Monday, November 30, 2020

He's Breaking America

On some level, I suppose it's not his fault.  On some level, this is a tragic opera playing out in 3 acts - running, Presidenting, the aftermath.

He can't help himself.  His father ruined him and his mother didn't intervene.  Read Mary Trump's analysis of his psychology if you want to see it play out.  He watched his older brother crumble under the strain.  He would survive.

If there is a positive piece of his character it is that will to survive.

But underneath, he has no substance.  Winning is the only thing.  There's no love, unless it's salacious (cf how he can't keep his hands off Ivanka).  There is no empathy, because there is no one who matters except himself. There is no honesty, because reality cannot compete with the horror of loss.

And so, the current incumbent is making plans to break America.  

It's because his brain is breaking, unable to conceive of losing, of disappointing his father, of not living up to his gold-plated self image.  There is no way that he can rationalize losing so publicly, so overwhelmingly, so decisively.  

After all, he himself declared that 306 electoral votes was a landslide.

And so he's promoting fraud and conspiracy and magic voting machines that commune with the dead.  Huge numbers of his supporters believe him.  He's tapping with a heavy hammer against the very foundation of our democracy  -  the people rule.

Fortunately, the courts have stood up against this onslaught.  The deciders have used words like laughable and without merit and come on, now!   Those of us on the outside looking in can laugh, along with Neil Katyal.  The schadenfreude is titillating;  I feel it up and down my spine.

But the reality is that much of America believes that the election was rigged, was unfair, that Joe Biden will be sworn in but he won't really be President.  Trump wants to be sure that Biden doesn't get credit for the vaccine - It was ME! - even though Pfizer wanted nothing to do with him, or Operation Warp Speed.

And now Trump is talking about launching his 2024 campaign on Inauguration Day.  

I'm letting that sentence sit there, because it sits in the middle of my heart, in just that way.  On a day when the country is supposed to bind the wounds opened by the election, the orange menace will drive a stake into the soul of the nation.

Competing inaugurations?  Will the networks cover the Trump event?  Will it make it into the newspapers?  Will it be broadcast or streamed?  

I had hoped for a Trump free future, one where America, having been tested and survived, could move on and build back better.  Instead, the bad man  (FlapJilll's term) seems determined to worm his way back into my consciousness, even if his antics are now the third or fourth story on the national news.

I was scared when armed militia were allowed to invade the Michigan State House.  I'm terrified now that Trump's future plans are spilling out onto America's lap.  

Friday, November 27, 2020

Thanksgiving Day

I made an apple pie with FlapJilly this morning.  She made hers in Indiana, and mine was created here in Tucson,  but we made them together,  on Zoom. 
My turkey came out of the oven just as the veggies were ready.  The masked potatoes had no lumps.  The rolls were perfect.  No one cared that the jello mold wasn't gelled; we'll eat it tomorrow. 
Leftovers. My favorite part of Thanksgiving.  I suppose there's no reason I can't have pie for breakfast.  Ice cream can be my milk substitute. 
I spent the day with memories. CTG and G'ma, Nannie and Grandpaw, old neighbors and Auntie M, they all made an appearance.  

There were some tears involved. 
A long walk after dinner, the sun sitting low in the sky,  the golden hour. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving Memories

Some new, some repeated, all part of what used to be.

Dinner in Cleveland Heights at Nannie's house:

Sitting in the dining room, using it, for once, as more than an inconvenient space between the kitchen and the tv room, sideboards groaning, waiting for Nannie's yearly screech,  just as the first fork was lifted: "Oh, shit... I burned the rolls!"

Most Embarrassing Thanksgiving Day Moment:

 "What time are you getting your mom?"

"Oh, shit, I forgot about G'ma!"

Warming the cockles of my heart (and making me glad I recorded it in The Burrow)
I, math challenged, asked G'ma how many ounces were in a cup. 

And my mother, my dear, demented, forgetful mother, without missing a beat, told me that there were 8 ounces in a cup.  

