Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Heart Drawn on the Window

There are a million reasons why children have less-than-perfect childhoods.  Some of those reasons stretch back generations and others are due to selfish choices made by grown ups today. I’m not called to judge those issues or reasons, but I frequently find it painful and sad to view the effect on the kids.

Sometimes those situations tear my heart out.  I was engaged in a discussion on the front porch of a house that shelters four children aged 2 to 11.  The adults in their lives are broken, as I am, fragmented both by choices they have made and situations beyond their control.  The discussion was stressful.  The three smaller ones were sent in to watch Tom and Jerry.  Mom was seated facing the big living room window, as I was, while another child had her back to it.

A little face with huge green eyes appeared as the six year old wiggled her body under the curtain at the living room window.  The weather was warm and the window had fogged from the air conditioning inside.  Very carefully and very seriously she drew a huge heart in the condensation, looked solemnly out at her mother and pointed an index finger toward her.

If only we could do that.  If only we could try to pour love over the stress and the chaos, as she tried to do.  Right now, all I think that my little sweetheart should have to worry about is going down the slide.

“And a little child shall lead them.”  Isaiah 11:6

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."     Mathew 19:14

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dolphins – God’s Most Intriguing Creatures

Years ago, I took one of those quizzes in a woman’s magazine. This quiz had the reader consider  choices if one only had six months to live.  I mentioned to my man that I would want to swim with the dolphins.  His response was, “Why wait until you know you’re going to die?”

I must have gotten Flipper on the brain from grade school when Flipper was a favorite in the Galvin household.  Flipper Intro

This is how I found myself a few months later at Dolphins Plus in Key Largo learning about dolphin behavior prior to diving into the lagoon with the dolphins.

Dolphins at this location are not captive. They stay there because they choose to. They are free to leave at any time.  Dolphins which perform in amusement parks are not given food until they complete the required task.  They no doubt find both this and unprotected behavior from humans highly stressful, because they die much younger under most captive situations than they do in the wild.  Dolphins at Dolphin’s Plus have a longer life expectancy because they are fed regardless of behavior. Any humans who attend programs there are educated about dolphin behavior and removed from the lagoon if they do not comply.

Dolphins travel using echo location which is accomplished via the rostrum (the bulbous part) of their heads.  Essentially, they are living, breathing ultrasound machines.  As such, they can “see” inside human beings.  The behaviorists who work at Dolphins Plus told us that in recent weeks the dolphins had eyed the mid-section of a woman repeatedly.  She called them a month later to advise that she had been in the early stages of pregnancy at the time and did not know it. They also paid close attention to a gentleman who had a knee replacement.

After the orientation, I sat on the small dock and considered that while Flipper was really cool, what was directly in front of me was a group of wild animals weighing around 800 lbs each.  I got nervous and was trying to talk myself into jumping in. Bruce, who is usually patient and kind, also knew we had only a short amount of time to be in the lagoon and unceremoniously pushed me in.  Don’t worry, I’m a good swimmer. I was just being Wilma Wimp Girl.

Once in, I had to orient myself to the strange humming and almost electrical buzzing underwater, which is the sound of the dolphins communicating with each other.  We had been told that they like to amuse themselves from time to time by “freaking out the human.”  Sensing my nervousness, they had some fun with me. 

They swim up to you at full speed, stop very suddenly directly in front of you, in a vertical position, and open their mouths, showing all their teeth.  This is not biting behavior, mind you, but simply trying to get a rise out of you.  They’re playful.  After they did this to me, there was plenty of dolphin “talk”…”Hey Mildred wasn’t that hilarious when she swallowed lagoon water down her snorkel?”- you know, typical dolphin high jinks.

The whole experience was one of those things one remembers for a lifetime.  I was honored that one of the dolphins allowed me to touch her. Dolphins feel like a hard-boiled egg with the shell removed, wet.  Made me think of nothing more than making a bunch of deviled eggs for a bbq.

This all brings me to today’s post and video.  A professional photographer and diver, Keller Laoros, who routinely dives with manta rays and takes pictures recently had an amazing experience in Hawaii.  A dolphin fouled in fishing wire approached him.  It was clear that the dolphin was in distress.  He stopped a short distance from Keller.  Keller made a “come here” gesture under water and the dolphin did so.  Keller used a diving knife to remove some of the fishing line.  The dolphin surfaced for air and returned to allow him to continue removing the fishing line.  When the man was done, the dolphin swam away.  A wild animal.  

Animals are filled with the grace of God, in my humble opinion.  I know that every day when Lulu snuggles with me in bed.  I knew that over the weekend when a pygmy goat sat in my lap out in the sunshiny backyard.  The Bible says that all creation gives God praise. 

Let heaven and earth praise him,
    the seas and all that move in them, Psalm 69:34

In the memorable words of radio Bible teacher Chuck Swindoll, “Anyone who believes that they are correct theologically by stating that there will be no animals in Heaven are going to have a surprise when they see that big white horse Jesus rides up in.”  Just sayin’.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Iron Lady 1925 - 2013

She was nicknamed Iron Lady by the Soviets.  I believe that her guts, grit, and determination were among the many reasons the Berlin Wall fell, not the least of which was the service of submariners like my man.  She served the longest of any post-war British Prime Minister.  Daughter of a grocer, world changer, Lady Thatcher.  GIRL POWER!

