Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: Dec. 18th through Dec. 24th

Welcome to The Moose Pond! The Welcomings posts give the Moose, old and new, a place to visit and share words about the weather, life, the world at large and the small parts of Moosylvania that we each inhabit.

Welcomings will be posted at the start of each week (in time for Sunday morning). To find the posts, just bookmark this link and Voila! (which is Moose for “I found everyone!!”).

The format is simple: each day, the first moose to arrive on-line will post a comment welcoming the new day and complaining (or bragging!) about their weather. Or mentioning an interesting or thought provoking news item. Or simply checking in.

So … what’s going on in your part of Moosylvania?

NOTE: The comments page will now split off after 20 or so left margin comments with the most recent comments on the current page. To see the older comments, scroll to the bottom of the page and use the link.


  1. Good “morning”, Motley Meese! The week begins …

    Morning low of minus 15 degrees in Madison WI with an expected daytime high of minus 5. Sunny skies are in the forecast.

    Have a great day, all y’alls!!

    • Weather update: 13 below windchill right now with the winds picking up – it will be 31 below by 9am. Windchill advisory until 10am tomorrow morning. On days like this, I thank the goddess that I am blessed with a warm place to live.

      • Wow… The wind was howling so fiercely around the house at 5 a.m. this morning that I had the same thought! I wondered how the poor souls in tents were faring. No one should be homeless.

  2. Good morning, Meese. Bizarrely, after our bone-chilling cold of the past few days, it’s warm, wet, and windy this morning under overcast skies. Current temp. is 58 F., going up to 59 F. Is this climate change? At least we’re getting some rain. Yesterday it was ice.

    Haven’t looked at the news yet. Need to carry on sending out my Yule newsletter after breakfast. A mysterious package arrived in the mail yesterday from Amazon: a nebulizer with accompanying small bottle of aromatic oil. I fired off an email yesterday asking the family if they’d sent me a present, but Elder Son said he didn’t even know what a nebulizer was. Daughter-in-Austin said once she received a hospital bed tray, bed rails, and a lift mechanism. She kept trying to return it to Amazon but they told her to keep it. That gave me my one and only laugh of the day!

    There’s no record of my ordering such a thing from Amazon, even accidentally. It’s the kind of thing that’s nice to have, but I wouldn’t have ordered it for myself.

    Haven’t looked at the news yet. Wondering whether I dare to. Hope everyone will have a good day in Moosylvania!

  3. Good morning Meese
    Raining here – melting the snow in the parking space behind the house, making a slushy pind – however there is no place for the water to run off to, and tonight we drop down to sub-zero temp – so I will have my very own ice skating rink out back :(

    my Sunday topic at Dkos – Rev Barber – and Moral Mondays – it’s kind of a review – as well as addressing current work – it still amazes me that much of “the left” ignores what is happening in NC and that most people I talk to – students, friends and co-workers have zero clue about the MM movement.

    I know I keep griping about this – but I refuse to stop.
    The next time somebody quotes MLK at me – I’m gonna holler – “he’s dead – Rev. Barber is alive….and what have you done to support him?”

    • The North Carolina situation is an emergency. While people are worrying about a DNC election that won’t happen until February – and pointing blame for our electoral college loss – our democracy is burning.

      Found on the Internets: Democrats can learn from the Rev. William Barber and the Moral Mondays fusion movement

      This movement is not a black movement (though it is being led by the NAACP and a black man). It’s not a white movement, a straight or a gay movement, or a Democratic or Republican movement. Rather, it is a shining example of what people can do when they are able to put divisions aside to work for the common good. This is a civil rights movement—which contrary to those who relegate the movement to history, is alive and well in North Carolina, a state which was a key center of civil rights activity in the past.

      When the example is right in front of us, it’s easy to wonder why there is not more attention being paid to what is working. Perhaps I can answer my own query—it gets scant attention from the national media because it is working. While they focus on all things Trump, the struggle for justice not only continues: it is growing.

      Thanks for bringing it AGAIN to everyone’s attention.

      • Saving this here to view later. I want to know how to bounce back after rejection, being rejected by people who I walk past in the grocery store, people who I probably talk to on the phone and email for my business. People who hate me, my non-white daughter and her friends … and my planet.

        • I doubt I will ever get used to being hated – nor will I be able to ignore it. The payback against haters is to work harder for justice.