And she was surprised that I didn't remember that fact... and that she did. 

Bittersweet Memory
Daddooooo died the Saturday before Thanksgiving; the entire family gathered around his dining room table every night, for dinner and revelry.  Without his cantankerous self stirring the pot, we all got along quite well.

His absence left a hole as it brought with it a measure of calm. We weren't expending energy worrying about him. We were turning that energy into telling and correcting and disputing the details of our lives.  

It was quite a gift he gave us that year.


Taking the after dinner stroll around TBG's childhood neighborhood, wrapped in scarves and hats culled from the front hall closet, surrounded by all ages and temperaments, mellowed by tryptophan.

Easy hiking atop Ring Mountain, meeting friends and greeting strangers, everyone agreeing that yes, we were living in paradise.   

For this year and every year:
Thanks for being part of the wonder that is my life.  Each and every one of you makes it that much sweeter.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

What November Looks Like in Tucson

The week started out grimly.  Then I complained.  That's no way to feel thankful for the many wonderful things in my life.  

Our President-Elect is a kind and competent man, with a moral compass.  He was a gentleman when Trump was being obstreperous and now that things are moving along he's calling out his predecessor in the subtlest and most delightful way.  I do not cringe when I see him take the podium.

FlapJilly wins at Monopoly, legitimately, and reads well enough for Does that bumper sticker say shit? to come out of her mouth.  Giblet sings the ABC's when he feels like it, and is quick to SHHHHH anyone who laughs or tries to help.  My grown up children and those they love are as happy and as productive and as sane as one can be in these times.  

And then there is the beauty of the roses, which I'm sharing with you, because I feel for the ones who must take a walk when it's 38 degrees and raining, because a sweet six year old wanted to get some exercise.  

I watched this one open as I worked at the desk one morning.
The rock roses in the front took a few years to get established, but they've finally decided to show off.
Katie, at Rillito Nursery, saved a Peace rose tree for me last year.  It, too, took some time getting used to its new home, but this Fall it's getting to strut its stuff.... at least on top
The flowers start out white then add yellow and pink.  They smell good, too.
And, just because it's pretty and I didn't want it to feel excluded from the photo shoot, here is my happy vinca.

If it's cold and dark and dreary where you are, I hope this helps.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

They Came, Anyway

The UV and I took a drive to Whole Foods this afternoon, picking up groceries 45 minutes after ordering them on-line.  I can get used to this calling ahead and bringing it out to me routine (except for fruits and veggies, said she as she starred glumly at the over-ripe and soggy cubed watermelon she bought for a special treat).  

The groceries were a non-event.  The driving is driving this post.  The snowbirds have returned, in all their I can't remember how to drive in the sunshine glory.  

They are changing lanes without signaling, to the detriment of all concerned.  Two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time (that's been upgraded from Newton's Law to Pauli's exclusion principle but that's a rabbit hole we'll avoid for now).  This does not seem to apply to vehicles with out of state plates.  Two of them tried to be in the left turn lane at the same time; collisions were avoided and no one was injured but I, driving (sensibly) far behind one of them, held my breath for a while.

Traveling 4 miles under the speed limit in the left lane while a Southwest Gas Truck with an speedometer regulator keeping him to 45 mph tools merrily along in the right lane is not something that we do here.  We just don't. Ina Road is a major thoroughfare in the best of times; the speed limit is usually a pleasant suggestion.  The shiny red SUV didn't seem to care.

I put myself in the right lane and waited to turn into the parking lot.

Coming home was no better.  I don't understand the philosophy behind coasting to a red light that's half a mile ahead of you.  Did the fact that there's a big ole' right turn lane up there escape you? There's no real shoulder to give those of us coasting behind you an edge.  We're stuck, the guy in front of me and the four cars who followed us, until you creep up to the start of the lane.

Yes, yes, yes.... what will I do with the 30 seconds I save?.... what's the rush?...... relax and enjoy the sunshine.  Those are all valid points, but they aren't my point.

