Tag Archive: karyn bowman


The Dress

Today, I thought I would write about the dress.

Yep, that dress.

The one that Tiffany Trump wore at her wedding that was truly spectacular.

I loved the classis square neckline, the fitted bodice, the A-line skirt, and the long, luscious train.

Then there was the fabric – satiny, shiny, beaded.

It was elegant. The bride looked like a princess.

As she should. And when we see her happy face, it makes one wonder if she was able to forget the family drama all around her.

The sister who wore a crop top at the rehearsal dinner. The sister in-law who wore some silver thing that wasn’t quite in the pastel vibe as the rest of the wedding party. The fiancee of her brother who wore black. The step-mother who wore off-white.

Well, at least her mother was beautiful in a pastel purple.

But forget all that. Let’s allow Tiffany to be known as a beautiful bride because she was. Mar-a-Lago was filled with flowers, music, food, and a little magic. She and her groom looked happy together. And soon they will settle into a new life together. She is a beautiful bride and perhaps the most renown for right now.

After the Biden grand-daughter gets married on the South lawn of the White House, we will be getting new pictures of a beautiful bride.

I hope her dress is just as magical as Tiffany’s.

Note: See pictures of Tifany’s two wedding dresses at the Hello Magazine website. My efforts to save a picture of the dress were futile.

Advertisement

1. The Mask Lawsuit

During the Pandemic Bailey filed a lawsuit against the State (Pritzker) to have the mask mandate removed. Bailey believed he was saving the entire state from a mandate he felt was unlawful. However, the judge deemed that Bailey’s lawsuit was justified – for Bailey only. This lawsuit would not apply to the rest of the state.

If a person fails his objective in such an epic manner, he has made some bad decisions either in going through with the lawsuit or picking lawyers to go through with the lawsuit. If you cannot make good decisions regarding a lawsuit to get a mask mandate removed for all, how do you expect us to believe that you can run a multi-billion dollar economy?

2. Abortion

Bailey is in favor of making abortion illegal in Illinois with no exceptions. We have seen how this works in other states that have outlawed abortions.

Women who are having miscarriages cannot get the care they need because their doctors don’t want to be prosecuted for performing an abortion.

Women who are having ectopic pregnancies cannot get needed healthcare because their doctors are afraid of being prosecuted for performing an abortion.

Women in need of Rheumatoid Arthritis medication are being denied their medication because one of the side effects is miscarriage of pregnancies.

If there is no regard for women’s healthcare, that women are turned into suspects because their bodies fail to carry a pregnancy (which happens in 1/3 of all pregnancies), is outlawing abortion a good idea? If making this man our governor makes it more dangerous for women to get their healthcare needs taken care of during their fertile years, why are we voting for this man?

3. Donald Trump

This man supports Donald Trump, a man who lost the 2020 election but refused to publicly acknowledge it. For months before the 2020 election, Trump stated if he lost then that meant there were voting irregularities. However, 60+ court cases and republican-led voting audits not only did not find more votes for Trump, they did find more votes for Biden.

Now Bailey is stating that he loses, he believes it will be due to voting irregularities. And he plans to have 6000 poll watchers on election day to make sure all goes well. All this is a page out of the Trump playbook. Does he plan to have fake electors as well?

4. Highland Park 4th of July Shooting

I had forgotten about this incident until I saw a political commercial today. Within hours of the shooting at the 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Bailey appeared upset that the parade he was going to be in had been cancelled. He tried to sound calm as he expressed sympathy and concern for the people of Highland Park. But then he stated that we need to get over the events earlier in the day and celebrate our country’s birthday. Yep, he said that on the same day, minutes after expressing sympathy. I heard him say this. Tone deaf much? Unable to actually express sympathy without moving away from his policies is inexcusable. Will he continue such behavior as governor?

5. What has he actually accomplished in the State house? I have seen many, many commercials from Bailey’s campaign. I have heard people talk about his farm experience showing he knows how to work. I have seen his commercials against Pritzker, striking fear about mis-interpreted laws bringing more violence and crime into our lives. I have seen Pritzker ads showing Bailey’s views on abortion and the no-votes for bills that would have help first responders and women dealing with domestic violence.  I have not heard a single commercial touting what he has done that is good for the state.

