Sunday, May 26, 2019


Commemorating U.S. Military who made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. 
Defending our shores.
Fighting for freedom and  justice.

Civil War ---  Decoration Day – Memorial Day History
WWI –-------  the war to end all wars
WWII --------  a world war to finally end wars
Korean -------  police action/actually war
Vietnam -----   war
Kuwait -------  war
Iraq -----------  war
Afghanistan -- war
    ?   ?   ?     --    ?

Instances of the Use of U. S. Armed Forces Abroad 1798-2018 (Updated Dec. 28, 2018)
 from Congressional Research Services

The History of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Memorial Amphitheater

Sunday, May 19, 2019


Big Bear Bald Eaglets Fishy Diet: 
   Continuing Up Date

Mama Jackie brings in a live fish - gives new meaning to sushi's sashimi.  Cookie whines, then feeding begins also with Simba.  Papa Shadow arrives with another fish.  Eaglets are rapidly growing in size -- dark feathers appear to be emerging from fluffy fuzz.   Weather conditions have been trending cooler than normal with periodic wind and unusual rain for May.   Quick real-time glances of the nest I’ve taken during stormy times reveal parental efforts to shelter eaglets but they’re much larger now and generally are exposed.   

Live 24/7 Video Cam:

A question that persists for me:  
Is there something fishy continuing in the White House to undermine our democracy with the effort to centralize power there by weakening the other government branches coupled with neutralizing journalists (Fourth Estate) who report facts and truth? 


What If ..... If Only ..... Revisited .....

My recent May 5th post and comments querying whether or not a spouse affects what one thinks of as success reminded me of this.  This is a refresh with some editing of a July 2007 post. 

Occasionally through the years, in moments of contemplation, I've thought about how an individual’s life might be different from the one they have, based on circumstantial changes in their activities, events, residences, other variables, earlier in their life.

What if, at various times, anywhere along the way, the twists and turns of choices and changes affecting them were made in directions other than the ones they did experience, thus leading to different outcomes or destinations?

I don't think about this for myself, generally, from a sense of regret. I think about it more from a standpoint of curiosity. I wonder how others view that question? 

I've thought, wouldn't life be interesting if we could just put on hold whatever our existence was at a given time. Then, we could go off on an alternate route, full well knowing we could come back to the place we were before if we chose, then resume life where we left off.  I guess that would require a quite different life dimension for each of us since we would be affecting so many other lives.  Perhaps that could be possible ..... in science fiction. 

As for myself, I experienced events at four or five years of age I would like to have avoided on both a personal and family level.    An accident that comes to mind I only recall based on the details my mother described to me.  I was perched behind the rider's seat reveling in the moment when my foot became entangled with the spokes of a moving bicycle wheel.   The wheel spokes penetrated my ankle, though thankfully left me with only a large scar present yet today. What if... I hadn’t tried to find a foot rest for my tired dangling little legs, which resulted in me instead catching my foot in those bicycle spokes?

What if, some other changes, experiences, relocations, in my life hadn't occurred? For example:

What if... my birth family had remained intact?   My experience of having my birth father remaining in our home could have offered me a different perspective on relationships.

What if... I had grown up and stayed in my birth city, or even the same state?   My circle of friends might have continued to be more centered on those there.   I did retain one life long friend until she died a couple years ago, even though we had both left.   But all the other friends I’ve made in subsequent relocations around the country I would never have known.

What if... my mother had not had some of the medical/sensory problems she developed? My life would have been affected differently if she had been able to return to her teaching profession, or even expanded differently on her other skills and artistic talents. 

What if... I had been able to continue my music, dancing classes, develop other potential career interests and attend the private university to which I aspired?   My life career choices might have been quite different.    

What if... I had never lived for a few years in the country exposed to nature as a major companion?   My appreciation and understanding of the environment and nature might stem from quite a different perspective as a primarily city girl. 

What if... I hadn't had to give away my dog when we moved?  My memory would be relieved of that emotional loss that I feel yet today.

What if... I had been allowed to accept the offer to ride a horse in Tucson, Arizona's annual western parade in that southwestern state to which we had just moved across country?   I would have treasured memories -- assuming there were no incidents with which this inexperienced rider might have had to cope – which is why my mother didn’t give me permission.   She apologized for this in later life – but I reassured her she probably made the wise decision. 

What if... a generous family member hadn’t offered to loan me the money to attend college in a day when there were no community colleges, scholarships were limited, student loans were unavailable?  I was so determined I would have explored other means.   I recall that  included the possibility of enlisting in a branch of the armed forces, despite the negative attitude of some in that time toward women in the military.  

