Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Good Will Hunting or Deja Vu All Over Again

This movie was made in 1997 but it feels like it could have been yesterday. The following is Will Hunting's response on why he should not take the job with the NSA:

"Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.... that's a tough one. But I'll take a shot. 

Say I'm working at N.S.A. and somebody puts a code on my desk, something no one else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East, and once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hidin'- fifteen hundred people that I never met, never had no problem with get killed.

Now the politicians are sayin', oh, "Send in the marines to secure the area" 'cause they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot, just like it wasn't them when their number got called, 'cause they were pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some kid from Southie over there, takin' shrapnel in the ass; he comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from, and the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks.

Meanwhile he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so that we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price, and of course the oil companies use the little skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices- a cute little ancillary benefit for them, but it ain't helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. They're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back, o' course, maybe they even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis an' fuckin' play slalom with the icebergs; it ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic.

So now my buddy's outta work, he can't afford to drive, so he's walkin' to the fuckin' job interviews, which sucks 'cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic hemorrhoids, and meanwhile he's starvin' 'cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat, the only blue plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State.

So what did I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. I figure fuck it, while I'm at it, why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected President."

 ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Japan - A Season of Renewal Lies Ahead

"Fall seven times, stand up eight."

"Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache
carries with it the seed of an equivalent
or a greater benefit."

~ Japanese Proverb

Friday, March 25, 2011

Miral - A Movie You Must See

A film directed by Julian Schnabel
Written by Rula Jebreal

A drama centered on an orphaned Palestinian girl growing up in the wake of Arab-Israeli war who finds herself drawn into the conflict.Julian Schnabel makes a brave move to tell a human story that could be set anywhere in the world but in this case it is Palestine. Watch it and then tell me what you see?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Watch Out Michele and Sarah...

I'm thinking about throwing my hat in the ring. The problem is I can't decide which one...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor - Rest in Peace

Elizabeth Taylor
February 27, 1932 - March 23, 2011

We'll miss you Liz, rest now.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Intermission Time

During this Intermission Time on Artichoke Annie I'd like to direct you my snack bar located at my new blog -  Postings of Poetry & Photography, I hope you stop by and recharge your day. See you there or when I return here.  ~ Artichoke Annie - Editor

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Putting my pen down...

The events of the past week in this fragile old world have left me rather depleted in energy. I can not even muster up my old stand by sense of humor, never a good sign. A few may have noticed a rather abrupt deletion of my St. Patrick's Day post and wondered what happened. I had prepared that blog post several weeks ago and set it for automatic posting - after the events of Thursday it just seemed inappropriate to me to have this post up, my apologies to those of you who took the time to comment. 

I am going to put my pen down and concentrate my energies in other areas for now. I hope the view of the horizon changes because from where I stand it doesn't look good. The involvement of the United States in yet another country in the middle east does not bode well. I hear talk of regimen change prompted by the United States, never a good thing. Enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya will take military force and it appears that the United States was working hard for the United Nations to take this strong stand. Ethically should we be involved again in another regime change in the middle east? Can we afford  to get involved in yet another war? The answers to both questions is a resounding NO.

Sarah Palin is off on a world (?) tour, not exactly world, but she will tour India, Israel and the middle east, sort of a fact finding mission before deciding to make her decision to run for president in 2012. For Ms. Palin it is a win-win situation, she gets to pocket her six figure per event speaking fees and also gets to keep her name in the public eye. She bears watching, the Tea Party Movement, formerly the radical Christian Right that so deftly got George W. Bush elected is already tearing apart the Republican party leaving it in a weaken state.

Sadly the Dalai Lama has retired as the political leader of Tibet but will continue in the role of spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. "Now is the right to time to make change. It is not good that the Dalai Lama keeps absolute powers," he said as he drew comparison to the communist regime, which used guns to hold on to power. Tibetans will elect their new leader in simultaneous elections to the Kalon Tripa and the Tibetan Parliament on this Sunday.

