Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Voter Registration

I keep thinking back to an analysis that Prof. L talked about shortly after the 2016 election that the margin of victory in the upper midwest was so small that if just two voters per precinct had changed their votes, the outcome would have different.

Two voters.

That told me, we need to have more voters and get them to vote.

Today, Dennis and I participated in a short voter registration event at a local high school.  Part of League of Women Voters.  We had two small tables near the cafeteria.  The idea was to register voters who were 17 and up and give information to younger people.  They can make a difference too!  We gave out a brochure with contact information for all of the elected officials in our state as well as constitutions.  There were five of us; one person brought a large bag of wrapped chocolate candy which we put on our tables.

We did ok.  We registered two voters and gave out almost all of the other information to interested young people.  We moved the needle a little.

We're glad to do it.  Definitely would be willing to do it again.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Flexible on Mother's Day

In recent years, we've had a Mother's Day tradition that I really like,  My adult children (and spouses) come over and plant all of my pots.  So helpful because it's a lot of physical work to do it.  If you have a bunch of people and you have the flowers and pots and potting soil all ready, it doesn't take much time.  This year, Susanna announced that the only time she can come over was at 9am.  OK, let's do it that way.

One thing you learn when you have four kids is that you have to be flexible.

Sh e brought over some yummy french pastries.  The good stuff, as my mother would say.  A selfe with her and I.  Between us is Chrysanthemum Corner and over my shooulder is an herb planter she got me last year.  We added a basil plant.

The rest are supposed to come over in a while.  Naomi, Danny, Jessica.  We will then order fancy pizza.  And my pots will be done.

After we did this, I went down to LFP market to help selling Pops.  Is having mom around really a help?  Today, yes.  I got there at noon.  It was the first market of the season and Mother's Day and beautiful weather.  It was packed!  I came on the Pops stand and there was a long line!  I jumped in and started to help.  We were slammed until we sold out two hours later, an hour before the market closed.  A lot of people were waiting for their first pops of the season.  I think we've only sold out Lake Forest Park one other time.  You sell out by flavors.  Zesty Lime is a cult favorite.  Not too sweet, kinda gray, but very refreshing.  I've written about how the preschoolers like Zesty Lime and they don't care if it's not bright green.  When we sold out of Zesty Lime, we heard a collective groan down the line.  Out of Zesty Lime????  Now what?

We worked and worked.  Naomi said that she was really glad that I came,  I talked to the market assistant manager (wonderful jam).  She said that she was also glad I came as Naomi was overwhelmed.

We all sell popsicles.

Paul Simon concert

Dennis and I went to the Paul Simon concert on Friday night.  I've been a huge Paul Simon fan for years, all his different music, harmony, rhythm, sing along from my high school years and beyond.

I've been to an embarrassing small number of concerts.  How many?  Not very many.

So when I happened to see that Paul Simon (he's 76 anyway) was doing a farewell tour with a stop in Seattle, I knew this was my chance.  I told Dennis we were going.  I bought tickets up in nosebleed, still were $75 apiece.  Getting up those steep stairs to the top of Key Arena, yikes, I don't think I would do it again.

Both Dennis and I really enjoyed it.  The place a packed and hugely appreciative.  Heavily boomer.  But he had terrific musicians playing with him.  One thing I like is that he changes his songs over time.  A new arrangement, some new words, change the tempo.  "Mrs Robinson" as reggae, why not?

The picture is from the Seattle Times (used without permission).  They gave it an excellent review.  His voice so strong and his performance so vibrant, the reviewer asked, why is this his last tour when he has it so together.  He did say that maybe he would still perform places, you never know.  He had a good long show and then performed seven more songs in encore.

Place was rocking and people dancing, really fun.

Check out here for most of Diamonds on the Sole of her Shoes/You can Call Me Al

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The wedding knife returns

After being resident in my house for 5 years, the family wedding knife is now back with my cousin Mary Ann in Connecticut.  It was bought by my great great grandfather for use in my great grandmother Delia's wedding in the 1890s.  Maybe used before that, I don't know.  It's silver with a mother of pearl handle.  It's labeled 'Meriden Cutlery.'  Meriden is a town near Cheshire where my cousin lives near New Haven.  This wedding knife has been used to cut the cake in every wedding that we can think of.

I kind of liked having it here.  But Mary Ann's son is getting married this summer so it had to go back so Lyle could use it.  You can't carry it on a plane (if I was going which I'm not).  You have to ship it which makes me nervous.  So I shined it up and brought it to my local UPS store and told them to pack and ship it.  Whatever was professionally called for.  Plus I added the option that it had to be signed for rather than just left on the front porch.  Whole thing cost nearly $50 but you gotta do....

