Saturday, July 31, 2010

Book 2 for the Cozy Mystery Challenge

Yes, indeed. I finished reading my second book for the Cozy Mystery Challenge!

Murphy's Law, by Rhys Bowen, had been sitting in the hallway for almost a year. I bought it after I finished Royal Flush, the last book in Bowen's Royal Spyness series, which was published in July, 2009. Because I was so taken with Bowen's story-telling, I decided to try reading her Molly Murphy series. Murphy's Law is the first in the series. It had won the Agatha, Reviewer's Choice, and Herodotus awards.

Molly Murphy is the main character. She is a ballsy, well-educated 24-year old Irish immigrant living in New York during the Tammany Hall times. The story opens with her running away from home because the master's son tried to have his way with her. She had kicked him away and he cracked his head when he fell. Molly got on a train to London and ended up on a ship to America. She took the identity of a dying woman who had persuaded Molly to take the woman's children to their father in New York. On the ship, Molly met a creep who wanted to have his way with her. She wouldn't let him, of course. Then, wouldn't you know it, he got murdered on Ellis Island and she became a suspect. The New York police was not finding the murderer quick enough, in her mind, so Molly began sleuthing.

The story is really a fun read. What took me so long to read it? I remember putting it down after the first chapter. Just wasn't in the mood for the story then. This time round, I could hardly wait to get back to it and sometimes stayed up another hour to read.

I plan on reading the next title in the series. Maybe all of them. There are  nine in all, so far.

Rhys Bowen, the author, writes three mystery series. The Royal Spyness series is about Lady Georgiana who is a cousin of King George V (Queen Elizabeth's dad). Georgiana has the title but not the money, so she offers housecleaning services to get by. Evan Evans is Bowen's third series. All I know is that the main character is called Constable Evans and he lives in Wales. For more details about Bowen and her books, check out her website.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rambling Friday

This morning I woke up with a stuffy nose. The husband stirred beside me. The mama scraped a chair on the floor in the kitchen below. She was either about to eat breakfast or she had finished.

"What time do you think it is?" asked the husband.

"Time to dust the room," I answered.

I got up, picked up my glasses, and headed to the bathroom. As I walked by the stairs, I glanced down at the clock in the living room. 9:30. The mama had slept later than usual. The husband had slept his eight hours. I was lacking again. Oh, well, what does it matter? The three of us have not had to answer to a boss's clock in years. Only our own.

My self-discipline comes and goes. There is so much about which to be disciplined. House cleaning, for one. Writing, for another. Finding writing jobs, a third.  Exercising, most indubitably, a fourth. And then there is downsizing our stuff that has been in storage for years now. The list of what I need to work on keeps growing rather than shortening.

So. That's life.

Today, my goals are to dust and vacuum some or all of the house. Maybe mop the floor. Find out if crows eat sparrows. Learn more about Princess Urduja, a warrior princess (someone else's words, not mine) who lived in the 13th century in the Philippines. Write a short piece about California school nurses. And, try to create a to-do list of things I must do at work so my boss will get off my case.

This morning, before breakfast, I got on Facebook and came across two links to interesting articles and a YouTube video of a delightful song. I thought you might enjoy one, two, or all three of the messages.
"In Defense of Adverbs," by Dina Santorelli, Making 'Baby Grand,' the Novel: The Last Trimester.
"Nothing Grows Forever," by Clive Thompson, Mother Jones.

P.S. I'm hopping around with the Follow Friday 40 and Over! today. Check it out.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

The Octogenarian Pruning Mama

I've joined the Wordless Wednesday linky party today. Head on over and check out photos of other bloggers.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The July 23rd Date

Were you wondering what the husband and I finally did on our 23rd date last Friday? Yes or no, I'm here to tell you. Well, actually to show you some photos of different things we saw as we stopped here and there.

Wild chickens are continually crossing the streets
in San Juan Bautista.

Here's a bee that knows a good thing when it sees it!

Taggers will leave their marks on anything standing!

Can you see the turtle and the chimpanzee sitting on it?