6. Bailey hates Chicago and has never hidden his feelings. But now he is renting an apartment in the former John Hancock building on the Magnificent Mile because he wants to get to know the city. What he does not realize is that every neighborhood is like a small town. Each neighborhood has its own flavor and dangers. Does he think that working class through upper-middle class Chicagoans are going to be fooled by this stunt? We all know that what he is signifying is that he will be available to the power brokers of the city because he has a place in the city. Until I see him actually visiting the best and the worst neighborhoods of Chicago, this feels like a stunt to me.

7. Pritzker may not be perfect, but he has been a good leader for the state. Our bond rating has improved. He is working at the deficit governors on both sides of the aisles built. And during the Pandemic, he was willing to make tough decisions. Even when that meant going against the President who was hell bent on denying the virus even as it killed tens of thousands of people.

Both men are rich although Pritzker is super rich.  I will take a productive blowhard like Pritzker over an unproductive blowhard like Bailey. This is a man who criticized Biden for giving handouts but took a PPP loan of $231K, and then gave $150K to his campaign a few weeks later while claiming a big loss on his taxes. (https://pantagraph.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/bailey-campaign-defends-gop-candidate-getting-federal-relief-loans/article_b853a489-4a48-56da-af60-47af5ac481ad.html). And we are supposed to believe he is a simple farmer who knows the value of hard work.

These are the reasons why I am voting my conscious and not voting for Darren Bailey to become the next governor of Illinois..

Jumping into the Mosh Pit

Jumping into the Mosh Pit

Two of my sons are in bands. They love Punk and Screamo and Heavy Metal. Their music is filled with hard driving bass lines and pounding drums and solid guitar work.

It is not always my favorite music, especially when the F-word is tossed around carelessly. Use that mo-fo for its full effect to shock and disturb by sparingly using it.

But I digress.

The thing that always seems to happen at their concerts is The Mosh Pit.

You know what it is – a bunch of young people slamming into each other with all their might.

Image from Stolen Space Gallery

I watch my sons and their friends pound into each other. Sometimes the girlfriends join in as well. I see them working out anxiety and frustration and fear. Whatever that is going on in their lives, in their minds, that causes this frustration can be expressed. And released. Its not sexual touch but emotional touch. One of camaraderie and knowing that the other person knows its not about vengeance.

In the next moment, they smile and laugh with each other. They help each other up and glory in the pounding they just took. They are not here to literally beat the crap out of each other. It is that need to touch in the most masculine way possible.

It reminds me of the movie Crash, in which car accidents happened constantly for no apparent reason. And yet, it is stated that people crash into each other because they want connection. Even if it was a negative connection. Reminds me of kids wo act out in bad ways to get attention because negative attention is better than no attention.

A part of me wants to join in. I mean this nearly 60-year-old wants to ram just as hard as these guys. I want to release these emotions and frustrations of life along with these young people. I see myself doing it.

But I don’t. Or, more truthfully, I can’t. As a diabetic, I know I could get a serious injury to my feet. I know I could get bruised or injured that won’t heal quickly. I have doctors who would hit me upside the head for such reckless behavior.

So I watch from the sidelines; far enough away that no one will slam onto my feet and cause injury. I smile at them and enjoy their laughter. All the while, wishing I could slam into the group as hard as I can.

In dealing with some life-changing stressors, I have picked up a new hobby.

Genealogy!

I have been looking for family members from all sides of my family, Somedays I am successful, other days the haystack wins at hiding the needle.

But in looking at various records, I have found naturalization dates, marriage information, remarriages and divorce dates.

It has been a fascinating ride. Some days, it can be easy and I find all of the information I am looking for. Great-Uncle’s arrival date and the ship he came on. Census records that give approximate years on birthdates and marriage occurances.

But the biggest mystery is Ira C. Marshall, my great-grandfather.