Friday, April 5, 2013

This and That Post

It seems that maybe spring has finally shown itself in Portsmouth.  I took these pics with my cell phone camera during a walk the other night.
I've mostly been walking inside the extremely huge Portsmouth Naval Hospital.  This was the first evening that it has been comfortably warm enough this season to walk outside in beautiful Olde Towne in the early evening.

I tore into a new book by Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada.  You may know Joni as the quadriplegic evangelist, author, radio broadcaster, and painter (by mouth).  She's written many inspirational books that I've enjoyed over the years.  Learn more about Loni at

Joni and Ken is a hard look at marriage in the midst of suffering.  Not only is Joni paralyzed, but she also battles chronic pain and recently has had Stage 3 breast cancer.  This book is an honest, not sticky sweet look at how she and her husband of 30 years have coped with the challenges that disability and cancer have brought to their relationship.  I couldn't put it down and highly recommend it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My New Rock Band -Lulu and the Goat Boys

Let me introduce you to Gizmo, one of the pygmy goats in the backyard. He's devilish in a cute sort of way with his little horns and markings over his eyes.  I luvs me some Gizzie goat.

This is Blanco.  He is much bigger, but I love him, too.
Blanco sort of looks like a lamb in this shot because someone at some point removed his horns  I don't get that, just like I don't get cropping dog's ears.  I think it is baaa aaaa aaaaad, to quote a goat.

So why are they there?  Just my little protest on government tyranny.

My neighbors, John and Aimee, across the street, belong to Gizzie and Blanco.  Both goats are neutered males and the size of dogs.  However, some zealous city employees judged them as "livestock" and cited their owners.  Actually, they are beloved pets.

Goats are great lawn mowers.   So they are on the uhhhh lam, so to speak, in my back yard with the six foot high privacy fence until the heat is off their owners. My dog, Lulu, has totally taken it in her stride.

Really, we have murderers and folks selling drugs to high school kids, I think we have more important things to spend time on than hassling miniature goats.

We're going to the next City Council meeting...repeat with me, "Save the Pygmy Goats, Save the Pygmy Goats!"

Monday, April 1, 2013

Cesar Chavez' 86th Birthday - Are You Kidding Me, Google?

I admire Cesar Chavez as much as the next person.   I sympathize with the plight of migrant workers.  A San Diego Red Cross program I was affiliated with for 5 years served migrant workers. Such workers are exploited by farming operations both large and small which make a great deal of money from their efforts.

While living in San Diego, I often considered the cruelty of circumstances which gave me, born on one side, such advantages over folks born a quarter of a mile to the south.  Their education, immunization status, medical care, and life expectancy are all much poorer than we enjoy in the United States.  I understand why women in labor cross the border illegally so that their children will have a better life.  I don't approve, but I understand.

My late sister-in-law met Bruce's brother, Eric, when she was a migrant worker on the family farm.  I know her life was very hard before she met him.  Margaret was gorgeous.  Our niece, Heather, inherited her mother's stunning looks.  As an ardent watcher of The Big Valley, I always thought it interesting that she named her son "Heath," the name of the character played by Lee Majors.  Heath was the youngest son of the land owner, Victoria Barkley, just as Eric was my mother-in-law's youngest.

I'm always fascinated with the clever things Google does to recognize special dates on their opening page.  They make the Google logo move or light up or create a graphic in the style of Monet or Picasso to recognize an artist's birthday.  However, sometimes their political correctness is so extreme that they appear moronic. Easter was one of those days.

Yesterday, Google recognized the birth date of Cesar Chavez, union organizer, and champion of the rights of migrants.  That's fine, Cesar was in important figure in US labor relations.  However, Google failed to recognize the date as Easter, when Christians throughout the world celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Not only is it short-sighted and, quite frankly, demented - it just makes Google look dumb.

Whomever you believe Jesus was and is, there can be no denial of his influence over the course of human history.  In fact, we divide time based on the birth of Jesus Christ, despite this BCE (Before the Common Era) nonsense.  AD, as in 2013 AD, is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase meaning, "Year of our Lord."

I find it fascinating that tolerance is extended in our present day world to everyone BUT Christians.  We are tolerant of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, gays, and lesbians -  as well we should be.

However, in the name of tolerance and political correctness, we Christians are not allowed now to use the term "Easter eggs" or "Christmas tree" at school.  This semantic nonsense is just absurd, especially considering that Easter eggs and Christmas trees actually have nothing to do with either holiday. Religious tolerance should be for everyone, even the Christian majority in this country.

I wonder sometimes if Jesus is looking down saying, "Yeah, Google, not so much..."   Kinda like when I go to small group and we put a DVD on the TV to sing praise songs to the television set.

Jesus said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."  And they did, 12 uneducated, erratic, flawed men who deserted Jesus at the crucifixion went on to change the world after they witnessed the Resurrection - never mind how much Google would like to ignore it.