In a fancy boot store in Carmel-by-the-Sea,
I peeked at
the price tag of a pair of cute
ankle cowboy boots.
Over $1,000! And, they
were not as elaborate as these. I didn't even

want to know how much they were.

Are those golf balls edible? Probably. Up close, they looked
real enough not to eat!

Cute handbags. Do you think that arm belongs to the bag or an
actual human being?

How to describe downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea?
Drink and eat, see, shop. Or, coffee house, art gallery, boutique.

This is the tallest and hunkiest eucalyptus tree that
I have ever seen.

See that patch of green in the distance. Vineyards!
From Carmel-by-the-Sea, we drove the back road to Highway 101.
We wondered if that was the road the friars traveled to get between
Mission Carmel and Mission Soledad or Mission San Miguel.

The golden hills of California!

Monday, July 26, 2010

First Read for Cozy Mystery Challenge

The spell is broken, thanks to the Cozy Mystery Challenge! and to the numerous power outages we had yesterday. For most of Sunday, I kicked back in a comfy easy chair and read U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton.

Grafton is known for her mystery series featuring Kinsey Millhone, a private detective who works in the fictional town of Santa Teresa, which resembles Santa Barbara. Every year or two since the mid 1980s, Grafton has published another adventure of the 30-ish, tough, and vulnerable Kinsey. Some people call Grafton the alphabet mystery author. Her first book is called A is for Alibi, her second B is for Burglar, and so on.  Four more titles and she'll be out of letters. I wonder if by letter Z that will be the end of Millhone. I hope not.

In U is for Undertow, a young man hires Kinsey to check out the truth of his memory. When he was six years old he came across two guys burying something in the woods. He thinks that what he saw was them burying the body of the four-year old neighborhood girl who had been kidnapped. The problem is that his family thinks he is unreliable. Grafton weaves the story back and forth between the past (mid 1960s) and the present (1988).

There is a secondary story going on and that is Kinsey's unweaving of her personal mystery. Kinsey was four or five when her parents were killed in a car crash. Raised by her mother's sister, Kinsey did not know she had any other relatives until a few years. Cousins, aunties, and a grandmother have been trying to reunite with her, but Kinsey has put up a wall. She is angry that they never tried to get in touch with until her 30s.

I haven't read a Kinsey tale since either N is for Noose or O is for Outlaw, which was about 10 years ago. Grafton is still a master storyteller, spinning her story tightly. You, the reader, are right there with Kinsey, as well as with the author, trying to make all the loose ends of the mystery fit.  I like how Kinsey has matured since the last time I read her adventures. She's still the matter-of-fact gumshoe who is very thorough in her job; but she's become less brittle about life and more open at accepting the humanity of people, and essentially herself.

Reading U is for Undertow was a great way to spend a Sunday.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What to Feed Wild Baby Birds

Baby robins in our tree in 2009
This morning I was reading this post at Please Be Edible and came across a comment in which the author said that you can feed cat food to wild baby birds, which have been separated from their mamas. I told the husband about the tip.

Said the husband, "Revenge is sweet."

"Uh, wait," he said, after a long bit of chuckling. "I was thinking of cat meat. That's different."


I got curious and did a search for more details about feeding wild baby birds. It seems like more birds are making nests in our trees, and well, I want us to be ready in case something happens. If you're interested, check out these links:

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Meandering We Shall Go

Our 23rd dates seem to come too soon. Not that I'm complaining, I love getting away for the day with the husband. It's just that I have yet to accomplish things on my to-do list that have been there since mumble, mumble.

As I'm writing this, the husband and I have yet to decide where to go and what to do. Hiking is out this time because I'm supposed to let my ankle rest. According to the doctor, I have a chronic ankle sprain. I have no idea when I even sprained it. All I know is that since we walked up that mountain in May, I was wrapping it up whenever it hurt to walk on it. When I finally couldn't put pressure on the foot, I decided to go see the doctor. That only took, uhm, two months to give in.
"Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do this," said the patient.
"Then don't do that," advised the doctor.
That joke cracks me up every time.

