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

2019/05/02

(T)Hairsday — The Color Purple

Da Goddess @ 06:15

I’m still purple. Actually, I’m MORE purple at the moment.

I’ve stopped thinking about my hair color except when I catch sight of myself in the mirror. But other people comment. The comments are always, surprisingly, positive. From little old ladies at the store to my doctors, people have been kind.

It’s not like I’m the only one in the world with vivid hair, so that may well be the very thing that’s softened people’s response to mine. All I know is it makes me happy. For less than $10, I’m getting a couple months worth of joy. Not bad, eh?

The Color Purple

That’s about as good a pic as I can get with the phone. It doesn’t give you the full extent of my purpleness, the depth of the color, nor does it show you the smile on my face. But, trust me when I say it’s very purple, deeply so, and it’s nothing but the embodiment of joy for me.

Now, if you’re considering doing something similar:

1. Consider your skin color. You’ll probably want to avoid colors that wash out your complexion or cause you to look ill. Think about your favorite piece of clothing, the one that gets you compliments. That color is likely what will be a good choice for your hair.

2. Temporary color is a great choice for anyone wanting to give this a trial run. I started with Colorista by L’Oreal. It came with several pairs of gloves (hang on to the extras as they come in super handy for future hair experiments) since one bottle is enough for a couple applications for most people. If you have very long or thick hair, you may require more product than someone with shorter and/or thinner hair.

3. Don’t spend an arm and a leg for color. I got my color at Walmart. The price was excellent. The location was convenient. For me? Doesn’t get better than that!

4. Pay attention to the color swatches on the box. If your hair is very dark, you may need to lighten it before you start playing with color. Here’s the trick with that: buy two boxes of THE least expensive hair dye. Go for anything that DOESN’T say “ash” or “golden” as either of those can cause your vibrant color to look off. I recommend getting two boxes because it makes life easier to have a second on hand in case you need to go lighter.

5. Do NOT do more than one hair lightening or dye job per day! Your hair can’t take it unless you’re using professional products and, if you’re going that route, just have this done professionally (you’ll save yourself a lot of angst).

6. After your hair has lightened up, go ahead and apply the temporary color. Make sure you wear gloves! Follow the directions provided. Seriously. Follow. The. Directions.

7. If, after the first application, you don’t feel your color is bold enough, wait a day. If you find it necessary, do a second application. This generally does the trick. The second application tends to make the color pop. POP. Pop. Pop. POP! That’s kind of the whole point of going with unconventional colors, isn’t it?

8. When/if you’re ready for something more permanent or are looking for color that lasts a few extra washes, try Arctic Fox. It’s a semi permanent color and is holding up quite well. I’m currently sporting Arctic Fox Purple Rain. I waited a week before going with a second application and it was just what I wanted.

9. Use a gentle shampoo after coloring. Harsher shampoo will strip the color and that’s pretty much the opposite of what you want. Condition well.

10. If you’ve decided to go with a permanent color, try Schwartzkopf’s Göt2be products. They’re bright and affordable.

11. If you went and played around with your color, please comment below with a link to photos of your hair. I really really want to see and I want to celebrate your courage.

2019/03/16

Humbled

Da Goddess @ 23:11

Autocorrect was invented so we’d be humbled at least once a day.

There’s no way to maintain an air of superiority when autocorrect sneaks in and messes with you. Whether it’s during an argument or serious or “intellectual” discussion, I’m telling you it’s impossible to see yourself as having the high ground when you notice the error and it’s too late to change it.

Humbled.

Every single time.

2018/12/15

I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying…and, Yes, Okay, I’m Crying

Da Goddess @ 17:33

I had planned on my semi-regular 12 Days of Christmas music posts, but I ended up with more pain and such than I could handle, making me forget what day I should have started and which videos I was going to use. I’ll post something, just not 12 days of videos.

Twitter has been the easiest way to stay in touch with a few people and it’s easy to post occasionally, to keep a few brain cells functioning, to find some humor when I need it most. But there have also been a few tweets that made it difficult to keep the tears from flowing.