In the wake of another high level nuclear disaster this time in Japan, a second look will be made at the future of nuclear energy uses in the United States. It is urged that inspections at all existing nuclear plants in the United States be made to assure that each plant is up to standard. Now is not the time to yield to pressure to look away and not see that safety standards are upheld, enforced and penalties levied for non-compliance. There are 104 nuclear reactors in the United States each one is old, built or at least permitted before 1978. There have been no new plants authorized since the crisis at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania. And here, in case you forgot, is a reminder of past nuclear disasters:

Top Ten Nuclear Disasters
(Source The Daily Beast)

1. 1986 – Chernobyl
2. 1957 – Kyshtym
3. 1979 – Three Mile Island
4. 1927 – Windscale
5. 1999 - Tokaimura
6. 1977 - Bohunice
7. 1987 – Goiania
8. 1961 – K-19
9. 1970 – Yucca Flat
10. 1985 – K-431

I see no mention of Hiroshima or Nagasaki in 1945.

Hope for peace, understanding and compassion, let it flow over the Earth and fill up the voids that are with us today. Challenge the world and mankind to come up with solutions and lay their weapons aside. Let there be a tomorrow for everyone.

~ ~ ~

- END -

Friday, March 18, 2011

Peaceful Shepard

Poster art by Frank Shepard Fairey

The Peaceful Shepherd
by Robert Frost

If heaven were to do again,
And on the pasture bars,
I leaned to line the figures in
Between the dotted starts,

I should be tempted to forget,
I fear, the Crown of Rule,
The Scales of Trade, the Cross of Faith,
As hardly worth renewal.

For these have governed in our lives,
And see how men have warred.
The Cross, the Crown, the Scales may all
As well have been the Sword.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Breaking News - UN Votes for Libya No-Fly Zone


Vote: 10 yes, 5 abstain,  0 noes

This has serious implications as the United States will consider it options. Enforcing a no-fly zone cannot be done without military support. This is serious business folks, brace yourself.

Hope by artist Monica Calvo, Madrid, Spain

News out of Japan remains bleak, my hope is that it is not as dire as feared. This country in the past week has experienced an earthquake, a Tsunami and now a possible nuclear meltdown. My heart is heavy.



Wednesday, March 16, 2011


(click on above link for more information - artist of this painting is unknown)


"Gaman reflects a distinctively Japanese mentality, the direct consequence of geography and history in a country where the cycle of destruction and renewal is embedded in the national psyche." ~ from Crushed, but true to the law of 'gaman' - The Australian

To look at Japan's recent history is to see a uniqueness at work in this culture. I have vivid recollections of visiting neighbors in the Santa Anita internment camp in the 1940's and asking my dad why our friends were being kept behind the wire fencing.
Then came the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States in 1945 -  and through all of this the culture of the Japanese people sustained them. To overcome adversity, move forward ...

I fully expect that the Japanese people will once again prevail over adversity with the help of gaman.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Great Waves of Japan

The great waves of Japan

By Mark Vernon on Monday, March 14 2011

I was hearing about the famous painting, The Great Wave of Kanagawa, by Hokusai. It captures something of the horror of what's fallen northern Japan, with its image of the fishermen dwarfed by the majestic, indifferent tower of water.

It's a religious image, representing the very different approach that Shintoism has towards nature, compared with Christianity. In Christianity, human beings are at the centre of nature: creation is for humanity, along with other creatures, and it's humanity's task to care for it. Hence, in part, the offence we feel when nature turns against us.

In Shintoism, nature is recognized as infinitely more powerful than humankind - as in the wave - and that humankind is in nature with the permission of the gods but with no particular concern from the gods. Shinto rituals show respect for the gods of nature, befriending the enormity of the forces, if you like. But, apparently, there won't be much of the moral affront at what's happened - the problem of evil - from the Japanese perspective.

~ ~ ~

Thank you Mark for allowing me to re-post your blog entry.  I appreciate your input on this subject. ~ Artichoke Annie

Talk Amongst Yourselves

Going to spend a little time getting my tax returns done and out of my hair. Coffee pot is on, there is wine in the fridge and snacks on the counter, so you guys should be all right until I get back. Now on with it - talk amongst yourselves.................

