Dear America…

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Happy Father’s Day Daddy… You are never forgotten.

DaddyUPDATE:  Both my parents and in-laws are gone, and every Mother’s Day and Father’s Day I remember them all.  I remember making sure that we all sent greetings and warm thoughts on these days while my children were growing up.  But I don’t remember ever anticipating today’s bitter-sweet feeling of understanding that my ever-present parents and in-laws would one day be gone.  Alas, they have moved yonder.  They left me and I have a void in my life.

Today, I remember my husband, father of our 4 children who now has sons who are fathers…  What a heavy responsibility, for all these men in my life, that never goes away.   

I don’t think I would be the wife, mother and grandmother I became if I had not had the Father I did.  I miss him dearly, I remember him always, and talk to him daily.  Time went by too swiftly, although I thank God we were able to have him around for so long.  Here is an excerpt from a past message…

  • “This is the message I wrote my Father on his birthday, last January [2015], but, rather than making it public I just sent it to him via email.  He was gone 4 months later.  The spirit of the message still stands, even though my Dad died in May [2015].

A message to my Father:

Daddy, and you are my “Daddy”, even though I am no longer a spring chicken!!!  87 years arrived a bit too suddenly, because we never expected that time would go by so quickly. Even my little brothers are no longer young, although their sisters will forever see them as the little boys they were when we were tweens and teens.

Think of what a wonderful stage of life you have reached and achieved:

  • 1 great-grand-daughter (and 1 great-grand-son soon to be born):  you HAVE to be proud knowing that your great-grand-daughter is big-headed like you!!!  At 1-year of age, we are all acknowledging that her brachiocephalic head may help us understand her stubbornness…  We anticipate that the little boy will be as big-headed as his cousin and his Great-Grandfather!!!
  • 7 grand-children:  3 young men and 1 young woman, 3 young boys…all looking up to you as the patriarch of a clan who holds the key to the history behind our families and who shares that history with incredible stories of “the old days”…
  • 4 children:  all middle-aged by now, with in-laws, who -together- have given you a reason to laugh and cry (because you were laughing so hard) in earnest, throughout these years…
  • Nephews and nieces galore:  3 special nephews and 1 special niece who have always, always seen you as the guiding star…
  • Brother, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, cousins, cousins-in-law and other relatives:  isn’t it wonderful to have all these family members around to remind all of us of the importance of cherishing a family?

You are blessed with the knowledge that your family is there for you and for all of us… 87 is a serious number!  I hope we (your kids) are lucky to reach 87!!!  Happy Birthday, Daddy!

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Of creatures, great and small…

Safety in numbers…

One of their predators? The stingray..

A “fever” of singrays…

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Maine: a pond…

I miss my pond…


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“Music had soothed the savaged beast…”

Behind the horrors of war, a beautifully empathetic story:

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Of sticks, marbles, magnets, scissors, etc.

Am sharing because I was mesmerized by this “domino-like effect”:

Thanks to American Digest.

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A mini-film about a boy and his puppy.

It is a sweet 4+ minute animated film that is very moving and uplifting. Via “>BoingBoing.

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Portraits of last surviving tribes

I wish this site had an explanation of the photographers and the subjects…  

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Japanese Paper Making.

No need for words.

Thanks to American Digest.

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Robin Blue, and what a tale it can conjure.

Robin BlueRobin Blue has to be one of the most beautiful colors around.   I took this photo today at our front yard, where the nest is hiding in the male holly tree.  Somehow, looking at this perfect little egg made me think of the magic of life in general and of the robin hen in particular.  It also made me wonder how many people have thought about the robin and written about it.   I grew up reading and hearing about the poem “Who Killed Cock Robin”:

Who killed Cock Robin 

“Who killed Cock Robin?” “I,” said the Sparrow,
“With my bow and arrow, I killed Cock Robin.”
“Who saw him die?” “I,” said the Fly,
“With my little eye, I saw him die.”
“Who caught his blood?” “I,” said the Fish,
“With my little dish, I caught his blood.”
“Who’ll make the shroud?” “I,” said the Beetle,
“With my thread and needle, I’ll make the shroud.”
“Who’ll dig his grave?” “I,” said the Owl,
“With my pick and shovel, I’ll dig his grave.”
“Who’ll be the parson?” “I,” said the Rook,
“With my little book, I’ll be the parson.”
“Who’ll be the clerk?” “I,” said the Lark,
“If it’s not in the dark, I’ll be the clerk.”
“Who’ll carry the link?” “I,” said the Linnet,
“I’ll fetch it in a minute, I’ll carry the link.”
“Who’ll be chief mourner?” “I,” said the Dove,
“I mourn for my love, I’ll be chief mourner.”
“Who’ll carry the coffin?” “I,” said the Kite,
“If it’s not through the night, I’ll carry the coffin.”
“Who’ll bear the pall? “We,” said the Wren,
“Both the cock and the hen, we’ll bear the pall.”
“Who’ll sing a psalm?” “I,” said the Thrush,
“As she sat on a bush, I’ll sing a psalm.”
“Who’ll toll the bell?” “I,” said the bull,
“Because I can pull, I’ll toll the bell.”
All the birds of the air fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
When they heard the bell toll for poor Cock Robin.