Harry Leslie Smith died November 28. I’d been following him for quite a while and was saddened to hear he was ill. At 95, I didn’t hold much hope for his recovery from pneumonia, especially after they went to chest and feeding tubes. As a nurse, I knew how bad it likely was. But, there was still a small bit of hope…a tiny flame that Harry would make it, that his son would be able to take his dad home and eventually get back on the road, visiting refugee camps, appearing at speaking engagements, and maybe finishing another book. I felt extremely invested because of my dad. I knew all too well the way Harry’s son, John’s heart was racing and breaking. I offered whatever words I thought could possibly help, though in that situation nothing ever really helps. And I went at the news that Harry had succumbed to his illness.

— * — I’m going to ask you now to Google Harry Leslie Smith so you can learn more about this man who went from sheer poverty to soldier to author to human rights advocate during his remarkable life. I cannot do just to his legacy here. Please Google him. Quick link to his Wikipedia page for those too stubborn to Google. I’ll wait here. — * —

You’re back! Okay. So, now you know a bit about the astounding man who didn’t let the last years of his life go slowly or easily. Harry chose to do something to help others. He spoke his mind and heart. What a beautiful way to live, right?

His son, John, is continuing to update Harry’s Twitter account and is planning to continue on with the work Harry was devoted to. He’ll be in San Diego soon and then Mexico so he can see for himself what’s happening with the refugees who’ve been held by our government for simply seeking asylum. What’s happening down there is a travesty and to know that John is following in his father’s footsteps is enough to make my heart burst. Vale, Harry Leslie Smith. And to John, best to you. I know how hard it is to keep looking ahead, but you are most definitely your father’s son and you are meant for a very purposeful life.

Now on to the next item that stopped me in my tracks, leaving me teary and red-eyed. This story about a friendship no one really saw coming and how one woman’s loss brought this friendship to light. For Lin Wang’s family, especially his daughter Shirley, I send my heartfelt condolences and I send my gratitude for sharing this story. There are always surprises in everyone’s lives, but there are some that really take one aback.

For everyone missing a loved one this season, I feel you. For me this is raw and unknown territory. Perhaps it is for you, too. I’m here. Leave a comment. Let’s talk.

2018/12/07

A Day Which Will Live In Infamy

Da Goddess @ 05:42

December 7, 1941 — “…a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.
It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
Yesterday the Japanese government also launched as attack against Malaya.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Wake Island.
And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.
As commander in chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt

We’ll never forget.

2018/09/11

September 11 — 17 Years On

Da Goddess @ 02:30

This is from 2015, but I have been thinking about this particular post for the past week and there’s no better time to revisit it.

And can we just take a moment to reflect on the fact it’s been SEVENTEEN YEARS??! It seems much more recent.

_______________

When we think of this day, we often focus on the loss and the pain. It’s very natural for us to do so because it was a very painful time for our country. So many people lost so very much. But a lot of good has risen from the ashes of that dark day. Here’s a story from Bob Dotson:

He no longer put off anything that brought them joy. “If we’re lying on the floor and all of a sudden Victoria says, ‘Daddy, I want to go to the park,’ I’m like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to go to the park.’ That’s what I’m thinking, but I say, ‘Let’s go. We’re going to the park.’ ”

Robert shouted “Hang on, guys!” as the kids squealed with laughter. They were riding in a grocery cart, careening across the lot toward dad’s big SUV. “Why should I deprive my children from going shopping?” Robert said. “I see all the other mothers going shopping with their kids. Why can’t I do it?”

He raced alongside the grocery cart, jumped on its rear axle and pushed with a powerful leg. The children exploded with laughter again. “When my kids smile, the terrorists lose,” Robert said with a grin. “The people who killed Janet wanted to destroy our happy lives. They lost. We won.”

In his book American Story, Dotson also tells of a Newfoundland town that took in stranded passengers from several planes that were forced to land. It’s a beautiful story. The entire book is full of them. To say I recommend this book highly is an understatement. It’s what every American should read. Most particularly today. Go get yourself a copy and let each story remind you why America is so special, why we triumph even when faced with horrifying tragedy like September 11, 2001.

Today, while I remember the lives lost and those impacted by the the actions of hateful people, I will also remember the goodness and strength we found along the road to recovery. Neighbor helping neighbor. Children leading their parents. Strangers holding hands and offering whatever they could to ease another’s burdens. We have triumphed because that’s what America is all about.

Yes, I still remember and I still grieve, but I also see the promise of America through the veil of tears.

Always remember, and always hope.

2018/08/20

Monday Musings

Da Goddess @ 00:01

We all judge ourselves by what we deem effortless by other people. It’s terribly unfair to ourselves and terribly unfair to those whose work or lives we admire.