          • Not something you get used to – any more than you get used to being hit or shot at – and ignoring it is a very bad idea, although not reacting to it sometimes is the safest. Sometimes. Living a decent, caring, life and working for justice is the best response and you are a stellar example of that. Wasn’t on GOS yesterday but will try to get to your diary today. Hope Dr. Barber’s movement does “go viral” in RL – the Fusion movement (only strong together, but VERY strong together) is the only thing that will not only keep us from sliding too far back, but can carry us forward to the next level. {{{Denise}}}

  4. Oh my gosh….. it is sooo cold! My heater just ran & ran…. I keep it at 68 when I’m up & about, and even so, wow. It’s supposed to stay below freezing till 11 or so.

    I’ve got beans cooking, going to make quinoa & vegetables this afternoon. Only walked about 4 miles yesterday, but I won’t be making up the distance today. With a high of 40, there’s just no way I’m spending a couple of hours outside. Song stuck in my head from yesterday, decidedly not Christmasy Ultraviolet from U2, but the guitar is so pretty.

    • No one loves beans more than I do, but I’ve got to the age at which it’s dangerous to eat them. Talk about howling winds! Last night we had vegetarian chili. Perhaps it was I who was responsible for the wind I heard howling around the corners of the house at 5 a.m. today.

      Right now I’ve got a bowl of lentil soup with roasted red peppers sitting in my fridge but I’m afraid to eat it for lunch. Perhaps tomorrow. In my pantry I’ve got white bean with kale soup, black bean soup, and an Italian-style soup that contains beans.

      The thing is, beans are a wonderful protein dish with ZERO cholesterol. Reducing cholesterol and the consumption of animal flesh are what I’m most interested in these days. Perhaps I should contemplate spending time in solitary confinement.

  5. Good morning, 27 and snowing in Bellingham. It’s interesting to see how elevation matters….much less snow just a few blocks downhill.

    The grand girls will be here tomorrow so I have a few packages to wrap today so they can have some anticipation fun.

    Best wishes to all on this snowy Sunday.

  6. Good morning, meese! Monday …

    It is -2 in Madison with an expected daytime high of 12. Sunny skies are in the forecast. The wind chill right now is -17 and, with the temperatures still dropping, the “waiting for the bus” temperature is expected to be -4 with a windchill of 22 below. I think the school closing cutoff is 30 below windchill so my daughter’s wish that school will be cancelled will not come true.

    A quick scan of the news tells me that it is pretty similar to the news of the past week, really, the past month and a half. People are acting shocked that the person who was so clearly unfit to be president is showing himself to be unfit! I am going to ration my outrage for the next 11 days by ignoring the day to day trumpeting and focusing on wrapping up 2016 projects and prepping for end of year accounting.

    Here is a fun story – a book taken out of a school library 122 years ago was returned by the “thief”s 77 year old granddaughter:

    The headmaster at Hereford Cathedral School, near the boundary between Wales and England, had been looking at his mail earlier this month when he noticed a package wrapped in brown paper addressed to him. Smith guessed immediately that the package contained a thick book — but it wasn’t until he read the note that came with it that he realized just how long that very book had been around.

    [Professor A.E. Boycott FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society)], the professor in question, had attended the school from 1886 to 1894. [The note writer Alice] Gillett is his 77-year-old granddaughter. She says she found the book while sorting through her collection after her husband’s death earlier this year.

    See all y’all later!

    • Wow – you are in nippy weathersville. We are a toasty warm 18 here – lol.

      Great report from Kim in NC on the arrests

  7. Good morning, Meese. Looking outside from my office window reminds me of a line from an Andy Williams song: “Quiet and blue like the sky/I’m hung over you.” It’s a dim sort of morning, with current temp. 29 F., going up to 35 F.

    The Electoral College meets today. Wish I believed in miracles.

    Wishing a good day to all at the Pond!

    • And we won’t even hear what they “decided” until January 6th!

      There will be no miracles because we can’t go back in time and encourage people to vote. Heck, our last flurry of rallies all talked about the awfulness of waking up hearing that Trump had been elected and none of that registered! I am not sure a time machine would change anything. And really, would you want to be Hillary Clinton “installed” by an Electoral College coup and face the wrath of 62 million deplorables – many of them armed? I think it is better to accept Trump as the constitutional president but not the popular choice for president and never our president.

      We must never allow him and his kind to be normalized. A couple of days ago, a pundit at the NY Times called Trump a “Russian poodle”. That is perfect framing – don’t accept that what he is doing is just fine, don’t stop mocking him and don’t stop calling him a loser. And never call him anything but “President” Trump.

