Monday, January 27, 2020


Isn’t it fascinating how our minds can stimulate unbidden thoughts, usually for only a matter of minutes,  sometimes longer.   We are lead to navigate through many varying topics, recalling events and people in our lives, often encompassing current to past years memories.  

Perhaps this tends to occur more frequently as we age, since I don't remember this happening as much when I was younger.  Maybe my memory bank is over-flowing, or that's the only way to reconnect with some who exist only in my mind now, or I simply have more leisure time to indulge the experience.  So it is, that some now-forgotten incident occurred the other day prompting me to think of dance.  The next thing I knew my mind picked up that dance thread, taking me along on a journey of its own.

I found myself thinking of the movie musicals featuring lots of dancing that were popular when I was a young girl, so viewing them at a local theatre often attracted me --  Gene Kelley, Fred Astaire. Cyd Charisse.  (Decades later brought John Travolta, Patrick Swayze).   Years later the advent of television featured a broad variety of music shows in series and specials with many TV programs featuring their own dance companies.   Choreographer dancers like Peter Gennaro, Debbie Allen come to mind.

My life situations as I matured offered me limited opportunity to dance even socially, but I observed live and other performances at every opportunity.  I recall my mother describing her love of social dancing.   She spoke of sneaking off to go dancing when she was supposed to be at a church event during her youth in horse and buggy days, before cars.  She said she was considered very tall for a girl at 5’9",  so many of her partners were shorter than her which was less acceptable in the minds of some in those days.  Typically, then and in my day, public dancing generally was expected to be between a male and female, but attitudes toward this, too, evolved years later, often with less attention to gender pairings.    

Dancing’s attraction for me actually began in my early childhood leaving fond memories I still recall when, like many little girls, I was enrolled in a dance class.  I have a vague picture in my mind of standing on a stage looking out into a huge auditorium when I was preschool age.   This was our dance recital at one of our town’s two theatres, each originally elaborately designed for stage performances but later adapted to accommodate a movie screen, too.  

I still remember the recital music and some of our simple dance steps for “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers”.   Further performance details my mother described to me many years later.   She said I was the redhead in a group of four girls consisting of my deceased-a-few-years-ago last living life-long friend, a brown hair brunette.   Our team included also a blond and a girl with black hair. My friend and I laughed with pleasure reminiscing the year before she died about our dance days in the entertainment world.   

Our music and performance wasn’t quite like Harry Connick, Jr.’s version, set here to clips of “Babes In Toyland” but this is a fun well-edited clip though has no human dancers:   

My thoughts swirled on to another special dance memory which occurred during a tumultuous period of my life when I was in Jr. High School.  We had moved across the country living a few months in the Southwest where I first encountered a then minority culture different than my Caucasian one.   I had just entered school midyear when soon after we had a mesmerizing assembly.  On the stage was a handsome young golden-brown-skinned dancer attired in the traditional dark pants, shirt, sombrero, scarf, and his sister in a fancy colorful long skirt dancing their native country’s Mexican Hat Dance to unique musical rhythms much like this video: 

That memory gave way to a recollection from many years later when a male family member became a professional dancer.  Geographic limitations prevented me from ever seeing him dance, but I treasure still photos showcasing that red-haired muscular youth in a ballet performance with limbs extended as he seemed to be effortlessly sailing through the air.   I wish technology had been such as it is today when videos could have been readily recorded for my enjoyment and that of his wife and children, such as with one of his favored Nutcracker Mouse King roles.
These memories, as I noted earlier, all came to me prompted by a single external trigger which was that I wondered if people still square-danced?   I recall my sole experience square dancing as fun at a popular adult club as I was verging on becoming a teenager.   Afterward when describing to friends the experience of “duckin’ for the olive” and “do si do-‘n” I would then offer what I thought was my humorous version of instructions a caller would give: “Swing your partner ‘round and ‘round, pick her up and throw her down!”

This set me to thinking about the relationship between square dance music and country western music, a genre which has had selective limited appeal to me.  Next I recalled hearing line dancing had become popular and I wondered if it was replacing square dancing?   A brief internet search revealed square dance clubs are still all over the U.S., but those who actually square dance, reportedly, are declining in number. 