My doctor felt up the ankle, gave me a prescription for anti- inflammatory medication, and said, "Don't do anything, I wouldn't do."

Okay, he didn't say that last thing. He told me to just keep it wrapped, rest my ankle, and see him in a couple of weeks. I was happy that I didn't have to get an x-ray and then have him tell me nothing is broken. I told him so. I also asked him if I might have a discount for being a self-paying patient. Yep, I have no shame. The sweet man gave me a 10 percent discount. I'll be handing him a bag of lemons from our tree next week. Seriously.

This is Mission San Juan Bautista. In the movie, the
mission has a tower. Ah, the movies.
Anyway, the husband and I have no idea of what to do for our seventh 23rd date, other than to drive over to San Juan Bautista and have a cup of coffee and pastry at Vertigo. It's a new coffee shop that recently opened. Its named after Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 movie Vertigo. Why? I suppose it's because part of the movie had been shot at mission and the historical buildings in the San Juan Bautista State Historic Park.

We would really like to swim, but there's no public pool in town. So, we'll bring our swimsuits along, in case we come across a pool in another city. I like that. A meandering we shall go.

If you're interested in knowing more about some of the places I've mentioned, check out these links:
San Juan Bautista 
Vertigo Coffee 
San Juan Bautista Historic Park
And click here, if you want to know what I'm talking about when I say "our 23rd dates."

Here's a trailer of Vertigo.  Jimmy Stewart plays a detective who is afraid of heights. And, wouldn't you know it, he gets himself in high places as he tries to solve the mystery of Kim Novak.

By the way, I'm joining the Follow Friday Forty and Over linky party at Never Growing Old today. Head on over. You don't have to be a 40+ gal to check it out.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ready. Set. Read!

I consider myself a reader. But lately, my reading matter consists of blogs, newspapers, blogs, web sites, blogs, Facebook, and more blogs.  Nothing wrong with that, but I really should spend more time off the computer.

The last book I read was a politician's autobiography. Shudder. Talk about a horrible reading experience. Have you ever read a book and got angry about almost everything that the author wrote? I should've put it down after the first page, but I needed to know about this woman since she says that she talks for the real Americans. I'm a real American but nothing she wrote represented my point of view. Bleah!

I finished that book about five months ago. I started three books since then. Put each one down after a few pages in. I just could not focus.

Five months is a long time for me to go without reading a book. But, that's about to change. To motivate me back to the book path, I signed up today to complete the Cozy Mystery Challenge hosted by Not Enough Books.  The challenge started back in April, but readers can sign up for the challenge until September 1.

Entrants must read at least six cozy mysteries by September 30. That would've been one book per month, if I had started at the get go. The crazy in me decided to try to read seven to 10 cozy mysteries by the deadline. I am sure there are at least seven unread cozy mysteries gathering dust among my piles of books.

I like reading a good cozy mystery. I even wrote three-quarters of one years ago. Just couldn't figure how to end it. Who knows, maybe after finishing this challenge, I might feel like working on my novel again.  Don't I already sound confident that I'll be rejoicing my accomplishment in two months?

Don't know what a cozy mystery is? Here's Not Enough Books definition: "...a cozy mystery is a mystery that doesn't normally have any rough language, sex scenes, or gruesome details about the killing, and the main character is normally an amateur detective."

Are you interested in reading a cozy mystery now? Check out grand list of titles at

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

While I sat listening to Saturday's concert, I watched the changing of the light on the mountains before me.

6:47 p.m.

7:13 p.m.

I'm having fun at the Wordless Wednesday linky party. Head on over here to check out photos by others: Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

That's Life. Really?

My stomach is untying knots of annoyance right now. Bleah! Something was aligned in space that I found myself going from one annoyance to another today. Yesterday, that is. No, I'm not going to describe them. Not worth it.