My point is that despite travel warnings and COVID spikes and the lack of available staff to care for the beds in the ICU's, people came here anyway.  They weren't here earlier during Pandemica, but the New York and California and Nebraska (?!) license plates are crowding my roads and driving poorly and I'm upset enough about the whole situation to have taken up an entire post venting about it.  

Thanks for listening.  I feel much better now.

Monday, November 23, 2020

These Dates

November 22nd..... November 23rd.... November 24th and 25th and the rest of what would have been Thanksgiving but instead was filled with mourning.

President and Mrs. Kennedy deplaned in the morning and were covered in blood by the afternoon.  Little kids were happy that school was cancelled; the rest of the world was stunned.  It was dreary and cold and nobody's parents wanted to drive anywhere fun.  

The black and white images on the television felt oddly appropriate; bright colors would have interefered with the sadness.  

And there was so much sadness.

I knew little of The Bay of Pigs or our initial forays into Vietnam.  I knew that the President was elegant and handsome and smart because he went to Harvard.  I knew he was brave because I read PT-109 and I believed every single word of it.  I knew he saved us from nuclear destruction by Russia, via Cuba.  I knew he loved America and would work to keep me safe.

This is the book; I remember the cover.

I knew Jackie (because she was always Jackie) from her televised White House tour and her pill box hats.  I knew about John-John and Caroline and Hyannisport and all those other Kennedy's.  

That I was going to lose all that took the weekend to sink in.  I remember being in the driveway, hoping a neighbor would show up and play something.... anything.... to make the sadness go away.  Inside, the tv showed the caisson rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue.  Outside, it was grey and cold and sad.

It's still sad, today.

Friday, November 20, 2020

My Front Porch - A Snippet

The only new people I talk to these days are the ones who bring me food.  Tonight, I perched on the edge of the pedestal of the column in the courtyard, smiling at my uncomfortable front porch perch, while I waited for dinner to arrive.

A couple appeared, walking purposefully south on my street.  They are among the regulars who pass my window as I type to you, or play mah jongg with Scarlet, or Zoom with the 5th grade.  

I waved, not expecting to be noticed, and was pleasantly surprised when he waved back.  

I see you from my desk, pointing to the window.  You are part of my entertainment every day.

We laughed and then they were past the house and the moment was over.

Human connections are what I miss most.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

I Really Thought I Wrote This Yesterday

I have a clear vision of sitting here, at the desk, finishing the post and scheduling it to publish at midnight on the 19th.

Really, I do.

I asked myself several times during the afternoon whether I had finished my post.  That same vision came clearly to mind.  

There were no sports on tv last night (hallelujah!!) and we watched Josh Gates explore Turkey and Mongolia and I crocheted some on my newest creation and I felt secure, knowing that I'd completed the only task I have left these days - writing to you.

Apparently, I was wrong.

It's weird, sitting here in the early morning, watching the sunlight on the south side of the nandina, brightening one side of the red rose that's going to be open when I write to you (again) this afternoon.  The first wave of migrating birds has gone on their merry way, and the hummingbirds are taking advantage of their absence by dining, gluttonously, on the crepe myrtle berries.  

250,000 cases of COVID.... nope, I'm not going there, at least not at 7:30 on a sunny Thursday morning.  Nope.  The current resident of the White House is throwing a temper tantrum with our future.  I may write about it later.  For now, I'm going to enjoy the sun on the courtyard.

Sorry if you missed me for coffee this morning.  Really, I thought I wrote something last night.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A Handyman is Handy to Have Around

 Scott's strong and soft at the same time.  He lifted the king mattress and carried it into the house all by himself this morning, right after his eyes belied the strength of his voice as he talked about the heart monitor the VA prescribed.

