Archive for July 31, 2017

Mutt Day

Call him a “mutt” or “half-breed” or “exotic mix,” he’s still our treasured family member.  And today is his day.  It’s National Mutt Day, also known as National Mixed Breed Day.  Well, one of the annual days, since it’s also celebrated on Dec. 2.  But,  hey, humans’ best friend deserves two days.

Animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige established this day in 2005 to counter the trend toward designer-dogs and pure breeds. plus over-breeding, especially by puppy-mills to supply pet stores with these dogs.  The result has been sick and extremely neglected dogs.

Meanwhile, 80% of dogs in shelters are mixed breeds just waiting to be adopted before they’re euthanized.  This day is intended to point out that mutts generally live longer, are healthier, naturally better behaved, and can just as easily be trained to be service dogs, bomb/drug-sniffers, search and rescue–you name it.  And they’ll wag “I-love-yous” even when you’re grouchy.

Think about it.

That Daunting Garage Mess

Confronting you is the garage-corner with those electronic gadgets your spouse says must go!  Guess that means a dump-run, although those items are poison to the environment.  Stop!  There are alternatives.  You can put old electronics to better use than polluting the landfill.  Donate office machines to charities which do needed repairs then sell them to support their programs.  Give cell phones and laser or ink-jet cartridges to the Fraternal Order of Eagles, which supports children’s and veterans’ programs with them.  Give a cell phone to a battered woman, a disabled man, or an elderly couple, showing them how to keep it charged and how to dial the free emergency number, or to organizations that do that for you.  For example, the YMCA gives refurbished phones to domestic violence shelters and victims and to the elderly and disabled.  The options are there.  Mother Earth will thank you, and so will the vulnerable people you help.

Dogs Going to Prison

Stray dogs that would be euthanized + prisoners with damaged lives = an extraordinary idea.

Advice from an Old President

Today’s Thursday Thought quote reminds all of us–citizens, legislators, world leaders, family members–of what really matters.

“We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.”  —  Bill Clinton

Not So Unusual but Should Be

Ohio executed Dennis McGuire over three years ago.  It took him 25 minutes to die, during which time he snorted loudly and gasped several times.  Is this “cruel and unusual punishment”?  The courts looked at the case, then agreed to let Ohio resume executions using the same drug combination.  Despite the fact that the drug that’s supposed to render the person unconscious didn’t do so in many cases, leaving the condemned writing in pain for long periods (like McGuire’s 25 minutes).

Now Ohio is about to carry out a quick series of 27 more executions using that same drug combination, making the practice definitely cruel and, unfortunately, not unusual.

With all the studies showing that the death penalty is not a deterrent, is far more expensive than life-without-parole, and can’t be carried out humanely, no wonder support is widespread in the U.S. for discontinuing this practice.  When are we going to make our laws catch up to our reason?

When a Promise Should be Broken

I respect people who keep their promises.  But what if they haven’t done so yet and they know that the person they made the promise to has changed their mind?  Shouldn’t the Promiser give the Promisee the option of releasing them from the obligation?

I think so.  That’s why I feel that my governmental representatives should listen better to what people are currently saying, and when it’s obvious that those they represent are having second thoughts–ask us what we really want them to do.  We elected them to do what we think is right, and when we gain new experience, perspective, and information that changes our minds, we want them to do what we now believe is right. Whether it’s what we said when we voted for them or what we say now.  We don’t want them to  stick steadfastly to a promise we no longer wish them to keep, and we don’t want them to use “I ran on that promise” as an excuse not to make laws that are right and just. Thinking human beings change their minds when given new understanding; our representatives’ actions should reflect that.

We want them to hear us.  That’s what polls are for.  And Town Halls.  And office hours.  And letters, emails, and phone calls we send them.

But that’s not what’s happening in Washington.  If it were, more would be accomplished.

Produce Mesh

Those plastic mesh bags that produce comes in can be used for another purpose before they hit the trash can.  Take off any staples or labels, tie them into a tight knot (or series of         knots), and use them instead of pot scrubbers or steel wool pads.

Leaf 6

[For more easy, money-saving, Earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to or your favorite e-book seller and download to your computer or e-book device. Totally free, with no strings attached.]

OJ Simpson and the System

I’ve been in parole hearings (a victim can bring a non-participating supportive friend).  Both times the person was denied parole, despite the victim’s urging release, the inmate’s exemplary, peaceful, productive life Inside, and a show of respect  and remorse during the proceedings.

Then I watched the OJ Simpson hearing.  He spent a lot of time doing something that isn’t supposed to happen in a parole hearing–re-litigating the case.  The premise is that the case has been heard and judged and should not be re-tried during the parole hearing.  That’s in the past.  But  the Board allowed it.

Also, he showed no remorse, accepted no guilt.  In fact, he blamed everyone else for what happened. He lied about having led a non-violent life, forgetting all of the many cases of domestic abuse, which further showed his inability to accept responsibility (normally one of the criteria for release).  And he became angry when answering one of the Board members.  Yet, the Board somehow decided that his history of abuse against women was behind him and that he was now under control of his emotions, despite his outburst against the Board.

Some argue that his sentence was too severe, in light of the sentences (and non-sentence of one) of the other men involved.  If so,  that’s another reason our penal system needs to be reformed.

But so should how parole boards function–consistently, logically, and fairly for all.

Create Sunshine

I don’t know who said this Thursday Thought quote, but it makes a lot of sense.

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.

It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.”


Personal Note: Anniversary

Today would have been my 36th wedding anniversary. The years were filled with “for better” and “for worse,” “sickness” and “health.” We shared bringing new life into this world and seeing cherished loved ones move onto the next. We had some fierce disagreements and did a lot of forgiving–of each other and of ourselves. We enjoyed adventures together and, as we aged, commiserated with the fact that, more and more often, our bodies laughed at us and asked us, “You think you’re going to do WHAT?!”  We comforted each other over the estrangement of a friend or relative, then rejoiced with each other over reconciliation with them.

We helped each other adapt to severe changes in our lives, cried mutual tears of joy at our son’s wedding, exchanged laughter and knowing looks when hearing a young person’s exact, well laid-out plans for the future, and had our hearts melt at a wagging tail, four paws, and big brown eyes that say, “I’d love you even if you were to beat me.”  We worked as a team through hardship, tragedy, heartbreak, and financial difficulties and came out closer as a result.

The “worse” and “sickness” we vowed to get through was not fun or easy, but we got through it because we had one other. Besides, we always focused on the “better” and the “health,” letting the other simply fade away. That’s called Living Life.

We didn’t have another 35 years together here on Earth, not even an additional four months. He has moved on, leaving me with memories and family who carry on his love for me.

I miss you, Frank, but thank you for the years we did have.  And for the memories that sustain me.