February 14th, 2017, A Tribute to True Love

I’m in love. I have been for decades. Oh, yeah. In love with life–that, too–but I mean with the man who is my husband, Forrest Wayne Lineberry. For years, after a very ugly divorce, due to the bills that divorce wound up ladling upon me, we lived in a space that measured 14×18. Feet. It included one tiny bathroom with a shower, one tiny kitchen, and the bedroom/living room. Two cats, three birds, a hamster, a frog and a tercel in an aquarium, plus a 55 gallon fish tank filled with very old, very long-lived fish resided there with us. My horses and livestock didn’t. The horses I boarded. The livestock went to Dad’s.

To say we were poor is an understatement. Still are. The divorce took everything and more. (Yes, I got screwed, having hired an attorney who was honorable, while my ex- hired one who was Machiavellian, more the fool me.)  The divorce took my relationship with my father, as well, a man who, because of his Dutch Reform upbringing, believed marriage was for life, never mind any abuse.

Anyway, I fell in love. With my bodyguard. If you ever want to know about that, watch the movie, The Bodyguard, starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.  Except, unlike that movie, the bad guy wanting to do me harm wasn’t some wacko or some jealous relative, but rather the man divorcing me. I wasn’t a wealthy, successful singer with a beautiful voice, and Forrest was only a skilled martial artist, not a trained ex-Secret Service man.  Oh, yeah.  And, in the end, we stayed together.

I’m wishing for you all the same love and commitment we have with and for each other–a cherishing–in your relationship with your significant other. There really is no substitute for it. So, find it, keep it, and don’t ever settle for less, no matter what you have to give up.




Live Now.

An  art friend of mine has recently begun posting some secular humanist perspectives over on G+. He turns off comments, perhaps to avoid discussion…or, maybe, to fend off trolls.  Of course, it could be that he considers anyone who might choose to discuss the topic to be a troll.  He’s rather odd that way–easily offended, easily riled, easily disquieted.

Anyway, his posts got me to thinking about the mindset of atheist secular humanists, especially those who perceive life and reality as reducible to clear, concise mechanical processes that include chemical reactions and Newtonian physics. He’s a retired engineer, so this mindset comes quite logically and naturally to him and his. Dwelling in the strictly empirically measurable pragmatic, any idea of something more than life as a chemical reaction and consciousness as a neurological function is quite alien. Having myself dwelled in mechanism, pragmatism, atheism, and stoicism for a solid decade or more of my own existence, I can understand the very solid, stolid stability provided by it. What bothers me is that what he’s doing is no different than the proselytizing of the fervently religious. In truth, it’s no different.

Here’s the thing, though: Does it really matter what he believes versus what someone else believes? No. His beliefs give him solace, just as those who believe that their loved ones have gone to join Jesus or entered Nirvana or…do them. The fact is there is no proof or disproof of continuance of the self/soul/spirit upon the body’s demise, and, truly, it really doesn’t matter. Live now.

Sheer Joy…And Not Much Drudgery

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.comWhen I quit doing web developments a few years back, there was sheer relief and a rewarding sense of freedom, of being able to breathe, again.

Then I closed all but four of my own websites, allowing only zentao.com, dlkeur.com, ejruek.com, and thedeepening.com to remain active, thedeepening.com changed from promoting other people’s books and novels to its original intent.  More relief, more freedom, more space to breathe and try to follow my own projects.

This year, I began to ease back on doing professional graphic art.  I retained a handful of good clients, but, mostly, I say “no” to the requests I get. First off, it’s a real pain to have to deal with people who, not having a real grasp on what they actually want, have set ideas on what they think they want. Then, when you produce that, after they approve it, they decide months down the road that it’s actually not what they want, and they get all sorts of upset when you tell them they’ll have to pay for another design to be conceived and completed.  It’s pure drudgery with not much reward for the soul, regardless of how well it adds to the bottom line.

Now, I’ve turned my focus to my true love in life–writing novels–and, while there’s still some drudgery involved–reading and editing that manuscript yet one more time; promoting what’s already published–there’s sheer joy and happiness for a story well-told and appreciated.

Truly, I’m almost as happy writing as I am riding.  Only being with Forrest trumps it all.

It’s Christmas, and, Well, We’re Still Fighting

It’s Christmas–a holiday Christians use to celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth (who was actually born sometime in October, btw), Jesus of Nazareth whose teachings inspired the founding of the Christian faith…for good, but mostly resulting in evil. 

Christmas is celebrated by non-Christians, as well–Yuletide and the Solstice…or just an excuse to celebrate, remember friends and family, and to enjoy a feeling of goodwill and peace.

But, guess what? In Christams 2009, what are we doing? Well, in the U.S., we’re still fighting–Republicans versus Democrats, liberals versus neoconservatives, and all of them pissed off at moderates and independents who don’t hold their “party” lines.  And, around the world, we’re in wars, wars, and wars.  We’re standing by while people, animals, and Earth itself continues to suffer harm by mankind’s UNKIND hands–cruelty, hardship, misery, decimation…. 