It's diagnostic after he felt faint and had pain in his left scapula.  He'll wear it for a month and then go back to the VA for further evaluation. Somewhere in the middle of that conversation, he began talking about how the current administration had restored some of the benefits he'd lost during the previous 4 years.  His disability benefits resumed, and he got a raise.  He's thrilled that he can now go to any care provider he chooses in an emergency, rather than having to rely on getting to a VA hospital in time.  

For a guy who hoped to make the military his life's work, being mustered out left a big hole.  His dad encouraged him to do what he loved, and what he loved was figuring out why things are broken.  My house has plenty to keep him occupied these days.

Our smoke alarms have decided to beep at us.  Why they don't do that at 3 in the afternoon is beyond me.  Why they need to wait until 3 in the morning is alarming, surprising, annoying, and very funny.  Have any of you ever heard an alarm beep when the sun is out?  We have not.

The chandeliers in the front foyer and over the breakfast and dining room tables had burnt out bulbs and a few decorative flies littering their bowls.  Scott went up the ladder, unscrewed the fixture for me to wash as he switched out the lights.  Three thirds is lots brighter than one third.  I'm just sayin'.

The dryer vent is now cleaned out, and delicate will now run cooler than Hades.  The new king bed is installed, and the frame is turned so that no one will skin a shin walking by.  The full set is in the garage, waiting for the neighborhood yard sale in December.  

He's out now, buying a replacement post for my flower basket, smoke detectors to replace the broken ones, and brand new batteries in case the ones I have (which don't expire til 2029) are somehow to blame.  He'll find bulbs for the fancy torchieres and table lamps that came from California and have never adjusted to being here - none of them work.

He'll clamber up and down the ladder with more alacrity than sense.  He'll tenderly take apart that which needs investigation.  He'll clean up after himself.  He won't ask for the phone or the bathroom or a snack - though we'd offer him any and all of it.  He's self-sufficient and able to admit when he's flummoxed.  He spent a while in his truck tracking down information about the beeping smoke alarms.  

We are always stunned when it comes time to total the bill.  It never seems like enough money to cover all the chores, but he insists that it's fair.

My parents never had an outside worker bee; Daddooooo fixed everything in our house and in the houses of all the neighbors, until G'ma came home one day to find her 75 year old,  hips replaced husband up on the roof, checking the shingles.  

I don't know who they found to replace my dad.  Perhaps Brother filled in the gaps as he did for us when he came after I was shot.  What I do know is that Scott is a lifeline for me, for Scarlet, for Scarlet's sister, and for a host of others who are can't climb and hammer and saw.

Without him and his willingness to do the little things that houses always require, I'm not certain we could stay this far from Brother or SIR, the only two humans in our families who might possibly help.  It's true - a handyman is a handy man to have around.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

My Neighborly Neighbor

A neighbor offered space in his trailer.  I jumped on the offer to move the wine-fridge-now-box-on-top-of-which-things-are-stored out of the garage where it's been since Amster gave it to us.

She didn't want it, and she was drinking a lot more wine than I was, at the time.  That was a clue.  I should've noticed it.

It hasn't worked since the first summer.  Having no place inside to reside, it spent the hottest months of the year in the garage, which fried everything worth frying.  Since then, it's been a convenient shelf for me, and a constant irritant to TBG.  

If Waste Management held a big items pickup this year, I missed it.  We're walking past that relic a lot more than we have in the past, on our way to the real fridge on its right it or the paper goods stored on its left.  I've heard about its existence every. single. day.  

Okay.  Maybe every other day.  

A part of me wanted to recycle it, but it didn't fit into any of our vehicles.  I couldn't find anyone or any service that wanted an item to repair.  I was going to try to sell it at the neighborhood garage sale (all my items will be $1 and all proceeds will go to the local food bank) on December 3rd; he could live with that.

But then Dave emailed and was delighted to have my detritus fill out his load.  "It's only $10, but I wanted to make it worthwhile," he said as he loaded it all by himself.  He'd checked with another "old neighbor," too, just making the rounds, being sure there wasn't a good deed left undone.

It's nice to be able to help.

It's nice to be helped, too.