  8. Short work week, the agency director gave us Friday & Monday off. It is ridiculously cold — for Texas. Remember that Saturday, till around 6, it was in the 70s. It never got out of the 30s yesterday, won’t get above freezing till midday today. My Christmas mix got to the segment with songs from the Indigo Girls Christmas album on the way in to work, that was nice.

  9. Yesterday started at 6 and so did today – going to 30s today (only barely made 20s yesterday) and sunny. Yesterday, even with having to sublime the snow/ice off the solar panels first, I got 7.6 KWHs – highest daily for the monh – and am hoping to at least do the same if not better today.

    I was totally offline yesterday so haven’t a clue what was going down where (including my fundraisers unfortunately) so need to do a lot of catching up today. Just as I was finishing my regular Sunday “chores” my younger son’s family showed up. They were actually on time which the rest of the group never is, so I got an hour of visiting with just the part of the family I see least. Older son’s family showed up an hour later and the difficult to classify part of the family, as usual, showed up half an hour after that. Lots of good food and visiting all around. The tree is decorated, there’s a wreath on my door, a nice “garland” of trees made by recycling old holiday cards hangs in the front window, and a string of tree ornaments with some real sleigh bells attached at the bottom hangs on my front porch. The kids played varying forms of Monopoly, decorated a GF-gingerbread house we ate for dessert, and ran around outside in the sunshine throwing frisbees at intervals of not longer than 15 minutes. Folks started talking about leaving around 5 (as the sun was going down) didn’t manage to actually get out the door until 7:30. It was a lovely visit and seems to get better every year.

    Need to read my work emails, deal with that, then head to GOS to catch up with my fundraisers if nothing else (and I expect I’ll manage a bunch else unless there’s something horrendous and/or time consuming in my work emails). Bright the day and wind to thy wings, Meeses. {{{HUGS}}}

    • Sounds like a lovely day, bfitz!

      Is Fayetteville in the mountains? We never made it up there during the four years my family lived in Little Rock. Well, for one thing, we didn’t have a car. Little Rock would occasionally get quite cold, but where you are it sounds cold and overcast a great deal.

      Hope you get some kilowatts today! It’s turned into a very sunny day here.

      • It was a lovely day. My younger son and family only come up once a year, so we arrange to have the “decorate the tree” party when they come. And as you might expect, my sons in their 40s get along much better than they did when they were kids at home with me. LOL

        As to mountains technically no. No mountain-building forces up here. Not much height relative to “real” mountains either. Fayetteville’s elevation ranges from a thousand to almost 15 hundred feet and is surrounded by hills that get up to maybe 17 hundred feet. Mostly forested (except where fire or clear-cutting has removed the forest which may or may not have been allowed to grow back. This has been a bad year for sunshine – as below, so above. We’re far enough from the coast we get the more extreme weather conditions, closer to the coast you get the ameliorating effects of a large body of water. :)

  10. Good morning, 38 and raining in Bellingham. I’m so glad to see the snow melt away! Yesterday morning I made myself just sit quietly where I could see the Christmas tree, watch the snow, listen to music and just “be.” It was a nice, giving me time to acknowledge the depth of my sadness, while also enjoying some seasonal cheer. Later in the day Ron cooked a good dinner for us, and our son and Heide helped me wrap packages. So we muddle on.

    The grand girls are old enough to sleep in at their home now, so we will go get them later and they will either help me with Christmas flowers, or we will go to the new Star Wars movie. They want to sew, but my concentration just isn’t up to the task so I’ll plan a sewing day for after Christmas.

    Thanks for being here everyone, and may your Monday have some pleasurable moments.

  11. Good morning, meese! Tuesday …

    It is 18 degrees in Madison with an expected daytime high of 32. Sunny skies are in the forecast.

    Tomorrow is Solstice and I am not prepared! It is a good thing that we celebrate rather low key – welcoming the light and thanking the goddess for our blessings. Having our holiday during the work week and school week has always been a challenge; when my daughter was younger I would keep her home but in high school she is likely to miss a test or an important lesson and it is not as easy.

    The electoral college met and affirmed the election of the Republican’s president. I was of two minds about the protests, recounts, and then the machinations surrounding the electors. I understand wanting to stop something so awful but we have to weigh carefully the consequences. IF the electors had broken with the winner of the various states, it would sow chaos in our electoral process. I firmly believe that if the world has not been destroyed by 2020 (big if), that Democrats have pretty good chance of winning another national election. But I don’t want an election night victory overturned by people as ignorant as the electors in Washington State and the freaking “conscience” voter in Hawaii. Amend the constitution to repeal the electoral college but don’t buy into “it’s okay to ignore the rules if it helps my side.” That is not “good trouble” – that is foolish and shortsighted. It is Republicanism!

