2020/07/04

Happy Independence Day!

Da Goddess @ 15:12

Happy Fourth of July

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.
~ William Faulkner

May your 4th of July be safe and happy! And may you recall what this day is truly about.

Freedom is a hard-won reward. We can’t take it for granted or we may lose it. So, please, take a moment today and consider how special this great nation of ours is — we have fought for our right to disagree and speak our minds, as well as the right to take a day off and celebrate all manner of our liberties.

In this day and age, with quarantines and isolation, with loneliness and the loss of gathering together, especially on days like today, it’s good to remember the days of yore, times gone by, the times we thought were rough, but have turned out to be the good ol’ days, and be thankful we’re still here to celebrate and say God bless America!

Stay safe, friends. Stay safe.

2020/05/18

When I’m 54

Da Goddess @ 03:34

(it’d be better as Studio 54, but c’mon, I don’t have access to a glitterball & I’m not wasting my tinfoil hat making one!)

54.

I seriously never thought I’d be alone on my birthday because of a pandemic. I always assumed it would be due to my having pissed off everyone I know and love.

But, here we are: the world is trying to ease back into living like we did before we knew about this thing called covid19. I think it’s too soon to ease up, but what do I know? I’m sure the politicians of the world know what’s best for us. Not. If nothing else, the people throwing caution to the wind and gathering en masse sans masks in bars (I’m looking at you specifically, Wisconsin) and other such places will be our guinea pigs. I just don’t want to hear any of them crying about it after. Common sense dictates you proceed with caution and if you rush out to throw back some drinks in the local tavern with a bunch of other people who you can’t verify have been sticking to the isolation protocol, well, you get what you deserve. It’s like going into a brothel and having unprotected sex with a sweet painted lady. Chances are you ain’t goin’ home alone.

So, yeah. There’s nothing in my 54 years of experience (as a human or even as a nurse) that could have led me to envision THIS as the reason I’m spending my birthday alone.

Crazy times. Insane, batshit crazy times.

Yay. Actually “yay” in all lowercase letters. Good news is I made it this far. Bad news is I made it this far.

Cheers!

P.S. someone please bring me vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. Boring, I know, but I have a hankering. Small Walmart cake is perfect. Refrigerated section.

2020/05/07

Dad. Two Years On.

Da Goddess @ 13:49

Today is the second anniversary of Dad’s death. I miss him more today than ever. I miss his grumbling and his yelling and his laughter. But most of all, I just miss HIM.

He was one of a kind. He was belligerent and bombastic. He was loud and often angry. But he was also loving and kind in a hundred little ways. He was thoughtful and funny. He was creative and had a vision for junk that was incredible. He was upcycling long before upcycling was a thing. He bought junk, but he sold functional art.

Dad, I will miss you forever. I love you always.

2020/01/27

Mad for Plaid

Da Goddess @ 23:27

I have never seen a plant that looked like it was swathed in plaid before. But now, I can’t think of anything else.

Meet Euphorbia obesa.

Euphorbia obesa

Doesn’t it look like something created from tartan and pure imagination? I feel like this is the most Celtic plant in the world, except it’s from nowhere even close to Ireland or Scotland. Maybe it just wants to be. Perhaps its DNA test proved there was no way it could be from either country, but in a fit of pique it wrapped itself in plaid, declared itself a Celt, and has decided it will die upon this hill, no matter how many tests say it’s wrong.

I totally get this plant. I have one DNA test that says I’m 0% English, Irish, or Scottish. I have another that says 2.5%. While I’m not sure I agree with the data from the 2nd 2.5% test, I’m hoping it’s true. My little sister took a 3rd test (as in a third company different from the two I dealt with) and got a smidge of British Isles. Maybe these two separate companies are more accurate? I dunno. But I understand that plant. I understand wanting to be a part of a culture…I’m a bit mad for plaid myself.

2020/01/07

89

Da Goddess @ 05:30

Dad would have been 89 today.

I miss him so very much. Every single day.

I’m so grateful I had a father who was so memorable and missable.

2019/12/20

Thy Shall Not Covet, Thy Shall Not Covet, Thy Shall Covet

Da Goddess @ 15:38

Oops! I may have accidentally coveted.

Never have I wanted something so unnecessary in all my life. (Kinda like a sewing machine I’ll use once every decade or so, but am convinced I’ll use more often if only I had one.)

2019/12/10

You Bug Me

Da Goddess @ 00:25

You bug me. But in a good way. What I’m trying to say is this: go have a look at this article on treehoppers. It and the bugs it discusses — absolutely fascinating.

