Monday, February 17, 2014

Officially one year a Grandma

Well, it can't be ignored! I have been a real grandma for an entire year to the cutest granddaughter in the world. It is expected that grandmas will have a wallet full of photos to press upon anyone they meet. Although I don't have wallet photos, I will press birthday photos upon everyone who missed the celebration.
Okay everyone, drum roll...

Edie's birthday is January 30 but we all gathered to celebrate en mass on February 1, at her new Seattle home. There were family and friends to eat cake and toast with champagne. Lynne and Linda threatened to bring a pony to the party but brought a rocking horse instead, much to Kyrsa's relief. Interestingly, Eidie's great aunties both brought bikini swim wear to get her ready for summer lake fun with fashion.  There were lots and lots of other toys and books but the obvious favorites for the day were the balloons. The pink balloon was good but oh that Mylar balloon! Eidie made it bob and weave like a boxer.
Eidie and her balloons

Mom, Eidie and Granny Sullivan

Eidie's first birthday, with birthday cupcakes and candles, rocking horses and balloons
Birthday songs to prepare...

...for the real fun!

- the first celebration but so many more to come with such adventure and accomplishment ahead because she is supported by so much love.
Eidie know how lucky she is!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

One Last Walk in the Snow

Today was a surprisingly white snowy day on Tulin Road. It was one of those rare winter days when the snow falls at night, waking the morning in white. It was a perfect day for a walk and of course David and Duffy took full advantage. They made prints in the snow and discovered a  weird furry animal on the roadside.

It was a day for spinning by the fire and feeling warm and cozy. The kind of winter day we all love. Duffy jumped up ready for dinner but when he started to eat, simply fell over with a final collapse.
Duffy at his favorite spot

At almost 13 years old, Duffy had been slowing down this last year but he still enjoyed his daily walks down Tulin Road as one of the official road crew.
He and we were lucky to see him  happy for his 13 years at home and to know that his final hours were entirely what he wanted them to be- walking in the snow with David, sleeping in the sun room and knowing each day held 2 full meals and an after-dinner snack.

Duffy came to join us from the Kitsap Humane Society in April of 2001.

I rescued (?) him to give David a companion for running. It was an obvious success.

Duffy was not the best trained dog- he was rescued by poorly trained parents- but  he was the gentlest of dogs. He loved people of all ages, was tolerant of all other dogs and loved the lake. He loved to swim after frisbies and jump after skiers (and Anita if she tried to dive).

Duffy with a new dog lover
We will miss his quiet presence in our home on Tulin Road but are so very thankful he went gently on to a new home with lots of treats after dinner. He will be buried in his field where he protected the chickens and goats and let us all know if we where visiting without including him.

Good bye Duffy.
 With love from Mama Llama and David

Duffy Guarding the dock

Duffy and Ruby on a summer walk

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tower Heist or Why DO we really trust private enterprise ?

Okay, it is Saturday Night  and I have had the best night ever eating popcorn and drinking white wine for dinner. If you were not aware of the correct pairings, white wine is always paired with popcorn and a viogner is a good choice. To top it off, I checked out a movie from the library, Tower Heist.

Tower Heist is a action comedy with Mathew Broderick and Eddie Murphy (also Ben Stiller, etc.) Really Ferris Bueller meets Eddie Murphy, how can that miss!?! Oddly, it meshed completely with a bunch of thoughts that have filled my mind recently. Let me explain.

This is a story about the big business of banking and investment fraud practiced against Americans at every level- big time stock investment, retirement plans and mid-level dreamers. Of course, in the movie the "real Americans" have their revenge through equal parts trickery and hilarity. (Full disclosure- I also watch
  2 Broke Girls!)

We all know the stories of investment fraud, fraudulent military contracts, etc. etc. etc. Knowing this and being lately apprised of the statistics that the 85 richest families in the world own something like 45% of the global assets, it confuses me that the liberal American politico would rather have his/her individual personal information held by private industry than by the United States government.

Don't get me wrong. I am not in favor of gross national surveillance without reason or recourse but like the problems of right to life, technology is ahead of our morality. Who ever you are,  unless you live in an Airstream, on federal forest land, in northern Idaho and survive on deer meat marinated in huckleberries, someone holds all of your personal information. Many someones! If you are going to earn a living, communicate with friends and family, own real estate and occasionally buy material goods, then get use to the idea that you have no privacy.

You have already given your most valuable identity to industries that have proven to be thieves of the highest, most morally bankrupt order. Not only will they steal from you because they judge value by their ability to take from you, they will use your money to corrupt the very political system you feel should not have the right to your person statistics.

I don't know where the answers lay but I can not believe that private industry is the best short term or long term answer. The government can be held to transparency and accountability standards, eventually. Private industry, never! Is there something better about your private information- calls, buying patterns, facebook messaging-  being sold for a profit than having it held by the government? I don't want the government knowing my business but I really don't want Amazon mailing me items I haven't yet ordered, either. I can't really say one is worse than the other.

The future is always unfolding. Problems get resolved and solved in ways we don't anticipate. I, therefore, am not laying awake worrying about this issue. I just want personal-rights activists to consider the question: Is private industry more morally accountable that the United States government? and why?

With that, you have the meanduring mind of
Mama Llama with love

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Silence is Golden

Whew! It has been a year of changes and challenges. Much of that time I have felt the need to keep my own council though if someone acting as their own lawyer has a fool for a client, someone listening to their own advise is in even more trouble.

With the advent of 2014, I am resolved to share the pearls I learn through out the days of the year. Already I have learned too much to share tonight but I will start with a day soon after New Year's Day, volunteering at SAM.

Schools were still on break so I was surprised we had a school tour but it turned out to be two groups of teens from the downtown YWCA program. The girls viewed the exhibit from Ancient Peru then explored drawing a chosen Seattle hallmark site as it might appear one century from today. It was fun to hear and share their ideas. Several of the girls were from Evergreen Campus High School in the Burien/White Center area. I was intrigued by what they told me about their school It actually has 3 schools: Arts/ Literature, Science/Technology and Health Sciences. I have tried to investigate more about the school and have succeeded in finding out about several interesting programs in the Highline School District but very little about the Evergreen program which I suspect now has a new name in their hierarchy.

While clicking around ( I love that you can look into all kinds of ideas with this crazy new-fangle internet) I discovered a further step in White Center's challenge to offer their community a future: The White Center Promise at .The girls at the museum talked about their school as being connected to elementary and middle school programs in the neighborhood and I notice they are trying very hard to develop a whole-community learning approach. White Center is a multicultural area with the challenges of new immigrants from diverse backgrounds. They are impressively taking on the challenge and showing a great road to the future that we might all want to consider. They also have a darn good Thai Restaurant, as Colin, Susan, David and I discovered on the way to the airport after the holidays.
David and Duffy
Road Crew on Tulin Rd.

If you are not from Seattle, look around your old town to challenge your old prejudices and find some new ideas growing. If you are from Seattle, look around this wet and gray town for the interesting new ideas that are trying to move us into the future and share them with others.

Learning something all the time,
Mama Llama