    Now we can plan how we will fight back against the inevitable Republican overreach: first by supporting our current elected Democrats in their efforts, second by choosing our state and national party members wisely, and third by calling our representatives of both parties and making sure they know that there is no Republican mandate to take away people’s healthcare and retirement security and that we care about the rule of law and protecting the rights of minorities, including religious minorities.

    See all y’all later!

  12. Good morning, Moosekind. Frosty and fair here in NoVa, 19 F. now but going up to 39 F. later on. I have to get dressed in a minute, because Miss Pink Cheeks will be delivered here by her father very soon. Today we’re going to her cousin’s house to make cookies.

    There’s an interesting diary over at GOS this morning about how to form a resistance party against Thing. Thing’s pick for OMB director hates Social Security and Medicare and wants to bankrupt them. Yesterday I got so worried I started reading up about the top 10 foods to store for hard times: tinned wild Alaskan salmon, brown rice…can’t remember all of the rest, but I should think oatmeal and dried milk powder would be necessities.

    I admit it, my nature is to be pessimistic. I’ll shut up now.

    Wishing all a good day.

    • I saw an opinion piece in WaPo about the OMB pick and it is up in a tab to read later. I read about Mulvaney over the weekend and reported in the Moose open news thread about him. He is quite a piece of work! It is odd that Mr. 46% would want a deficit hawk teapartier as OMB because it will make it more difficult for him to get his tax cuts approved. Muvaney voted to default on our debt rather than raise the debt limit which makes the pick less shocking – the Republican’s president-elect said on the campaign trail that we should just walk away from our debt just like he did with his! You wonder how his Wall Street friends feel about that.

  13. It actually didn’t freeze last night. Still a bit nippy to us Texans — I had a big wool scarf over my still-damp hair on the way in. Lots of links today. First, Liam Neeson is the most terrifying Santa Claus ever. Then, my friend Jim invites everyone to join the Resistance. (and it’s on FB, so I can’t link to it, but here’s the best paragraph: Give this day to your highest principles. Honor human beings over systems. Remember that the land under your feet is the common earth and is no one’s property. Remember the person across every boundary line is not an alien, but is our one human family.) — and that started Steve Earle’s The Revolution Starts Now playing in my head. Because these words:

    The revolution starts now
    When you rise above your fear
    And tear the walls around you down
    The revolution starts here
    Where you work and where you play
    Where you lay your money down
    What you do and what you say
    The revolution starts now
    Yeah the revolution starts now

    Have a beautiful, revolutionary day.

    • I am having a bit of a problem with the word “revolution” these days because it reminds me of Bernie Sanders and how the puristas he encouraged in his revolution have irreparably damaged our country and will literally kill people. Watching his tweets about the current mess set my teeth on edge. This was an excellent retort to one of them yesterday:

      I see a lot of people use “resistance” to describe what we need to do but that word does not quite work for me – sounds too much like French freedom fighters sneaking around hedgerows with weapons (I am French but very much non-violent). “Witness” sounds too passive – “activist” too generic. I will have to ponder it.

      • I think I was inoculated against the term “revolution” by the BSers because I’ve loved the Steve Earle song for so long – and it has a completely different way of looking at the word. They weren’t able to ruin it for me.

  14. 23 at dawn and heading for mid 40s – sunny again and yesterday my 4K system passed the old 2.5K system’s total generation for Dec 2014, so that’s progress. And since I was still on the 2.5K system through April 2015, even with this cloudy year, I’ve generated a little more total for 2016 than 2015. More progress. And we start heading back into the light after tomorrow. The seasons are progressing as they should.

    Rs are Rs – I never expected them to do anything but what they did. Which keeps me from having the sort of last-ditch, prayed for a miracle crash and burn some folks had yesterday. Alt-Left is Alt-Left. I never expected them to do anything but what they did either. As with the few Rs we might be able to use in the coming years, the Alt-Left are not on our side. We need to check them out – find what goal they are fighting for that we want and then put our stronger-together might behind them to achieve it. They of course will take credit for “leading” but as someone once pointed out, it’s phenomenal how much you can get done if you don’t care who takes credit for it. It’s the way Hillary’s always gotten things done – what she refers to as “finding common ground” – what she doesn’t say is “let’s find common ground” to do it though. She finds the common ground and says “hey, you’ve got a great idea – can I help you with it?” And that is the way that we must work as much as it galls us to do so because that is the only way we’ll block the worst of the damage and make any progress at all.