But, I will describe an attitude we encountered the other day that continues to disturb the husband and me.  I was ordering a sandwich at a supermarket deli. A frail elderly man was next to me holding onto his empty cart. He took a step backward, fell against me, and slid to the ground. The cart fell on top of him. Without hesitation, I pulled the cart off him and the husband called 9-1-1. The young deli clerk ran quickly around the long sandwich counter and pulled a display pole away from his head. The store manager was there in less than a minute, and a customer who was a first responder or a nurse, came forward and took care of the man. A few minutes later, the man's son was there.

"Don't worry," said the husband. "The ambulance is coming."

"Oh, he doesn't need an ambulance," the son said. "He does this all the time."


The husband said he wanted to clobber the son. That's how I felt.

Fortunately, the paramedics came very soon after the son and attended to the father.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Music Sends Me!

Last Saturday night, the husband and I went to an outdoor concert with some friends at a local winery. The evening was extremely excellent! We sprawled out on the green grass under the summer evening sky. We listened to the most glorious music as it joined with the expanse of the golden hills before us. I was in heaven. 

The featured band was Dave Mason. Yes, the one and only Dave Mason!

I don't know about our friends, but the music transported the husband and I to moments in our 20s. He said he was back at the concerts in Winterland in San Francisco. Me. I was back rocking with roommates as we listened to records, and I was playing an upturned ceramic pot as if it was a conga drum.

After the second piece that Dave Mason played, the husband said aloud, "That was almost orgasmic."

So true. 

P.S. Why is the camera shaking? I was bopping along with music, holding the camera in one hand and banging my right thigh like it was, yes, that upturned ceramic pot of long ago.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Yummy and Nutritious Sidewalk Weed

"We're having sidewalk weed again."

"Oh joy," said the husband.

Not really. He didn't say that. He just ate it. Until a few years ago, he didn't know that the weed he saw growing wildly along the sidewalk and on vacant lots was edible. Ha! Then he met me.

Specifically, I'm talking about purslane, also known as pigsweed. Portulaca oleracea is its scientific name. The Mexicans call it verdolaga. The Mama calls it kakalangay (an approximate Ilocano spelling to what I hear). Not ngalog, she says. That's something else.

Have I lost you? I'm talking about the fleshy, pinkish looking weed that spreads out on the ground. It look anemic and very unappetizing. Water it, and voila, you have what you see in that photo above. It is good to eat.

Very good to eat, in fact. Tasty, too. The weed, okay the herb, is high in vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and a whole bunch of the B-vitamin complex. It's also rich in omega-3 fatty acid goodness. Better than fish oil, unless you like fish oil.

When I was a kid, the stuff grew wild in the backyard. Now and then, the Mama boiled it and mixed it with tomatoes and fish sauce. I didn't care for it, but that could've been because of the heavy fish sauce.

Today, I like eating purslane. More so, when I learned that it provides me with the nutrition I need, particularly omega-3. And, these days, it's a summer staple food ever since the year Mama cooked it and the husband  didn't gag or say "Yuck."  In other words, we eat it often. The mama harvests the wild growth from between her vegetable rows. This year, it wasn't coming in quick enough for her, so she planted some in a box. And, that means, I'm continually thinking of new ways to cook the herb.

Last night, I added about 2 lose cups of purslane to my kahula pork recipe. Earlier this week, I created this tasty, quick and easy corn recipe.

Corn from two corn cobs
2 hand fulls of purslane
1/4 cup of diced chives (or green onion)
1 tablespoon butter substitute (or butter or olive oil)
Black pepper
Salt (optional)
  1. Heat fat in pan.
  2. Saute purslane until slightly limp (less than a minute).
  3. Add corn and chives. Stir frequently.
  4. Add black pepper and salt to your taste. Remove the pan from the heat when the veggies are done to the firmness that you like.
If you don't feel confident about digging it out of your yard or the streets, then you just might find purslane at your farmers market.

Want to know more about purslane? Well, then, here you go:
P.S. I just linked up to these Friday linky parties. Check 'em out!
Saving Money and Living Life: Faboulous Friday Linky Party
The Shabby Nest: Frugal Friday
Whistlestop Cafe Cooking: Friday's Favorite Linky Party
 P.P.S. I love a party. Here are three more I've just joined. Recipes galore at these ones.
Foodie Fridays
Wholesome Whole Foods
Fight Back Friday 

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    An Early Evening Sky

    The other evening I saw these clouds from the backyard. Interesting formation, isn't it?

