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While this probably isn’t Harry’s best side, I thought it was an interesting view. After all, when was the last time you had a chance to look at the underside of a heron’s chin?  Or is that a chin? Hmmmm.


Anna Maria Island, Florida.

Quote of the day: “We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” — e.e. cummings

Daily gratitudes:
Blue sky
Laughing with Kelsea
That MKL is feeling a little better
Kale chips
Carrying Mr. Man around when he’ll let me


It will be some time before I can return to Anegada, and I miss it. But I am thankful for the blessings in my life here every day, even for the rain.


Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the Day: “He learned to read the ocean by a cupful. He also learned to regard each port of call as part of the journey and not as the destination. Every voyage begins when you do.” — E.L. Konigsburg

Daily gratitudes:
Pink shoes
Snoozing on the bus

Photo title: Lookout

On the water, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.”  —  Pema Chodron

Today is the birthday of the sewing machine, the telephone book and the Communist Manifesto. 

If you’re of a certain age, your mother probably had a sewing machine.  Mine did, and she made many of my clothes when I was small, as well as most of the clothes that my Barbie Dolls wore.  (As an aside, did you know there was actually a short-lived Trailer Trash Barbie?  I kid you not.  Someday, I’ll do a Barbie post.)

I actually did learn to use one – in high school, I created almost the entire wardrobe for the cast of one of the school plays.  That wound up being a very bittersweet experience for me, as I was somehow the only one of the crew who received NO recognition.  It pissed me off and embittered me towards sewing.  When I moved away, my Mom bought me a machine, but I could never get the hang of it.  I think it is still in Pat’s shed.  That’s sad because I enjoyed creating things.  Maybe someday, I’ll try again. I’m the only person I know with PTSD around sewing machines.  But then, I’m the only person I know with a fear of yeast.

Who can forget Steve Martin’s portrayal of “a poor black child” in “The Jerk”, yelling “The new phone book’s here!  The new phone book’s here!”?  On this day in 1878, the first phone book was published – it was one page and contained 50 listings for New Haven, Connecticut.  Just think, now we go to a lot of trouble to be sure no one can find our phone number unless we give it to them, yet at the same time, we are constantly connected to millions of strangers via social medium.  Ironic, isn’t it?

The Communist Manifesto was published today in 1848 by Karl Marx and Fredric Engels.  I’m not going to get into the details – you can find them elsewhere – but suffice it to say that pure Marxism promoted a classless society (in terms of segregated classes of people, not couthness), which, if it were somehow possible to abolish man’s natural tendency towards greed, might be the way to go, as it actually promotes democratic thinking. 

However, in Communist countries, the theory has been degraded and has resulted in the authoritarian, Big Brother types of societies that democracies find so objectionable.  (As I type this, “Dr. Zhivago” is beginning on TCM – one of my mother’s favorite movies, and one that demonstrates, with debatable accuracy, some of the tenets of communist society.)

It’s English poet W.H. Auden’s birthday.

In his honor, here’s one of his most beautiful and sorrowful works.

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

And it’s the birthday of actor Alan Rickman, a.k.a. Snape from the Harry Potter movies – the character we love to hate. 

He actually has an extremely solid body of work, dating from 1978, even though most of his roles were rather villainous.  The Guardian named him as one of the finest actors never to have received an Academy Award.  He’s 64 and he looks very good for his age.

Today, we mourn the following individuals who have passed on:

Dutch philosopher Spinoza, best known for propagating the theory that God and Nature are just two names for the same thing.  I agree.

Dame Margot Fonteyn, prima ballerina of the Royal Ballet and partner extraordinaire of Rudolph Nureyev,

and Sunny Lowry, the first British woman to swim the English Channel.  At age 22, it took her 15 hours and 41 minutes, and society branded her a harlot for daring to wear a two-piece bathing suit that exposed her knees.  Talk about not having your priorities straight.

Lastly, it’s the day that the Carolina Parakeet, the only parrot native to the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, passed into extinction in 1918.  May the beautiful little thing rest in peace.

Thus endeth the history lesson.  Hope you feel slightly enlightened.

January 2021


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