Monday, November 16, 2020

A Productive Day

I'm exhausted. I worked a full day,  with two breaks plus lunch. My hip was challenged, my hands were achy,  but the second guest room is now cleared of that which made it uninhabitable. I'm very proud. 

It's nice when my mood matches my energy; it's been a rare confluence lately. But this morning I woke up early and started in on what I'd organized yesterday: all the yarn my mom and I have accumulated over the past 70 some years.  I moved clothes worn by visitors up high, and put pretty boxes filled with yarn on the rest of the now empty shelves. 

Much of Little Cuter's teen age years was appearing. Posters from her past lined the back of the closet.  She told me to send her a picture of this one
and toss the rest.

I was ruthless.  The Donate and Yard Sale and Recycle and Garbage piles spilled into the hallway. 

I turned my attention to the bookshelf. Many of G'ma's knickknacks had found a home there and there they will stay.  My copy of Little Women and Daddooooo's leather Shakespeare (with his notes) and a few other books from my childhood will keep them company. 

Little Cuter had a literary treasure trove.
Only Diane Arbus, Ansel Adams, and Annie LaMott survived the purge.

At 3:30 I was finished.  Literally.  My body was done.  The floor was vacuumed. The cabinets were organized.  There was nothing left to do. 

I haven't been this productive in months.  Neither have I been this physically spent.  

My smile's pretty big,  too. 

Friday, November 13, 2020


I've been reacting to the temper tantrum being thrown by the current occupant of the White House the way I reacted to my own children's' temper tantrums. But ignoring it is not all there is to do. A friend culled all the ways that you can help Turn The Senate Blue, and I feel the need to pass it along here.

I have sent my $3 where I thought it would do the most good. TBG did the same. I don't answer the GOTV calls myself, so I won't make them. But postcards and letters are fun to do, and I've done lots.

Stay safe this weekend. Wear your mask. Stay home. Write some postcards.


Georgia is hosting elections both in its regularly scheduled Senate race and in a special election for its other Senate seat due to a resignation last year.   Democrat Jon Ossoff will face off against Republican Sen. David Perdue. (Perdue needs to go and keep going) In the Special election, Democrat Raphael Warnock will face off against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.


Congressional Black Caucus PAC

There are a number of other on-the-ground organizations working to get out the vote (as they did during the general election). If you’re able to donate, some key groups who could use financial support are:
Asian-Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, which is mobilizing voters and protecting voting rights virtually.

Black Voters Matter Fund, which offers virtual and in-person volunteer opportunities.

The New Georgia Project registers and mobilizes young voters from diverse backgrounds.

SisterSong, an Atlanta-based women of color reproductive justice collective, is organizing women of color, trans women, and other marginalized women for these races.


If you want to phone bank these are Daily Kos links Hosted by Jon Ossoff for Senate and Hosted by Warnock for Georgia

Will you make remote phone calls for Democrat Jon Ossoff? Click to sign up.
Will you make remote calls for Democrat Raphael Warnock? Click to sign up.

POSTCARDS-for many you need to buy your own postcards. Cheap on Amazon.

Flip the West - Warnock & Ossoff Runoff Election

Westside Democratic HQ - Warnock & Ossoff Runoff

Grassroots Democrats HQ - Warnock & Ossoff Runoff

Postcards to Voters - Warnock & Ossoff Runoff Election

Georgia Postcarding Project - Warnock & Ossoff Runoff not set up yet-soon

Postcards to Swing States - Warnock & Ossoff Runoff

Vote Forward - Warnock & Ossoff Letter Writing

Sierra Club - Warnock & Ossoff Letter Writing

Write postcards encouraging recent high school grads in GA to register, via the Civics Center:

When future generations ask what you did, now you can tell them!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Driving Out The Other Way

I turned left instead of right out of the driveway this afternoon.

I had a quick errand, the temperature was in the 60's, the sun (of course) was out, and I had nothing but returning my library books on the agenda.  

