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Posts Tagged ‘Nashville’

We’re betwixt and between winter holidays. The New Year approaches full of expectations, affirmations and regret. Let all the dreaded diet and exercise programs begin!

I came across the Festival of Nestivus on an anxiety blog Instagram account. It’s a cartoon of a cloud-like blob of anxiety that lets people know they don’t have to be the Do-everything-BE-everywhere Elf this season. Or any season actually. It reminds us to rest and recharge and retreat to our home nests whenever we want. The problem is, the Bride and Groom’s flight back from visiting the VA Grandparents was one of thousands cancelled this morning by Southwest.

Not that Nashville was all that comforting this week. We woke Christmas eve to minus ONE temps, so even if we wanted to go out for Chinese food and a movie, everything was closed. Our little Crystal Cottage grew ice crystals on the inside of our windows, and since we had a rain, turning to ice, turning to snow storm, I wasn’t stepping one foot outside!

For the first time ever we experienced “rolling blackouts.” Every few hours the power would suddenly go off for 10-15 minutes, it felt like we were living in a real banana republic. Once, I had simultaneously turned on the gas flame to heat up some homemade vegetable soup, when all the lights went out and the house turned dark. At least we had hot soup. The first time it happened we were panicked. The heat in this 80 year old house was barely keeping up with the outside temps.

Sometimes the inside thermometer hit 61!

One of our neighbors lost their power completely while they were away, and had a dog-sitter who couldn’t keep their dog at her house. So we rescued the cutest little Shih Tzu for a few days. Ms Bean welcomed her graciously, but wasn’t too happy about her sleeping on the bed with us. I loved having a sweet, lap dog in the house. And I must admit, Bob truly stepped up to the task of keeping the home fires burning…

…and the water running – all sinks were kept at a steady drip. Cabinet doors were left open. Outside spigots were insulated and a small heater was trained on the new shower wall. NO bursting pipes for these old New England geezers! I whipped up an Irish lasagna on Christmas Eve. What’s an Irish lasagna you might ask? It’s made with turkey and a cream sauce and we’re still enjoying it.

I must admit we binged a little Three Pines on Prime. I’ve only read one Louise Penny mystery, the one she wrote with Hillary Clinton, “State of Terror.” But the Prime video series is about her award-winning books featuring the French Canadian detective, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. I’m totally in love with the village of Three Pines and its quirky residents. https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2022/11/alfred-molina-three-pines-best-role-of-his-career-interview

Bob and I also caught the final January 6 Committee Report, did you? https://january6th.house.gov/sites/democrats.january6th.house.gov/files/Report_FinalReport_Jan6SelectCommittee.pdf

Mr T let his mask slip, he’s been exposed for the con man that he is – a calculating, malicious miscreant. He must never be allowed to run for public office again. I truly hope our Attorney General does the right and proper thing and indicts him.

Meanwhile have a very Happy and Healthy 2023 everyone! Don’t climb any ladders, but do dance like no one is watching. We’ll be nesting here for the duration and I’ll be knitting, which makes the introvert in me extremely happy.

Here is Ms Bean telling the newcomer it’s too cold to go out!

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Here’s what happened. As you already know, I fell off the lowest rung of a bunk bed ladder in July. All my doctor buddies said, “Phew, you didn’t break a hip!” As it turns out I broke one side of my pelvis, and then the other side broke due to osteoporosis. Now I am walking on my own again; no need for a wheelchair or scooter, and the pink flowered walker is behind me. As Bob likes to say, “Your bones are healed.” The problem is my psyche isn’t.

I stopped writing on this platform because I didn’t want MountainMornings to become a litany of my pain.

In retrospect I’m sorry I left everyone hanging. I’ve treated this blog as if it were my own newspaper column for years, never missing a deadline. I really loved synthesizing political news with personal updates. But today, I am much less of a news junkie; I start my day with coffee and Pinterest plus a little helping of a Master Class or two. My walk-in closet is finished, so the new/old/catawampus house is coming along. And I’m back in the kitchen, trying out new recipes.