Here it is, thanks to the Library of Congress, in all its lugubrious and glorious state...Cock Robin

For all those lawyers around or legalistic minds that like a good murder story and a trial, you can read the rest of the story here.Cock Robin trial

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The Eagles Landed with a Cat: the Arboretum Eaglets.

Remember the 2 little baby eagles that hatched in the Arboretum of Washington, DC?  Well… They keep growing.  Apparently, their parents brought them a cat to eat, and people are upset about this webcam event.  I can understand that.  I would not want my pet to end up in the eagles’ nest as food.

Usually you hear that cats eat the birds, not vice versa.  There are so many expressions about cats eating/killing birds that no one cringes about, like “the cat swallowed the canary”.

Eagles are predators.  There is no way we can reform them.  The website has  a disclaimer:

This is a wild eagle nest and anything can happen. While we hope that two healthy juvenile eagles will end up fledging from the nest this summer, things like sibling rivalry, predators, and natural disaster can affect this eagle family and may be difficult to watch.

The site failed to disclaim that eagles will hunt cats if they can, and that there are certain traits of these magnificent birds of prey that humans cannot change, unless they genetically modify the birds.

Don’t get me wrong.  I would hate to witness the harsh event of an eagle swooping down and capturing a cat in its claws.  Yet, I understand the harshness of nature.  The lion and the lamb will not lie together.  The zebra or gazelle and the crocodile do not best friends make.  The fish will lose to the heron more often than naught.

I have 3 real-life stories about birds and cats and hams and guinea pigs.  I will soon share them.  While the end-result was not quite palatable, the actual occurrence was quite amazing and -sometimes- comical. There is something “cute” about these eaglet siblings, don’t you think?


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King of the Road… when men were not afraid to be men… and were sexy!

I love this song… it may not be PC, but it captures an era…and the rhythm and beat of the song that, -in my humble opinion- have NEVER been matched.  Dean Martin has fun singing this song…and he exudes a masculine trait that is no longer acceptable, but that I am sure some young women today would love to witness.  I certainly miss this.

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El Gato Correntino… Classical Guitar

You are never too old!  I learnt to play this classical guitar piece when I was 10 or 11 years old.  A very, very long time ago.  I still remember it by heart…but I am no expert.  My playing is rusty.  But this man gives me hope.

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One of the loveliest of birds: the Hummingbird.

In my family, the Hummingbird holds a very special space, because of what this little bird has conjured through the years.  One day I will have it in me to write the right “memoires” that will include the cunning little bird’s apparition during diverse times in my family’s life.   I just came across this WONDERFUL set of photographs of this little bird, in its various typecasts.  I am stunned.  I hope you derive as much pleasure as I do looking at these remarkable photos.  These little birds are truly jewels.


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An Afghan prison, a loom, a heater, and Cinderella’s slipper.

UPDATE:  Listening to Merle Haggard’s Prison Song, I thought of my Afghan experience…

One of these days I will be able to write about my experiences visiting an Afghan prison.  I am one of those lawyers who has never seen the inside of a prison, except for some, like Robben Island, that today are museums.  But it is still all too fresh in my mind and I cannot quite capture the myriad of emotions I went through while visiting this place.  It had to be one of the strangest, most surreal, perturbing, curious, worrying, enigmatic, perplexing, and frankly- bizarre yet hopeful experiences of my entire life.  Am sure there are more adjectives to describe my emotions.

I had opportunity to visit the cells, talk to the prisoners, and observe a selected few in their rehabilitiation or vocational environments that involved working with metal, leather and wool.

The prisoner cobblers were working on creating charming women and girls’ shoes.  There was something touching to see these men (all convicted hard-core criminals) cutting and gluing and nailing together all these shoes.  There was a master cobbler who was teaching the prisoners how to be shoemakers.

We did not speak the same language.  We come from different worlds.  They were making useful but pretty things, some seemingly delighting in the novelty of a visit by strangers, and asking to have their photos taken, while others tended to their craft with serious and meticulous concentration.

A prison cobbler tending to his trade.

A prison cobbler tending to his trade.

Made in prison: a Cinderella slipper.

Made in prison: a Cinderella slipper.

A prison loom.

A prison loom.

Hand-made water heaters from corrugated metal.

Hand-made water heaters from corrugated metal.

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