    I’m soloing today and still haven’t caught up from being gone Friday – one of the reasons I don’t like to take vacation days – but will check back later. Bright the day and wind to thy wings, Meeses. {{{HUGS}}}

  15. Still morning in Bellingham, 44 and sunny. I really overslept this morning but I needed the rest so the day will be as it is. We had fun with the girls yesterday, ending with a Christmas “tea” (bagel sandwiches, fruit, and lemon cake) and then we all went to the Star Wars movie. It was loud and fun. So more Christmas errands today, and with the warmer temps I can enjoy some flower fun in the garage. The water my collected greens were in had frozen so I’ll see what survived.

    I don’t have time to read this now but it looks interesting so I’ll share the links. I’m still searching for the right words to use to counter the tRump mess, but regardless I want to find an effective way make my voice heard.



  16. Well, I do like the word “Resistance,” because it reminds me of WWII France. It doesn’t mean blowing up railway lines and downing telegraph poles in this context. It means showing up at town halls, insisting on face-to-face meetings at local offices and Capitol Hill offices, and every nonviolent means we can employ of voicing our opposition to Rethug proposals. Twitter and Facebook are part of it.

    If I weren’t a thoroughly nasty woman, which I am, my mind would stop making up rude rhymes about it all. But there it is.

  17. The CBO says you can’t say that a junk insurance policy is insurance:

    “The CBO blog post adds a new wrinkle to the debate, by making clear that lawmakers won’t be able to claim that they will protect the millions of people that stand to lose insurance with an Obamacare repeal if the coverage that comes with their ACA replacement is significantly less generous or wide-ranging.”

    ” “What CBO is saying is that they’ll count people buying these skimpy insurance policies with refundable tax credits as being uninsured,” Larry Levitt, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told TPM over an email. “This will make it harder for Republicans to say that their proposals are not increasing the number of people uninsured. CBO is making clear that what matters is not only how many people are buying an insurance policy, but also what those insurance policies cover.” ”

    [CBO Lays Down Key Ground Rules For Scoring Obamacare Replacement Plans]

  18. Here we go … something concrete:

    “The super PAC that poured nearly $200 million into trying to elect Hillary Clinton president is remaking itself as a permanent center of opposition to the impending Trump administration, with the long-term aim of helping the Democratic Party claw back voters it lost in the November election.

    Priorities USA Action is merging with a nonprofit voting rights group called Every Citizen Counts to form an expanded organization with an ambitious agenda, according to veteran Democratic strategist Guy Cecil, who ran both organizations and will lead the merged group.”

    “The organization is taking on a broad portfolio, assuming tasks that traditionally are in the purview of the national party.

    It will continue the voters rights work started by Every Citizen Counts, which financed lawsuits in states such as North Carolina and Wisconsin and registered 425,000 voters. And it aims to be an incubator to help spread local Democratic models, such as the work of Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, who has sought to expand the party’s reach in that state.”

    [Priorities USA positions itself as center of gravity for the left in the Trump era – The Washington Post]

    The Stacey Abrams work in Georgia is huge. Good for them!

  19. Good morning, meeses! Wednesday …

    It is 27 degrees in Madison with an expected daytime high of 30. Mostly cloudy skies are in the forecast.

    Happy Solstice to you all! This is my favorite holiday on the wheel of the year; it is the reminder that even in the darkest of times the light will always come back. Here in the frozen north we will have a few days of back and forth on the daylight then on the 27th, it will begin coming back steadily.

    Lisa Thiel:

    Chorus: Enter the night and you’ll find the light,
    That will carry you to your dreams.
    Enter the night, let your spirit take flight,
    In the field of infinite possibilities

    On the longest night we search for the light,
    And we find it deep within.
    Open your eyes to embrace what is wise,
    And see the light of your own soul shining.

    Wrap up in the cloak of starry darkness my child,
    And you’ll find the center of all things.
    For from this space of the deepest dark place,
    Life Eternal does spring.

    So when you find that spark
    When you dream in the dark,
    Hold it close to your heart and know.
    All that you see is all that can be
    When you give birth to the dreams of your soul.


    We search for the light and it is coming from deep within us – embrace your own wisdom and spread the light from your soul where it is needed!

    See all y’all later!

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