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.



    • Woo hoo!!!

      My Identity Can Get Me Killed
      Denise Oliver Velez, The Daily Kos
      In this beautifully written essay for Daily Kos, activist and author Denise Oliver Velez takes the reader on a journey through the history of her family, from her great-great-grandmother who was born into slavery, to her grandfather who lived through the hell of the Reconstruction-era in the south, to her parents, who faced the indignities of segregation and discrimination. Velez offers up a moving, vivid portrait of the generational impact of racism.

      I have that list up in one of my tabs and will probably bookmark it.

    • Congratulations! That was a powerful diary and hopefully will now reach a much wider audience of the gormless people who “just didn’t think” about the consequences of their vote (or non-vote). Unfortunately we’ll never reach the Alt Left – your life is not as important as their “purity” sigh. But there are a lot more of the former than the latter even though the latter are louder.

      {{{Denise}}} Blessed Solstice and stay warm.

  1. Good frosty Solstice morning, Meese! It’s fair and 22 F. right now in NoVa, going up to 46 F. today.

    The news is always terrible. To take your mind off, do read Jan’s Solstice post, it’s wonderful.

    Miss Pink Cheeks suddenly decided to she wanted a sleepover with us, so she stayed the night. We had to skip her bath so we could watch the 2 and 1/2-hour Harry Potter movie, the first one. I’m hoping to get her to read the Harry Potter books.

    Daughter-from-Austin is in town, so she and SIL will be coming to tea at 4:00. I have to scurry around after lunch to put together a low-carb tea of mini-fruit skewers, almond mini-muffins containing no sugar, and marinated shrimp on cucumber slices. Weird.

    Lots of chores to do before Darling Niece comes over with Nora’s cousin for coffee and hot chocolate. Wishing a good day to all!

  2. Woke up at 3:45, never really got back to sleep. I make my tea really strong to begin with, and I put 7 more teaspoons of instant in it…… wonder if that’ll be enough. Brain is not really engaged. I nearly hit a coyote on the way in — don’t really see them in my part of town, they’re more a suburban thing. And it took me 10 minutes to figure out that’s what it was.

    • Yikes! Do they have long, wavy tails? Because I wonder if what I saw trotting down the sidewalk one day was one of them rather than a loose dog. I thought at the time it might be a coyote.

      • I just had a glimpse, it was like a big, gray dog but too shaggy to be a pet. We have a lot of them on the ‘burbs, like some neighborhoods people can’t have outdoor pets

  3. Happy Solstice and any other holy day you wish to celebrate to all da Meeses! 29 at daybreak, pretty much rose to the freezing point at the actual Solstice (as I understand it for central time it was 6:44 am) and rising. Heading for 50 and partly cloudy today “they” say although sunny so far.

    Ignoring the news mostly – just like I ignored as much as I could of Nixon, Reagan, Daddy Bush, and W (and the Rs witchhunt of Bill Clinton) – as in knew about it in general but didn’t go into the details. Energy going into channeling Healing Energy just about everywhere and doing my community fundraiser stuff. Right now everything is in our minds – we’ve worked out the logical consequences and are giving ourselves anxiety attacks. The reality will be worse in some cases, better in others – but it will be real and we can do something about it. Reality is the best medicine for anxiety attacks.

    Got a meeting to go to and I still haven’t caught up from Friday as I keep getting interrupted every time I try. sigh. But today and tomorrow are it. What isn’t done by 4:30 pm tomorrow isn’t going to be addressed until next year! Bright the day and wind to thy wings, Meeses. {{{HUGS}}}

  4. Good morning, 42 and cloudy in Bellingham. The snow and ice is nearly gone and the plants are rising up again. My garden has been icy and frozen.

    I finished shopping for everyone yesterday, so today I’ll wrap gifts and start focusing on food. I’ve tried to make everything more simple this year but it’s still a lot to do! But I’m grateful the family wants to be here so I need to keep doing my part.

    I had a lovely surprise from Sophie yesterday. She made a carefully sculpted icicle ornament for our tree…..so sweet.

    Wishing you all a blessed Solstice.

  5. Christmas message from the President of Ireland (wow, I wish we could trade — and that won’t be the last time I say that over the next 4 years). It’s all great — but especially this:

    Our solidarity is the heart beat of our society. Our bonds are stronger than we think, and stronger than that which at times divides us. The complex world in which we live challenges us, but it does not pose greater challenges than those faced and overcome by previous generations, or by brave movements of the oppressed in world history.

