Vancouver Wildlife


So, here we are in Vancouver, hemmed in by the gray smoke of summer.  Haven’t had a clear day yet.  Sad.

The picture of the golf course tells the story.  That was taken at Whistler last week.  The pic below it is Hollywood types filing a movie, Carribean Blue.  The star, can’t remember his name, waved at us.  I know he was the star because Ruthie told me!!



The most interesting thing that happened to us is after Jack and Sue (friends of the Donnollys, and now ours!) arrived, we went to dinner.  While seated, a couple came in and sat down across from us.  Jack noticed that something fell out of the man’s pocket.  It was a wad of money.  Jack-be-Nimble jumped up and retrieved it and gave it to the man.  The man sent over a bottle of wine.  Nice.   Tom later reciprocated by sharing some shrimp dumplings.  And everyone may have had too much wine.  We couldn’t be rude and not drink it, now could we?

I’m experimenting with my blog and it may not work.   Okay.  It did not work.

But I digress.

Between the time that Trump threatened Kim with nuclear war and restating his position to make it even worse, we were suffering from smoke gets in your eyes syndrome.  Here’s a pic.


Sun or moon? I report, you decide. One thing is for sure. It’s smokey.

Yesterday, we rode the SkyTrain.  A few observations.  It is much better than Portland’s system because it is almost all elevated so it goes much faster.  Doesn’t have to worry about car cross-traffic.  And much of it sits in the freeways’ meridian.  So you can sit, ride and feel really smart for taking the train.  That’s because the freeways are clogged, adding fumes to the smoke to create a delectable toxic cocktail.

Second observation is that they made the same mistake with their parking for rapid transit users.  Not enough parking.  So people use their cars too much in lieu of the train.

Other than that’s it a dream.

Yesterday we road the False Creek ferries from one side of False Creek to the other and back several times to several different docks…that was fun and cool.  Cooler on the water and the “ferries” had roofs.  All the better to shade you with, my dear.

We agreed to meet up with the others at 12:00 at the Dr. Who (or whatever’s) Chinese Garden.  Only while riding in Ruthie called to say the plan had changed to 12:30.  Then she called again and said the garden looked disappointing so they were headed to the water.  Okay, so while riding the rail, we were perched in our seat looking at two maps while carrying on a conversation on the phone.  We were so rude.  After much hemming and hawing and saying things like, “I don’t see THAT on the map”, Tom said he would just pick us up at the Stadium train station.  Okay, then.  When we arrived, Ray and I had a myriad of ways to exit the station.  We picked one and rode the escalator down and walked toward one of the exits.  And there he was.  In all in glory.  Holding his arms in the air as though a touchdown had just been scored.  Tom.  It was him.  What were the chances?  It was a miracle.  God, we’re good.  All of us.


But wait, there is more.  There were 6 of us.  So, we crammed ourselves into a 5-seater SUV and drove a block and half (didn’t know the casino was that close.  Honest.)  The short trip included us passing a cop in the street.  He was distracted.  None of us had seatbelt on.  How old are we?

So, those are the highlights.

Wild Thyme

Click on the above link for a cool picture of the cast (eventually).


The big activity for today, Friday, was going to the movies with dinner to follow.  This is how that went down.

As a recap, we are here in Vancouver with our friends, Tom and Ruth.  They are staying in an RV park right downtown Vancouver, almost under a bridge.  We are situated in an RV park in Burnaby, a suburb east of downtown Vancouver, almost under a bridge and right next to the train tracks.  We are approximately 15 miles apart.

Ruth and Tom picked the movie to see.  Baby Driver.  They picked the theater.  We agreed on a time….1:40.  We would meet.  What we didn’t know is that the cineplex was located in a mall.  Quite possibly the biggest mall in the Western Hemisphere.  All we had was the address.  So, off we went.