# # #

Monday, March 14, 2011

La Mer

La Mer avec Charles Trenet

La mer
Qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs
A des reflets d'argent
La mer
Des reflets changeants
Sous la pluie

La mer
Au ciel d'ete confond
Ses blancs moutons
Avec les anges si purs
La mer bergere d'azur

Pres des etangs
Ces grands roseaux mouilles
Ces oiseaux blancs
Et ces maisons rouillees

La mer
Les a berces
Le long des golfes clairs
Et d'une chanson d'amour
La mer
A berce mon coeur pour la vie 

~ ~ ~

During these past troubling days we are vividly aware of the powerful force of the sea - may we reflect of the peace that the sea also offers and hope that a calm and healing time comes soon to all the people of Japan. Our hearts grieve for you and we extend our hands in help. Give if you can American Red Cross for Japan Relief

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blooming Tea Balls

Blooming Tea Ball as it opens and flowers

Yesterday I got together with a friend, an annual event where the two of us go out to lunch and celebrate our birthdays. Mine is in January and hers is in February and we almost always do it sometime after the event. Lately we have been visiting Tea Rooms for our lunch date, seems like the 'girly' thing to do.

This year's tea room choice had Blooming Tea Balls on the menu. It intrigued both of us when we read about it and decided that we definitely had to try this. It takes about five minutes for the selected dried up tea ball to bloom in the pot before you. It really is intriguing, the tea itself was a mild Jasmine, but good and not over-powering. We chose not to have a flavor added.

Women usually have no problem talking when they get together and since we had not seen each other for about five months, talk was not in short supply. In fact we met an hour before lunch just to catch up and then ended up talking for about four more hours after lunch. We could have easy introduced wine into the mix and made a night of it, but we didn't. It's fun to have things to look forward to, we are already thinking about where we will go for next year's birthday chat.

Spring Forward

Be glad you don't have to deal with this clock.

Just a reminder that it's daylight savings time again in the US, except for Hawaii and Arizona, they both already have their share of sunlight. So all clocks "spring forward" an hour. It seems like just yesterday I discovered some clock that hadn't been changed last fall. It will be a busy day.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Love That Was

Cape Cod Love / Photo by Annie

To Earthward
by Robert Frost

Love at the lips was touch 
As sweet as I could bear;
And once that seemed too much; 
I lived on air

That crossed me from sweet things,
The flow of- was it musk
From hidden grapevine springs
Down hill at dusk?

I had the swirl and ache
From sprays of honeysuckle
That when they're gathered shake
Dew on the knuckle.

I craved strong sweets, but those
Seemed strong when I was young;
The petal of the rose
It was that stung.

Now no joy but lacks salt 
That is not dashed with pain 
And weariness and fault; 
I crave the stain 

Of tears, the aftermark
Of almost too much love,
The sweet of bitter bark 
And burning clove.

When stiff and sore and scarred
I take away my hand
From leaning on it hard 
In grass and sand, 

The hurt is not enough:
I long for weight and strength 
To feel the earth as rough
To all my length. 

Did someone say Carl?

Seagull in Greece / Photo by Annie - c. 1980's

From The Shore
by Carl Sandburg

A LONE gray bird,
Dim-dipping, far-flying,
Alone in the shadows and grandeurs and tumults
Of night and the sea
And the stars and storms.

Out over the darkness it wavers and hovers,
Out into the gloom it swings and batters,
Out into the wind and the rain and the vast,
Out into the pit of a great black world,
Where fogs are at battle, sky-driven, sea-blown,
Love of mist and rapture of flight,
Glories of chance and hazards of death
On its eager and palpitant wings.

Out into the deep of the great dark world,
Beyond the long borders where foam and drift
Of the sundering waves are lost and gone
On the tides that plunge and rear and crumble.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Help If You Can

American Red Cross Responds to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami

National Headquarters
2025 E Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006

WASHINGTON, Friday, March 11, 2011 — The American Red Cross stands ready and willing to assist following  a magnitude 8.9 earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami that affected other countries in the Pacific region.

The Japanese Red Cross Society has extraordinary disaster response capabilities, and has mobilized eleven teams to heavily-damaged communities to provide assessments and first aid and prepare to supply emotional support and relief. The American Red Cross is in communication through its global partners with the Pacific nations that sustained the most damage, and stands ready to provide assistance as needed. To date, the Red Cross has not received any requests for blood from the Japanese Red Cross, the Japanese government or the U.S. State Department.
With potential danger headed to the west coast of the United States, Red Cross chapters are on alert and stand ready to provide assistance as needed in their communities in coordination with local and federal response partners. Red Cross warehouses in Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands), California, Washington and Hawaii are mobilizing resources; and approximately 100 mobile feeding vehicles are on standby. Evacuation shelters are open with additional locations on standby in Oregon, Washington and California.

