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For my birthday on Friday, I’d love $55 donations for the Hill Country Ride For AIDS

My birthday is Friday, I’m doing the Hill Country Ride again this year & I’d really love $55 donations, but really any donation is more than welcome. My goal is $2,000 this year. They really need it. With the cuts the Orange One’s administration wants — and when he’s gone, we’ll have President Pence who will be even worse, especially for AIDS services — they really, really need it. Please donate at my Hill Country Ride page.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Moments: “…pain and heartache. Joy and beauty as well.” 1/8/19

Embracing.

  Today’s post is inspired by this tweet; I’m not giving up my House afterglow just yet.

Nooksack River Part 2 – The History and Current State of the River

Spawning Salmon in tributary creek to the Nooksack

In Part 1 of this series I described the Nooksack River from its headwaters in the North Cascade Mountains through its course to the Salish Sea. I made the case that this river, along with others like it, were critically important to sustaining our icons of the Salish Sea  – salmon and orcas. Sustaining these icons is dependent in part on the health of these rivers that grow the fish which in turn feed our resident orca.  That is, healthy rivers are a necessary but not a sufficient condition for saving these critters. In this part I relate the history of the river, what has happened to it and why it is important today that it is restored to health and maintained.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Eight Maids A-Milking 1/1/19

 

The Milk Maid (Winslow Homer, 1878

In my tradition, today is the eighth day of Christmastide; in some churches, it is also recognized as the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ and a day of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. But for most of us, it’s just the eighth day of Christmas, and that means eight maids a-milking. When WYgal at the Orange jokingly mentioned that we could all write posts based on the theme of “our” day, I decided to take up the challenge (while ever so grateful that I didn’t have seven swans a-swimming). What follows is my attempt to write a post that combines a bit of history, something light for a day of vacation/recovery/just-another-Tuesday, and addresses the theme of eight maids a-milking (in this case, milking us of our dollars). Bonus inclusion for those who asked: my aunt’s recipe for Aunt Gussie’s Cloud.

Tuesday in Moosevillle – Memories, Meals, Traditions, and Gifts 12/25/18

I’m looking for the pickle…

I’m sure some of you were opening this post with some trepidation, wondering if I was going to cover some depressing aspect of our history. Surprise! Even though I recognize that Christmas is not a holiday or holy day for all of us, it is part of my tradition. Taking a break from our seamier side is the least I can do; there’s enough ugliness in our current reality without piling on for one day. But history is all about stories, so today, I’m sharing some of my holiday stories and ask you to feel free to do the same. If Christmas isn’t part of your tradition, I’m sure you still have holiday stories, so don’t feel limited. But most of all, enjoy…and Merry Christmas!

Welcome, Returning Light!

The winter solstice “occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. Though the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, the term is also a turning point to midwinter and the first day of winter.”

That moment will occur this afternoon, December 21st, at 4:23pm Central Time (which is my time zone), also known as UTC 22:23.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Primary Sources The Game: Who Said It? 12/11/18

You may notice these next few weeks…I’m in holiday mode.

I’m leaving Friday morning for our long holiday weekend with The Kiddo and SIL, and that’s where my head is at (and has been for at least a week). So instead of doing a deep dive into some obscure historical figure or event, I thought I’d stick with history…but let the community do the work! I’ll provide the quotes, and you provide the answer (not to worry, I’m making this multiple choice). I have included the hyperlinks to the source of the quote, labeled “Answer found here”, so you can check your answer or, if you’re in a less playful mood, skip the guessing and go straight for the answer. Have fun, and may your curiosity be piqued!

Tuesday in Mooseville – ICYMI: A Gathering in Baltimore Over the Weekend 12/4/18

An UnConvention was held in Baltimore this past weekend.

While The Gathering was happening in Burlington, VT this past weekend, another event was happening that slid under the radar of most reporters and tweeters. RootsCamp 2018 is the [now] biennial, progressive unconference held by Re:Power (which is the rebranded, revised Wellstone Action; some of the story is here: Wellstone is now re:power). Unlike some conferences, the focus for #Roots18 was not the 2020 presidential election but the work that must be done in 2019 and beyond:

RootsCamp is the major conference where you’ll get to debrief the midterm elections – what we won and what we’ve learned. You’ll be alongside progressive leaders from all parts of the movement – organizers, campaigners, data directors, you name it – on setting the tone for 2019. (What is RootsCamp?)

Although Re:Power handled the nuts and bolts of putting the conference together, this is very much a grass-roots driven gathering similar to Netroots Nation. As an “unconference,” the sessions are devised and led by the participants, with discussion moderated by session creators.

At this unconference, The Board is where the conference schedule is set—right in front of your eyes. It is a giant grid of times and locations in the middle of the conference center that a team of volunteers fills with sessions dreamed up and submitted by you, the participants.