Here is what I knew about the man before I started digging. He was from Kentucky, he deserted the Army and lived under an assumed name of Chester Harry Lone. He married my great-grandmother, Sadie Proctor. They had three children together, including my grandmother. Their oldest daughter lived with one of his family members in Missouri. He died months before my grandmother was born.

That’s it, that all we had. It wasn’t much and it was made harder by his alias.

So I went to my local library that offers Ancestry. Through Ancestry, I had found naturalization dates through various documents including census and voter registration. But how do you find a man who is deliberately hiding?

I looked under his real name, I looked under his alias. I found bits and pieces but nothing connected. I found birth certificates for my great-aunt and great-grandmother, Sadie Proctor. I found a marriage certificate for Sadie Proctor and Chester H. Lone. I found military records for Ira C. Marshall listing when he signed up, when he deserted and from where. But I could not connect him to a possible family in Kentucky.

So I shifted through the family stories again. Sadie Mae Lone had been raised by an aunt in Missouri. My grandmother was raised by her aunt, Daisy ‘Frances’ Proctor Davis in Arlington Heights. (My great-grandmother was a cow bird.) I knew about Aunt Frances but who was this other aunt in Missouri.

So I looked up Sadie Mae Lone. I found her as a ten-year=old being raised by an Aunt Mary Reilly in Lafayette, Missouri. Aunt Mary who was born in Kentucky according the 1920 Census form.

I had a start.

With an approximated birth year, I began looking up Mary F. Reilly. I found a marriage record for her in the 1880s to a Cassius Picket. He dies and she receives a widow’s pension. She will remarry a Mr. Reilly in 1915 and lose that pension. And it is recorded in military records. He will be dead by the 1920 census. But then I find her in a census and her parents are R.M. Marshall and Mary Jane Coleman.

Something looks familiar to me. I have seen the name R.M. Marshall before.

On the 1900 census, there was a R.M. Marshall in White Tower, Kentucky, who was the father of an Ira Marshall, aged 14. But Ira’s mother is Katherine Ervin. So I start looking up R.M. Marshall. He was married twice. First to Mary Jane Coleman, who disappears in the early 1870s. Then in 1875, R.M. marries Catherine Ervin. They end up having five children, including John Sherman and Ira C.

My mind is blown, I have found the connection.

Mary F. Reilly is Ira C. Marshall’s older half sister. Mary F. Marshall Pickett Reilly. Mary Reilly raises the daughter Ira has with Sadie Proctor. Later Social Security records list Ira Marshall as Sadie Mae Lone’s father.

My last problem is finding when Ira died. Family lore has him passing away in 1913, which is when his wife reported to the family that he died. He allegedly died a few months before my grandmother was born. So I look in Illinois, I look in Chicago. Nothing. But the Kentucky Ira Marshall dies in 1915 from accidental asphyxiation. He is an insurance agent with an unknown wife.

Insurance agent.

I look back to the records of when Ira joined the army in 1905 listing his current occupation at that time as Agent. And then I notice who was the reporting party – John Sherman Marshall.

Bam! I found him. I have found the man known as Ira C. Marshall, my great grandfather.

I did it by piecing together census records, military records, death records, marriage certificates, and birth certificates. I went over family legends to find clues and backdoor ways in the truth.

This is the story that can can figure out.

Ira was born in May 1885 to R.M. Marshall and his second wife, Katherine, in White Tower, Kentucky. In July 1905, Ira enlists in the Army at Fort Thomas in Kentucky. But by November 1905 he will desert the Army while stationed in Fort Sheridan in Northern Illinois. He marries Miss Sadie Proctor in 1908 as Chester Lone. Sadie Mae (who later goes by Mae) is born in 1909. His son, U.S. Grant is born in 1910/1911. He disappears in the summer of 1913, months before his second daughter, Virginia, is born. At some point in time, Sadie Mae goes to Missouri to live with her aunt. Virginia is left with her grandfather and aunt. Then in 1915, Ira Marshall dies in White Tower from asphyxiation.