The Red Cross does not collect blood in Hawaii but has reached out to other blood collection agencies to offer services and is on standby to support any blood needs across the mainland as well.
The best way to contact or locate U.S. citizens living or traveling in Japan is to contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or (202) 647-5225. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has offered to assist Japan with restoring family links.

In addition, with ongoing evacuations in the United States, the Red Cross Safe and Well website is a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies like tsunamis. There are several easy ways to register yourself or search for a loved one on the Safe and Well website: from a computer, visit, from a smartphone visit or from any phone, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for help registering.

Those who want to help can go to and donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

Cowboys - My Lifelong Love

Legacy of the Rodeo Man
by Baxter Black

There's a hundred years of history and a hundred before that
All gathered in the thinkin' goin' on beneath his hat.
And back behind his eyeballs and pumpin' through his veins
Is the ghost of every cowboy that ever held the reins.

Every coil in his lasso's been thrown a million times
His quiet concentration's been distilled through ancient minds.
It's evolution workin' when the silver scratches hide
And a ghostly cowboy chorus fills his head and says, "Let's ride."

The famous and the rowdy, the savage and the sane
the bluebloods and the hotbloods and the corriente strain
All knew his mother's mothers or was it his daddy's kin
'Til he's nearly purely cowboy, born to ride and bred to win.

He's got Buffalo Bill Cody and Goodnight's jigger boss
And all of the brave blue soldiers that General Custer lost
The ghost of Pancho Villa, Sittin' Bull and Jessie James
All gathered by his campfire keepin' score and takin' names.

There's every Royal Mountie that ever got his man
And every day-work cowboy that ever made a hand
Each man that's rode before him, yup every mother's son
Is in his corner, rootin', when he nods to make his run.

Freckles Brown might pull his bull rope,
Casey Tibbs might jerk the flank,
Bill Pickett might be hazin' when he starts to turn the crank.
Plus Remington and Russell lookin' down his buckhorn sight
All watchin' through the window of this cowboy's eyes tonight.

And standin' in the catch pen or in chute number nine
Is the offspring of a mountain that's come down from olden time
A volcano waitin' quiet, 'til they climb upon his back
Rumblin' like the engine of a freight train on the track.

A cross between a she bear and a bad four wheel drive
With the fury of an eagle when it makes a power dive.
A snake who's lost its caution or a badger gone berserk
He's a screamin', stompin', clawin', rabid, mad dog piece o' work.

From the rollers in his nostrils to the foam upon his lips
From the hooves as hard as granite to the horns with dagger tips
From the flat black starin' shark's eye that's the mirror of his soul
Shines the challenge to each cowboy like the devil callin' roll.

In the seconds that tick slowly 'til he climbs upon his back
Each rider faces down the fear that makes his mouth go slack
And cuts his guts to ribbons and gives his tongue a coat
He swallows back the panic gorge that's risin' in his throat.

The smell of hot blue copper fills the air around his head
Then a single, solid shiver shakes away the doubt and dread
The cold flame burns within him 'til his skin's as cold as ice
And the dues he paid to get here are worth every sacrifice.

All the miles spent sleepy drivin', all the money down the drain
All the "if I's" and the "nearly's", all the bandages and the pain
All the female tears left dryin', all the fever and the fight
Are just a small downpayment on the ride he makes tonight.

And his pardner in this madness that the cowboy's call a game
Is a ton of buckin' thunder bent on provin' why he came
But the cowboy never wavers he intends to do his best
And of that widow maker, he expects of him no less.

There's a solemn silent moment that every rider knows
When the time stops on a heartbeat like the earth itself was froze
Then all the ancient instinct fills the space between his ears
Til the whispers of his phantoms are the only thing he hears.

When you get down to the cuttin' and the leather touches hide
And there's nothin' left to think about, he nods and says, "Outside!"
Then frozen for an instant against the open gate
Is hist'ry turned to flesh and blood, a warrior incarnate.

And while they pose like statues in that flicker of an eye
There's somethin' almost sacred, you can see it if you try.
It's guts and love and glory-one mortal's chance at fame
His legacy is rodeo and cowboy is his name.