Chris Addison wrote the best post about this very subject and I can’t think of a single thing to add to it. It’s brilliant as is.

Another thought: if you admire what someone else has created, let them know. Even if they never get your message, be it spoken or written or whatever, your thoughts add to the power and energy of goodness in the universe. We need that more and more every day.

2018/08/16

Thursday Thoughts

Da Goddess @ 00:01

“Every popsicle is a race against time” ~ Lin-Manuel Miranda

Ain’t that the truth?

From the same Twitter thread:

“Live each day like it’s a popsicle in summer” ~ Blake Severson

I’m telling you, Twitter has been a life-saver this year.

2018/08/02

Threefer Thursday: ELO

Da Goddess @ 00:01

ELO will always be a special band for me. When I was in 5th grade, my friend’s mom was dying and I got “Out of the Blue” for Christmas. She and I listened to the album over and over again that day as our parents talked grown-up talk. We continued to listen to it over the coming months as her mom’s condition deteriorated. We had all the lyrics memorized, knew every lick, knew the album forward and backward. We could name any tune in one note (a nod to her dad, who’d appeared on Name That Tune). It was our refuge during the darkest days. We listened to other albums, other artists, but when we were together it had to be ELO and “Out of the Blue”.

Don’t get me wrong! Just about any ELO album will make me happy. It’s just that I have a place in my heart for one in particular.

The first video is from “On the Third Day” and is probably the best rocker from any of their albums. I love it for that reason and I don’t think I need another, do you?

The second video is for a song I once knew so well I had every note, nuanced phrasing, and timing down pat. Also not from “Out of the Blue”, but still so worthy of being sung loud enough for all to hear.

This last one is a favored song for a couple reasons, one of which is because Zach Galifianakis used it for a bit on the penultimate episode of his late night show. And, if not for Zach, I’d never have started blogging.

2018/07/04

The Spirit of America on Independence Day

Da Goddess @ 00:01

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! God bless America!

And, God, please don’t let these fools playing with fireworks set the whole of Southern California ablaze. Thanks!

2018/05/27

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Da Goddess @ 11:59

I still very much miss the days when Little Dude and I walked Ft. Rosecrans, placing flags before the graves of those who served our country, be they military or military dependents. I miss the sight of all the scouts who were swarming the cemetery doing the same thing. I miss the time LD and I had after everyone else had left, time we used to explore, learn, remember, and revere those who not only answered the call to serve but gave all.

There is nothing as sobering as the sight of waves of headstones upon the sea of grass too vivid for the somber reflection taking place. But, perhaps, the grass really should be that green so there’s no mistaking the pale, bleached bone-white gravemarkers. Azure skies, searing green hills, white-as-bone gardens of stone. It’s haunting and humbling.

One could easily forget Memorial Day is more than a long weekend of BBQ, friends, and relaxation. Many do. I don’t. I know you, dear reader, don’t. Even so, I still need to post a reminder — as much for myself as for others. I need to remember. I WANT to remember. Those who gave themselves for this notion of freedom, of democracy, deserve our attention. It’s the simplest manner of honoring what they did and what we have.

____________

Another reminder of that for which our military fought, two stories of the realities of war. We were fortunate here in the US that our parents and grandparents weren’t evacuated, didn’t have to endure bombings as happened in England and Europe. They did, however, fear it could happen. So, read the two links above and join me in a moment of silence as I thank our military for fighting so hard to keep the war from our shores during WWII.

____________

Memorial Day Ft. Rosecrans, San Diego

ON ROSECRANS HILL
by Jeffrey T. Naas

On Rosecrans hill the grasses grow
Between the headstones row on row
That mark our place as in the sky
The gulls, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard against the surf below

We are the dead. Not long ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunsets glow
We chose for freedom’s cause to die
And now upon this hill we lie
As grasses green above us grow

We knew the price we had to pay
To keep the enemy at bay
We gave our all, we fought the fight
To keep aglow sweet freedom’s light
Remember this, we ask today

One thing we ask of those not slain
Will you fight on for freedom’s reign?
If war returns, as it well might
Will you take up the gallant fight?
Yes, answer us! You who remain

And so we lie here, asking still
If you, our sons, will have the will
To sacrifice as we did then
That your sons, too, may live free men
As we wait still, on Rosecrans hill

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