Monday, December 29, 2008

Been Alive 60 Years? You'll remember all of this...

Logon to this URL and get a short history of the last sixty years while rocking out to Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire."

Let's all work to make the next part of history a lot more enjoyable, shall we? It takes many, many humans behaving badly to make such a big mess. With just a little bit of consideration for others, we can change the mix to a preponderance of GOOD stuff.

YES WE CAN!!! We started on November 4th and we'll get seriously underway on January 20th!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


"There is no place like home for the holidays..."

I know the truth of the above better than some. I was away in Hollywood for fourteen years and only during a few of those years was I able to fly "home" to Washington State" (where I was raised and have spent more than half of my adult life) for Christmas. I missed it, a lot. It's one of the reasons I finally moved back five years ago, so I could be here to watch the "wee ones" (grand nieces Elizabeth, 10 Casey, 8, Isabella, 6 and Jamie, 4) open their presents with such abandon.

Opening presents alone -- or even with friends -- is just not the same. It makes Christmas Day sorta sad and nostalgic. But that's behind me now. I hope all of you have family to cuddle with today.

I've just added a widget to this blog so you can "sign on" as a follower of the blog, either publicly or anonymously. It would be great to know who's "hanging on every word" (HA HA HA HA HA! -- or every few blogs, at least)! So scroll down to the bottom of the page and please subscribe to the blog as a follower. It'll give me a grin to know who's following, since not everyone comments or e's me to let me know who y'all are.

Thanks! Now I'm going to get some hot chocolate and go sit with my family again over on Jackie's side of the home!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

HO HO HO.... Very Cool.... Santas in all Shapes and Sizes, ALL with Great Hearts!


Follow This Link to My FAVORITE Christmas Song of all Time!

My mom's favorite Christmas song was THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY... I also love SILENT NIGHT and O HOLY NIGHT....

...but the above link will take you to my absolute favorite Christmas song of all time.

Every time I hear it, I get the chills. The first time (and second time, and third time) I heard it, I wept.

Great song!!!

P.S. Although this isn't my favorite rendition of the song, if you will use the drop-down box at the site, there are additional links to some pretty special songs of the season (and any time, really). ENJOY!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Too, Too Funny!

I had to send a handwriting sample to a prospective Elance buyer to see if we'd be compatible as partners in a project he had listed online. So I dutifully faxed over a sample.

He reported back that although he had already settled on another service provider who had a background in legal and handwriting analysis, he wanted me to know that I should cross my T's and make my below-line letters longer or else I might lose jobs because the way I write indicates that I'm "low energy and very reserved."


(For those of you who know me, you said, "HUH?!!" too, didn't you?)

I'm like Garfield's little dog buddy Odie or like Tigger in the "energy" and "reserved" departments, fer gosh sakes!

I was carefully trained to write properly, very, very legibly, and not to "fancify" unnecessarily. I just about spit my iced tea across the table when I read I had been diagnosed as reserved and low energy based on my handwriting!

People have for years been telling me to "chill out," "settle down," "take time to smell the roses," so I'm about as far from low energy as... as.... as a spinning top or a cyclone. And perhaps I am reserved down deep (I'm admitted painfully shy), but I'm so good at hiding it ("acting the part") that when I tell people I'm shy, they laugh -- no, they guffaw!

My handwriting has gotten smaller and more cramped over the years but that's because I'm almost 58 years old. My personality and energy level haven't changed anywhere near as much as my hand ligaments and muscles have, because I keyboard now much more frequently than I write by hand, so I'm kinda rusty when I write by hand, and certainly less flamboyant -- because when I "flamboy," I can't read what I write anymore!

So this fellow was off the mark in discerning my core nature and energy level based on my penmanship. I wrote a reply to him to let him know (with all due respect), but couldn't send it because his project had already been awarded and all interaction cuts off at that point unless I'm the one chosen.

So I'll joke about it here and hope that all handwriting analysts will learn a thing or two from the anecdote. We "older people" with high energy and keyboards are not being "analyzed" properly by some of you folks.

Now if you'll excuse me I'll take my reserved body to bed and have a nap!

(That was a punchline! A joke to end a silly subject!)

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like CHRISTMAS!

Snow is accumulating outside. We've had a fireplace crackling for several days now because the temperatures dropped into the mid 20's -- too cold for snow until today.

It's 34 right now and we're supposed to get up to six inches of the white stuff before eventide. (Eventide? Hey, cut me some slack, will ya? I always talk funny during the Christmas holiday! T'is the season to be jolly... and Olde English-y... and I don't even drink eggnog, unless it's virgin.)

I have a haircut appointment at 5:30 but think my hairdresser will probably call to cancel it. She lives about 20 miles away (in deeper snow) and it would be foolish for her to come in -- or, if she does, to stay much past five. That might be good, because I'm also scheduled to have dinner with my Writer's Edge ministry partner Yvonne Olson ... again, weather and road conditions permitting.