I’m sick of humans.  Yes, really.  As a species, despite supposedly being “civilized” and blessed with (repeat, SUPPOSEDLY) superior intelligence, it is WE–humans–who blight the planet with our greed, our fear, and our oh-so-primitive “us versus them” tribalism.  We are the most violent, most vile, of creatures, yet, simultaneously, we exhibit the ability to rise above that and be the kindest, most caring.  Unfortunately, in this our 21st century of counting our existence in the West, we seem to be a civilization devolving back into a hate/war society of intolerance…and have been since the turn of the Millennium.  (Thanks, G.W.B./Cheney, fuckers both.)

Hope?  Hope is a Christmas theme.  I’m losing it.  I can’t see us ever getting clear of our fear, greed, and unhealthy lusts.  Still, Christmas IS the one time of year in the West when, for just a moment, for just a day, SOMETIMES, anyway, the world knows PEACE.  This is especially evident at the stroke of midnight between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, worldwide. 

So tonight I will celebrate that one precious moment of PEACE that happens only now, thanks to a man born long ago in a land far, far away.

Thank you, Jesus.  That’s one small piece of good that came about because of a religion founded in your name, though most everything else that’s come about because of Christianity (along with most everything that’s come about because of Judism and Islam, all brother/sister religions that lead back to the seed of Abraham) only perpetuates more evil upon the planet.

Be still, Humans.  It’s Christmas Eve.  A breath of stillness, a moment of peace….

The Plant

I have an Angel Wing Begonia that’s OLD.  Very OLD.  It was given to me by Mom, and I kept it for many years.  When it outgrew my house, I gave it to Undean, who had it for about ten years, then gave it back when it outgrew her house.  I put it in the garden for the summer, because it really was too big for anywhere in the house I lived in, and, come Fall, a lady who loves plants indicated a desire to own it.  So I gave it to her.  

Under her care, it got even BIGGER.  And it bloomed like crazy.  Then, a year or so later, times got tough for them and, ultimately, they moved to a very small, unfinished house that had few windows.  The plant had to go, and it went to her mom’s house, but not before losing a couple of it’s numerous shoots.  

Helping with the move, I snagged the one that hadn’t been walked on and stuck it in water, hoping I could save a small piece of the heirloom plant.  Sure enough, it rooted for me, and, holding my breath, a year later, I put it in soil.  

Moving a plant from water culture to soil culture is hard on the plant.  Very.  I did it in stages, adding soil to the water (mud), then, finally, moving it into a legitimate pot of soil.  And it survived…and thrived.  And now it’s big enough that it outgrew the living room window (which it loved).  I’m holding my breath again because the only place for it is a rather dark corner with no morning sun, fitted with a tall, artificial daylight lamp.  

If it doesn’t do well there, I’ll move it back to the big picture window, even though that’s going to take some major redecorating to accomplish.  We’ll see what happens after a few weeks.  The plant may be okay.   Then, again, I might be calling on hubs to disassemble the bookcase/sill under the front room window.

This from The Grist, Polar Bears & Whales vs. Navy Sonar

Ursine of the Times
U.S. study says two-thirds of polar bears will be gone by 2050

 The U.S. Geological Survey released a grim study of polar bears on Friday, concluding that two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will be gone by 2050. Polar bears in Alaska and other areas outside the very far north will be most out of luck, according to the study; it forecasts that precisely zero polar bears will be left in Alaska by 2050. “Sea ice conditions would have to be substantially better than even the most conservative computer simulations of warming and sea ice” for the bears to avoid the forecasted steep drop in population, the report said. For those desperately seeking an upside to all this, the survey team said the polar bears’ fate was likely only 84 percent linked to the extent of sea ice, which means the remaining bears will only theoretically be 84 percent screwed when all of it disappears from the Arctic. Phew! Meanwhile, for just $35,000 or so, kick-’em-while-they’re-down types can pay to go on polar-bear safari and bag a trophy kill. But hey, for an extra $100,000, we know a guy who can arrange a cage match with a polar bear and your own remote-controlled robot. Just let us know.


Play It Again, Uncle Sam
Appeals court overturns ruling, allows Navy to test underwater sonar

It’s the controversy that keeps on controversing: The U.S. Navy wants to test underwater mid-frequency sonar. Marine advocates say such testing effs up whales and other marine mammals. Repeat. (Grist has been writing about this issue since 1999, and we have never reused a headline. Thank you.) Anyhoodle, here we go again: last month, a federal judge ordered the Navy to stop using mid-frequency sonar off the California coast through 2009; a federal appeals court has now put the kibosh on that decision. “The public does indeed have a very considerable interest in preserving our natural environment and especially relatively scarce whales,” wrote Judge Andrew Kleinfeld. “But it also has an interest in national defense. We are currently engaged in war, in two countries.” And we can’t be too careful — what if the whales are working for the terrorists?