    It kinda looks like a snail. It also looks like the shape of a Valentine's heart coming together.

    What do you see?

    Monday, July 12, 2010


    So, last week I decided to register for a domain name for this blog and Take 25 to Hollister. It took me several days to make everything match on the domain host and Blogger. It shouldn't have taken so long but I flubbed here and there and then had to figure how to unflub the flubs. You know how that goes.

    Soooo, here my blog stands with its own domain name. All comments made prior to the switch gone. Yeah, I'm still crying about that. It turns out there are a whole lot of us Blogger bloggers lost our comments when we switched. From what I've learned, the problem has been going on for a year or so. Some Blogger bloggers say that their comments have returned. Others say they returned, then disappeared again. I can only hope mine will return. I miss 'em.

    So why did I register for domain names for my blogs? I'm sure you're asking, dear readers. I have this hazy notion that by doing so, I'll be more serious about them. Use them to take over the world. No, no, not the latter. I just said that to get a laugh. Did it work?

    So I'll skip answering that question for now. I'll add it to my list of things I need to address, which includes finding the husband and my only address book, figuring out what is causing the pain to increase in my left foot, and pulling out the dandelions in the front lawn.

    So, me thinks I'll go pull out some dandelions now. That'll help me get out of my doldrums.

    So dear readers, does this!  Enjoy yourself some Fats Waller.

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Making Tech Changes


    I finally decided to buy domain names for my blogs. A Yay! short lived, but still a Yay!

    The last two days I've been doing trial-by-error tech stuff to get things to work. I've also been learning too many technical terms, such as CNAME and domain management something-or-other, which fortunately will turn into haze once I've accomplished what I want done.

    The positive, so far, with this blog: I managed to get its domain name to direct itself here. Really not an easy task since I went with a domain register not yet recognized by Blogger. And, I'm not a technical person, no matter what others will say about me.

    The negative: All comments made by you, dear readers, before today went missing. I know: What the heck?

    It turns out that's a common thing when switching to a domain URL on Blogger. All I can do is wait until Blogger fixes the bug. At least this is just a very minor irritating glitch in the universe of living. 

    So, please know, dear readers, your comments are here somewhere in a hidden virtual dimension. And, do keep on writing to me. I enjoy hearing from you. Always.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    Yours, Randomly Thursday

    I took a spin on my bicycle before breakfast this morning. Just a short one. Just enough to get my heart pumping to my brain so I could think properly. Coffee doesn't do that all the time for me.

    I started off chilled, as the fog was still burning. But as I pedaled onward, the less uncomfortable I felt and the more I glanced around me.  White picket fences. Fences blown down. Shade trees of all sorts. Tall, fat droopy sunflowers. City guys pruning trees. Construction guys taking a break from building the hospital expansion. Lone jogger. Aging couple walking tiny dog.

    Today was garbage day for some streets. I saw a baby car seat in one can and a wicker basket in another, and wondered how I could revamp them into other things. Fortunately for the husband, I didn't pull them out of the cans.  Passing by the blue recycled cans made me think of the night before when I was taking out our garbage cans.  A mother and child were about to open the garbage cans across the street. She saw me, smiled, said hello, and walked away with her little boy skipping behind her. Much later, I heard the rattle and pings of bottles and such being pulled from the garbage cans across the street. Definitely not good times.

    I saw. I heard. I thought. Last night I learned about the death of a classmate of mine from grammar school and high school days. We never hung out back then or even in our adult years. Still I feel a kinship with her because her last name ended with an "E." There weren't many "E's" growing up. Funny what things connect us. Several years ago I ran into Karen. She was pedaling her bike the opposite way that I was walking. I called out to her, which is not my normal mode. We chatted for awhile and I mentioned the "E" bit to her. All I recall is that she looked at me with surprise and then gave me a smile. Today, I think of her smile that afternoon as a gift.