Thirty years in this world, three children, desertion from the army, marriage to a woman who was impossible. A part of me wants to know the rest of the story. I want to know what his family thought of him, after all his daughter was taken in by his older sister. And he came home many years after an embarrassing desertion.

In the end, I want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly about this man who is a big mystery to me. Or maybe I don’t. Either way, I am still looking up the rest of the family.

F*@k This S&@t

So another week, another shooting in America. Nineteen children 10 years old and younger dead.

It’s yet another Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment.

We are being told stories of how these young victims could only be identified by the clothes they were wearing or their parents’ DNA. The teachers’ bodies were found trying to protect their students.

Hearing these stories, it reminds me of the mother from Parkland who screamed to President Trump that we need to do something to stop these shootings.

DO SOMETHING!

I shouldn’t have to say imagine if this was your own child to any of these politicians. They should feel the horror of what has happened at Uvalde and Buffalo and Parkland and Sandy Hook. And it should make them want to DO SOMETHING besides offer up empty thoughts and prayers.

Our usual suspects are saying how their thoughts and prayers are with the families but this is not the time to re-write legislation. I would compare Ted Cruz to a slimeball weasel but that’s insulting to weasels. Instead of running to Cancun, he ran to Houston for the NRA convention that took place on Friday.

Having meetings in rooms where guns are not allowed.

Well, Fuck this Shit!!!!

People are angry and tired and they want solutions.

Real solutions, not the next line of BS that this is not the time to do such things, are desired. Or the other line of BS of getting schools more security and training our police more extensively. Especially as more stories come out about the poor decisions of the police in Uvalde.

Scream it with me. FUCK THIS SHIT!!!!

This problem in our country that does not happen in other countries. Other countries don’t have mass shootings constantly. Other countries don’t have their schools shot up on a regular basis. This happens only in our country on a regular basis. Other countries banned guns after the first mass shooting. But not our country, we don’t want to give up our guns, especially those miltary grade killing machines.

Well, Fuck this Shit!!! It’s time for solutions.

And I am not talking about Cruz’s idea to give more money to police departments to get these bad guy shooters in jail and not out on the streets.  I am talking about some real changes.

DO SOMETHING!!!!

Forget increasing gun accessibility, as Texas laws have done. How else does an 18-year-old get a military grade weapon legally? LE-GA-LY!!!!!

I want to know why the freedom to own whatever gun you want trumps the right to people living, especially children. Why do 90% of people have to live in fear of the 10% who don’t give a shit about our safety?

FUCK THIS SHIT!!!!

I am no longer accepting the line that there is nothing that can be done to stop evil. I was given that line by an idiot after our town’s school were on lockdown for a third time in eight years because a disgruntled person brought a gun on the property. One was prepared to shoot a specific staff member.

DO SOMETHING!!!!

It’s time to bring back the ban on assault weapons. Don’t try the old lie that they are being used for hunting. Any hunter will tell you that kind of weapon destroys the meat you are trying to harvest. Instead, make the weapon of choice for these shootings harder to get.

While you’re at it, start acting as if guns are like cars. Buy a gun, then buy insurance, a license, and take gun safety classes.

Nationalize Red Flag laws so that these laws go across state lines. Want to know the truth behind Chicago’s high rate of violence despite some of the toughest laws regarding guns? Most of the guns used in crimes come from Indiana and Wisconsin where the gun laws are more lax. Make that National Registry have real teeth by connecting it with Red Flag laws so that domestic violence victims might believe that order of protection has real teeth.

And finally, stop blaming mental illness without doing something about it. Make mental health services a required part of any health insurance policy. Beef up the services people can get and expand Medicaid in your state so it is widely available.

HOW HARD CAN IT BE TO DO!?!?!?!?!?!

I have had people tell me you can’t prevent evil. But like many in this country I am SICK of these mass shootings where the only intent is to kill as many people as possible.  90% of the people in the country are sick of them and want some action.