Our Apple Maps GPS specializes in taking us hither and yon.  Never ever in a straight line.  Nope, it winds us around and around like a snake.  Say, did you see that story about the guy in L.A. that had 3 deadly cobras sent to him in potato chip cans?  Wonder how the authorities found that?

But I digress.

So…we took the most circuitous route to the movie house.  Not knowing exactly where it was at the mall, we slipped into the underground garage and parked at the first space available.  Then we entered the mall.  Being the good tourists we are, we stopped at the Information Desk and asked about the theaters.  Down the mall to the MacDonalds and up two floors.  Okay then.  Off we went.  We walked and walked and walked and as the steps increased, so did our doubts.  We ducked into a jewelry store and received confirmation that we were headed in the proper direction.  Then we walked and walked.  Ah ha.  Spotted a kiosk with a map of the mall.  There was no indication that a cineplex existed.  WHAT?  So, we decided to keep walking.  Long story longer, we found it finally.  In the meantime, Ruthie called and they were having the same problem.  We told them to stop and ask people.  That we thought we were on the north end and that it was upstairs.  I then purchased the tickets at the ticket kiosk.  And that is when I noticed the theater called itself, Silver somethingoranother.  It was the darnedest thing.  I alerted the Donnollys of the name.  The Donnollys finally arrived.  We checked in with the ticket taker and then Tom exclaimed, “Atomic Blonde?  We were going to see Baby Driver.”  Oops.  I had purchased the wrong tickets.  We debated.  What to do?   I decided I needed to right the wrong and headed back to the ticket agent.  There was a line.  It was slow.  The movie was about to start.  When the nice lady with her young daughter picked up that we were in a hurry, she offered to let me go first as she was quite early to see the movie they were going to see.  After I took cuts and exchanged the tickets, I gave the ticket agent a $5 bill and asked him to apply it to their ticket.  And off we went to see Baby Driver.

From the opening scene to the end, this movie was a kick in the pants.  With a great soundtrack and terrific acting.  Go see it.

Oh, and then there was Titus.  He was the young ticket taker.  I stopped to get his advice on how to correct my error of buying tickets to the wrong movie.  We developed somewhat of a “relationship”, he was so fun.  While I was exchanging the tickets, Titus told Tom, Baby Driver was the best movie in the entire group of movies that were currently playing.  When we left, we thanked him profusely.  He was feeling proud of himself when we left.

From there we jumped into our car after the long walk back and drove to a restaurant called, Wild Thyme.  That’s where I received the parking ticket for parking too close to the intersection.  A chicken shit parking ticket if you ask us.  So, we had a built in conversation subject for dinner.  Tomas, the retired cop, advised us not to pay it.  He told us a story of a colleague that once received such a ticket and sent it back to the authorities with a note attached, “F%&K you.  Angry letter to follow. “  Ruth said maybe we should pay.  Ray was incensed.  He had discovered the ticket when he went back to the car to get his hat as we ate outside.



Then the guy from the restaurant came out and struck up a conversation with him.  We had selected the restaurant from Yelp.  It was, it turns out, Lebanese.  Couldn’t tell it from the name.   The fellow that waited on us, was the owner.  He had two women in the kitchen doing the cooking.  I asked, “Are you from Lebanon?”  No.  Well, sort of.  He came to Canada via France.  He got two degrees in France and then migrated.  We told him we found him on Yelp.  “You have reviews on Yelp.”, we enthused.  He then turned glum.  He just had a bad review from a woman (with a head scarf).  He explained he had good friends that were Muslim.  Religion had no meaning for him.  She was just a rude woman with an attitude.  He explained she had come one other day and had been rude to his employees.  She revisited his establishment.  This time she was very unhappy that, get this, his employee had given her a brown paper napkin while customers had received white napkins.  And the worst of his story was that she was going to ruin his business by bad mouthing him on social media.  He was beside himself.

And with that he regaled us with wonderful food accompanied by white and brown napkins!