2019/12/07

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Da Goddess @ 08:38

From 2017, with a minor update:

Today is the day America officially entered the war against Japan 78 years ago. At 07:55. A morning that sparked a battle that lasted years, caused neighbors to look upon neighbors with suspicion if they were of Asian descent. So many of the military families had Japanese or Filipinos working in the homes or yards. Suspicion grew as the day wore on. As the attacks continued, many of these Pacific Islanders were asked to either stay under the protection of their employers or were picked up and held as possible conspirators in attacks.

I still recall the story our friend Jodie told us, one of being a little girl out playing in the yard, awaiting her friend and her friend’s family so they could go to church. Jodie was outside, playing in the yard, full of joy and unconcerned about a single thing. That is, until a low flying jet flew low over the house. The plane was low enough for he to look into the pilot’s eyes. Jodie ran into the house, calling for her dad, waking him and her mom, telling them what she saw. It wasn’t until she mentioned the markings on the plane that her father leapt out of bed and started calling out orders: “stay indoors! Call all the other families, tell them to do the same, and have them ready to send their men down to the harbor!”

As much as Jodie knew, this was no longer a drill. This was what was necessary to be as safe as possible in the middle of a war on paradise.

The weeks that followed were fraught with real, true fear.

Can you imagine a life like this?

America was now fully entrenched in World War II.

Thankfully, Jodie and her family and friends supported their Navy brethren. Everyone had one goal in mind: to live! To not have to fight off Intruders in the home.

Thankfully, the majority of the people of Asian descent were just there, trying to make their own lives better. But for those who were engaged in espionage, they were rounded up and dealt with by the Navy.

There’s so much more to Jodie’s. So much I cannot recall at this time.

More than 2,400 Americans sailors, soldiers, and civilians died during the attack and another 1,000 were wounded.

For A Day That Will Live in Infamy, it has lived up to that moniker.

Remembering all who lost their lives and those whose lives were turned upside down because of the attack on Pearl Harbor. If you see a vet, thank them with the utmost respect and sincerity.

2019/10/05

Reminders

Da Goddess @ 15:02

Reminder of Dad

There are reminders of Dad everywhere I look, everywhere I go.

That succulent? In my sister’s backyard, from Dad’s memorial.

In my home, he’s everywhere even though he never set foot here. He’s responsible for the roof over my head, the food I eat, and sometimes even the clothes I wear were his. There are china cups and saucers, a tiny little teapot, artwork on my walls, shorts and shirts I’ve been wearing now for over a year, and the oddest thing: I feel him in the moving shadows as the winds push and pull the big tree outside.

Mostly, I hear him in the crows as they choose their squabble corner right in front of me. Or maybe they’re gossiping. Probably both, as I’ve seen just about everything with them from my windows or from the porch.

Even on my walks, I get the sense he’s not far away. The arguing neighbors, the orange trees pregnant with an endless bounty — or so it seems — and the grapevines that stretch from post to post along the wires between, with their pale green fruit slowly turning purple.

All of it reminds me of Dad. Not in a sad way, though I certainly feel sad sometimes. What I feel is more like…I’m not entirely certain…but, the closest I get to the right words is comfort and gratitude. Dad’s still here, watching over us, and sending reminders of how much he loved us, even if he didn’t say it often.

Isn’t that the best kind of love? The kind that needn’t be spoken because it just…is?

I miss him. I always will. I know this to be true. I also know he’s still close because he’s everywhere — in the little things, the big things, and even in the things we can’t see or hold.

Sometimes, when I’m out walking, I get the sense he’s not far and I always nod my head and say, “hi, Dad. Thanks for everything. I miss you.”

2019/10/04

Where Have All the Good Times Gone?

Da Goddess @ 00:15

Remember when the blogging community was thriving with great (or not) writing, fun & occasionally stupid memes, interaction with others, even bitter rivalries?

Much like television these days, with 500 channels and countless streaming options, blogging has become overwhelmed and drowned by other social media platforms. MySpace came and went (thank God). Google + or circle or whatever, also history. But Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and other sites seem to have drawn most bloggers away.

We’re scattered. Like large families who find themselves vast distances from each other, or maybe more like large herds of deer or other animals, the blogosphere bloomed and now has thinned.

I think one of the reasons so many people began to rely on other platforms is how commercialized or commoditized a lot of blogs became. It wasn’t so much ads on sidebars; it was more like people who had once told stories turned to writing paid reviews, or basically blogged solely for the purpose of income. It took a lot of the joy out of cruising blogs.