I rolled down the windows (remember when that was a thing, the handle you turned round and round with the silver pleated knob at the end?).

I really looked at my neighborhood. 

New ground covering (pebbles, not prostrate acacia), new paint jobs, new stucco facings.  Driveways have been repaved.  Sculpture has appeared.  

I drive up the street quite often; this was my first trip down the hill in quite a while.  All this shelter in place time has certainly improved the landscaping in my neck of the woods.

I'm so glad I turned left.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020



For Bill, my Marine gym rat buddy; for Amster, who never disappoints.  For Terry and Moose and Stroker and Diane's boyfriend and Donnie the sweater wearing eye doctor, all of whom fought a war and returned, unappreciated.  For Aaron and Kevin and Courtney, part of the 21st century's unending wars.

Aaron Sorkin was right when he wrote (and Jack Nicholson screamed)  that we here at home can't stand the truth, the truth that you lived.  Care packages and parades and Facebook posts are something, but nothing can ever be enough. 

This is all I've got: Thank you for keeping us safe.  

And, perhaps, a moment of silence at 11am.....
when the shooting stopped forever..........
the first time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Pictures, Because I'm Out of Words

 I'm having trouble with words.  I have been scouring my brain for synonyms - joy is being grossly over used.

So I'm sharing pictures today because my brain is on a steady repeat of Happy Happy Joy Joy.  

I'd forgotten what it felt like to smile without the nagging thought of the orange menace in the back of my mind.  Now, I can watch the hummingbird baby and grown up play tag between the crepe myrtles.... and there's nothing nudging me.  Nothing at all.

Firstl, look at this one of Kamala Harris and Ruby Bridges.  We are all the product of those who came before.

And there's this one, which stopped me in my no-longer-doom-scrolling-so-what-should-I-call-it for several minutes.  That's a lot of white men.

And then, there's this, what I saw as I drove home with bagels and the brand new good news plastered on my face.  The road to the future looks brighter, has fewer obstacles, is clearer and more focused than it has in a very very very long time.

Monday, November 9, 2020

It Was A Night For Little Girls

FlapJilly announced with great glee that she was staying up until 8 o'clock.  Her parents have shielded her from much information about the bad orange man, but she's in first grade now and she needs to be informed, so, bedtime be damned.
When Kamala told little girls Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it cannot be the tears streaming down my face got wetter (which I did not think was possible) as I imagined the impact those words might be having on my own little girl, 6 states away.

Her mom caught her clapping at that moment.  
We were together, though only our spirits were aware of it at the time.  
Today, her face nearly exploded through the Facetime video.

Dressed to the nines for Josh's Zoom birthday party, her eyes as wide as they've ever been, she could not contain her joy, delight, surprise, gob-smacked-ness.    

Can you believe it?!? She was talking right to kids!!!!!!!
And, obviously, the kids were listening.

Is it any wonder that our new Vice President's favorite appellation is Mamala?
The 4 year old niece of someone we hold dear (whose own 2 little girls, well trained by social justice warrior parents, were dancing and leaping for joy) drew this picture the morning before the results were declared.  

It's the White House with love inside.
How delightfully prescient she was.


Friday, November 6, 2020

The Times, They Are A'Changing

Amidst the general and the local and the in-between, there are the Propositions.  In Pima County, we had two of them.

One was a technical change to the language which funds our community college system.  It cost nothing.  It needed to be updated to meet 21st century needs.  It passed handily.

The other was Prop. 207.  It passed, too.

The implications showed up in my Neighborhood Facebook Women's Group.  Alongside the posts seeking the best New York style pizza or a master cake decorator was this:
Anyone have a good recommendation for someone who knows how to cultivate marijuana plants? I will of course be waiting till all legal proceedings are finalized, but I'd definitely like to be first in line for a consultation. Interested in planting in my backyard whatever I am legally allowed.

As of this writing, there are 29 comments, referring her to garden groups with the sub-threads she's seeking, offering personal experiences, sharing photos.