Also, we’ve just returned from a trip to the French West Indies. Every day I’d jump step in the pool and do my physical therapy exercises – point tendu, jumping jacks, squats. And as a result, I’m so much stronger. I can tell because I don’t need to sit down on the shower seat during a shower. So that’s the good news.

The bad news is some of us got Covid.

But as the Rocker told his Dad, “Play the cards you’re dealt.” And we managed to eat at our favorite outdoor restaurants, to have delicious French food delivered to our door on the precipice of a cliff, and take a gorgeous new catamaran out in the ocean – twice. Because this small island in the Caribbean has been a family sanctuary since the Bride was the same age as her daughter. I loved seeing our Grands jump in the waves and frolic in the pool with pure joy.

One day at the supermarche, I bought Aunt Kiki the French edition of Architectural Digest. The very next day, the news broke that the latest American edition would feature a living room on the Top 100 2023 List COVER that Kiki and her team at Studio Shamshiri designed! We were all over the moon with happiness. Champagne was popped and even the Bride and Groom read the Architectural Digest story, on the beach, on her phone, since their electronics were locked in a safe. Yes, no screens on vacation for them.

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/ad100-2023

We’re back in rainy Nashville. Bob is suffering from Covid-related Paxlovid rebound, and I’m feeling the need to write again, which is a good sign, don’t you think? Be gentle with yourselves around this holiday season. I’ve come to believe that moving slower, thinking longer, and worrying less about what might/could be is better for my psyche. My soul is catching up with my bones.

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Our local Nashville PBS will sometimes air a short segment between programming called, “A Word on Words.” I believe our famous independent bookstore helps sponsor this Emmy award winning series, and I always sit up and take notice. Authors J.T. Ellison and Mary Laura Philpott were the first hosts to interview writers about their craft.

“NPT’s Emmy Award-winning A Word on Words features accessible interviews with authors and poets about their latest books. Launched in 2015  the series was designed to be accessible and engaging for a new generation of readers. Join our A Word on Words hosts for more discussions with writers about their work, their process and what they are reading for inspiration.”

https://awordonwords.org/

Words have always been magical to me; and there’s nothing better than hearing (or reading) a word I don’t already know. Recently our master bedroom closet was finished by a talkative carpenter. It’s no surprise that most of our old crystal cottage is not plumb. And just as he was getting around to the last corner, he turned to me and said,

“This is all cattywampus!

For me, it was as if someone had handed a toddler a lollipop. I had to ask him about the word, and where he was from (North Carolina), and before you knew it there was a story sprouting in my mind. The Bride told me she’d heard the word before, but that’s probably because she went south for college and pretty much never returned. Cattywampus means exactly what it sounds like – all mixed up. It’s a noun that means askew, disordered, uneven, awry. Scottish in origin and related to “caddy corner.”

Our family loved to make up words. For instance, the Bride was incensed to learn that not only had she believed that our word for something sharp, “porky,” was a real word, but she insisted that her friends believed it too, well into her teens. Somehow, our German Shepherd dog’s incessant drive to chase porcupines, and having to pull those quills out of his snout, resulted in pointy things turning into pesky “porky” things, which makes sense. Right?

Who doesn’t love a little on·o·mat·o·poe·ia in the morning?

This morning as I was scanning the Twittisphere, I came across another word I’d never heard of – banjaxed! According to the Urban Dictionary, it’s an Irish colloquial term meaning:

“Broken, beyond repair: Tired, worn out, out of breath: Drunk, inebriated: Not functioning correctly.”

Just like SCOTUS. Not only are they banjaxed, their decisions are cattywampus! As an ex-school board member, I was shocked to think that Christian prayers can now be said aloud on our public school sports fields. Maybe shocked isn’t the right word, gobsmacked is more like it. Shall we let Muslim football and soccer players stop playing when it’s their time to pray? The team must stop and roll out their prayer rugs on the fifty yard line?

As for me, I can’t wait for the January 6 hearings to begin again tomorrow. Oh and for the third season of Ted Lasso! What would Ted do?

A view askew of the new closet

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Just when we thought it was safe to appear mask-less at certain public venues, like the Nashville Ballet this past weekend, Covid numbers are starting to rise. In TN, the average daily number of new cases last week rose by 58%!

