Review: Not your usual political book

Do you find yourself yearning for polite discourse instead of heated battle when the subject of politics comes up? Do you remember when we could discuss things as ideas instead of simplistic views of good versus evil? When people of different political leanings could actually be friends?

Prepare yourself, then, for a refreshing journey to yesteryear.

“Green Pastures of Plenty,” by Dave Plassman, is not your usual partisan harangue. It is a breath of fresh air, a short but to the point exploration of the fundamental issues we all face in common. The goal is to find a “radically centrist” viewpoint and a rational way to arrive at solutions that benefit everyone. This fine little book is available on Amazon, reasonably priced in electronic and print forms, and is one that truly deserves to be spread far and wide.

Click on the image if you’d like to buy a copy, it’s free for Amazon Prime members.

https://amzn.to/2S0r0DA

Poem – Winter Solstice

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The earth lays aslumber as

Mother Nature pulls her white coverlet

Across the browning fields.

Though nearer now, to Sun’s burning

Than in those blooming days

The globe averts her visage now,

Shying for the Dreamtime,

A time of garnering warmth and

Exhilarating in the chill.

A standing still time.

A time for recollecting

And of foretelling.

The time of offering friendship and

Of Wishing well.

-Glynda Shaw

Tableholics Anonymous

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Hi, my name is Lenore and I am a table hoarder. Its been five years since I last brought one home.

Thanks to Fred the teenage cat, tables are front and center with me at this moment. He surprised himself when he jumped from the tall china cabinet top onto the glass topped table.

Wow, what a cracking noise!

What in the world?

I ran to see what had happened as he ran past me into the bedroom. He’d done a doozy of a stress-fracture on the old glass. I sure learn my lessons hard. Never and I mean never put a breakable anything in a cat’s path. Saying that a cat lands light on their feet is hog wash and well, not true. I took the little table into a glass shop this morning. The shop mostly works on cars and house windows, but the lady said she’d talk to the fellas. Anyway, that table reminds me that apparently my table addiction is alive and kicking.

A six legged table sits over by my front door. Needing a rest from concentrating on traffic, on a road trip, I stopped at an antiques mall and stepped back out with a black spindled beauty. I looked out at the noisy highway, stared down into my car’s little trunk and gauged its size to the octagonal table. I’d handed over a hundred dollars for something that might and I mean might, squeeze into that trunk.

Another fifty or so miles to go….

It fit. And didn’t bear a scratch from the attempt.

The drum table, the round old lady edifice with the metal lion’s feet? There by the cracking, tall bureau? That three legged beauty was my Grandma’s and must have started life in a Midwestern factory. Its something I lived with, not really seeing it, all through my childhood and then on past middle age. One of the last things my Mom said to me before dementia fogged her words was that the table must be mine. Mom had polished it and kept it in good shape all through her years and soon, it would be my turn.

Then there’s the folding table by my left side. That table has wing like supports underneath it. Those wings are a magician’s wand. Raise them up and yes! Its rectangle becomes a cherry wooden egg. I happened on it in a small antique shop. One of my sisters ‘egged’ me into buying it. I had been using a wooden TV tray, the ten dollar variety that many drug stores sell in December. She said I should have a proper table.

My eyes lit on the cherry table. It begged me to take it home. I heard it sobbing and what to do?

The table that Fred cat damaged, I spotted in a fire hall! The volunteer firemen-women had had a garage sale. The table’s sides are embellished; there’s a little shelf in its middle. Red brown. I am a silly when it comes to sales. I should not have done it but I asked if the five dollar price could go down to four. It could. I handed over four dollar bills, grabbed the table in my arms and ran, giggling all the way down a steep hill to my house.

The dining room table, scarred yellow monster, once lived in a downtown Hallmark shop until that shop and all its dusty doodads went out of business. It still has masking tape on its sides. Every so often I peel off another layer, smiling at the six old chairs that I’ve placed around it.

Can I be the only one addicted to All Things Table? Is there no one out there who will dare to raise a glass and toast a cheer to aged wood, vibrantly scarred yet solid to the hand and friendly to the eyes?

 

Dog Training

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When Sally dear dog was a true pup, she was, well, dear dog, a handful and a half. I decided to be social- very unusual for me the loner. I found out there was a canine group in my area.

I went to one of their meetings. Folks asked me what kind of dog brought me to their table?

I said: Blue Heeler.

They said: you will need help with training.

Keerect. I did need help.

I paid for one set of classes and yup, went back for another set. Paid quite a bit of cash but learned a lot. The human needs to learn tons more than the picked on dog.

I thought about this stuff today when I was out trying to get Sally’s toy out of the butterfly bush- dumb human. Why did I toss it into that mess??

So….I got my feet tangled in the tall weeds. I thought I could fall. Too easy and nobody around to get me a doc if it got that far. Leah dog must have been watching me. Next thing I knew she was there beside me.

I adopted Leah after Sally came along. I started teaching Leah some of what Sally knew. So now that I felt unsteady on my feet, I asked Leah to wait. She did. I steadied myself on her sturdy, large shoulders.

She waited.

Then I said, “Leah! Back!” She slowly backed, one big foot at a time. I leaned on her and backed out of the mess. After I got to clear ground and felt safe, I gave Leah huge hugs and told her that she was a good, smart girlie dog.

Wow am I glad I met that bunch of people in that dog group. Their wisdom taught me enough to keep me upright and my bones intact. I appreciate them. And of course I appreciate my pal Leah.

Leah in yard

To Saia

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Be only a prankster at the door

All Hallows Eve just a candy heist

not a doe blinded by cataracted lens:

leave me from the task of whisking away your fear-entrenched growl

my human’s heart tells me that no broom will do

to remove the webbing from your brain

I’m meant to watch and bide as your Hour nears.

 

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A word of explanation:

This poem was written for a beautiful Lynx point Siamese who was adopted by a person who meant well but worked too much and left her shut up in an apartment with no interaction.  She had toys and such but far too little human touch.  Even though she got a new home with much love and plenty of interaction, the damage was done and she still acts half wild, even after years of rehabilitation.  Please, if you are going to adopt a furry friend, make sure you have time for them and recognize that cats are social animals who need love and lots of interaction.

Sunday Morning

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Fred kitten zips around. His 6 month old brain says that it’s morning and morning means it’s a great time to tease Saia kitty. One busy junior striped tiger taunting an older tiger. On another morning the sight might make me laugh. Oh that Saia can growl and hiss.

My human brain notes the passing of summer. The days cool though sunshine solders on, the rumor of rain sneaking in every so often. Canada geese curve toward the water way below the property. Finches and sparrows vie for a spot at the seeding sunflower heads.

The absurdity of it all. Just an afternoon ago I headed toward the hen’s enclosure, thinking about my waiting supper as I worked through the chore of doling out snacks. A small, deeply orange butterfly skittered past my face. I remarked on its passage to my hubby then said duh! Wake up, lady. I’d planted a butterfly bush down the row toward the driveway. Its lavender cones had at last decided to bloom. Of course there was a butterfly about. Whether I observe life bebopping around is up to me in my insular castle.

My busy brain also chases back to when Mom was young. I was a goofy kid then. The church bells rang, demanding that we all pay attention. Mom had eight kids to herd, though I mostly remember growing up with just two brothers cause I was the youngest. Three of my sisters were teens by the time I was ten and hearing those pealing bells, there in that large midwestern city. Sunshine then and sidewalks that led to dark robed nuns and priests. Now its Sunday morning sun and birds and dogs that chase busy kittens. Those bells could be still waking the universe but I am too far from them to hear.