I may (or may not) be scarce over the next several days here in the blogosphere. I accepted an assignment that will take a 40 hour week (to start), and two more projects may come up alongside that one (for a 50 page e-book and something else). So even my spare time might get engulfed. I'll certainly get by here as often as I can.. fear not! (There we go again, getting biblical! "Fear Not... I bring you tidings of great joy. For unto us is born this day in the City of David a savior...")

There's a problem with the 40 hour project, though... it seems every time I logon to do it, something at the other end cues my PC to download a software program, which I cancel, of course! (The buyer said that's not supposed to happen, and she's looking into it.) When I try to access it another way, a replicator reproduces the buyer's home page hundreds of times and freezes up my computer! So if the buyer can't figure out what that's all about, I will be backing out of that project. It would be sad, because it could be an ongoing assignment as many hours a week as I want to commit to doing it, and it would be a great "filler" job whenever I don't have something else that pays better to do... It would be PERFECT for that! It's a n0- brainer (commenting on a specific blog) and doesn't pay much, but it would pay my part of the mortgage and my other monthly bills, so it's worth pursuing, if we can just figure out what the bug is!)

Back to the weather: My half of the house is much cooler than Jackie's end, so we have the door open between the two halves, with a large fan blowing heat from her side into mine. Even with that, it's just 66 degrees in my side (probably colder in this den, because it's located around two corners, so getting heat back here is problematic).

Aunt Tod left me a corner "radiator" but before I drag it out from the shed, I have to go online and look up its serial number/model number and see if it was recalled by the manufacturer. I know one of the Wal-Mart radiators was (fire hazard), so I want to be careful. Don't want to burn the place down getting a few degrees warmer! 64-66 degrees is shirt sleeve weather (in the summer). Why does it seem so much colder when there's snow or ice outside? Methinks it's psychological. My brains are playing tricks on me.

(If that's the case, why are my fingers thinking about the ecstacy of gloves?)

WOOHOO! Obama Named Time's Person of the Year!

No surprise, of course, but I love the article that goes with the honor! Hope you do, too!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Worth the Read...

...but this time out, fewer voters were bamboozled by Republican spin tactics and misinformation than ever before... so that's the good news!

And I hope by now Obama has shown most McCain supporters that he isn't planning any outragees for our beleaguered nation... or any other.

So far, I'm extraordinarily pleased with all his choices, decisions and statements. And this isn't a partisan statement in any way, shape or form.

If he keeps it up, we're going to be mighty proud thAT 52% of the voting population voted for him!

And I say YAY TO THAT!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Havah: The Story of Eve

I was skeptical that Tosca Lee would be able to catch lightning in a bottle twice after the debut of her first novel, DEMON: A MEMOIR, but my skepticism was for nought...

She has written another amazing chronicle. Read it and feel -- to the very core of your being --what it was like for Eve to lose Eden with a single bad decision.

You'll never hear the story any other way after experiencing it in this way. That's a promise!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Balanced, Thoughtful Look at Gay Marriage and the Bible

I tend to agree with this article. (Please read it first before continuing, if you haven't already.)

I have always believed in civil unions, but stopped short of believing that gays should be allowed to marry. After reading this and really thinking about it, I'm caught up in feeling like a partially blind hypocrite, to feel free to marry someone I love, but disallowing someone else to do the same thing because their sexual orientation is not "the norm" but a subset. (Ten percent of all mammals are homosexual. Did God make a mistake? Or is homosexuality the result of a fallen world? No one knows until we ask Him when we get to heaven. It's on my mind and I will ask when I get there! Perhaps homosexuality is allowed on earth by God to reveal to us the way we feel/fear and treat others who are not like us.)

On my mind is this conundrum: If the situation were reversed, how would I like being told by society, "You are making an aberrant choice (it's not something "hard-wired into" you) where your sexual orientation is concerned. Change your mindset before you marry, or you cannot marry." Could any of us "turn off" the heart/mind and chemistry connection that says with every fiber of its being, "I want to love and be with this person for the rest of my life"?

One very clear statement the Bible makes is this: "Against love, there is no law."

People who want to commit to each other in a marriage -- as an indivisible union of body, spirit, and mind -- should not be denied the right to do so. Every Biblical reference to homosexuality was a story of "unleashed lust" between two people of the same sex or between an aggressor and a victim. The Bible's vital message is that we should love one another as God loves us.

To set someone apart because they don't define love the same way that monogamous heterosexuals do is pretty ludicrous, as long as there is no bondage, no usurpation of each person's rights, no mean-spirited enforcement of a desire upon another. Many of the most honored people in the Bible had harems. It was a part of the culture. Stoning homosexuals and adulterers was another part. Go figure.