So it is up to the 90% to do something. We need to start by writing letters to our own and all senators, especially the ones who only want any gun to be able to be bought by any person at any time. If you have a gun violence story, tell them. Make them cry. And then tell them what you want. Remember to not swear in your letter, you want to be taken seriously. At the end of this rant, I have a letter to senators you can adapt for your own. Use it as a template.

Send them a letter every month, don’t stop until we get legislative action. Call your senators every month. Keep the pressure up until they do something. Peacefully march whenever possible. Pay attention to who voted for the new legislation and who didn’t. Use your power of the vote to get rid of the ones who will not do something.

Don’t stop because when we stop, they will stop until the next shooting. This awful cycle will repeat itself. And the thing is, there will be another one sometime soon. The pattern is all too familiar, all too scary. And we should not allow ourselves to get use to it.

Now it’s your turn.

DO SOMETHING!!!!!!

Here’s your sample letter. You’re welcome!

Dear Senator,

I am writing in regards to the recent shootings that have taken the lives of 31 Americans. I am a part of the 90% that wants to see legislation happen to stop these killings.

First and foremost, we need to re-institute a federal ban on assault weapons.  These weapons are made for mowing down people. Why are we selling these weapons with little or no restrictions, as the Texas shooter was easily able to do on his 18th birthday.

Secondly, create federally mandated background checks on all gun purchases. So what if a person has to wait a few days for their gun? Isn’t it better to have someone wait? Connect that to mandatory insurance for each gun/rifle/assault weapon owned.

Third, make Red Flag laws federally mandated. One of the problems with tough gun states is that they are surrounded by states that have fewer restrictions, such as Illinois and Indiana. Perhaps domestic violence survivors would feel safer knowing their abuser could not get a weapon.

Lastly, if we are going to blame mental illness issues for these shootings, let’s require health insurance companies to give better coverage of this health problem. Expand what is available through Medicaid. But do not pretend we don’t have to address mental health. Depression, anxiety, and other disorders need to be addressed, especially if they are going to be blamed for the increase of mass shootings.

Americans want these mass shootings to stop. 90% of Americans want federally mandated background checks. Please take these minimal steps to make our country safer, to make our country more like other industrialized nations that do not have this problem.

Thank you,

Digging up Family History

As I have gotten older, family history has become important to me.

My free time lately has been filled with searching for family names and finding birth and death dates. I put in names in google and see where it leads me.

Next up will have to be ordering death certificates my mother already does not have in her collection. I would like to see if I can find pictures.

I am trying to avoid having to sign up for a paid site. But they seem to have more information that I can use. I can find some family members but a Thomas Proctor, a great-great-great uncle, born in 1850 while the family was still in England has been difficult. His widow and sons are on the 1920 census living with my great-great grandfather.

Next up, I plan do one of those DNA tests. A cousin did hers on Ancestry and said it was easy. After that I would like to set up my own family tree so that my kids can have the information – should they ever want it.

In the meantime, I am using the information I do have. The other day I spent a part of my day in a cemetery looking for gravestones. I had called the cemetery staff looking for a possible location. While they told me the lot number, I never found lot number markers.

So I did what I could, knowing that my great-great grandparents died in the late part of the 1800s. I found myself in the part of the cemetery that held the founders of the town. It took me awhile but I hit pay dirt. As I walked around with a car snow brush in hand, I uncovered a number of grave markers that looked as if they could be from the right time period.

It helps to know a little history on cemetery markers. Such as granite would not start being used till the mid-1900s. And families, especially those of some wealth would have obelisks as a family marker. The taller the obelisk, the wealthier the family.

No, I didn’t find my great-great grandparents. I found my great-great-great grandparents, the ones who came from England and helped settle the town of Arlington Heights in the Midwest. It appears I come from pioneer stock.

All of these commercials about finding your history are meant to make one curious, meant to make you wonder just where did you come from. Was your ancestor a good person or a not-so-good person. It makes you wonder where certain health issues start, such as my rosacea.

