Wednesday, May 26, 2010

tired of all the nonsense

Recently the GOP and T-Party have been screaming about Obama's "job-killing agenda."

"Govament needs to stand back and let the private sector create jobs!"

"Govament is just standing in the way with senseless regulations, taxes, and commi agendas."

Oh, but when Goldman Sachs and BP totally F*** things up and try to ruin our nation, what are these babies crying? Why isn't Obama doing something? He needs to ride in on a big white stallion and create jobs that Wall Street took away. He needs to deal with Goldman Sachs. He needs to clean up the Gulf because obviously BP doesn't have a God-Loving Clue!

What do you want, hypocrites, government or not?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Garden Photo of the Day 5/23/10 Wild Ginger

This year I'm trying to be a frugal gardener. I have been establishing plants in different areas of my yard, and the last several years this has meant going to area nurseries and buying perennials and some annuals just for fun.

I've been disappointed when some of the perennials didn't come back the next year. The past two winters have brought extreme cold temps (-20) so only native or the hardiest plants survived. I've decided to focus on plants that are native to Illinois or ones proven to survive here - such as peonies, hostas, etc.

This season I'm going to focus my energy on cultivating existing plants for transplant to other areas of the yard. One plant that I love and that has enjoyed great success here is one native to Illinois—Asarum canadense reflexum or Wild Ginger.

My specimens came from my sister's yard in Kentucky, but they are quite at home in Illinois, where Wild Ginger grows naturally in nearly every county. From an original two or three plants five years ago, a large patch has flourished underneath a tree in the back yard. They have lovely leaves, especially stunning when a nice colony has developed. To find the tiny flower, however, you have to lift up the leaves and look on the ground. (You can just see it in my photo.) The plant gets its name from its fragrance, which is similar to ginger. 

I dug up and transplanted five plants last week and, thanks to some good rain, they are thriving. I'm looking forward to a nice colony under our maple tree beside the patio in a few years. I also dug up (from down the bluff behind our house) some bluebells roots and planted them next to the ginger for a nice woodland effect in early spring. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Garden Photo of the Day 5/21/10 More Containers!

I am also growing green peppers, Roma tomatoes, Early Girl tomatoes, and Kentucky Wonder Beans in containers.

I think the tomatoes will prevail, but a little unsure about the beans.

If they thrive I'll post photos!

I'm so into container gardening as it eliminates the need for extensive weeding, something I can't do right now.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Garden Photo of the Day 5/20/10 Lettuce

I had hopes of growing a luscious garden this year but was restricted by recent surgery. My sister came and filled pots with soil and lifted them onto a ledge where I could easily reach them. This collaboration has resulted in a joyous display of red lettuces, mesclun mix, and baby spinach. Yum!

And watching these seeds grow has been a nice experience. Eating them - with a little Newman's Own Italian dressing - even better.

Container gardener is awesome, I have to say.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Garden Photo of the Day 5/17/10

I never knew that purple and orange made such a brilliant combination. The heavy purple iris, unable to hold their heads up, fell into a patch of orange coreopsis.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Van Morrison

Anyone who know me understands that I am a huge Van Morrison fan. He possesses and exudes enormous talent.

For the last several years, fans were able to enjoy rare footage of his performances on YouTube. And then, all these were removed. I understand where he is coming from. I know that early in his career he was sucked dry by record industry execs. They exploited his talent and reaped profits while raping him. I can understand his anger and his refusal to let these awesome performances be seen for free on YouTube.

But consider: where can we see them and pay for them? Nowhere.

When people view this awesome footage, won't they be motivated to purchase music? Yes!

Today I found a Russian site that is still broadcasting them.

Enjoy while you can. Van, and Web Sheriff: these are awesome performances. All we want to do is enjoy them. Find a way where we can pay you to do so and we will. Withholding them, however, is just not right.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Take the bus?

We drove over to East Peoria today to engage in a little economic "slippage" and shop at the PetSmart and Office Max. From where we are on the West Bluff it just seems less stressful to jump over the Bob Michel Bridge than to navigate Sterling or University and War Memorial to do a little shopping. The traffic is much less congested.

Peoria's CityLink buses also traverse the bridge and ferry shoppers to EP. Today, we saw a bus broken down between the WalMart and Lowes. As we crossed back over to Peoria, we passed a CityLink tow truck on its way to rescue the stranded bus. The last time I took CityLink I ended up riding in a white 13-person van rather than a regular bus. Stuffing passengers into and letting them off of these conveyances is more than a bit awkward.

