Spring Cleaning

“My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.”
Erma Bombeck

Spring Cleaning

Today I took advantage of the gloomy weather and decided to do some cleaning out of the closets. I found lots of clothes and items to take to Goodwill to be repurposed.

I don’t have a lot of items that I hang on to, because about every six months, I go through and clean out my closets. But, I did have a lot of old paper work that needed to be trashed and also shredded.

It’s such a great feeling to get rid of all this excess baggage that I’ve been hanging on to. However, my back and sides are suffering a bit from all this spring cleaning.

Shine On

Stupid Moments

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish
on its ability to climb a tree,
it will live its whole life
believing that it is stupid.”
Albert Einstein

Stupid Moments

The movie A Christmas Story, classic stupid moment.

We all experience at some time in our lives that moment when that voice in our head says, “W-T-F was I thinking!” Hopefully, these moments are few and far between.

I like to think of them as mental farts, similar to a brain fart, but more humiliating. But let’s face it, they are what they are. Stupid moments.

Shine On

Looking Back

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

Looking Back

Standing at the stern watching Catalina sail away.

The boat ride from Catalina to the mainland was quick. Getting back into the swing of things, well that didn’t take long either.

But, driving around today taking care of all my errands, I’m reminded how courteous and friendly everyone on Catalina is: It’s such a contrast to the Angeleno lifestyle.

So, I’m already planning my next return trip to captivating Catalina. Hopefully, my husband will be able to join me, and am looking forward instead of looking back.

Shine On

In Harmony with Animals

“I think of my life’s work as a celebration of all of nature,
an orchestra that plays not the sounds of one musician,
the music of one species, but rather
an expression of all of nature’s songs”.
Gregory Colbert

Gregory-Colbert

Elephant with woman by photographer Gregory Colbert.

The other day I read, Larger Than Life, by Jodi Picoult. It’s a wonderfully written novella about a young woman researcher studying the memory in elephants. It’s the first time reading one of her books, but the story made such an impact on me, I will surely read other books by Ms Picoult.

I’ve always been intrigued and in awe by elephants. It saddens me to hear in the news about poaching in Botswana and other African countries. The thought of elephants becoming extinct frightens me. Hopefully, with the help of numerous writers, celebrities as well as photographers raising awareness of the terrible threat to these noble prehistoric pachyderms extinction will not happen.

There is one man, a not so famous celebrity by the name of Gregory Colbert who is making a difference in saving the elephant. He is a Canadian photographer/film maker who created Ashes and Snow, an ongoing traveling exhibition of photographs and films focusing on the exquisite interaction of humans and animals. Better known as the nomadic museum, these images and films are displayed in purposely built temporary structures that travel the world.

Mr. Colbert started this exhibit in 1992 in hopes of exploring the relationship between man and animals from the inside out. Ashes and Snow has been viewed by more than ten million visitors to date, making it the most attended exhibition by any living artist in history.

He is fast become my favorite photographer. Not only for his heart warming images, but for his beliefs. He has discovered the shared language and poetic sensibilities of all animals, and is working towards restoring the common ground that once existed when people lived in harmony with animals.

Shine On

Our Men of Honor

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces,
but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.”
John F. Kennedy

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. This nineteen-foot tall statue of Abraham Lincoln emerged from the design of Massachusetts sculptor Daniel Chester French whose attention to detail, accuracy, and composition created a masterpiece.

Today, March 3, 1865 marks the 150th anniversary of the day President Abraham Lincoln signed a law to establish a national soldiers and sailors asylum. It was signed a month before the Civil War ended and the day before his second inauguration. Its roots can be traced back to 1636, when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were at war with the Pequot Indians.

The Pilgrims passed a law that stated that disabled soldiers would be supported by the colony. Later, the Continental Congress of 1776 encouraged enlistments during the Revolutionary War, providing pensions to disabled soldiers. In the early days of the Republic, individual states and communities provided direct medical and hospital care to Veterans. Then, in 1811, the federal government authorized the first domiciliary and medical facility for Veterans. Also in the 19th century, the nation’s Veterans assistance program was expanded to include benefits and pensions not only for Veterans, but for their widows and dependents.

Home for Disabled Veterans

An illustration of the Milwaukee location of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, from the 1885 edition of the Wisconsin Blue Book.

It wasn’t until 1873 that the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers was established. It was the first-ever government institution created specifically for honorably discharged volunteer soldiers. The first national home opened November 1, 1866, near Augusta, Maine. These national homes were often called “soldiers’ homes” or “military homes,” and only soldiers who fought for the Union Army—including U.S. Colored Troops—were eligible for admittance.

The sprawling campuses became the template for future generations of federal Veterans’ hospitals. Because of President Lincoln, today the United States has the most comprehensive system of assistance for Veterans of any nation in the world.

Thank you President Lincoln for being the first in our government to have the compassion and the forethought to look after all of our past, present and future war veterans. Our men of honor.

Shine On