"Turn 'im out"

~ ~ ~

All of the above photos were taken by me at a rancher's rodeo in New Cuyama, California on October 20-21, 1984. I like a rancher's rodeo, they are small and they are for the working cowboys. I have had a special love affair with cowboys my whole life, not those Hollywood style cowboys, but real hard working ones. I was asked once what it was I liked so much about them. Well, of course the jeans, you can't beat Levi's on a nice turned bottom, but I have a great admiration for this group of men who work so darn hard, love every minute of it and could care less about making a big pile of money. There must be a certain love of freedom, having fresh air to breathe and wide open spaces surrounding them that runs through their veins.

The poem, Legacy of the Rodeo Man, was written by Baxter Black one of a number of well known cowboy poets. Cowboy Poetry Week will be celebrate April 17-23, 2011 and if you ever can get a chance to attend a cowboy poetry event I would recommend it. 2011 Cowboy Poetry Week Information

I heard a group of cowboy poets in Hawaii once and I really enjoyed it. And yes, Hawaii has cowboys too, one of the largest cattle ranches used to be the Parker Ranch on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Mom

Adeline Anna Schanel
March 10, 1896 - June 4, 1968

My mom would be celebrating her 115th birthday today, though she died forty-three years ago, at what I like to think a young age, seventy-two. It's funny when you have a parent die at what-ever age you kind of make a mental note of it for yourself. Until I passed that mark I often would think of my own death in terms of the years that my mom had lived.

My mother was an unusual woman for her time. She did go to college and she and her father were in business together. He was a mortician, funeral director I guess is a more common name now. Though grandpa was a fully licensed mortician and my mother assisted with hair and make-up and other funeral arrangements.

As a child I would often accompany my mom to work. During a funeral I would take a seat on the bench next to the organist and watch the proceeding through the privacy screen. When no one was around I would get to play the organ which for me was a real treat. I suppose growing up attending funerals is a strange childhood, but it was mine and no doubt part of the reason why I detest funerals to this day.

But my mother was a great business woman and dabbled in real estate as well over the years. By dabble, I mean she would buy property that became available and always had a keen sense on what was a good deal. She had no faith in the stock market and always felt with real estate even if everything failed you would still have dirt. I suppose she was right.

I was thirty when my mom died and I feel I never really got to know her adult to adult. And I know, while I learned a lot from observation, there was so much more she could have taught me about business if we had the chance. Most of my years with her was as a rebellious youth, driving her I'm afraid to an early grave.

El Monte Union High School - Junior Year 1913

Here is a photo from my mom's high school year book, this was her junior year. She is the girl sitting in the front row right below the nine.The year book made note of the fact "Though our class is the smallest in the school, it is not one to be lightly esteemed". I wonder who the character is striking the pose on the ground, with his pant legs rolled up? Wouldn't it be fun to know what he ended up doing.

A poem written by mom and included in the year book.

So as a little birthday present mom, from me to you, I included your little poem on my blog. Certainly it is an event you would have never imagined in your wildest dreams. It's funny when you look at old pictures how 'glum' everyone is in their poses, you start to get suspicious of the ones that smile.

I'm not sure of the date of this picture of my mom, I am guessing it might have been taken in her college days. I used another of the high school year books as the back drop for this photo.When I read through her year book it is funny to see so many names that cropped up many years later in my own school days. When I was in high school one of her classmates was the superintendent of my high school district and another was the band leader. Both of my older brothers went to the same high school as my mom and I would have also except for the fact they built a new high school in the district a few years before I hit high school age.

Looking back on it, I liked growing up in a rather small town, but that will be fodder for another blog. Today it's mom's birthday, so - "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM".

[All images can be enlarged for easier viewing by clicking on them.]

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Massive Undertaking

Still scene from recent version of True Grit

Still scene from in front of my Grandfather's business

My great-grandfather was a cabinet maker as was his son, my grandfather. So it was in the small town of Spencer, Iowa that my grandfather ran his Furniture and Undertaking business. It was not unusual to find ‘Furniture and Undertakers’ as a business under a single roof. Cabinetmakers would often use their craft to make coffins as well as furniture and in the 1800’s most funeral services were held either in the local church or at home.