It was splendid table.  Here’s some pics.  Boy were we scoring big time in the eating out competition.  Smokin as they put it.



This was fresh pita bread, Lebanese sausage, Lebanese white cheese melted, and a glorious bunch of fresh veggies on top.


After we consumed all we could, we waddled back to the car with the ticket on it, measured the space from the intersection.  Swore a lot.  Piled in.  Zipped back to the mall.  Dropped off our precious cargo.  Ziggied back to the Burnaby Cariboo RV park which is located next to the railroad, almost under the bridge.  Poured some wine (second meal in a row without wine or beer because the restaurants didn’t offer it), and settled in to watch Bill Maher.

Quite a day.   Wild time, I’d say.

p.s.  I used all those onomatopoeia verbs because of the movie.  My driving was instantly more aggressive.   It had an effect on me!

Read the Writing on the Wall



Downtown Seattle near Costco

Hi folks. Reporting in from smokey, hot Vancouver, B.C. Arrived yesterday having suffered all day from various anxieties. But before regaling you with those stories, let me recap a few days of travel in the great northwest.

From the shadows of Mt. St. Helens, we headed north toward Seattle, this time taking the freeway. Freeways are such a hard drive. No use dwelling on the obvious. This time I was at the wheel. We were both sad to leave Silver Lake Cove. It was darn near perfect. However, we had a schedule to keep which is one of the disadvantages of traveling when everyone else on earth is traveling. My heavens. Cars loaded to hilt with bikes, scooters, paddle boards. It’s a zool. And so are we!!

Anyway, first stop was a rest stop. While wandering the grounds, we discovered an old cedar tree that was enormous. And you could walk thru it. Seems the entire area was covered with these magnificent specimens. Oh, well, quite possibly you have a cedar-lined closet. Or a cedar chest. No more cedar trees in this area. This one had been cut down a very
long time ago and the trunk was so impressive, they somehow decided to save it and relocate it by the road for all to see. There was no freeway heads-up sign announcing it. We just stumbled on to it.

Rayman then took on the driving chore. The plan was to go to the Costco near Seattle to buy gas. He researched it the night before. Had the location all figured out. About 10 miles into his drive, I asked him if he had programmed Costco into the GPS. Oops. No. Okay. Well. I tried to “retrace” his steps by looking at the iPad to locate the location. I picked one. No, he said. “That’s too far from the freeway.” Okay. So, I then located another that was close to I-5. That must be it. And that’s where we headed.

The GPS took us there via every strange street available. We wove around UPS facilities, oil refineries, office buildings, railroad tracks. This did not go over well. And rosy me, I kept saying, “Turn left here.” “TURN LEFT THERE? WHERE THE HELL ARE WE GOING?”, fussed the driver. Finally we arrived. The gasoline station was cramped. This is never good when you are 33 feet long and pulling a car. “I PICKED ONE THAT HAD AN EASY IN AND OUT. HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET OUT OF HERE?”, he barked. I scrambled out of the RV and talked to the attendant. He said we could do it. So, we did. And when we got ready to leave Rayman asked the attendant how to get back to I-5. We were literally 3 blocks away from entrance to the freeway.

Well, I was madder than a wet hen. And I think we will leave it at that. You can fill in the blanks!!

Such is the life on the road. Stuff happens.


We managed to arrive in Anacordes, Washington, without killing each other. A true testament to working things out. And we set up the RV. That evening, we had an invitation to my Uncle Jimmy’s house for dinner. It was a lovely time and we caught up on everything going on in our lives. Great dinner. Great conversation. Lovely end to a stress-filled day.


Anacordes is a water-rich community. Water everywhere. An island location. And we took total advantage by arranging a whale watching adventure for 1 p.m. the following day. Had a fabulous time and saw many orcas. And it was a beautiful day. Warm. Clear. The water sparkled. The orcas performed. The day before, the tour guide relayed to us, they saw not one whale. The day was wonderful. We were on a roll.