    • That book has been really, really popular at my library. People’s heads will explode when they hear about this. Too bad. I hope it does really well.

  6. Good morning, meese! Thursday …

    It is 30 degrees in Madison with an expected daytime high of 32. Sunny skies are in the forecast.

    North Carolina is working hard to solidify itself as “joke of small d democracy”. Attempts to repeal HB2 failed but the Republicans did manage to get Charlotte to repeal their anti-discrimination ordinance in a Lucy and Football move. Charlotte will be able to put their ordinance back in place – it has no effect because HB2 overrides it – so there is no damage except to the reputations of the various people who trusted Republicans. Don’t, just don’t.

    I continue to read about the absolute crisis we will have in healthcare on January 20th once the ACA is repealed and Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood is cancelled. People need to stop worrying about the Republican president’s conflicts of interest and focus on the Republican president signing into law the Republican Congress’ 10 year wish list to make as many Americans as sick and as poor as possible. The biggest crisis is not that a vulgar talking yam will be president but that he will be a Republican. And those who were depending on the deficit hawks in the Freedom Caucus to rein in the profligate spending needed for trillion dollar tax cuts, fuggidaboudit. Deficits only matter when Democrats are in the White House – the Freedom Caucus has given its approval that new legislation only needs 50% funding and that the remaining 50% can be “down the road” in increased revenue from tax cuts! That same elusive revenue that trickle-down economics has been promising since 1980 and which has yet to appear.

    See all y’all later!

    • OK, my head is spinning. The NC Rethugs didn’t repeal HB2, but they did repeal Charlotte’s anti-GLBT discrimination legislation, but Charlotte’s anti-GLBT discrimination legislation is still in place?

      • The Democratic city council in Charlotte repealed their anti-discrimination ordinance based on the promise that HB2 would be repealed. But the Republicans did not repeal HB2 so the state discriminatory laws are still in force! The Charlotte ordinance had been overridden by HB2 anyway and they could not enforce it but it just shows how you can’t trust Republicans – ever. I am sure Charlotte will put their ban back in place in the off chance that the people of North Carolina call out the cowardly Republicans and insist that HB2 be repealed. In the meantime, it is status quo – businesses are boycotting North Carolina and the state is losing billions of dollars.

        Here is a link to AP’s recounting of the situation: HB2

  7. Good morning, Meese. Another fair morning in NoVa, with current temp. at 35 F., going up to 49 F.

    Woke up at 5:30 a.m. thinking of all I have to do today, tomorrow, and Saturday. Christmas is too much work for women! Getting nails done with Daughter-from-Austin at 10:30 this morning. We had a nice tea time yesterday, even though she and her husband were half an hour late getting here.

    Still waking up with a feeling of dread about the future. Wishing all at the Pond a good day!

  8. Thursday that is also Friday. And Monday won’t be Monday, it’ll still be the weekend. Nice. Weather is back to normal — no more freezes in the forecast. We might get some rain this weekend, which will be nice. There was a wildfire in Bastrop yesterday (the place that had a devastating one a few years ago, big enough to make national news) that made people nervous, but it got knocked down after a couple of hours.

    This “1st Amendment Protection Act” thing is just sickening. I don’t even begin to know what to do about it. I hope someone does. Meanwhile, preparing for a busy day at work, since about half that staff are out.

  9. Wow. It turns out someone I know was at the KristkindlMarkt in Berlin. He did music at my church for years, he’s an amazing musician. He survived, 2 of his friends didn’t. Copied from another friend’s FB:

    Russell was at the Christmas Market in Berlin when the truck drove through the crowd. Two of his friends, not a dozen feet from him, were killed outright; two others are hospitalized with serious injuries. Russell was hurt – his hands are damaged and he is a pianist …. but Hubertus, Russell’s partner, let us know Russell will be OK physically eventually; emotionally is perhaps another thing altogether.

  10. 23 at dawn heading for upper 40s and sunny again. (Yesterday we got above 60. Weird weather.) I should top 100 KWHs for the month today. No way I’m going to match Dec 2015’s 200, but if I get to 150 that will be double the 75 I got in Dec 2014 with the 2.5K system. (Tells me 2014 was a cloudy year, too.) Wonder how much of the increased depression we’ve been seeing (which unfortunately leads to the kind of bad decision making that elects Rs – be it opting for somebody who tells them what to think or just opting out of the electoral system completely) is due to the cloudier years – more climate-change exacerbated SAD.