As Mary McCarthy wrote, who'd a thunk it? 

A woman of color will sit one heartbeat away from the most powerful office in the world and my upper middle class, white, suburban moms and retirees community is having a great time talking about weed.

2020.... you continue to surprise.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

I Knew It, But...

I knew in my head that it would take all week. 

I had no idea how hard it would be in my heart. 

TBG has been relentlessly upbeat all day, and that has helped.  My superstitious (or maybe not super but more medium-stitious) self feels that I ought to maintain my vigilant attitude, because if I stop worrying who knows what will happen?????

But it's bedtime and I really need to sleep tonight.

Arizona is making me smile.  In Georgia, John Ossof is picking away at Senator Perdue, one tenth of a percent at a time. 

That's what I'll take with me when I lay my head on the pillow tonight.  

I hope today was easier for you than it was for me. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020


I knew it would not be decided to night 
I wanted a landslide.
I'm going to sleep. 
My heart can't take any more. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Day Before.... The Day Of.....

I have What to Expect on Election Night podcasting on my phone, which is sitting on my desk next to Lenore the Lenovo.  I'm trying to distract myself by writing this post, but my brain is on a one lane, no u-turn road.

My dreams have been incredibly vivid and confusing and sticking with me through the morning. 

I'm trying to convince my stomach to accept food.  The hard boiled egg with horseradish aioli is talking back to me.  I don't think it's the egg.  I think it's the election.

I listened to the 538 podcast culling the results of the final, before the election, polls.  They started out by saying that Biden has a 90% chance of winning, Dems have a 76% chance of taking the Senate, and there's a 94% chance that Dems will retain control of the House.  That was one sentence.  They spent the next 29 minutes making me nervous about those stats.

What to Expect just told me that very few concerns have been raised by callers to their HelpLine; most calls are about where and how to vote.  They're extolling the virtues of their Voter Protection program.  They feel confident.

Talking heads are calling Trump's outrageous statements a sign of desperation, noise, nonsense...... but Bill Barr is still at DOJ.

I can't decide if watching people talk about it is better than living in my head with it.

I'm very grateful to my family group text for an hour or so spent considering the difficulties of teaching in/on/at to non-English speakers.  Brother's diagram was helpful

but not dispositive.  

Opinions - on the ice cream not the election! - are welcomed below.

Anything. Anything at all to distract me.

These are going to be the longest hours of my life.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Ronni Bennet

The original elder blogger, Ronni Bennett, died on Friday night.  The world is a lesser place since then.

When The Burrow began in 2009,  I was a trapeze artist without a net.  I was putting my real self out into the real world with no real idea of what I was doing.  Dooce, Little Cuter's favorite blogger at the time, set out some rules that seemed reasonable; don't write about work came from being fired after doing just that.

Though Big Cuter said you are way hipper than you think you are, Mom, I couldn't believe that anyone was interested in what I had to say.

Then I found Time Goes By.  Written by a Jewish girl who loved living in Greenwich Village until she was priced out and forced to move, the blog took a personal look at growing older.  Mixing life experiences with deep research and a wicked sense of humor, she separated the sense from the nonsense.

Using her skills as a television producer, she gathered facts and presented them in a most appealing way.  She called bs when it was necessary.  She shared her readers' own written works on a page in her blog.  

The comments were as important as the posts.  She read them and sometimes she'd quote you - I still get a shiver when I remember the time an Ashleigh Burroughs comment appeared in Ronnie Bennett's next post.  More important, they were a way into a self-selected group of readers, many of whose blogs I follow and many of whom have followed me here.

We are all bereft. 

She was a model of self-sufficiency up to the end, living alone, supported by hospice, writing posts until she died, on her own terms.  After sharing the news, the new caretaker of our community wrote this:
I will leave you with knowing that she was ready. Just before she died, she said, "When you get here, it is really nice. I am not afraid."

As always, showing us the way.

May her memory be a blessing to us all.