Uncle Jimmy and his wife, Christel, took us around the area the following day. We had drinks on a rooftop and then we ate dinner on a dock by the bay. Jim and Christel must work for the Chamber of Commerce because they told us all the virtues of living in the area. They even drove us around a neighborhood of houses. They would like us to move up. We were full of questions. They had the answers. It was a fun afternoon. Again!! That was Tuesday.




On Wednesday, we packed up and headed to Canada to meet up with our friends, Ruth and Tom. Before we left we had received a few warnings. First, my brother told me Canada used drug sniffing dogs at the border. Okay. So we left our grass and edibles in Portland with Ryan. Second, Tom met the border nazi when entering the country on Tuesday and he told us the tax on bring in wine was horrific. So, we left all our good wine with Jim and Christel. Finally, Ruth called to say that Vancouver was shrouded in smoke. Fires were burning and the smoke was causing big problems. We were bound and determined to go anyway.

We took an out of the way border crossing off of Highway 9 entering at Abbotsville. We were very fortunate because the border guy was reasonable. The sad thing was we had to ditch all our fruit with pits. We had nectarines, peaches, cherries that we had just purchased in Anacordes. Drats.


Canadian border crossing.

Ruth and Tom came over (they are in another RV park). Tom was beyond disappointed that we left our “good” wine and lamented that he should not have called us!! We came across with 12 bottles. They did too. No problemo. After drinks and pupus, we ventured out for dinner with the help of the GPS. The restaurant we wanted was packed. We ended up in a strip mall next to an abandoned gas station at The Smoking Pig. It was a Korean restaurant. And it was a Korean restaurant. And it was wonderful.

We now feel back on track after a day of laundry and reading and doing some business. Tonight we will have a planning session over dinner at the Donnollys. There are places to go and things to do. And we’re here for a week. Hoping the smoke clears.

Oh, and we went to Whole Foods today in Vancouver. It had underground parking. When leaving, we rode the elevator down and when we got out, we could not find our car. It took us three floors to find the car because we didn’t read the writing on the wall. Guess we need a GPS to locate our car too.

And that’s all folks.


Got My Goat


View of the tributary from our table.

We love Silver Lake.  It’s located on the road to Mt. St. Helens and it is where we are “camped” for four nights.  This is our third night.  What do we love about it?  Let me count the ways.

Weather – the days are warm, nights are cold.

Location – 30 miles from Blowback Mountain (Mt. St. Helens joke).  It is 10 miles from the freeway, Interstate 5.

RV park is ideal.  There are waterways encircling it.  There are hawks in the trees and maybe we spotted a bald eagle…too far away to see for sure.  The space between RVs is more than generous compared to the average RV park this summer.

Satellite reception.  We have it.

So, what did we do today?  Rayman got a haircut.  He looks much better now.  Just saying.

I worked on trust issues, walked the dog, blogged (and I’m still blogging).

The fun for the day was the kayaking.  We went to the office, filled out a form promising that we would hold harmless the establishment if we were to drown.  And then we went to the bank of the tributary about 200 yards from our RV, met a guy with the kayak and the oars and the life jackets, stumbled into the kayak and the guy shoved us off into the tributary.  Away we floated.  He mentioned that we would pass an island and if we were lucky we might see the one goat that lived on the island.  Okay.  Right.

So, we paddled around a few bends and by houses that were situated right on the water (sweet).  We went by the island and we heard the goat but never saw him.  By the time we emerged onto the main body of the lake, I was drenched.  My pants were soaked.  But it felt good because the breeze was warm and sun was hot.  We steered our kayak to a spot on the lake that afforded a view of Mt. St. Helens.  Very cool.  What wasn’t cool was that we left our cameras in The Dog House along with Beau.  No pictures.  But I think you can imagine how pretty it was.