“Health officials believe the virus has killed more people than state totals indicate, especially early in the pandemic before testing and effective treatments were widely available. A rise in deaths usually follows a rise in new cases by about a month. For example, after the delta variant caused a surge of new cases beginning in July 2021, the death toll began to climb in August.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/national/coronavirus-us-cases-deaths/?itid=hp_habit-bar-morning&state=US

The Bride is seeing more cases of the virus, and one by one each Grand reports another student absent from class. Of course this is the last week of school. But I was just beginning to feel like the worst was behind us; like this summer might be especially sweet in our new/old Crystal Cottage. Bob has been replacing ceiling fans and adjusting doors – yesterday he and the Groom switched out a dead foundation shrub for a gorgeous flowering, snowball Viburnum.

Then I noticed a Tweet last week by Bill Hanage, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. It seems there are clusters of “monkeypox” in the UK, Portugal, Spain and Canada!

It is v plausible that transmission has been happening for some time unnoticed because folks don’t expect to see monkeypox and so don’t diagnose it. You hear hoofbeats you expect horses, not unicorns. You see lesions, you don’t expect monkeypox and assume it is something else.”

The good news here is that if you happen to be of a certain age, your smallpox vaccine should protect you; the bad news is the same cannot be said for young people. Smallpox was a dangerous, contagious disease for over 3,000 years and was considered eradicated in 1980. Our children and grandchildren were never vaccinated.

Bob and I did our own Covid/monkeypox research at the ballet. He wore a mask and I didn’t. We’d received a text saying the symphony would not be playing live because of an outbreak of Covid among the musicians. But the ballet would be accompanied by the taped rehearsal music, complete with directions at times. I dream about this very thing! The last time I saw a ballet recital was in Saratoga with Balanchine. We could have exchanged our tickets, but I was there to see the dancers after all.

Some people must have opted out because the theatre was only a third full.

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center is like a beautiful cathedral to the arts, its ceiling rising over 40 ft. I figured I’d be safe without a mask, Bob wasn’t taking any chances. On Wednesday, we figured we’d do an at-home Covid test.

But this morning I awoke to two jars of Jiffy peanut butter on the kitchen island. My dear husband, who’d been feeling queasy last night, informed me that PB jars with our lot numbers were being recalled because of salmonella! So in the end, it may be a rotten jar of bacteria that you can’t see, taste or smell that finally brings us down, or I should say ‘him.’ He ate a PB&J sandwich, not me. I’m more of a lox and cream cheese type for lunch.

I made him take his mask off for this ballet selfie

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I hope this will be my last move.

I wasn’t destined to live in the same community for 50 years, surrounded by friends and family, secure behind a picket fence; a well-known, semi-serious journalist and Hadassah “macher.” Macher is a Yiddish word, a noun:

“Someone who arranges, fixes, has connections…someone who is [very] active in an organization” (Rosten) “important person”, “hot shot.”

n. Somebody who is successful, handy, dextrous.

https://jel.jewish-languages.org/words/325

I’ve always felt a sort of underlying derision whenever someone calls someone else a macher. But maybe that’s just me?

I guess the moment my foster parents picked me up – during our Year of Living Dangerously, with the Flapper in surgery and my big sister Kay in a coma – and brought me to Victory Gardens, my fate was sealed. I would be a little gypsy, traveling over the Delaware Water Gap, between NJ and PA. Uprooted at every turn.

I told myself I was happy to have two mothers, one warm and comforting, the other beautiful and mysterious. I was lucky to have two birthday celebrations, two Christmases, and two homes. Pulled between one set of siblings, half siblings and step-siblings and being an only child. I secretly longed to just stay put.

Now I know that longing for something you’ve never had can be a recipe for a depressive disorder. So instead I try to stay present. I’ve chosen to accept our nomadic existence, after all I married an Emergency Physician. Once he’d roll into an ER and fix it, he’d want a new challenge. I always told the kiddos their Dad wrote the book on Emergency Management, and he did!

Yesterday I asked Bob, “How many bathing suits does one woman need?” And like a good manager, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “That depends.”