On Facebook, well, we could just connect on a realer level. Then Facebook started to “fix” what wasn’t broken, alienating users. You either loved the changes, hated the changes, or just rode them out because it was easier to keep track of family and friends on one site as opposed to going through dozens of websites. Twitter? You could build a variety of niche communities — or none — and cruise through for as long as you wanted. The brevity of tweets made for quick-ish reads and quick-ish replies.

Neither Facebook nor Twitter is perfect. Then again, neither was blogging when it was at its peak. But, at the very least, blogs were where so many people became friends, where people sometimes fell in love, where some found new careers, and/or where some discovered parts of themselves they’d lost or never even knew existed.

I suppose it’s inevitable that the blogosphere would collapse or implode implode or whatever you want to call it. Once bloggers abandoned realness for money, the blogosphere changed. It was as if someone plopped strip mall after strip mall between neighbors.

I’ve considered — more than once — just closing up shop. I mean, there are so few readers stopping by that it seems silly to keep going. However, while I’m not the most consistent blogger, I still find myself glad I have a place to write and post photos and interact with the few people who come by to check in with me. Y’all know who you are.

My domain name was up for renewal recently and I had to make a decision as to whether or not I should even bother. After some consideration, I decided to renew. Oddly enough, Go Daddy’s system decided I needed a two year renewal and I couldn’t get the system to let me renew for just one, so I’ll keep on for at least two more years. After that, who knows?

I’m sad so many of the people I met because of blogging have disappeared. I miss them. I miss what this community used to accomplish when called to action, whether in response to disaster or to raise money for military veterans and their families or raise money for breast cancer research. We were powerful once. As a community, we did some fantastic work and I miss that. But that’s over now and we all get to decide where we as individuals fit in or even if we want to fit in somewhere. Me? I’ll keep on keepin’ on until I run out of steam.

2019/07/04

Happy Independence Day!

Da Goddess @ 02:43

Flag Day 2009

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

~ The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

Be safe, have fun, and remember that Freedom is tentative and we must be vigilant, that we must defend it. We cannot take it for granted. Nor can we take for granted those who protect our freedoms.

God bless our troops and God bless America!

Wishing everyone a very safe day doing whatever it is you’re doing today. Please remember to have your pets safely restrained or contained once the fireworks start. Our sweet companions are oftentimes very afraid of the loud explosions and some are prone to bolt in panic. If possible, secure them indoors to reduce their level of stress.

And now I’m going to shut up and let you go have some fun!

2019/06/28

Jacaranda Lane

Da Goddess @ 03:14

It’s Jacaranda time in SoCal. It’s absolutely gorgeous when these trees are in bloom.

Everyone who’s followed me for more than two posts should know I love purple. Purple shirts. Purple pants. Purple people eaters. Purple plants. And, yes, even purple hair. There can never be too much purple in my world. Okay, maybe purple on every wall in a house…if it’s the wrong shade. Otherwise, I’m all about the purple. So, of course, the Jacaranda tree is a favorite.

I didn’t know when I moved in that I’d have a Jacaranda in the yard to admire every day. I didn’t know there’d be one at the end of our private drive (or rather, the beginning of the drive…but I consider it the end as it’s at the beginning, which is one of the last things I see as I leave…). The pictured tree above is that end of the road tree. Look how it shares its purpleness! It looks enchanting, doesn’t it?

If I were to create a fairy tale setting, it would have the trees what bloom purple. Yes, indeedy.

From Wikipedia:

The tree grows to a height of up to 20 m (66 ft).[6] Its bark is thin and grey-brown in colour, smooth when the tree is young though it eventually becomes finely scaly. The twigs are slender and slightly zigzag; they are a light reddish-brown in colour. The flowers are up to 5 cm (2.0 in) long, and are grouped in 30 cm (12 in) panicles. They appear in spring and early summer, and last for up to two months. They are followed by woody seed pods, about 5 cm (2.0 in) in diameter, which contain numerous flat, winged seeds. The Blue Jacaranda is cultivated even in areas where it rarely blooms, for the sake of its large compound leaves. These are up to 45 cm (18 in) long and bi-pinnately compound, with leaflets little more than 1 cm (0.39 in) long.

It also mentionsa white version, but I care not for such a boring color of flowering tree. Give me PURPLE!

Also interesting:

Water extracts using the dried powdered Jacaranda mimosifolia show higher antimicrobial action in vitro against Bacillus cereus and Escherichia coli than gentamicin sulfate does. The extract also acts against Staphylococcus aureus in vitro.