In addition to us on the lake, there were geese and ducks.  And they floated right by us and didn’t mind our presence at all.  Very nice fowl.  They didn’t mind each other either.  Maybe the political parties should change their logos from donkey and elephant to Ducks and Geese.  This might inspire new behavior on the part of our elected officials.

But I digress.

On our way back to the RV park via the river tributary, we again went by Goat Island (that is what I named it).  We heard the bleating.  Is that what goats do?  So we paddled up close to the island, and there he was.  The goat, Billy.  While in our boat we saw the goat!!!  And you know what the goat did?  He talked to us and followed us as we floated by.  The entire length of the island.  Poor Billy boy was bored.  He lives alone on the island.  He wanted company.  So we hung out at the end of the island and conversed with him as one does.  “Hi Billy Goat!”  How are you Billy Goat?”  He talked back to us.  “Behahahah.”  It was a hoot.  We loved it.  I think he loved it too.

We made it back to where we started.  We struggled to get out of the kayak without any assistance (it was not pretty).  I went first.  This involved my standing up on a kayak still in the water, and placing my left foot on the ground next to the kayak without getting wet.  As I did this, Rayman and the kayak started moving away from the ground as I was standing on.  Have you ever seen the splits performed in such a manner?  “Rayman, move the kayak back!”, I barked.  “You are pushing it away!”, he announced.  OMG.  I thought I was going to fall in to the mud.  Luckily, he got the kayak heading toward my foot that was on dry land and I jumped out.  Then, it was his turn.  I hauled the kayak up on the shore and he sprang right out.  THEN the guy that set us off into the water showed up.  “Sorry I was late.”, he exclaimed.

We went back to The Dog House, fed the dog, and we all jumped into the car and headed to Castle Rock, the closest town.  Bought chicken and corn and came back to barbecue dinner.  It was grand.  I served it with the best fruit salad.  The watermelon, the plums, the nectarines and peaches were all perfection.  Oh, how lucky we are.  It was a great day.


A Hunting We Will Go

As the sun quickly sets on Spokane, Washington, we are are heading out for dinner. When we drive and then plan to drive again the next day, that’s what we do. We eat out. Quick, easy, no muss, no fuss.

When you are in and out, saving time becomes a priority. Why gussy the place up when you just have to un-gussy it in the morning for a quick getaway. And tomorrow, we need a quick getaway because we have an appointment at the Freedom RV storefront in Liberty Lake, Washington. And why is that, you ask? Because we cannot get the DVR to see the satellite, or visa versa. And, lord knows, we want to get DirecTV while we are out roughing it!! Just because. I mean, really, people, if you pay all this money to have the niceties of life, then that is what you should have. And satellites are the way to get it.

So, a quick in and out.

We had such an interesting day today after an interesting day yesterday. Yesterday we played 18 holes of golf on a golf course that we could actually walk to because it was right next to the RV park. And it was a lovely course. It had grass, which is more than I can say about Dairy Creek, our local course at home. It was inexpensive and it had trees so the golfer could shade up. Shade is important when walking a golf course. Even as north as we were in Walla Walla, the sun was intense. Luckily, most people playing were twosomes so we just zipped along. It only took about 4 hours to play. Great day. I lost but I don’t care. It was totally enjoyable.

We came back to the RV and barbecued chicken for dinner. Had a great meal before the big DEBATE. What an interesting debate it was. Never in my life did I think that a woman would be this close to the Presidency. And, by my account, Hillary did what most women do. In order to be considered plausible a woman must be twice as good. And she was. Mission accomplished, Hill. And that is all I will say about that.

Today, we got up and moved out. And drove from Walla Walla to Spokane via backroads. Eastern Washington is mostly rolling hills with no trees. Every field has been planted and the crops have been harvested. Golden is the color of the hills. Miles and miles of rolling golden hills with no trees. However, there are lots of windmills, the giant white type that generate electricity. On all the hilltops, there are these windmills. It is a very interesting landscape. Like the plains, with hills, as Rayman describes it.