Sorting and packing is different this time around. There are the clothes I’ll never fit into again, the clothes I’ll never wear again, and everything else. Pandemic fashion has turned out to be comfortable cotton yoga wear I bought at Whole Foods, along with an occasional Eileen Fisher piece on sale, online. Of course I’ll keep these things, and my boots and fancy shoes that stand watch in my closet, hoping I’ll need them again.

But why am I packing so many small rocks? One is from Ireland, and one is for our old neighbor’s dog Hodor, one is a crystal and one is a geode, and……..

Forgive my absence, but during this move I’ll be posting only once a week, on Mondays. By next Monday we’ll be in our new home – all one level with a big backyard. Bob designed the master bath for us to Age-in-Place. My beautiful master closet will be installed next month and the kitchen countertops are delayed because of a mix-up with the center island. No kitchen sink, no backsplash, so we’ll use Uber Eats for awhile.

One learns to pivot when you’ve moved as much as we have. And one learns that home can be a haven when it’s filled with the people you love.

Wish us luck!

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When I bought a chunk of land in Virginia, before Bob even got a chance to see it, friends thought I was crazy. But we’d been looking for a house for over a year and had finally decided to build our own Big/Little Home; so I trudged through a small forest at the edge of Albemarle County to see the Blue Ridge Mountains appear magically through the trees. I knew this was it. This was the place my dreams would come true.

When I brought Great Grandma Ada to see the 14 acres of wilderness her daughter-in-law had talked her son into buying, she kept looking down. She was picking up rocks and pointing out the flora. I had to coax her to look up and out at the mountains. She never really understood why we left NJ, and frankly I’m not sure either.

But with the grace of time, I realize now she was focused on the ground because she just didn’t want to fall. I look down a lot these days too.

Bob and I spent New Year’s Eve on the couch watching “Don’t Look Up!” on Netflix. I had no idea what it was about, and at first was pissed that Meryl Streep was smoking cigarettes as POTUS. I know she’s one of kind, but really? Slowly its true meaning became clear… the world is about to end, from (name your catastrophic event, a virus maybe, or climate change, or a meteor) and nobody cares. Politicians care about their polls, and the rest of us? We just ignore the inevitable and watch stupid animal videos. It’s an accurate allegory for our distracted, divided times.

“Two astronomers go on a media tour to warn humankind of a planet-killing comet hurtling toward Earth. The response from a distracted world: Meh.”

https://www.netflix.com/title/81252357

Now for the backstory. We’d just finished watching the Grands while the Bride and Groom went into battle every day at their hospitals in full PPE gear. Covid was back with a vengeance thanks to a surge of Omicron variant. Every night I watched as my daughter returned home, not to hugs and kisses, not before she showered and washed her hair. I could feel her pain, her exhaustion. I never saw the Groom, he was gone from 6 am to 9 at night, and then taking calls through the wee hours.

And I’d just finished reading Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny’s new book, “State of Terror.” It was their first collaboration and I hope it won’t be their last. Let’s just say the ex-president in State of Terror bears a striking resemblance to a certain twice-impeached Palm Beach resident. And yes, this book is fictional, but the geo-political thriller is a little too close for comfort. When I closed the final chapter, I couldn’t close my eyes.

We threw open our garden door on New Year’s Eve to hear country music float up from the Bicentennial Mall where the Nashville note would drop. People were standing shoulder to shoulder, unmasked, as if they were living in an alternate universe. Bars were open. A friend texted me – her hairdresser is moving to TN from NY, why? Because she wants to get away from Covid restrictions.

Needless to say, this was NOT an auspicious start to 2022. Comedians do riffs on toilet paper cozies and nobody seems to mind. Children have gone back to remote learning, leaving me to wonder how our mental health system will cope with these future teenagers. I’m thinking about strapping a sign board on myself with these words, “THE END IS NEAR” and walking down Broadway. Really.

Whatever you do, DO look up!

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While the drum-up to Christmas and a New Year continues, I thought I’d share my thoughts on filling this school vacation with a little fun. Since the Bride always works on Christmas, and a few days after, and the Groom will be busy in the Medical ICU, Bob and I will be on deck with the Grands. We split our time with the other set of Grandparents who are arriving today.