I remember reading in the PJS a while back that CityLink bought several buses on the cheap from Chicago Transit Authority "for parts." Unfortunately I have noticed that these CTA buses, lacking CityLink colors or logo, have been crawling down regular CityLink routes.

This is a sad state of affairs. If the chances of boarding a bus that is going to break down seem good, who is really going to take that chance on their way to work unless they have no other option? Stimulus funds? Hello! If CityLink could purchase 20 new buses wouldn't that create at least a few jobs. Aaron (say no to stimulus) Schock what say you dude? We need a little leadership here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wonderful thought

Our neighborhood association recently successfully completed a publication of the history of our area. So many people helped with research, editing, writing, and gathering of  images. We had a lot of fun working on the project. Members held editing sessions at their homes and served delicious sustenance to keep us going.

My task was some photography and completing the lay out. Once the publication was handed out to neighbors, my co-conspirators presented me with a framed version of the publication. They had all signed it with warm thoughts for my meager contribution.

I just have to say it is wonderful to live in a neighborhood of such warm, thoughtful, caring, and involved people.

We all care about and support each other. We watch out for each other. I feel privileged to live here and thank all my friends for their gift.

Just think about your own community—whether it be your cubicle neighbors, your school friends, or your neighbors. Take time to get to know the people around you. Work with them. Cooperate with them. You will be triply blessed by the effort you put forth.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


For months now, ever since developing a serious pinched nerve condition, I have thought a lot about meditation. This is a subject about which I am ignorant. I have downloaded an audio-book from, but right now can't get it to my ipod, so I've only heard bits and pieces. I found a website about transcendental meditation, but learned that it would cost me a lot of money to hire a guru. On the Huffington Post the other day I read an article by Sadhguru about his mystical experiences.

Recently I had surgery to physically repair the condition. Although I relied on traditional medicine to cure that unbearable pain, I think meditative experiences could be beneficial to my whole life experience.

I was very depressed yesterday and called my sister, looking for a tunnel out of my despair. She asked, nonchalantly, "why not bake some cookies."

Quickly, I responded that "I don't want or need any cookies."

Thinking of her two energetic boys and of me, she said, "you could send them to us."

So today for the first time in over a year I baked chocolate chip cookies. I ate one and determined they were pretty good. (Thanks to a new stand mixer which makes creaming butter and sugar a breeze.) Family came over later in the day and determined they were awesome.

That's the power of doing things for other people, I guess.

After putting one batch in the oven, I went outside with my dog Banjo. He wanted to sniff and roll, so I relaxed on the hammock. I saw a solitary leaf above me on the maple tree covered with thousands of leaves.

I thought, is this meditation? If I focus on this leaf? Sadhguru wrote about being one with the world, being outside himself, while realizing that all of his understanding of human experience was within himself.

I focused on the leaf. What did it feel? What did it experience? What did it understand of its life cycle? How did it feel when the wind blew? What did it have to do with my experience of it?

And then the phone rang. I went inside and my sister was on the other end. I said good thing you called the cookies are just ready to come out and I would have forgotten them while I stared at the leaf.

I plan to keep working on the meditative experience!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Atrazine / breast cancer link / Komen denies knowledge

I'm linking to an important article by scientist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber on the Huffington Post.

Although the Susan B. Komen Foundation denies a link between agricultural and industrial chemicals and breast cancer (, Steingraber states that probable links exist between the pesticide Atrazine and breast cancer.

Let's face it, the founder of the Susan B. Komen Foundation is a staunch Republican, named by President Bush as an ambassador to Hungary. The Republican party sleeps with big business, big agricultural, and big chemical.

So wear your pink t-shirts and ribbons, but remember that the Komen Foundation has its head in the sand when it comes to facing the serious environmental links to breast cancer. Facing those dangers would demand drastic changes to the way we live, the way we grow our food, and our diet. A conservative such as Brinker is politically motivated to ignore these realities.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Good cry

Do you ever just need a good cry?

Your dog died prematurely.

A physical ailment or the economic downturn forced you out of a job.

The BP  oil spill seems to be growing out of control.

President Obama isn't a miracle worker and the press stresses that fact every day.

The Tea Party "haters" seem motivated by racism and feed on misinformation spewed by both elected officials and one-dimensional media figures.

Although despair and crying are natural human reactions to situations, we still have face dilemmas and setbacks with intelligence.

Positive voices need to become as loud as the negative ones.