I remember when the genealogy for Barack Obama came out and there was a scoundrel somewhere in the family tree. It was also found that his mother’s family came from the second boat to arrive at Plymouth. When you go back far enough, you find the good, the bad, the incredibly ridiculous and incredibly boring.

Well, I am looking forward to finding out more of my family tree. After that, I can go farther to those British and Polish records. Eventually.

Sarah Proctor 1833-1900
Thomas Proctor 1827 -1897

Open Letter to All Senators

What did you do on January 17 to fulfill it as a day of service?

I crafted a letter that I sent not only to my senators but several other senators, including a few I really dislike, regarding the two voting rights bills that are on the senate floor.

In sending it to my own senators, I am preaching towards the choir. They are voting for Voters’ Rights. But there are others who need to stop acting as if voter fraud happened when no one , not even the former guy, has proven that it happened. I hoped by voicing my opinion, politely, maybe they would listen.

So I am putting that letter here. Perhaps it will get more attention, perhaps not. But I want senators to now that not every one who contacts them wishes them ill.

Dear Senator,

I am asking you to vote for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Amendment.

I feel that these bills will protect the rights of voters everywhere in our country. I believe strongly that all Americans should have the same experience I do when I go to vote. Many times, I am in and out of the voting booth within 15 minutes. And that includes waiting for the election judges to find me on the rolls and give me a ballot.

No one should have to wait hours to vote, especially if they have time limits because of their work hours.

No one should have to bring along a day’s worth of food and drink along with fold-up chairs in order to vote. Or be denied the opportunity to be given food and drink while waiting in line to vote an inordinate amount of time.

No one should be denied the opportunity to use absentee ballots, especially our military serving overseas or people worried about contracting Covid-19 in all of its variants.

Early balloting should be made easily available to all. I know I used it when I served as an election judge in November 2020 and was glad I did. I ended up being assigned to a voting site not in my area. People who have to work on voting day need the opportunity to vote as easily as possible.

Voting polls should be abundant, especially in states where the counties are the same size of our smallest states.

I ask you to vote for these bills to help all Americans, not just a few. Justice denied to some means justice denied to all.

I ask you to work with the party across the aisle to make these bills passing into law a reality. These bills are for all of us, not some of us. When it comes to voting rights, we should stand together as a nation and show the world how it is done.

I may not live in your state but your vote doesn’t affect just your state. It affects everyone in our nation. Please work to make these bills become reality to help all Americans have the right to free and fair and accessible elections.

Sincerely,

Karyn Bowman

Dear Mike Pence,

Can we talk? I want to have a calm conversation with you.

I ask this as a fellow graduate of a church-based college. Yours is Presbytarian and mine in Church of the Brethren. If it makes you more comfortable, our spouses can be in the room as well. I realize that your wife went to a private college but my husband went to a church school, so that should aid in your comfort.

Please, have a seat. I can make some tea or coffee, set out some cookies, or cheese and crackers.

You’re going to need the sustenance because what I am about to say is going to be hard for you to hear.

Donald Trump, the former president and your former boss, is not your friend.

I know, I know. You worked hard for him, believed in his platform, and that he was the shining light in the Republican party.

But the man does not have your best interests at heart. I’m not sure he cares for you at all.

Why do I say this?

Because on January 6, 2021, the day when you chose to live by the law, his followers were looking to kill you. They were yelling “Hang Mike Pence” and set up a noose on scaffolding that was there for restoration work.

By minutes, you and your family were able to get out of the Capitol building before the insurgents calling for your death rushed through looking for you specifically.

Worse yet, your boss did nothing to stop the violent behavior. He never called the national guard to stop the attack on the Capitol but you did. Oh, he put out a tweet a few hours later telling people to go home.

But he did nothing to stop the insurgents. He did nothing to safe guard the Capitol police, members of congress, or you and your family. You ended up calling the National Guard.

What I don’t understand is how you can say it was just one day, it was another day in Washington D.C.

What I don’t understand is how you can still support Donald Trump.

Is this a PTSD reation to discovering that your boss didn’t care if you and your family was harmed, or worse killed, because he loved that his supporters’ mis-guided notion that Trump won the election?

