Tuesday, August 22, 2017

All the Light We Cannot See

The perfect book to finish up just as the giant star goat takes a big bite out of the sun . . .

This important and highly acclaimed book has been on my To-Be-Read list more or less since it came out. So when I found a copy (left by Nancy, my co-grandmother) sitting in front of me down at Justin and Claui's, I picked it up and started in while Josie napped.

I was hooked right away by the  gorgeous prose and by the engaging characters-- Marie-Laure, the blind French girl, and Werner, the German orphan -- both infinitely resourceful and both caught up in the maelstrom of World War II. 

As their paths move toward convergence during the siege of St. Malo, every word, every action, seems to glow with preternatural clarity.

I found myself trying to slow down and appreciate but still reading and reading to find out what happened. And when I reached the last page, having satisfied my curiosity, I ordered the book on Audible so that I will be able to savor every scene and pay closer attention to the glorious writing.

And now I'll go looking for another of Doerr's books -- any suggestions?

We viewed the eclipse from the end of our porch. (Josie slept through it.) It wasn't total -- 90 something percent -- and I was surprised at how light it still was when only a slender crescent of the sun remained uncovered.

It was a somewhat eerie light -- not like dusk -- and the temperature dropped appreciably. Ominous.

No birds sang but crickets chirred and both dogs spoke, saying in unison Trump must go!

(Some of the above is Fake News.)

We had glasses, of course, but we had fun trying to see the progress without looking up. A steamer insert yielded some crescents.

But my favorites were the 'wild' captures, on the stepping stones under the Kousa dogwood.

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Giant Star Goat Will Swallow the Sun!

Or maybe it's something else.

At least one pastor (Mark Blitz) says that eclipses are warnings from God, depending on where they're seen.

So what if it's a predictable event based on scientific calculations and understood as such for many centuries -- an eclipse is still a fine way to frighten the uneducated or willfully ignorant.

Personally, I'm going with the meme that was all over the internet last week asking God to  blot out the sun today as a signal to the Trumpster that it's time to resign. 

We have our viewing glasses and are ready to view from the comfort of our porch. It won't be a total eclipse, but very, very close. 

I'll take that as a sign.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

In My Garden

I've been spending time many mornings (while Josie is sleeping) editing or deleting the thousands of pictures I've taken over the past eight years. Since digital entered my life, I take LOTS of pictures, hoping that a few will be what I want. But I haven't been good about deleting duplicates and near misses.

So that's what I'm doing. It's a trip down memory lane and a reminder of how very seasonally ordered my life is. Christmas decorating and popcorn stringing, snow, orchids,  birds, food, spring bulbs and blossoms, Easter Party, garden beginning, irises,garden growing, daylilies, garden harvest, autumn leaves, pumpkins, Thanksgiving, family, and here we are at Christmas again. 

The garden pictures -- all that corn and beans and tomatoes especially -- make me a bit wistful as this year's garden has been much curtailed -- a lot of rain has caused the tomatoes to blight earlier than usual and made spraying the cole crops difficult. 

Also, despite John's best efforts with electric netting and other netting, the critters pictured here have enjoyed much of what did make.  And the wild turkeys pecked at the tomatoes.

These guys are so bold that they don't even budge when I drive up the road.

Also, I think the yearling in the first picture is laughing at me.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

In Memoriam Heather Heyer

... and with profound admiration for all those who, like Heather, showed up to stand against hate.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"The Lowest White Man . . ."

Boston Globe phote

President Lyndon B. Johnson once said, "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

Or vote for you -- which probably explains DT's reluctance to call out the White Supremacists. (I thought it was sweet that many of them adopted Trump's Casual Friday look of khakis and a white polo shirt.)

A look at their faces and a look at some of their comments and actions -- especially the vile spewings of The Daily Stormer, a website devoted to White Supremacy and run by a wormy-looking little pissant named Andrew Anglin -- confirms LBJ's words -- these guys are the lowest, losers every one with nothing to be proud of but their skin color. 

This website was taken down by its host, after Anglin attacked the victim in the Charlottesville attack -- calling her fat, useless, as she wasn't married and had no children, adding that she was probably a slut who'd had multiple abortions.

I have a real feeling this guy has trouble getting dates.

And bravo to GoDaddy and Google for refusing to host his repugnant vitriol any longer.

Now, about the Tweeter-in-Chief. After being shamed into finally expanding his condemnation of the Charlottesville violence, he at last called out the KKK and the White Supremacists, reading a carefully crafted statement that included condolences to the family of the young woman mowed down by a car driven by one of his supporters.

But evidently he had his tiny fingers crossed.

His Orangeness took to Twitter to retweet an image of the Trump Train smashing into a CNN reporter.

Really classy. Was this a subtle nod to his base base? As in, 'Way to go, fellas.'? Or was it just his chronic pathological insensitivity?

Oh, if only Twitter would suspend his account. Or if some adult would pry his phone from his tiny fingers and dispose of it in a fitting manner.

And then, then, to make it absolutely clear where his sympathies really lie, the Orange One gave a press conference, doubling down on his first assertion that both sides in Charlottesville were to blame.

Quoting The New York Times: "President Trump buoyed the white nationalist movement on Tuesday as no president has done in generations -- equating activists protesting racism with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who rampaged in Charlottesville, Va,. over the weekend."

Davis Duke, former KKK head, and Richard Spencer, white nationalist who has threatened to 'flood' Charlottesville with more protests, were quick to praise their Dear Leader's words.

The POTUS is out of control. He is demeaning his office and bringing shame to our country. He is empowering evil and it's time and past time for the Republican Party -- the one that calls itself the party of Lincoln -- to stop pretending anything else.

Kevin Siers/ Charlotte Observer