Saturday, December 2, 2017

Emily is turning four

In honor of Indus Emily the Dickens' (named before I ever heard of Grantchester) fourth birthday and in lieu of birthday cake because she could care less how it looks as long as she gets the meat and cheese, here she is.
 She arrived during a snowy winter.

 She decided that Miro was a tasty chew toy.

 Growing up, she became an expert napper just like Miro.


or freshly groomed

bowed under circumstances

or coming in from the rain,

she brightens every day.
and continues to write doggerel.

Chicken is fickle
meat is neat
fish is delish.
Serve cheese for brunch
crunch carrots at lunch.
You say I'm sweet,
so where's my treat?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Chickens: the Next Generation

After a raccoon ravaged and savaged my flock, including the lovely Edna, a couple of years ago, I didn't replace them. I've been house-hunting for over two years and thought it would be best to wait until I settled into a new place. It seems, however, that half the population wants to move to the Seattle area, perhaps to be closer to Canada--just in case. The result is a very tight real estate market, and here I still sit in my cute house with its backbreaking amount of work. And no chickens.

I just couldn't take it any more.

I also feared that I might be due for assisted living by the time I was able to get out of here, so no sense to keep waiting. My son and a friend are rebuilding both coop and run. Meanwhile, four hens are trying their best to outgrow their box in the laundry room.

At the beginning of April, they hopped like popcorn out of the basket. So much for cute poses.

One week later.
The discovery of dirt.

By the end of April, they were teenagers and just as scruffy as human teens.

Scruffy but cute.
I was going to name them after the four female Supreme Court justices or after foods like Cassoulet, Fillet, etc. but they are beginning to acquire distinct personalities and will require names that fit. Still thinking on it.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Dogs have moral sense

A Feb. 18 article in New Scientist called "Dogs and Monkeys Prefer Good People" describes an experiment in which dogs and monkeys (but not together) watched one actor struggled to open a jar containing a toy. A second actor then helped or refused to help the first actor open the jar and get the reward. Both actors then offered the monkey or dog a treat.

In cases where the actors cooperated, the dogs and monkeys showed no preference about accepting the treat from either one. In cases where the second actor did not help the first, they showed a marked preference for accepting a treat from the first actor.

Dogs judged and preferred people who showed cooperative social behavior in much the same way a year-old human does. We know how carefully our dogs observe us, the way they can predict it's walk time while we're forming the thought and don't believe we've even made a move.

And now we know for sure that they know whether we've been bad or good. Who needs Santa when the dog is watching to make sure we're sharing our toys and food?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The kinglets are here!

Every year at this time, tiny Golden-crown kinglets sweep through the yard. They're very tiny birds, impossibly cute. Usually they're in groups high up in the fir trees, but this morning I saw three hopping around like ping-pong balls in the driveway and calling to each other in their high-pitched voices. One came within a few feet of me, probably not even noticing what I was. Here's a photo from

It shows how pretty they are but doesn't give the right impression of how round their bodies are.
Here's another, source unknown.
To help identify them in your yard, you can listen to their sounds here.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Holidays to All!

Although I haven't been blogging, I'm happy to know that many of you are still here writing about your animals, adding love and beauty to a world that sorely needs them.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Some information I want to keep handy

Fourteen Defining
Characteristics Of Fascism
By Dr. Lawrence Britt
Source Free

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread
domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
From Liberty Forum

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I've been wondering today how it will be possible to write. Perhaps surreal poetry and certainly visual art will become the trend because our reality has shifted into another realm that I, for one, can hardly get my mind around. Maybe I can return to my subjects--properties of materials like glass and minerals, plant communication, birds-- but even the realities of those things that seem independent of us interact too much, and I don't refer only to environmental concerns. I refer to our vision of what is around us. Every non-human thing is the same but has somehow shifted, as after a death; and we have to get accustomed to this new place, this new life, having lost something we loved.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

An argument for not putting things tidily away in cupboards and drawers.

Son: Have you seen the clamp?
Me: You mean the thing that holds things together?
Son (rolls his eyes): Yes, the metal thing, the bar clamp. Two jaws that screw together. (Holds up hands to demonstrate.)
Me: I know I’ve seen it somewhere…
Son: I used it last winter. There are a hundred places where it could be in the garage.
Me: Have you checked the laundry room? On top of the dryer?
Clomp, clomp, clomp down the stairs.
Son: It’s here.

Sherry's mind-map
                              Mind like a squirrel. Remembers where the nuts are buried.

 Hard to believe, but I've been bored with blogging, using my writing time for poetry instead. While most of my publications are in print, I've a few online, including one in which the title's layout accuses me of kidnapping.