Is the idea of continuing being vice-president or being president someday perhaps more important than your life? Or the life of your family?

We both know that January 6 happened, that it was real. We know that while protests might be a daily part of D.C., we also know violent protests are not a daily occurrence. We know that the Capitol does not experience violence like this on a daily basis. Congressional members do not have to hit the floor or bar the doors or quickly get out of the building on a daily basis.

I don’t pretend to know what motivates you. I haven’t been able to figure out why you continue loyalty to a man who doesn’t care if you live or die; he only cares that you give him what he needs by any means necessary. And just because you served him loyally for nearly four years, doesn’t mean that counted on the day he wanted to remain president.

I cannot figure how how you can justify all of that. Perhaps you can explain that to me.

Someday.

Meanwhile, I feel concerned that you don’t understand the danger you were in, that your family was in. I feel concerned that your naivete doesn’t get that Trump doesn’t like you and will put you in danger – again – if it means he wins.

Is it your Christian faith that chooses to believe Trump is the guy to make your Republican dreams come true or is it greed and a desire for power?

What would Jesus say to you if you were to actually speak to him?

I don’t think you would like the answer he would give you.

But this is one time you should listen to it.

What are you listening to?

During this pandemic time, I have been stressed.

Like so many others, I have days where I cannot concentrate despite having piles of work to get done. Some might call this ADHD, anxiety, or laziness.

I call it a pain in the ass.

The truth is, I want to get work done. I want my piles to go away and become organized. I try to look at every day as an opportunity to be better. And on those days when I am feeling really stressed, I find something on Youtube to play in the background.

At first I was listening to classical music meant for reading. Later I found music with titles stating that you’re in a library with a ghost or Hogwarts’ Hallway. These can be very soothing as I do data processing or number crunching,

But some days, I have too many people milling about me. Have music on makes the chaos around me worse. People want me to pay attention to them. (Imagine that!)

But I still need some sort of sound because I have tinnitus. The sound makes the tinnitus less overwhelming.

That’s were Handsome Nature, a Youtube channel, comes to the rescue. The folks at this channel put down some bird seed, set up their camera, and let the wildlife come. So you can watch birds and squirrels and chipmunks eat seeds. You can listen to their chirps and songs.

Picture by Floppy 2009

I find it incredibly relaxing. My productivity has gone up. I just feel better.

And when people come into this shared space, I don’t feel more stressed. The sound manages to become pleasant background. And when everyone leaves I can go back to my happy place while getting tons of work completed.

Give it a try. Your cat might love it, too.

You know, when the other guy was finally out of the White House, I sighed a breathe of relief.

I thought I could go back to watching cat videos for fun not stress relief.

I thought I could go back to paying half of my attention to the political world because it wasn’t a stinking disaster ever single day – like it had been for the past five years.

I watched as the other guy would torpedo his party’s plans for world domination because they weren’t his plans for world domination. Heck, he couldn’t manage a response to a world-wide pandemic properly.

But after January 20, I thought I could rest, relax, and not think about it so hard.

Boy, was I wrong.

Maybe it was the Republicans’ reaction to the insurrection. You know, those representatives who thought what happened was OK because nothing happened to them. What happened that day was a matter of free speech despite those people beating police officers they said Black Lives Matter people didn’t respect.

Maybe it was their reaction to the shooting in Atlanta, a white guy having a really bad day. Who cares what the other guy said about the virus or how it put a target on the backs of Asians across our country. Or that he had to drive twenty-seven miles to get to the next spa that happened to be owned by Asians and employed Asians. Or that out of the ten people killed in that shooting only two were white.

I haven’t heard how the shooting in Boulder will be justified but that young man killed a police officer during his shoot-em up. Will there be leniency for him?

So I guess I am going to have to go back to my habits of the last five years. Keep my congressional representatives on speed dial. Call every time something pisses me off, which is damn near weekly. Write emails to state and U.S. members. And start contributing to senate races where the republican needs to be ousted.

Ted Cruz, Cancun Boy, that includes you.