The True Grit town scene also has a store very similar to my grandfather's where you will see "Furniture and Undertakers" on the store front. The funeral director's business did not emerge until after the Civil War when the embalming process became more widely accepted by the general population.  Prior to burial the deceased were often laid out in the parlor of their home for viewing and final respects. This is the origin of the term funeral parlor.

That is my grandfather, in the photo above, standing in front of the door and one of the little girls could possibly be my mother, though I can't be sure, but it is a good guess. I know that during the 1910 census that the family was in Spencer, Iowa and ten years later they would show up in California on the 1920 census. So I am not sure of the exact year they made the move west but my best guess is around 1912.

Residence and Funeral Home in El Monte, California

As mechanization began to change the furniture business many people involved in the dual business of "Furniture and Undertaking" felt the pressure to move to solely a funeral directing business. And it was probably around that same time the occupation name would change from undertaker to funeral director.

With the move to California my grandfather bought an existing business and that business would carry on through/and with his daughter for years, until selling out to a large mortuary chain in the 1950's. The above photo shows not only the business but the California home of my mother. Later the business was relocated in another part of the city and this house was sold and moved. After it was moved it became a saloon and the story was that the upstairs served as a house of ill-repute. I wonder if the customers knew the history of the place?

My grandfather was a very sweet man and I remember him well. We would always tease him about being "Digger O'Dell, the friendly undertaker", but he would take the teasing very good-naturedly. In fact my mother had her own story from her childhood. It seems one evening Gramps had fallen asleep in his chair and while he slept my mother every so carefully braided his hair in a 'million' little braids. Well, a call came from a bereaved family and Gramps jumped up, put on his hat and hurried out the door... I suppose you can draw up your own mental image for the end of the story.

So, Mare, this is the long answer to your question as to how my grandmother managed to look "so well taken care of" - was it what you expected?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

100th Anniversary of International Women's Day

And how will you be celebrating the day?

Queen Noor of Jordan: "Today, women raising their voices in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen are not all mothers, but they are also daughters, wives, sisters. They are fighting for their families, but they are also fighting for themselves; and in Palestine, the women of the occupied territories are fighting for the freedom to be included in the greater Palestinian struggle."  Full article The Arab Woman You Don't See

Annie Lennox: "From Milwaukee to Malawi, women are being short-changed on life chances. From India to Illinois, women face violence just for being female. Of the 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty worldwide, the vast majority are female. For many, just getting an education is a real struggle, major decisions such as who to marry and when to have children are made for them by others, and without economic independence or a say in their own future, the chances of women escaping the poverty trap are virtually nonexistent." Full article Reclaiming Feminism

Sarah Brown: "We are still faced, after a century of International Women's Days, with the challenge of achieving equality, opportunity and fairness for girls and women. We need this the most in the poorest parts of the world."  Full article Meeting the Need for Health Workers 
Cat Cora: "Following the devastating India Ocean tsunami of 2004, I founded Chefs for Humanity, modeled after Doctors Without Borders, but comprised of chefs. There wasn't anything out there like it, and there was a definite need for chefs to be able to offer assistance and aid to those suffering from hunger and/or malnutrition worldwide. CFH is an alliance of culinary professionals and educators working in partnership with U.S. and global organizations, providing nutrition education, hunger relief, and emergency and humanitarian aid to reduce hunger across the world. Our Chefs Council and Chefs Corps volunteer their time, expertise, culinary and nutritional knowledge work to support national and worldwide relief programs working to reduce hunger."  Full article Climbing a Mountain for Hunger 

"Hillary Clinton:  "March 8th is the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. And, as many of you know, this anniversary is important to me. At the 1995 Beijing conference, I was so humbled by the positive response to my message that human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights. But 16 years later, women still bear the brunt of poverty, war, disease, and famine. And when it comes to the boardroom meetings, government sessions, peace negotiations, and other assemblies where crucial decisions are made in the world, women are too often absent.

It is clear that more work needs to be done -- to consolidate our gains and to keep momentum moving forward.

The United States continues to make women a cornerstone of our foreign policy. It's not just the right thing to do. It's the smart thing. Women and girls drive our economies. They build peace and prosperity. Investing in them means investing in global economic progress, political stability, and greater prosperity for everyone -- the world over.

So let us mark this day by finding ways to ensure women and girls' access to education, health care, jobs, and credit, and to protect their right to live free from violence."