    Thinking of Karen as I pedaled started a song in my head. A song by Janis Joplin. This song. Enjoy.

    Peace, Karen.

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    What Decorating Style Do You Have?

    Ever wondered what your design style might be? In terms of decorating your home, that is.

    By way of How about Orange (a really fun blog), I came across the fun quiz at the Ethan Allen Web site that tests your decorating style.

    My result was something called Global. The formal way of saying eccentric, eclectic, hippie, whatever-floats-my-boat. Ha! Nice to know my style is consistent over the years.

    Want to check out where you stand? Clickity-click here.

    I'd love to hear your results. Did they surprise you?

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    My First Summer Craft!

    See the teacup bird feeder.

    See how cute it is.

    I made it. 

    That's right. I made it. It's one of the three crafty things I said I'd  make this summer. Yay!

    In fact, dear readers, I made three of them. Yes, three! Big time.

    One for me. And two for Kathy, my friend since elementary school. I warned her that for her birthday, I was presenting her with a white elephant. He-he.

    Making the feeders was easy. Not like I thought it would be when I tried to visualize doing the instructions. Lesson to me, once again: Don't let unfamiliar instructions overwhelm me. Just do it.

    Click here for are the instructions by Little Birdie Secrets. I modified the instructions with each teacup to fit the directions for the glue I used as well as what made more sense to me. The results were fine. They passed the once-over from Kathy's husband who is an engineer. And let me tell you he gave it quite a pondering over I was starting to get nervous. Pshew.

    The smartest thing I did during the construction process was to wear purple gloves. Otherwise that bit of purple glove that got stuck to the bottom of a saucer would've been my skin.  Again, pshew.

    Will I make more? You can count on it. The next one will be a larger plate so that more than one bird can feast at a time. I also want to find other materials for the base.  Crafty Gardener has some interesting ideas at her blog.  Take a look at this page, if you're interested.

    The seemingly floating  teacup feeders.

    P.S. This is much later. I thought I'd check out some linky parties and joined in at Sugar Bee and All Thingz Related. Check 'em out, yourself. Lots of good handcrafting going on.

    P.P.S. Today, Thursday, I joined the link party at Somewhat Special. These link parties are fun. Try 'em sometime, if you haven't.

    All Thingz Related


    Sunday, July 4, 2010

    The Declaration of Independence

    Happy Fourth of July Dear Readers!!!

    The United States of America is  234 years old! Happy Birthday to us! Whoo-hooo!!! 

    If you haven't read the Declaration of Independence yet this weekend, well then here is a transcript of the Declaration as written by Thomas Jefferson and signed by 56 members of Congress. To read more about the who, what, when, why, and how, head over to this page at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Web site.

    IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

    The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

    For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

    Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    Friday, July 2, 2010


    The husband and I got on our bicycles yesterday. It had been a couple of weeks. Inconsistency that I need and want to change. I feel so much better for it.

    One of my pedaling objectives yesterday was to head over to the other side of town to take a photo of bales of hay.


    The other objective was to pedal further out to a farm stand for some fresh veggies and fruit.


    Achievements, small or large, are just that.  And, they all equal joy.  Remember that, dear readers.

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    A Dancing Dream

    My last dream was the best.

    I was playing the bass at a small outdoor gathering. (I don't play the bass in real life.) A pianist at a black baby grand was accompanying me.

    The dream began with me just standing before the noisy crowd, smiling and playing, and waiting for them to settle down. Soon, everyone was sitting. I finished that piece and started into another. The pianist and I had their full attention now. We moved into a samba. I danced with my bass as I played. Everyone got up and danced, too.

    Then I woke up.

    What a great dream to wake up from.

    Last night, I went to sleep asking myself, What shall I write next for this blog? Do I want to keep writing a blog? Where do I want to go from here, career-wise?

    When I have questions that make my head go round and round, I post them to my subconscious before I fall asleep. The solution sometimes works itself out the next day. Sometimes not.

    I don't know what that last dream meant. But, I like it. I love the idea of dancing the samba while playing the bass without losing a beat.

    I am ready for today!