    If I wasn’t afraid it would open a back door to stuff I can’t deal with, I’d download the Chrome Trump-to-kittens app BFSkinner posted on GOS the other day. It doesn’t soften the harsh news, but at least you don’t have to look at Thing’s face. If I ever trust the media again, which I haven’t since about 1994 maybe 1993, it will be only after we’ve somehow managed to break up that business nastiness of 6 RW corporations own 90% of the media and influence most of the rest. And since I don’t trust it, I don’t watch it. Much better for my tummy.

    Gotta get the Fall 2017 classes entered today before we shut down for the rest of the year. Starting tomorrow I get to play “retired” for 11 days. heh. Bright the day and wind to thy wings, Meeses. {{{{HUGS}}}}

  11. Good morning, 43 and partly cloudy in Bellingham. Well I have another day of possibilities ahead, which is my new way looking at the list that seems to just grow longer. Oh well…….Christmas will be celebrated regardless, and yes Diana, it is a working holiday for women. RonK will be the main cook for Christmas Eve dinner, and our sons will cook on Christmas Day but yours truely is the keeper (and therefore the writer) of the master to do list. My head hurts :)

    I am just skimming the major news stories and even that adds to my head/heart ache. Linda Greenhouse, at the NYT says the incoming cabinet is the Invasion of the Agency Snatchers. The Wa Po article, Why the attorney general didn’t stop the FBI’s bombshell Clinton letter is definately a headache inducing read. But this article by Jesse Ferguson, at Time, Donald Trump and the Republicans Have No Mandate is a brief reminder of the strength we still have as Dems is we can find our way to use it.

    Time for some coffee and some relaxing music. Best wishes to all!

    • Thanks for those links. I put them in Pocket to read later except for the Comey one because I am not able to deal with that yet. You wonder what makes a man so arrogant that he allows his hatred for one family override the well-being of our nation and probably our world. Everything that happens, every person who dies needlessly because of lack of medical care, every person killed in the inevitable wars of choice that will be launched, every person racially profiled and gunned down in Jeff Sessions’ America, will be laid at his feet. James Comey – the destroyer.

  12. Good morning, meese! Friday …

    It is 25 degrees in Madison with an expected daytime high of 34. Light to moderate snow is in the forecast.

    I have some projects to do this morning so I can’t even read the news. This is a busy time of year for my business and the inevitable “emergency” projects really wreak havoc on my normally pretty laid back schedule.

    Hope everyone has a great day!

  13. Good morning, Meese! It’s 8 o’clock here in NoVa, hubby is still asleep, and the dog is snoring in his bed. Currently it’s 32 F., going up to 46 F., under a dim sky—the blue is covered by a white haze of cloud.

    Daughter-from-Austin and SIL are landing in Heathrow about now for a three-hour layover before heading to Munich. It was really nice to see them Wednesday and Thursday.

    Still a lot to do to get ready but will arrive there eventually. Decided to skip making the yellow vegetable as someone is bringing spaghetti squash. Isn’t that yellow? I dunno, it’s something we never eat.

    Chuckling inwardly at the idea that Thing can’t get anyone to perform at his InHogYouration. I’ll be watching the Un-Augural Concert, if there is one. Hope everyone will have a good day!

    • I have a few articles up in tabs (that I have not read yet) with people chortling over the Republican’s president-elect being unable to find A-List talent. Everyone hates him; what did he expect, that winning the electoral college with 46% of the vote would somehow make him more likeable? To the contrary, it makes him more despised. I saw a few Tweets earlier in the week talking about performers who had tentatively agreed then backed out when their fans threatened to boycott them. Anyone – anyone – who gives any semblance of normalcy to this presidency will be shunned forever.

  14. Was nice to sleep in. Going to buy groceries & take a long walk — that sounds like enough ambition for today. My brother sent me a rice cooker, so I should make my Christmas meal using it.

  15. It’s above freezing is all I know but so overcast I can’t drive yet – need to pick up some stuff we used up last Sunday before I can do my weekend “normal” cooking and baking. They left me the turkey carcass and I’ve finally got the chance to actually put it on to make stock. Also finally washed all the sheets we used for tablecloths and have them hung up by the fire. Except for not going to work, next week will be normal. heh.