My thoughts devolved into imagining the advent of the Internet, technology and marketing changes in digital, music and distribution probably having a profound, possibly adverse effect on the sales of "square dance music with callers" recordings – a business in which I then recalled some friends family engaged.   My friends were considerably younger than me, but had died prematurely in the past decade or so due to separate but sad and tragic circumstances. 

All these thoughts are really quite mundane, specifically unique to me as would be yours to you.  These kind of recollections are relatively unimportant in the scheme of our existence, but they are the little aspects of day-to-day living that make up our lives, meaningful mostly to just us.   

Maybe not everyone has such mind-wandering travels as this.  I recall my husband could sometimes become impatient on occasion if I freely went on a mind journey aloud,  though usually just a much shorter jaunt. 

Do you ever allow your mind to take you down recollective thought highways and byways -- sometimes leapfrogging from one seemingly unrelated matter to another as perceived by others -- though actually connected by one small thread, perhaps apparent only to you?

Monday, January 20, 2020


Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday 1/20/2020 – the 25th anniversary since 1986 commemorates this Civil Rights leader’s birthday and legacy.   Individuals are empowered to devote a day of service volunteering to improve their community by bridging barriers, creating solutions to social problems.


Presidential Impeachment Trial 

.....beginning Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The profound quotes below were said or written by Dr. King in contexts different from that to which I am associating them here.  I think these words can be interpreted to have special significance now as our U.S. Senate begins consideration of the Impeachment of our President Donald J. Trump.          (Quotes attributed to Dr. King at Keep Inspiring Me)


“Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.”

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic or popular, but he must take it because his conscience will tell him it is right.”

“The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.”

“That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind.  The time is always right to do the right thing.”

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

“A lie cannot live.”

“We must use time creatively in the knowledge the time is always ripe to do right.” 

 “We may all have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

National Public Radio (NPR) describes How The Impeachment Trial Will Work which begins Tuesday, January 15, 2020.

Monday, January 13, 2020


I didn’t plan to cover our Big Bear area Bald Eagles again in 2020, but viewing recent unexpected TV news videos reminded me of them, resulting in my once again becoming enthralled with recent events there. 

Note:  Last year’s saga is covered in archived posts you can read for anyone interested. Parental eagles, cougar mother Jackie and younger father Shadow successfully hatched two eggs with one eaglet, Simba, maturing toward adulthood, but there was much drama during the interim months culminating in younger eaglet, Cookie’s death, later Simba's reluctance to leave the nest.   My first post was March 24, 2019 with periodic reports during the ensuing months before my last post July 28, 2019 with links on those dates.  Summaries, You Tube video links also available on the Friends of Big Bear Valley Bald Eagle site.

Since I didn’t follow the site after Simba fledged I only now learned there have been subsequent events seriously threatening their nesting location, even the eagles remaining in the area, according to the Friends of Big Bear Valley Bald Eagles you can read about on their site.  Humans keep infringing on wildlife habitat.   Will this Bald Eagle sanctuary be protected?

Meanwhile the unsuspecting parental eagles, bonding for their second season,  have returned to their nest with Jackie laying an egg (1/8/2020) expected to hatch Valentine’s Day -- to be followed shortly by the second egg laid Saturday night (1/11/2020) as expected.    Hopefully, unlike last year, the second eaglet will survive and both eaglets will mature to safely fly from the nest.   

I wonder if climate change has somehow affected the parental eagles determination each season about when they start their family?   Perhaps temperatures vary enough from year to year now to result in their needing to adjust.  

These eggs are hatching about a month earlier than last years eggs which gives me some concern that if we have some fierce winter weather conditions whether the chicks will be strong enough to adapt.   Last year it was soon after the final really cold spell of the season with snow, may have been some rain, that the second-born chick ultimately couldn’t survive.  
Currently Jackie is being subjected to below freezing temperatures some nights, all-day and night cold feather-ruffling wind bursts, occasional icy rain or snow as expected later this week.   The nest is reportedly at 7000 feet (+/-30 feet); possibly with only one other California nest at that elevation or higher at Yellowstone National Park -- but no live video coverage there. 

Reports in "Chat" on "Friends" site are of Bald Eagle nests at higher elevations in Colorado mountains.   Nesting bald eagles there and in Canada tolerate temperatures to 30 degrees or  so below zero.  Snow, expected this Thursday, can serve as insulation but any freezing rain in the weeks ahead presents the more serious risk to the incubating eggs.  