At first I thought, ‘YAY, now that the children are vaccinated, we can go ice skating/movie watching/golf swinging!’ Or maybe even honky-tonking!

But then my better angel prevailed. I discovered an English website entirely devoted to folklore! And activities that include magic and fairies fall right within my wheelhouse! https://folklorethursday.com/childlore/top-10-fun-folklore-activities-children-grown-ups/

With that in mind, and some local lore thrown in, here are my top seven:

  1. Animal Stories. Look to Aesop’s Fables, or make up an animal story of your own. Get all comfy with some hot chocolate, and read aloud. Follow-up with questions and ask your children to draw the story. We plan on giving our Grands an animal to adopt at the Nashville Zoo, they get to read all about it, follow its adventures, and also receive a stuffed version of said animal. https://www.nashvillezoo.org/adopt
  2. Go For a Hike. You may remember that one year we made a fairy house with Great Grandma Ada. On this stroll, to a park or wilderness area, look for a fairy trail! A clearing with mushrooms (their chairs) may appear; collect feathers which are fairy brooms; and look for cobwebs. Did you know that fairies teach spiders how to sew them? I’ve been known to create dream catchers out of found feathers!
  3. Dig Into Hogwarts. Are your children into Harry Potter? Despite JK Rowlings recent controversy over LGBTQ rights, we plan on taking the kiddos to California next year to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Their Uncle and Aunt Kiki already have tickets so Omicron better be done. Did you know that the “…screaming mandrakes grown by students at Hogwarts are based on the real-life mandrake plant that has long been associated with medicinal magic?” 
  4. Baking. Create a tradition by baking something that is unique to your family. So not the usual Christmas cookies, unless you have a specialty of course. I have a plan to try baking the Flapper’s “Boiled Cake.” This is a recipe from the Great Depression when yeast, butter and flour were being rationed, so you can also throw in a little history lesson too.
  5. Take a Cruise on the Cumberland River. The showboat General Jackson has midday departures from the Grand Ole Opry to a round of applause! It may be a bit pricey, but the singing and dancing is everything FUN for ages 4 to 94! It’s a “…downhome showband of pickers, fiddlers, and singers will be performing heart-warming versions of Christmas favorites by Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, Elvis Presley, Rascal Flatts, and more!”  https://generaljackson.com/
  6. Livestream a Magic Show. The Nashville Public Library has an amazing website called Kids Out and About with loads of free things to do with your children and grandchildren. Check out your library and sign up! On December 27 at 2 pm Eastern, WonderPhil will be presenting a magic show. Unfortunately it looks like it’s only through Facebook, but hey, maybe Facebook isn’t so evil after all? https://nashville.kidsoutandabout.com/content/livestream-magic-show
  7. Explain the Calendar. We gave our Littles calendars for one night of Chanukah this year – a Star Wars version for the Pumpkin and an origami desk calendar for the Bug. I heard that a certain little redhead wasn’t sure what it was, so now is a perfect time to dig deeper into customs that appear on calendars. For example, The Winter Solstice is happening tomorrow, that’s a good pagan way to start the day! And what exactly is Boxing Day?

So Merry Christmas to All and may your school vacation be filled with Joy and not too many action/adventure/activities this year. It’s best to relax and rest and keep a little of that lockdown mentality intact for everyone.

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My Catholic school background leaves me baffled.

Memories come and go, but feelings remain and for me, boredom was predominant. Memorizing prayers and counting bricks in the building across the street filled my days, punctuated by feelings of humiliation. Nuns stood guard over desks with arms folded under their cassocks. They were prepared to smack a ruler behind a girl’s knee for chewing gum, or pull the small hairs at the back of a boy’s head for launching paper airplanes. Once I had to stand in a corner, with my back to the class, for speaking to a boy.

It’s no wonder when the time came to pick out my very own saint’s name for Confirmation, I chose Dolores – Our Lady of Sorrows, patron saint of the suffering.

