Trump and the Debate
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Click on picture for higher resolution.

According to the Washington Post, the real reason Donald Trump skipped last night’s debate was he thought the first six debates were more than enough, and he had won them all. He may very well be right that not attending won’t hurt him in the polls — we’ll just have to see how many of his supporters participate in the Iowa caucus. He certainly has succeeded in making the race interesting. Even I started paying attention.


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I know people who can relate to this. :)


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Voter Depression?

Do you know anyone who would agree with this cartoon?


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Motivational Quotes

I read an interesting reaction to my post It’s More Fun Being the Painter. One commenter/fellow blogger wrote about it and received this comment:

Jean has the superior air of someone who has been privileged as well as lucky. Anyone who believes they have control over their life is delusional.

Ah, apparently she isn’t motivated by the quotes:

It is more fun to be the painter than the paint.


If you want your story to be magnificent, begin by realizing you are the author, and every day is a new page.

I do find them motivating. When life bops me on the head, quotes like these lift my spirits and remind me I’m not helpless, that life can still be an adventure. I mostly don’t use them very much, but this last year I dealt with shingles in my left eye, a separate eyesight problem, and an every-two-years DEXA scan that showed my regular efforts at the Y on the leg/hip machine hasn’t stopped my left hip from sliding down into the almost osteoporotic range.

One has to make decisions. I noticed the vision in my left eye was worse shortly after the shingles, but the local doctor said it wasn’t from the shingles, it was just a cataract. So I went to the cataract specialist in Santa Fe and he said, no, the cataract in that eye was no worse than the one in my right eye. I needed to talk to their retinal specialist about maculoschisis, the Swiss-cheezy-looking part of my macula in the picture below. The layers of the retina have split apart.


The only correction for it would be a vitrectomy, where they take the vitreous fluid out of your eye, which has its own risks, so we decided to wait and see if it gets worse. That was last October, and I’ll see that doctor again in April. I also have my regular exam here in a month, so I should also find out something then. All I can do is keep my fingers crossed, let them know if things get noticeably worse, and focus my energy and attention on something else.

I did a lot of research about my eye, and also about osteopenia/osteoporosis. The usual recommendation for OP is that I start taking medicine to avoid fractures, but I had trouble years ago when they wanted me to take some, so I’m going to say no unless I start getting fractures. I don’t want to be foolish about it, so I’ve tweaked my diet some and have made a lot of changes to the exercises I’m doing. I’ve joined the National Osteoporis Foundation support group and have gotten a lot of good ideas there. It’s been reassuring that there are a lot of non-drug things I can do to decrease the chances of breaking vertebrae or a hip. There are no guarantees, and the numbers aren’t that bad yet — only a 3% chance of a hip fracture in the next ten years, an 11% of any fracture — but the numbers have been getting steadily worse and I want to know I’ve played my part well.

So for me motivational quotes aren’t about trying to control life, it’s about handling the inevitable bumps in the road with good cheer. Have I been privileged and lucky? Of course. Compared to most of the people in the world, all of us bloggers have been. All the more reason to appreciate what I have now while I still have it and not complain when things don’t go perfectly. By now I have a number of tools to help me do that, and some motivational quotes are towards the top of the list. Not everyone likes this approach to life, and that’s fine too. It’s not about being better or worse, it’s about what works for each of us. What works for you?


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More Good Timing

We had a light snow down here tonight — less than an inch — but Andy, Beate, and Tim had a spectacular morning on their hike yesterday. (The snow at the top of their hike was about three feet deep. Click on the pictures for higher resolution.)

Andy and Tim

Andy and Tim

Beate and Tim

Beate and Tim






Thank you, Beate, for most of the pictures!

As it turned out, they timed the hike almost perfectly to catch the sunshine. On their way down it started to cloud up, and by the time they got to the bottom the top was completely clouded over. How’s that for luck?


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How True

We never know the quality of someone else’s life, though we seldom resist the temptation to assume and pass judgement.
—Tami Hoag

How true!


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Hurrah for Doing Nothing!
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David Dudley would agree with that. In his article In Case of Blizzard, Do Nothing he writes,

A snowstorm rewards indolence and punishes the go-getters, which is only one of the many reasons it’s the best natural disaster there is.

His article also says,

In the winter of 1985 my hometown, Buffalo, was engulfed in a blizzard — not an uncommon occurrence for the region, which is justly famed for epic snows. But this was a big one, and the city’s blustery Irish-American mayor, Jimmy Griffin, was at pains to persuade people to stop trying to go about their business as conditions deteriorated. He urged Buffalonians to “relax, stay inside and grab a six-pack,” which must be the best advice any elected official ever gave the public in an emergency situation.

tammy would agree with the part about staying home. Her latest post is about people who do go out and endanger their lives and make things even harder for the poor guys who are trying to plow the roads and respond to emergencies.

Hurrah for staying home and doing nothing!


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Great Timing

We decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather we’ve been having, so we had a picnic supper up on the land last night.




The lights over by Santa Fe don’t show up well in the picture, but they were bright reflections of the setting sun from windows that were just at the right angle.


How cool was that?

An even cooler thing is Beate and Tim came up with us. They wanted to see the condition of the roads for driving, and to know if they could walk in to their place with just boots. They decided the roads are fine, but rented snowshoes for this weekend’s walking — they plan to walk in to their place along the road behind the brown gate (slightly over a mile) rather than driving up to our house and walking down. It’s supposed to be sunny again tomorrow, so they should have a good time.

Another reason the timing was great was we had planned to go in by the scenic way Beate and Tim usually take, and that gave Beate a chance to try their key. (The Forest Service locks the gates in early January until the snow is gone, and they usually use the same lock on the gates to both roads.) Her key didn’t work, so Andy tried his. Same story, the lock was different from the usual one. As we drove up Beate said the lock reminded her of the one they had put on the gates after the fire in 2011, so on the way back Andy found that key on his key chain (yay, Andy for keeping it!), and they tried it.


Sure enough, it worked. So Beate and Tim will drive in using Andy’s usual route until they can get their own key (by copying Andy’s or else getting one from the Forest Service). If they hadn’t tried it last night, they would have assumed their key didn’t work on either gate and would have thought they were locked out.

All in all, it was a well-timed trip!


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Being Here Now
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Some moments are more pleasant than others.


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Nutty Politicians?

A lot of people in the U.S. would probably disagree with the woman’s assessment of the debates, as we can tell by the popularity of Donald Trump and some others. But a lot of other people would probably agree with this statement by Robert E. Lee during the 1860 presidential campaign:

Politicians are more or less so warped by party feeling, by selfishness, by prejudices, that their minds are not truly balanced. They are the most difficult to cure of all insane people.

What do you think?


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