Jackie is dedicated to keeping the incubating eggs warm, periodically turning them to aid proper chick development.   Shadow is equally dedicated, sometimes assuming the egg-warming task for several hours providing Jackie respite from the nest.   Periodically he also flies in to provide Jackie nourishment with freshly caught fish from picturesque Big Bear lake visible in the distance often featuring awesome solar-powered sunset videos.   

Here is the new Big Bear Bald Eagles YouTube live camera link: 

.....for any readers who want to follow these dedicated avians in their wildlife saga, especially since this could be the last year these eagles will remain in Big Bear.  

* * *

I’m dedicated, too, renewing my personal commitment to myself to engage in more life enhancing actions this New Year.   I gave myself an exercise device I have yet to take out of the box and setup for use, so I’m not off to a very good start.  

It’s as though once I ordered the item, then received the box I had accomplished what seemed like a really good idea.  Nothing could be further from the truth as I well know, but what happened to the enthusiasm I had when I came up with the idea?  I even got a price “deal” adding to my motivation this was a wise action I was taking. 

Have you thought you were dedicated to doing something, then somehow didn’t follow through quite like you fully intended to do?  

The road to you-know-where is paved with good intentions as the saying goes.  Maybe it’s not too late to get my act together.  How about you?

Monday, January 06, 2020


I’ve taken quite a lengthy break from writing here.  Thanks to commenters for your continued interest despite my mercurial writing commitment.   I really haven’t known if I would resume writing, but concluded if I did, I wanted a limited publishing schedule and posts of relatively short content.   We’ll see how well I can follow that plan as it’s no understatement to say that I can tend to become a bit verbose as you likely have noted. 

Also, especially since 2016, when I begin to write I’m often challenged with thought intrusion associated with preservation of our threatened democratic republic’s freedoms.   Consequently, I experience frustration resisting excessively writing about the state of our nation.   I realize too much of this subject matter may be less than appealing to readers here, but I seem to feel the need to express myself.

Those were my thoughts before the most recent actions initiated by our nation’s leader who has now unleashed the potential for even more dangerous unpredictable world events.   Escalating uncertainty ensues with unknown consequences.  Additionally, indicators of our planet’s climate changes, denied by this same leader, increasingly manifest themselves in destructive weather events around the world we read or hear about in our daily news such as the present horrendous Australian fires.   

I long for a nation and world that seems not to have so many more such serious issues demanding immediate resolution.  I entertain the hope we will overcome these challenges for the betterment of humankind but wonder if any will occur in my lifetime, much less that of my children and grandchildren.  Perhaps in a more desirable environment my thoughts and writing would explore light-hearted topics.  I try to differentiate between what I can realistically do to positively influence matters and what is beyond my control.   

The manner in which I can act to impact the situations has altered through the years.   My ageing, physical condition has gradually limited me more, but the very least I can do is to vote as I have now arranged to do by mail should I be unable to visit my voting site.  Traditional voting sites are changing in California and elsewhere, anyway.  We just need to insure as best we can the security and integrity of our states voting systems.  We also need to combat voter intimidation through limiting laws and any gerrymandering prevalent in some states. 

We can combat the forces that defy our nation’s values with the November 2020 national elections offering a significant major opportunity to do so.   We need to facilitate new voter registration through every method possible as one means of accomplishing this opportunity for necessary meaningful change.   

Meanwhile, we’re all faced with finding coping mechanisms to aid in retaining our sanity for relief from the unbidden heavy life complications foisted upon us.   We each do so in our own way.  I use a variety of methods in an effort to balance my thoughts with other input.   Just a few alternate focus areas for me include following my distant family members activities, listening to music, pleasurably reading both fiction and nonfiction, engaging in a variety of other involvements that also serve as distractions, but humor of all kinds is a saving grace. 

I never knew what one favored type of humor, often flippant and funny, sometimes with serious meaning, was called, “Paraprosodokian”, where the statement ending can be quite unexpected, a reversal  from the beginning of the statement, such as: 

"War does not determine who is right – only who is left."

What prompts your choice of writing topics? 
How do you cope with any frustrations you may feel with life issues?