The Apostle Paul thought no one should marry unless an individual couldn't contain their lusts.

Jesus never married.

Does that mean the Bible preaches abstinence and single-hood?

What, then, about "go forth and multiply"?

So I'm changing my mind. It's a little uncomfortable, as a committed Christian, to say, "I now find gay marriage as acceptable as I find heterosexual marriage," but I can certainly say without equivocation that I find it equally honorable.

When two people want to commit in a sacred way to each other, that's worthy of celebration, not censure.

So there you have it.

I'm with Paul and Jesus: I love the single, celibate life. I thrive as a single person without carnal attachments.

But for the rest of you, find a committed relationship and love one another with all your hearts!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Raccoon Tales...

I've been putting cat food (hard and soft) on the front porch for Tiki (the cat that has lived outdoors at this house longer than we've lived indoors in it). She also has a warm, cushy catnap place (looks like a bright pink box) on the front porch, which she has never used (to my knowledge), but at least she has everything she NEEDS for inclement winter days. The box is located near the air vent coming from the dryer, so there are even times when she could hunker down and get toasty warm. But she hasn't taken advantage of the situation, except to enjoy the food. I give her canned food morning and night and the dispenser of dry food is out there all the time, day and night.

There you have it: a very long introduction to what I'm about to tell you!

Jackie went outside to get the newspaper this morning while the sky was still pitch black and reported back that the biggest raccoon she has ever seen in her life was on the porch, enjoying the dry cat food from the dispenser. When it saw her, it scuttled off the porch and to the nearest tree about ten feet away, but had no intention whatsoever of going away much farther than that.

It waited while she picked up the newspaper. She told it that it should probably leave now, so it went a little bit up the tree but dropped back down the moment she opened the door to go in, so she picked up the cat food dispenser and brought it in.

Said I to her, "*awwwwwww* The poor thing was hungry, Jackie!" Said she: "Well, as long as you don't mind feeding raccoons right along with Tiki, that's fine. It's your dime." I thanked her of thinking of my (rare, spare) dimes... but my heart remained with the raccoon!

Probably not many of you know this, but I raised an orphaned baby raccoon from June 1979 until he was old enough to release that fall. (At least, the kid who brought it to me said it was orphaned, which I doubted, but by the time he brought it to me, it had been with him for two or three days and had refused to eat, so he brought it to the "animal lady with the serval kitten" in the hope I could save it. I figured there was no way to return it to its mother after so many days.)

The little raccoon was terribly sad and scared when he came to me and I thought he was going to die because he already hadn't eaten in days. But in the middle of the night the first night I had him in my care, I heard him make a high-pitched trilling sound, and I mimicked it, at which time he rushed over to the side of the pen he was in and churred all the more, very excited, as though he'd located "mama!" So I went over and churred to him some more, offered him a bottle and some kibble, and he went to town, famished.

From that moment on (when I learned how to "speak in tongues" not my own, but by inspiration) he was my little buddy, following me everywhere, as if tied to me by an invisible string. I named him Gabriel.

Deaken (my "serval son") was just about the same age, and so I introduced them to each other. They hit it off very well . Deaken even tried to "churr" the way Gabriel did, and it worked for him, too!

So for one summer I had a very strange little critter family. I have a few photos (and a Super 8 film that should be transferred to DVD, and when I find it again, it will be!) that I must dig out and put on here or on You-Tube for others to enjoy.

Gabriel used to go into Mom's flower bed and pick some of her prettiest yellow flowers to bring to the sliding glass door. *awwwww*. He'd try to climb the sturdier flora (sunflowers), too, but was too heavy to have much luck with that.

I used to take him to streams to see if I could teach him to learn to turn over rocks and find crayfish and other goodies. It didn't take much -- it's instinctive to a raccoon to do that, I discovered.

Gabriel used to delight in grabbing 2-liter plastic soda bottles (which I'd fill part way with water) and drinking from them. He'd roll onto his back and use his back legs as "lifters" to get the water to run toward the opening in the bottle so he could drink from it.

Another time Dad was working on the deck and Gabriel grabbed one of the tools he was using and carried it under the deck. Boy, Dad was hopping mad. We had to send Philip (big Phil now, Casey's and Jamie's dad) underneath the deck to retrieve it the next time he came out to visit, because we were all too big to go where Gabriel had taken the tool! But we had so much fun watching Gabe that all was quickly forgiven.

But back to this morning's raccoon tale. I filled up the dry cat food dispenser and put it back onto the porch. The memory of Gabriel fills a very warm spot in my heart and any relative of his who's in need is a friend of mine.

God bless us, every one!