But this isn’t a story about me… This week Bob, my newly-discovered-retired MD-social butterfly, attended a ceremony outside Germantown’s Catholic Church to dedicate its newly restored steeple. The Assumption Church, built in 1845, was severely damaged during the March 2020 tornado; it lost many stained glass windows and roofs and needed major structural repairs. Since then, every time I drive by the church and the rectory, I’m struck by another glittery new copper gutter or roofline.

Finally the repairs have been completed! Rising many stories above the red brick, Southern Victorian homes of our neighborhood, the steeple was replaced to the sound of cheers and bagpipes. Most surprising to Bob, everybody got down on their knees in the street to pray!

“The steeple exists to point to God to remind us, you know, God is in his heavens. And then really the purpose of a steeple is to support a cross. And the cross now is going back up over Germantown and so that for us is very important.”

https://www.newschannel5.com/news/a-symbol-of-hope-nashville-catholic-church-restores-steeple-after-tornadoes

“Do you know anything about relics?” Bob asked me when he returned.

I tried to look knowledgable. “Sure,” I said. “It’s like a toenail of a saint.” Of course it might be a piece of cloth the saint actually wore too. Then Bob was happy to report that there is a third level of reliquary – something the saint touched!

“Like the bed Washington may have slept in?” I chimed.

It turns out that the cross that was hoisted above the church’s new steeple holds a First Class relic from St Roch! It’s a piece of his bone! Now if that didn’t get my old Catholic juices churning. I’d never heard of this Roch, and so some digging googling was required. Born in Montpelier, France (1348 – 1379), St Roch is the patron Saint of many things, but first and foremost it’s PLAGUES!!!

The story goes that he was born into money, the son of a governor, but set out for Rome as a poor confessor during an epidemic of the Bubonic Plague. Supposedly, he would make the sign of the cross over people suffering and they would miraculously recover. He survived the “Black Death” himself and went into prisons and public hospitals to minister to the sick; Roch was known to casually lift his pants leg up to show his scarred “buboes.” Which is why some of his statues look vaguely naughty…

And even though Roch is also the patron of dogs and Single Men, I refuse to think the worst! Just as we are ready to bid adieu to Covid, Omicron sweeps in during this festive season. Just as our children and Grands are being vaccinated, we are warned of a January surge in cases and deaths. I don’t know about you, but if praying to a piece of bone in a cross up the street might help end this pandemic, I’m all in.

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This week it seems like some of the all encompassing pandemic air is being released.

Maybe it’s because the Grands have had their first Pfizer shot. Maybe it’s because the numbers in Davidson County are trending down; the community prevalence of new Covid cases is 11.8 per 100,000 with 63% vaccinated! Not too shabby for our Blue dot in a Republican state. Before Bob and I leave the house, we think twice about masking up. Will we be going inside a large public space with lots of people? If so, I sling my happy mask lariat around my neck. But more and more, we are leaving the masks at home.

Our annual doctor visit was scheduled this week, instead of a remote consultation we actually drove to Vanderbilt for a face to face, the first time in two years. Masks were required in the hospital of course. Instead of a stylish pair of boots and long white coat, my wonderful GP was wearing scrubs. She had contracted coronavirus from a patient and had been very sick last year. Like the Bride and Groom, she must shower and decontaminate after every shift to protect her family, so scrubs it was.

I remembered the three words! Now we have to schedule blood work, and a mammogram. Just as the weather is shifting, we need to venture out more and more.

The highpoint of our outings was having dinner with a group of neighborhood friends INSIDE at a newly reopened local restaurant! The tornado that preceded the pandemic had demolished this iconic eatery, and they were finally having a last minute “soft” opening. I wrapped myself in a long puffy coat and we walked there in the dark, turning the corner to see party lights and hear the sound of laughter and bonhamie!

This must have been what it was like for the Flapper going to a speakeasy.

A waiter smuggled our little group into a private area, away from the bar and the noise. It was so so good, sharing food and drinks and stories, getting caught up, making plans for the future. Our masks were down, it was almost “normal.”