All participants are welcome to submit an idea for what we call a “session.” A session just means one 60-minute block of time that you can use for any conversation, training, demonstration, or panel that you think folks in our movements would benefit from.

Some people will arrive with a set plan for a session they want to propose, and—most excitingly—many of you will also design sessions for Sunday based on a “We need to continue this conversation!” moment from Saturday. (The Board)

The theme for this year’s event was Building Local Power with Inclusive Politics.

We’re choosing to zero in on what it means to practice a more inclusive politics and think about ways that we can transform our democracy so that our people win and collectively thrive. Each plenary speaker at RootsCamp speaks to this theme with a unique approach, reflective of the many roles of our movement. (The Theme)

I want to be very clear: I did not attend RootsCamp2018, and in fact, I had forgotten it was happening until I started receiving excited updates from my nephew, who did attend. But I felt this was an important enough event to highlight, using tweets from attendees and articles I’ve found. It’s a(n un) conference I will definitely be considering for 2020.

A Boyhood Memory of World War II London

Jack, left, and Don, right in 1939

Tradition says that anyone born within the sound of Bow bells is a true Cockney. My husband Don certainly qualifies on that score: he was born at Lambeth, not far from the church of St. Mary-le-Bow. “Grandpa is walking, talking history,” I tell our grandchildren. Recently he shared his boyhood memories of wartime London with us.

“I had just turned nine three weeks before Britain declared war on Germany,” Don recalled. “The news was broadcast on the wireless that Sunday and the next day the teachers announced it at Lowther Road Primary School, which I attended.”

Soon after the announcement Don’s school was evacuated by train to Burnham, 30 miles from London. He was evacuated with his brother Jack, who was two years older. When the children arrived the organizers of the evacuation arranged for them to be placed in people’s homes. As Don and Jack were the last two evacuees, the organization didn’t have a place for them, so finally the boys were billeted with a family who lived in a row of cottages.

Asked what it was like living with strangers, Don replied, “It wasn’t very nice. My brother and I had to share a blanket, even though it was quite cold. The place was a real pigpen. After every meal what we didn’t eat was scraped back into a pot and we had it the next day. We went to the local school, which was set up for the evacuees to attend in the morning and the local children in the afternoon. My older brother Bob, who was 14 and therefore hadn’t been evacuated, came to visit us. After he told our mother about the conditions we were living in she complained bitterly, so a nicer house was found for us. When the owner found out she would be raking lice out of our hair, she said she would never have taken us in if she’d known. The war was little in evidence at that time, so our parents brought us back to London at Christmas 1939.”

After Don and Jack returned home, Don’s school was bombed. When the schools finally reopened nine months later, Don attended Barnes Central School with Jack.

All three boys helped their father dig an Andersen shelter in the back garden of their house. “He had to go down three feet to dig the six-by-eight feet shelter,” Don remembered. “The dirt we dug out was put back on top of the corrugated steel roof. It was damp in the shelter, which is how I developed bronchial problems. Dad never came down there, so after a while we simply stayed in our house during air raids. We lived in West London and the worst bombing was in the East End.”

Asked if he ever saw a dogfight between the RAF and the German planes in the searchlights at night, Don shook his head. “No, when the planes were dropping their bombs the searchlights were used to aid the anti-aircraft guns on the ground. We used to jump on our bicycles after an explosion to see if we could pick up any shrapnel, mainly from the big guns fired by the army. Later in the war we saw and heard the V-1 and V-2 rockets, also called ‘buzzbombs.’ The engine made a droning noise. One of them fell at the back of the Regency Cinema in Hammersmith, obliterating my dad’s truck that was parked there.”

When V-E Day was declared in May 1945 Don was nearly fifteen. “Everyone was overjoyed that the war was over. We all went to the West End and stayed around Trafalgar Square among the huge crowds.”

During the “austerity” that reigned in Britain until 1954, Don attended Kingston Technical College in Richmond-on-Thames, served two years in the Royal Air Force, and later spent some time working in Rhodesia. In 1965 he emigrated to America where he married, became a U.S. citizen, and brought up a family.

It’s easy to forget that from 1939 to 1942 it was not a foregone conclusion that the Allies would win the war. The threat of a German invasion of Britain was all too real. We Americans must remember that we owe Britain—standing alone against Germany until America entered the war in December 1941—our undying gratitude.

 

Don today

All my armor comes from you (an AIDS Walk Austin diary – there’s another match Wednesday)

So, first thing, there is another $100 match Wednesday, and another chance to win South By Southwest wristbands if I raise $250. If I get to $250, and if I win the wristbands (2 big ifs) I’ll put the names of all of today’s donors in my own drawing & give someone the other wristband, since I can’t use 2.

Here is my AIDS Walk Austin page.