what got to her: the young man crying on the phone, asking his grandmother for help. She went to her bank, got some money out of her savings, and then went to Western Union. Thank goodness the Western Union worker knew this was all a scam and told her not to send the money. But my mother-in-law continued to worry a little bit about Parker until she actually got a call from him saying, yes, he is still in Mexico, and, yes, he is doing fine.
The first thing I was wondering was how they got Parker’s name and connected it to my mother-in-law. All we could figure is that these evil people read obituaries, since my father-in-law died this past year–and the obituary named his grandchildren. These scumbags must target widows and widowers!
I would like to shoot these people, whoever they are–not so much for trying to scam my mother-in-law out of money but more importantly for playing on her emotions that way. I am pretty powerless to catch them. My mother-in-law has already reported them to the FCC and the police, but I bet they hide their tracks well. But I can at least put this whole new variety of evil scam on the blog so that people can spread the word about this to their friends and relatives! Please, help this go viral!!!!!
Anita Hill came to our town last week as the keynote speaker for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of “Our Voice”, our wonderful rape crisis/education/prevention center here in Asheville.
When I heard she was coming, I was immediately right back there on my sofa in Roxbury, New York, glued to the television set, watching every moment of those hearings. I remembered how I felt completely inspired by her courage, her composure, her refusal to back down. And I relived how completely horrified and despairing I felt when that panel of white men managed to find a way to approve Clarence Thomas anyway. Along with millions of other women, I felt kicked in the gut.
Here is a woman whose life was turned upside down simply because she decided to come forward, to do the right thing, to speak the truth. Here is a woman who believed in our system of justice and fairness, only to get kicked in the gut herself. But here is a woman who also has never backed down and has managed to find a way to forgive all those people on the Judiciary Committee and to say, “it was not the failure of those individuals; it was the failure of the system.” The committee, after all, decided not to call in experts to testify or to bring in the other women who were ready to corroborate her testimony. But here is also a woman who, when asked if she would do it again, answers yes, without a doubt. “I found my voice in 1991, and I am not about to give it up ever again,” she said. She said that is what kept her going, what brought her back to life after the hearings, were the letters and phone calls from people all around the country who thanked her for giving them the courage, finally, to speak out, to bring sexual harassment or sexual violence against them out into the light of day–to confront their predator and to bring justice.
I have to say it brings me great pleasure to see how, in the big picture, she has come out on top. She is a national icon, a hero for women everywhere. While that other person, who will remain nameless, will always be associated in most people’s minds with sexual harassment and othe predatory behaviors. Continue reading
Every summer I wait and wonder if my favorite morning glory will appear.
There are many of the deep purple “Grandpa Ott’s” and the pink “Carolina Morning” variety, as well as lots of white and light blue ones with blue stripes that start to bloom very early in the season. They are lovely, but by this time of the year I am pulling them out because they start to take over.
There is only one that truly makes my heart beat fast, and that one starts to open at the end of summer. It’s called “Heavenly Blue”, for a reason.
I saw the first one by the chicken run the other day and it made me feel so happy…that shade of blue, its unreal! Even if I am stressed and in a hurry or having a time keeping up with things, or missing something or someone, I have no choice but to stop and stare at “that blue” and fall into the moment.
When it was time for our “Sally” hens to be “harvested” a few weeks ago, I decided that I would be able to do something that I was not able to do with the previous 3 flocks we’ve had, and that is, to eat them.
I can’t do the actual killing, and I can’t even be around the killing of them, but really, since I am a meat-eater then I should be all right with eating them, right? Some of my friends find that thought horrifying! I also have friends who cannot stand having the bones in the meat they eat because it reminds them that they are eating what was once a living animal. But really that is what eating meat is! We couldn’t have loved our hens any more than we did; we fed them homemade organic kefir and organic feed and scratch, and since they had to die one day, I believe they would want us to eat them!
I went back and forth as to whether or not we should get another batch of chicks, because I feel like we’re getting older, and I know that I might have to clean out their house once, plus maybe I don’t want to get attached to another batch of hens. In the end, I found myself calling McMurray Hatchery to place another order of “Black Star” hens.
Here is how they looked on July 21st when they arrived by post.
Then they started to get bigger and a few days ago I took a video of them coming out of their house. I decided to name them “Shanti” instead of “Sally” (my mom’s name) since I think it is good to say the word “peace” as often as possible these days.
For the next 2-3 years, these hens will be part of our lives, and I’m OK with that idea. Plus, I cannot wait until they start laying eggs because once you have had fresh eggs, it is not easy to eat any others. Om Shanti!
To Shop or Not to Shop On-line – That is the Question? I am not an on-line shopper – at all. However, after spending an evening with several female friends (they know who they are) I’m wondering if I should be. Over dinner, they listed all the advantages: time saved; never running out of things; catching some great deals; and of course they never pay shipping. So there I sat eating my Salad Niçoise at the Laughing Seed with two women I admire and respect trying hard to figure out what’s up with me that I don’t shop on-line. Weeks rolled by, and I forgot all about that conversation until I grabbed my must-have Deva (curly) hair product only to realize I couldn’t squeeze out one more drop, and I did not have another one stashed away in my closet. I’d have to live with a bad hair day for sure. Digging deeper into this 21st century phenomenon, I started thinking about my big aversion to shopping on-line is and why I find it all so overwhelming.
For starters, I’m on the computer much of my day at work, and then again in my spare time at home working on my book whenever I can, so getting back on the computer to shop doesn’t excite me. It’s not that I’ve never shopped on-line. I admit to buying presents at holiday time for out of town family and friends because I hate packing up presents not to mention the waiting in line at the post office during Christmas time. Another reason I hate shopping on-line is all the popcorn, bubble wrap, shredded paper and boxes I have to deal with from my husband who does shop on-line. The packaging spills all over the kitchen and then it piles up in the garage where I then have to nag my husband to break it all down and schlep it to the recycling bins across town. All that packaging can’t be good for the environment and then what about the carbon footprint? Besides, I still like to touch things and try things on and neither my feet nor my body always fit into the same size. And returns? I really hate that too, re-wrapping and taking it to the post office.
Last Saturday, I was out doing errands – a lot of errands. I think I spent close to 4 hours driving all over town to Trader Joe’s, Pet Smart, the dry cleaners, and worst of all to the Mall to get the Deva product I had run out of, and then finally to the kitchen store to get the Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer Cutter (millions sold in Europe) and I got to thinking about my two smart friends who said they save SOOOOOOOOOOO much time, and what about the price of gas? It’s a dilemma for me. So, what do YOU do? Any advice?