Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Oh, Good

My day so far:

The good news is that it’s Friday and things are looking up!

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Photo by Ibrahim Mohamed on Unsplash

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More Snow

Another storm is headed our way, complete with non-negligible amounts of snow. I like winter but the thought of going for a walk without a big coat and opening a window to the scent of flowers is… nice.

Winter lingered so long in the lap of Spring that it occasioned a great deal of talk.

— Bill Nye

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Photo by Charles Chen on Unsplash

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The weather is cold here, there’s still snow everywhere, and I’ve developed a weird eye twitch from all the computing. Time to head over to D.C. and see the cherry blossoms, I think. Feel free to join me!


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Photo by Yan Liu on Unsplash

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“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

― Andy Warhol

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Photo by Kama Tulkibayeva on Unsplash

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Our Time

COVID was declared a pandemic on 3-11-20. Photos and quotes capture the moment

(March 11, 2020) “WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock, and we are deeply concerned by alarming levels of severity and inaction. We have made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.”

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 

— J.R.R. Tolkien

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Photo by Werner Sevenster on Unsplash

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Today is Harriet Tubman Day. Who was she and why do we celebrate her?  

Harriet Tubman: Facts, Underground Railroad & Legacy

Harriet Tubman was an escaped enslaved woman who became a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, leading enslaved people to freedom before the Civil War, all while carrying a bounty on her head. But she was also a nurse, a Union spy and a women’s suffrage supporter.

When I was young we lived across the street from a mansion. A massive Victorian from the 1870s, it had a wrap-around porch and beautifully kept grounds. Flowers bloomed behind wrought iron fences and mulberries spilled over onto the sidewalk. One Halloween, the woman who owned the house took at look at my ghost and my brother’s Batman and invited us inside. (Don’t worry, this isn’t a scary story.) 

We were greeted by a wide foyer, elegant wooden paneling, high ceilings and chandeliers. Our neighbor gave us a brief tour and then, perhaps looking through our costumes to the skin underneath, said, “Once upon a time, this house was part of the Underground Railroad.”

Based on the age and location of the house I don’t think that’s likely to be true, but I didn’t know that at the time. The story helped bring to life the books I’d read about runaways, slave catchers and the transformation of a young girl with a disability into a savior of her people.

How to Experience the Lasting Legacy of Harriet Tubman

Pressing my hands against the bricks of the home Harriet Tubman built, I closed my eyes and listened to the wind rustling between the leaves of the trees surrounding this place where she lived and worked as a free woman, awaiting a message from the Underground Railroad conductor and Union spy.

She continues to be an inspiration and so to her, to my ancestors and all those who braved so much during that harsh and terrible time: thank you.

“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you… Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.”

— Harriet Tubman

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Photo of the Harriet Tubman Mural by Kirt Morris on Unsplash

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It has been a year since Russia invaded Ukraine. Ukrainians have been stronger, more determined, courageous, resourceful and resilient than any external observers expected. The fact that they have to be these things is terrible. The fact that they continue to be these things is glorious. 

Today, a collection of photo retrospectives and readings about the conflict and what’s at stake.

Time for me to donate to one of the many organizations working to help those affected by this war. World Central Kitchen remains one of my favorites.

Glory to Ukraine!

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Photo by Daria Volkova on Unsplash

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Lesson Learned

The leading edge of a weather system is overhead, and we’ve been told to expect snow, sleet, a wintry mix, and a heavy dose of freezing rain. Fun, right?

I’m optimistic that our heat and power will hold out, but on the off chance that it does not, I’m going to charge my devices, start the fireplace, and post today’s entry now.

Just in case.

“All you have to do is to pay attention; lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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Some things take longer than expected. Today’s plan involved a project that was expected to take two hours, and instead took five. And that’s ok. Mr Man was productive, I was social, and a good time was had by all.

In keeping with the theme, we picked up the mail on the way home and found a postcard that had made its way here to Canada from Port Lockroy, in the British Antarctic Territory (how cool is that?). Dated Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2022. 

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Photo by Ian Parker on Unsplash

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tl;dr Mr Man has mad shopping mojo.

Those who know me know that I am not a big shopper. Maybe I’m hard to fit or just hard to please, but shopping trips typically mean returning home empty-handed after hours of “maybe” and “nope, sorry” and ”almost, but.” Frustrating, made doubly so by the fact that I only shop when I really need something. Like an outfit for a fancy writers’ gala.

So when Mr Man and I headed out to search for black-tie-worthy wear last week, my expectations were low. Typically, we go shopping for me and I find exactly nothing, but Mr Man magically stumbles upon that thing he wasn’t even looking for in the perfect color and fit, no hassle necessary. I call it his shopping mojo.

This time, he offered to transfer his mojo to me.

It doesn’t work that way, I said. Magic isn’t something you can just hand off to someone else, like an ice cream sandwich or a toaster. I wish, but no.

Ok, he said, but let’s just go see what’s out there. I’m sure we’ll find something that will work. 

I agreed, (not so) secretly braced for potential disappointment.

But then a miracle occurred! The dress I saw online was actually in stock at the store around the corner. It fit. And it was on sale, as was the matching necklace. Unpossible! For what was possibly the first time ever, I had an excellent shopping experience.

I remained unconvinced about the magic mojo, though. Pure coincidence, I said. Or at least, just scale-balancing after my previous bad shopping karma. It can’t last, surely.

And I still needed shoes to go with the dress.

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Today, we went out again, this time on the hunt for that most elusive of prizes, the cute yet (relatively) comfortable dress shoe.

Not a chance, I thought. I mean, I found some possibilities online and they looked good, but would they be in stock when we got to the store? Would they feel as good as they looked? Would the heel be manageable, the color match, my feet agree that three years in slippers was long enough?

I don’t know about that last bit but we got to the store and there they were: the perfect shoes, elegant and comfortable (relatively), with a low yet still stylish heel. (Chances of tripping on my way up to the stage? Minimal, and that’s really all I can ask for.) While they did not come in silver (as a sci-fi writer this did, I admit, cause some sadness) they were available in always versatile black. 

Mr Man’s mojo had struck again. And as I was about to check out, Mr Magic had one more spell up his sleeve. 

Look, honey, he said, here’s the same style in an even cooler pattern. There’s only one pair left but I think it’s your size?

It was. And because Mr Man’s mojo is top notch, that funky cool pattern was also on sale. Now I have an outfit I feel good in and I didn’t have to drain my Gringotts account to do it.

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And that is how I discovered that you don’t have to be born with magic. It can also be shared. 

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Photo by xandtor on Unsplash

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