I've been checking the tracking number and it got there yesterday.  My cousin confirms which is reassuring.  So now it's back there safely.  Whew!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My big beautiful rhody

Rhododendrons do beautifully in Seattle.  This one in my yard wants to get real big.  So I give it plenty of room.  When the tree trimmers were here I got them to cut down a real big weed tree to the left.  Beautifully in bloom right now.

Took the picture in my back yard this afternoon.  What's that at the bottom?  Teddy, who's supposed to be lame, takes off on a sprint probably to bark at a squirrel.  He's moving so fast!

Love my dog, love my rhody bush.

Had a nice lunch with my friend Mary Ann.  When we finally got together, several errors, all mine!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Ilana and Matt in Paris

There they are, posing in front of Parisian things.  Ilana and Matt are in Paris (then Brussels and Amsterdam).  Vacation; no conferences involved.  And Ilana has been to about a jillion conferences.  They've posted a bunch of food pictures including lots of macaroons.

Fun to see the pictures.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Working at the Welcome Center

Last week, Dennis and I worked our monthly shift at the 'Welcome Center' operated by a local non-profit AID-NW to assist those released (on bond or otherwise) from the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma which holds people detained for immigration issues.  Apparently when Geo (the private company who runs the Detention Center) releases people, they give them back their clothes they were wearing when detained and put all their other belongings in a plastic bag.  Literally boot them out the gate with no services at all.  The Detention Center, is in the Tideflats area of Tacoma, polluted and industrial.  Nowhere near a bus stop.  If you knew how to get there, it's a few mile walk down the tideflats to the bridge and you end up in downtown Tacoma.  Some people have friends or family they can alert to come get them.  But lots of people don't have that.  There are people from all over the company in that facility.

The Welcome Center is an older RV that's parked near the gate of the releases.  The idea is to help people on their way.  Get them to the bus stop and get them some fare to somewhere.  Figure out how they will buy airline tickets and get them to the airport.  If people can't leave right then, the agency does maintain some short term housing where people can stay for a day or two.  The small agency does have relationships with other local relief organizations.  We give them some snack type food and drinks.  Give them a knapsack or warm clothes if they need it.  Shoelaces and some toiletry goods.  We try to have a Spanish speaker.

This last time, about 14 people were released.  Almost all were from India and they were eager to get some transportation to the Sikh Temple which helps with those who have been released.  One man wanted to take a bus to a small town in Idaho, a volunteer took him to the bus station to figure that out.  He ended staying the night at the temporary housing with a plan of leaving on the bus the next morning..  Also a Somali man who likely would be traveling to some relatives' home in the next day or so.  He also went to the temporary housing.  One man just needed a place to hang out for a few hours until his fried could come get him.

They usually release between 4 and 7 pm.  Not so bad now in mid May but it's pretty dark and cold there a lot of the year.  I wonder if we are enabling Geo.  They don't have to provide services because we are out there helping out.  As it's not really a prison, maybe they are not required to provide any transition services.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Primary day

It's Primary Election day in Lafayette, IN.  Ilana is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for Tippecanoe County Council Position 1.  She is running against well-liked Republican opponent.  It's not clear whether he has an opponent before.  She's purchased 250 yard signs; it took most of her treasury.  She decided, for the primary, to just put them up around the polling places on primary day.  You can see that she has company.

Graphic design work done by her sister Susanna.  In kind donation.  It looks good!  Susanna also helped with Naomi's classroom bulletin boards.  Naomi also knits baby booties.  It's good to have sisters that can contribute!

The polling places close 6pm local time.  So within the hour right now.  Ilana said she was going to some kind of party tonight....

Friday, May 4, 2018

Flashback - Ilana and the Washington State Archives 2011

I've run into a wall of my Sanctuary Place paper.  Don't know where to go with it.  It's a little unusual and I just don't know what kind of journal.  The requirements for submission are tough, so much demanded.  Problems with going it as a lone ranger.

My Fundraising Fair paper still stuck at Pacific Northwest Quarterly, they've had it for six months this time around.  Last I heard, they were looking for another referee.

In my genealogy meeting the other night, I found myself telling the Sleepy Sickness story, my unlikely resolution of a family secret regarding my mother in law.  I made a diagnosis of encephalitis induced parkinsonism based on the flimsiest of information.  Nobody in the family would talk about my mother in law's mother and why she ended up in a mental institution.

Finally, I went down to the Washington State Archives during the summer with Ilana to look at the records for the "Western Hospital for the Insane."  I was astounded to find her record with the cause of death

"Parkinson syndrome psychosis with epidemic encephalitis"

I was so stunned, I had nailed it!

I told the story, my genealogy group said "You should write it up!"  Well, I had, but whatever happened to it?  I had worked on it quite a bit but had I submitted it anywhere?  Nope, didn't.

So I dug it out, one of the members read it and made some editing suggestions.  I wrote it before I even took that genealogy class.  So I've returned to it...