We passed spots in the road like Starbuck. Who knew? And Dayton. Very cute berg. But mostly, it was just harvested fields. A few horses here and there. Were they wild? We think so. But the most impressive sight was the Snake. It slithered along. It is such a wide river to be completely awe inspiring. Remember, my idea of a river growing up was the Salinas River. Now, I can scoff. I’ve seen the Snake.

As we approached Spokane, the treeless landscape became more treed. Conifers mostly but colorful deciduous trees too. Spokane, at least on the 90 freeway, looks very industrial. It was a surprise. And lots of big churches. We hear there is a riverwalk but that didn’t happen tonight. After our gin and tonic, we drove to a place in a strip mall called ….Bistro and had a fabulous dinner. Three shellfish risotto. Yummy. Rated number one on Trip Advisor for restaurants in Liberty Lake, a suburb just east to downtown Spokane. Wow. We were impressed.

And so tomorrow, we head to the RV dealer and then to Idaho for a few days of golf and perhaps some fishing. I would love to catch a trout for dinner.

If you rush right up here, I’ll cook you fresh trout with all the trimmings. Anyone?

Independence Day Musings

This is a blog I wrote on July 4th.  I decided to wait and reread it before posting and then I promptly forgot the plan.  So, here goes.

I once saw a women’s lib lapel pin that said, “I WANT TO BE INDEPENDENT, BUT I CAN’T DO IT ALONE.  And that pretty well sums it up for me.  How about you?

So, it is America’s independence day and I don’t think she can do it alone either.  We need the rest of the world.  They need us.  We are all in this together.  To become an isolationist country doesn’t fit the narrative, does it?  Just a thing I wonder about tonight.  Because I think that is what Trump appeals to when he says Make America Great Again.  I’m not buying it.  I think America is flawed.  America has not lived up the lofty words proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence.  Let’s review it, shall we?  But before we do, I think America still holds great promise if we can continue forward and strive to improve.

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Okay…and then the rest of the document lists the colonies’ grievances:  (which I have done in green in case you wish to skip ahead.)

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

End of statement.  Except for all the men that signed it.

Did you make it this far?  I take the second paragraph to be the part that we have not lived up to yet.  We are a work in progress.  And if you haven’t read The People’s History of the United States, I urge you to do so.

But I digress.

I am free of the Gilbert house.  This is a form of independence I am now enjoying.  And for that, Rayman and I went out on the town in Sisters, Oregon to a restaurant called Open Door.




This outdoor restaurant had “green houses” that could accommodate big parties. Lovely.



It was very special.  And we so enjoyed it.  Then we came back to The Dog House and just on a lark, I looked to see if Rachel Maddow was on tonight, July 4th.  And she was!!  That woman has a strong work ethic.  And I encourage you all to watch it because she traces the evolution of Russiagate.  And she ends the show with a shot across the brow re: Mike Pence.  She believes he is complicit with Flynne.  I’m not going to rehash it.  I just suggest you go on line and watch it if you are interested.  (and I don’t think she is wrong).

So, now.  re: independence which started this whole blog.  I came across an interesting quote from Fredrick Douglass today.   Fredrick was a black man that escaped slavery and worked to abolish it.  Here’s the quote from July 5, 1852.

“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.”

And I think we still have a long way to go for the least amongst us.  If we could be more empathetic, perhaps that would help things.

But I digress again.

The 4th of July just takes on a special significance to me today.  With Trump in the White House, I am less enthusiastic about our future.  It looks bleak to me.  It feels like he is trying to drag us back to 1852.  Or earlier.  And Congress is not stopping him.

Okay.  I’ll stop it now.  My blogs are suppose to be fun so I’ll leave you with a Woody Allen quote.

“I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.”

Okay, one more.  From Joan Rivers.

Thank God we’re living in a country where the sky’s the limit, the stores are open late and you can shop in bed thanks to television.

And with that, happy 4th of July to one and all.