What if... I hadn't made what later seemed like foolish mistakes on occasion?  What if... I hadn't had those instances in speaking when I "put my foot in my mouth"?   What if... I hadn’t met some of the people I’ve met, or I had met some others I didn’t meet?   What if... so many more "what ifs" that I could mention.

There is one interesting observation I've made over the years whenever I’ve heard most people engage in "What if...?" speculation as I've mentioned here previously. Invariably, whatever the past event or previous experience about which they are speculating, their assumption is that the result would have turned out better for them, "If only ...?"

How would my life have been different “if only…”?   Would my life have been “better” – whatever that means?  I wonder, do others ever consider the possibility the consequences just might have been much less desirable when they envision their “What if…” and "If only..."scenario?  

Sunday, May 12, 2019


Memories come to mind of my Mother born into the predominantly agrarian nineteenth century and her transition from living in a farming community into the twentieth century industrial world.  I first shared some of these thoughts on Mother’s Day in 2009.

These days when so many experience difficulties encountered as a consequence of a nation and world with such wealth inequity, coupled with government upheavals – nations moving away from democracy -- are unlike any in my lifetime. I often wonder what my mother would have to say on the subjects.

Mother become a young married woman during the twenty’s heydays preceding the Great Depression. I recall her descriptions of a none too easy early married life though that evolved into a more prosperous existence in their later married years as occurs with many couples.  

She said the hardships during the depression’s financial downturn did not directly adversely affect our family.  The challenging years occurred before I was born later in her life.   Our immunity to severe hardship was primarily because my father’s work was associated with the newspaper business. Newspapers were the primary source of news, so they were in much demand by almost everyone regardless of their financial situation. In fact, two of the most prominent state newspapers were vying for his distribution services.

Radio was just beginning with unprecedented broadcasting power thanks to Powell Crosley and the ultimate “Nation’s Station” WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio.  “Constructed to sell the radios his factory produced, WLW became the most powerful AM broadcast station ever licensed for use in the U.S.”  Years later they were prominent in television broadcasting including presenting talk shows before networks adopted them.  This was the several state broadcasting group that had been sold to another corporation with which I was ultimately associated.

Those early years in my life I recall we enjoyed some radio programs selectively chosen by my mother – lots of music, some drama, comedies and news.   There was no TV yet during my mother’s young midlife years, much less computers and the Internet of today. Newspapers were a primary source listing employment opportunity for those seeking work. People placed ads to sell belongings so they could raise some desperately needed cash while others with limited cash sought bargain prices as they needed these items but had little money themselves. Everyone wanted to subscribe or at least access a newspaper. This is hardly the situation that exists today in the newspaper business. 

In fact, more and more local newspapers are ceasing publication leaving serious questions about the implications for democracy.  These community publications serve as monitors of local governments, investigating as needed, distributing news to a local populace likely not disseminated otherwise.  Even any local radio stations once a news source generally no longer are.   News staffs for ordinary local news in the multitude of this nation’s small communities are typically non-existent.  Think about available sources of local news in your own community.  

During the Depression my mother continued to be active in her women’s church group. They devoted themselves to helping others in need, an activity in which she engaged for many of those years and throughout her lifetime when she was able.  In those years  after the Depression when Mother unexpectedly was on her own with our young family there was a holiday in which we became the needy recipients of aid as she had provided others. 

A few years after I was born our fortunes had changed and my mother had become a single parent in a time when a woman raising a family alone found life could be very difficult. My immediate family had never lived extravagantly, but as I entered my early childhood years, I was absorbing from observing my mother the lessons of needing to be even more practical and frugal.  I was also learning everyone, including women, needed to be able to provide for themselves and even others for whom they might have to assume complete responsibility – that this could occur quite unexpectedly.

Mother was a remarkable woman who in her later years in the face of other adversity, when she became legally blind and limited in visual activities, created unique multi-colored hooked rugs that became unexpectedly desired by others who even wanted to  purchase them. Her vision prevented her from quilting, sewing or making other fabric or fiber items she had once enjoyed creating.  She had simply wanted something to occupy her, keeping her awake while she listened to what was then called “Talking Books”, long before audio books were available today. 

My mother had an amazingly optimistic and positive attitude toward life. She made multiple transitions and adaptations to her varying circumstances. I marvel at how well she coped as she lived happily independently most of her remaining almost 90 years. My brother and I were able to assist her being able to do so though not to the extent we might have wished.  I miss her and wish I could have her company in my aging years.  We would probably have our moments of irritation with each other for one reason or another.  There would also be lots of laughs.  We would be good housemates together and have so much to talk about.