    Ignoring the news as much as possible. Called Womack’s office yesterday about voting NO on the “Social Security Act of 2016” – staffer tried to weasel by saying the bill wasn’t going to be voted on since Congress wasn’t in session and wouldn’t be until 2017. I told her it would be brought back and I want Womack to vote against it under whatever name or number – that my aunts had paid into it from the time they were 15, I’d paid into it from the time I was 15, my son’s paid into it since he was 15 – It’s our money, hands off. She said she’d give the Congressman my message. (Which tells you all you need to know about which way Womack will vote.) I get a much more positive response from Senator Boozman’s office about blocking it in the Senate. How low we have fallen. sigh. (Although actually, for an R, Boozman’s not bad – that is to say he could be a lot worse. Like my other Senator, Tom Cotton.)

    I think it’s starting to lighten up a bit so I’d best do my running around, or rather driving around, while I can. Bright the day and wind to thy wings, Meeses. {{{HUGS}}}

    • Keep at Boozman!! We need to find three Republican Senators who don’t want their constituents to die. I think maybe Susan Collins, possibly Rob Portman whose state of Ohio took the Medicaid money and whose constituents will suffer significantly … I am not sure who else we could get. I am going to hammer away at Ron Johnson when Congress comes back into session.

      • Oh yeah, I’m going to keep calling as long as we need to. One of the 3rd party people – which 3rd party I’m not even sure of – pointed out quite firmly on Social Security and Medicare “It’s not the government’s money. It’s the workers’ money” – by phrasing it could be either Libertarians or Socialists. If we’re getting people to notice that the programs are paid for out of our paychecks – totally separate revenue stream from the general fund – we may get enough Rs calling their congresscritters to give us more of an edge than just 3 Senators. I’m hoping anyway. And basically I think that is the route to go with the Rs – they don’t give a damn about people dying (they always assume it won’t be them), but getting them to realize and say, “Hey! That’s MY money! Hands’ off!” could make all the difference.

  16. Good morning, 36, dark and raining in Bellingham. My grand girls came to my rescue yesterday, so today’s list is much more manageable. We even had time to enjoy a Christmas lunch at the bookstore. I was feeling so blue and so behind I wasn’t going to see them but they intervened and I’m very happy they did.

    So today’s priority is making a few flower arrangements. I’m using all white flowers, with greens from the garden and just a few holly branches for color. And I have dried hydrangeas and pine cones to add more interest. I hope to set the table today too, and I want to bake one batch of cookies, but that will prolly happen tomorrow.

    I know our Christmas will be festive and fun, but it’s been a difficult holiday season for all of us this year.

  17. Good morning, meese! Saturday …

    It is 34 degrees in Madison right now and that is the expected daytime high. Mostly cloudy skies are in the forecast. We got a couple of inches of snow yesterday but nothing serious.

    Apparently the “one president at a time” thing is bothering the Republican’s president-elect quite a bit. The Obama Administration rightly recognized that the two-state solution for the Israeli Palestinian conflict was being harmed by the current Israeli government’s settlement policy. They did not vote for the resolution condemning the settlements but refused to veto it. The United States is a staunch ally of Israel and supplies them with military aid – but you don’t do your friends any favors by enabling their bad behaviour. And you don’t reward meddling in foreign policy by the incoming administration by just standing aside and saying “oh, well”.

    Still too much crap to sort out related to what will happen to us under the Republican’s Unified Government led by the thin-skinned short-fingered vulgarian. I can usually work through problems and settle on, at least, an approach to deal with it. But there is so much coming in so fast that my brain is overloaded – the enormity of what white identity voters did to our country is still sinking in.

    I have some projects to work on this morning while my clients are not working and have to get to it.

    See all y’all later!

    • Trump gish-galloped his way to the White House and the Rs are hoping to gish-gallop away all our progress of the last 100 years (or so – depending on which group of Deplorables you’re talking about). This is why I keep saying over at GOS “only strong together but VERY strong together”. What we’ve accomplished is the castle. We were told of the besieging army coming on 11/9 – and we’ve got until 1/20/17 to prepare for it. They are going to surround the castle and try to take down everything they can. Leveling it is their ultimate goal. We together can have lookouts at all the high points and defenders on all the walls. We together can fight the battle in front of us trusting that others of our group are fighting the battle in front of them – and that there are those behind us to step up and take over to give us the occasional break – or fill a gap when someone falls. They will take us down if we keep running as a group to wherever the latest noise/headline or tweet is coming from/about. So stay firm at your station – be it voting rights, Social Security, environment – and trust that together we will preserve the castle, even if they manage to breech the first set of walls.

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