How fantastic it is to discover a possible alternative to fighting harmful bacteria, especially E. coli and Staph, two very stubborn bacteria. Now if only we could get Jacaranda mimosifolia off the vulnerable list!

See? It’s possible to be both beautiful AND helpful!

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Do you have a favorite tree? I want to hear all about it. Even if you don’t know what it’s called, I still want to hear. I love learning about…well, everything!

P.S. the house in the picture is the home of two lovely dogs. I have stories about them, which will be told in another post.

2019/05/20

Home-ish Tour, Part I

Da Goddess @ 02:26

I thought I’d finally start posting pics of my happy little home. The first one is my very tiny kitchen. What you see is the entirety of the kitchen. Except for the small fridge that you can see just the edge of on the right. Yep. My kitchen is really, truly that small. Storage is practically nil. I don’t care much, but I would’ve preferred a bit more counter space and more than just a single, small, awkwardly placed cupboard.

my very tiny kitchen

P.S. why is the picture not resized properly? Is it just me not seeing it the right way? Ugh. Doing a post from my phone isn’t the best way to go, but it’s where my pics reside at the moment. I totally need to upload them to the computer. I will. Someday. Someday. Maybe. (Btw, Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham is an excellent novel. Please read it. Please.)

2019/05/18

Five Three. FIVE. THREE.

Da Goddess @ 00:01

I’ve made it to 53.
For the first time in ages, I feel free.
It might seem silly or somewhat trite,
But I’m making note, as is my right.
I never expected I’d live so long;
I figured by now, I’d be gone.
But now it appears I’ve made it through
And I attribute much of this to you.
You’ve been amazing, of this I’m sure.
You’ve given me friendship true and pure.
I think this is a good place to stop,
As I’ve run out of rhymes…*

This year’s mission statement is:

* No reason for this to have been a rather awful poem, it just happened. I promise not to make a habit of this. Thank you for your support.

2019/05/07

Dear Dad: One Year Later

Da Goddess @ 10:30

Dad, it’s been a year since you left us and so much has happened. I know you’ve been looking out for us because we’re all still here. So many things could have taken any one of us, especially C and Mom, but, again, we’re still here. Thank you for that.

Thank you for also making it possible to get set up on my own again. I’m not 100% myself yet, but I’m getting there. I keep wanting to call and tell you about so many things. Then I catch myself and remember you’re no longer here. Physically, that is, because I feel you around all the time. I’m so grateful for that. I’m grateful to be reminded of you at every turn. The crows remind me. My landlord’s cars remind me. Just having a place to live, to call my own, reminds me. Thank you thank you thank you.

There are still tears and I think it’s safe to say there will always be a chance of tears. I know you lived a lot longer than you thought you would. I’m glad you did. I’m glad you got to know your grandkids and even happier they got to know you. Thank you for loving them so much!

I also know you felt you were ready to go. I understand. Rather, my head understands while my heart continues to struggle. 87 is a great age. There were times I thought we were going to lose you before — heart attacks are as scary for the family as they are for the patient! You were always too stubborn to go early. I guess a part of me thought you’d defy death forever, as unlikely as that is. All those years of “rehearsals” you’d think I’d have been more prepared. You could have been 105 years old and that would still have felt too soon to me. That said, I get it. It was your time. I’m just glad you didn’t have months or years of pain and suffering. Going as quickly as you did, I consider it a blessing.

I’m going to miss you forever, Dad. I will. All of us will. I’m going to keep thinking of all the good times we had. I’ll remember some of the bad, too. It’s only natural. But I won’t dwell on those because your goodness, subtle kindnesses, inner marshmallow, and your love for your family were stronger than any flaws you had, even that wicked loud roar when you were mad.

It feels like only yesterday I was rushing to hospital. Again, it’s been a crazy year with grieving your death, Mom in and out and in and out of hospital, C’s stroke, the uncertainty of my health, the greater uncertainty of housing…the year was occasionally going by too quickly or crawling along, depending on the memories I was facing, the way things usually go. It pretty much feels like one great big surreal fever dream. When grief engulfs me, I let myself feel it. I acknowledge that heartbreaking sadness washing over me. I accept it as one would any pain you feel because that’s part of life and loving. I’m glad you were my dad. I’m glad you ARE MY dad. I just wish you were here with us live and in person. Since that isn’t possible, I focuse on how lucky I was to have you as a father. Thank you.

I miss you. I miss you. I’ll always miss you. And I love you. Always. ALWAYS.

Thanks for being my dad and for loving me.

With love from your odd child,
Me

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