But I made the mistake of staying home the next morning and watching the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. It’s happening at the same time as the Ahmaud Arbery trial. Did you ever wonder why one trial is named after the armed murderer, and the other is named after the shooting victim, the man who was ambushed by a father and son. Do you wonder why one jury is not allowed to see a prior video of Rittenhouse outside a CVS talking about how he wished he had his gun so he could kill shoplifters…

While the other jury gets to see a prior video of an unarmed man, Arbery, walking through a home construction site?

This is a prime time lesson on institutional racism. If you are a Black man in this society, you must think three or four times before venturing outside for a jog, a walk, or a ride in your car. Because in some parts of this country, young white boys sling their AR 15s over their shoulders and drive with impunity across state lines to “defend” used car lots, because cars must matter more than people.

Objects in the rear view mirror

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In Norway yesterday, a guy picked up a high-powered bow and arrow and started shooting people inside a supermarket. Four women and one man were killed, several more were injured.

In England today, David Amess, a conservative Parliament member, was stabbed several times by one of his constituents in a church. The world news media would like to look for a reason, what prompted these men to run amok?

Just imagine if they had access to assault rifles for a minute.

Because in my humble opinion, and I’ve said this before, GUNS are a uniquely American problem. Crazy isn’t at all unique – the percentage of people who hear voices telling them to do harm is most likely similar across the planet. Most people, when they are fired from a job, quietly pack their belongings in a box and stroll out the door. A very small percentage might think to walk back in with a weapon… and an even smaller number might do just that, if they owned or could easily steal a gun. And in America, gun sales are booming!

Just this year, two Kindergarteners in Florida found a loaded handgun in their back packs!

“The 26-year-old mother had placed the case and loaded handgun in her son’s backpack while cleaningouther car the night before, she told police, but then forgot to remove it before he went to school. Now, Carroll faces a second-degree misdemeanor charge for allegedly failing to store the weapon in a secured locked box, allowing a minor access to the firearm, court records state.She is also facing a second charge for missing an October court appearance.

The incident is at least the second recent case of a Florida child finding a loaded weapon in a backpack. Earlier this week, a Florida father was arrested after his son fatally shot his mother during a Zoom call with her co-workers. Prosecutors said the toddler found the gun inside a “Paw Patrol” backpack at the family’s home in Altamonte Springs.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/10/15/florida-mom-charged-placing-gun-kindergartner-backpack/

OK, you might say well, that’s Florida. But it’s not – it’s two Nashville teenagers being tried as adults for gunning down a musician in East Nashville outside his home. It’s a father shot dead in his car over a road rage incident outside of town. It’s a 16 year old girl killed in South Nashville when she and her cousin found themselves “in a dispute” with several young men. What if they had just thrown a few punches and walked away?

Well, our great Volunteer State is in the news once again. And no, not for arresting children and sending them to jail because they simply watched two kids fighting without intervening. And not for that big hair pastor who died in a small plane crash near Franklin, TN after making millions selling her faith-based-diet-scheme.

Nope. The preeminent gun manufacturer in the world is relocating to Tennessee! Gov Lee must be so proud for bringing new jobs to the area.

“Smith & Wesson, which has been making firearms since before the Civil War, said Thursday it will move its headquarters to Tennessee, after legislators in its home state of Massachusetts proposed gun control laws that the company said could hurt 60 percent of revenue.The decision to relocate from Springfield, Mass., coupled with the closure of some facilities in Connecticut and Missouri, means that more than 750 jobs will be moved to Maryville, Tenn., the company said in a statement to investors. Smith & Wesson has been based in Springfield since 1852.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/10/01/smith-wesson-moving-maryville-tennessee/

We Americans are dying: – we’re dying from gun violence because our Second Amendment said we can. We’re dying from Covid because our First Amendment lets us speak whatever nonsense we want to without repercussion. Because a certain ex-president started out with birther/racist rants, and ended embracing another Big Lie; and dragging nearly half of our republic with him.

Our democracy is dying when the Congress’ January 6 committee cannot or will not enforce a subpoena. Our so-called “freedom” – to threaten school board members, to carry permit-less handguns, to ignore public health warnings, and subpoenas – will be the death of us.

Just a dog in a fenced dog park

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