Disclaimer: I do not believe in wild or exotic animals as pets for the vast majority of the pet-owning population. The rearing and maintenance of captive wildlife should be left to well-trained, knowledgable professionals. I was a professional in the field for a very long time and have seen animal care and maintenance done well and done horribly. When it's done horribly, it's usually done by ignorant people with good hearts who just don't know any better or who don't know where to find the information and the money needed to do it properly. Loving animals is one thing; being able to care for them properly, out of love alone, is quite another...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mimosa Yellow is the Color of 2009


This is intriguing.

Pantone has delegated mimosa yellow as the color for 2009. June 11, 2009 will mark the tenth anniversary of De's passing, and do you remember why there's a yellow balloon on the back cover of my 2001 book about De (DeForest Kelley: A Harvest of Memories)? It's altogether too weird a coincidence, is it not, that on the tenth anniversary of his passing, yellow should be the color for the year?

I guess this means I ought to get busy wrapping up my next De book, THE ENDURING LEGACY OF DeFOREST KELLEY: ACTOR, HEALER, FRIEND. I put a deadline of March 5th, 2009 as the last day for contributions, so guess I'd better stick to that and get the thing put to bed, so it's out in time for June 11, 2009.

There's just one problem. I don't have as many fan/friend/co-worker contributions for it as I ought to have. In fact, all I have so far are fan contributions. No one else has stepped forward (family, friends, co-workers) to contribute to the book. That's weird.

Maybe they just don't know about the new book. I'll see if I can get Terry Rioux to put a bug in people's ears. Oh! And I have one other avenue I can try, too. I'll see how that works out...

I can still finish it; there are a lot more of my own experiences that I can add to the mix. But my vision for the book was to get others to pitch in and give me unique perspectives, so that remains my focus until March 5th -- then I'll go it alone and wrap it up using what I can from my own memories and files.

That reminds me. I had a dream the other night that I was supposed to be making another appearance at a STAR TREK convention. In the dream, I decided not to write out a speech (as I have always done before) and to just jot down some notes to remind myself of some areas to cover... but in the dream as I was jotting notes, I jumped ahead and then tried to come back to another point and couldn't remember what it was. The more I tried to remember what it was, the more I panicked. So then I asked Jackie (my sister) to tell me what she figured was "most important" about my association with the Kelleys (hoping she would come up with the point I couldn't remember) and she looked at me as if I had two heads. That was very disconcerting and scary, because I thought, "I have to speak in a little while and I can't remember my main point!" Weird, weird, weird!

Hey, here's an idea! Why don't each of you ask me what you still want to know about De that you don't already know... That'll give me fodder for the new book and something else to talk about if I ever appear again to talk about him! It might be kinda fun working that way! You might trip some synapses that I can't trip myself.

And Billie Rae, you and I ought to work together again on a remembrance so that when the tenth anniversary does come around, we'll have something ready to submit, syndicate, podcast, or something...

C'mon, all you De Fans: get me moving again in a De direction so I have some accountability here, okay?

In other news:

Critter-sitting went well. It was a bit lonely out there, but next time I go out there will be an Internet connection, so I can stay in touch and keep working via Elance. I never realized how much of my day takes place in front of a PC until I was without one for three days! Thank God I took Doris Kearns Goodwin's TEAM OF RIVALS along or I would have gone nuts. I was about halfway through it (it's a HUGE volume, about Abraham Lincoln's Cabinet) and managed to finish it while out yonder. I also caught a couple segments of Ellen Degeneres, Dr Phil and Oprah (since there was no news cable channel on their TV that I could find), but regular TV leaves me pretty cold, so I shut it off and just read, when I wasn't petting indoor dogs (three), giving "cookies" (milk bone treats) to outdoor dogs (three), or checking up on the gelding and two mares in the pasture. I was pretty bored out there! It's a FABULOUS place, and the critters were cuddly and cute, but my solitary days are OVER. I'm so glad I live one door frame away from Jackie these days, I can't even express it.

I'm an "only" no more!

Missed my kitties and guinea pigs, too!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The sun just burst through the clouds here -- it looks like summer! Of course, if I step out the door I'll be quickly disabused of that notion. But it really has been a mild winter so far over here in God's country. I walked this morning with my Walkman headset on. T'was lovely.

Last night I happened upon PBS and found Andy Williams Christmas program retrospectives... ahhhh... lost myself in the glow of forty year old memories... Today's kids are really missing out, with the kind of stuff they get these days.

I'm preparing Jackie to take care of my critters while I care for someone else's. It won't take much. Cats pretty much take care of themselves since they can go outside to do their thing in the back woods (and do). I'll just leave a big dish of food out and a lot of water for the cats... put a lot of hay in the guinea pig cage (they have a water bottle), and she can throw some kale or a carrot in every day to keep them squealing with delight. They're growing like weeds -- as are the kids who are enjoying them so much every weekend!

Just got another Elance job. Gotta jump off and serve my customer! Ciao for now!

Holiday hugs galore!