FULL MOON

 

June’s full moon is in fire sign Sagittarius. See it there in the 7th house? The planet next to it, at 18 degrees of Sagittarius, is Jupiter, the planet of luck, expansion, the big picture.

The moon rules our inner, emotional lives, intuition, mom or the nurturing parent, and the full moon is about the harvest. About completion. Since it’s in Sagittarius, we should have a better grasp of the bigger picture of whatever we’re dealing with right now. Jupiter rules Sagittarius, so whatever events transpire for you on or around this full moon, expansion is the main theme.

Check your sign’s forecast for this month, in the masthead, and find out what this full moon may bring about for you.

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America’s Giants Still Roaming

A ‘Giant’s Femur’ – believe it or not!

Like ancient Greece, America has its own mythical past. But instead of gods residing on the likes of Mount Olympus, the New World has pale-skinned giants—some ranging up to 12-feet tall—who roamed about ancient America, and were supposedly associated with the mysterious Mound Builder Culture. These giants don’t have names or renowned powers like the Greek gods, but they have a way of coming back to life over and over. While the Greek gods were cultural heroes, the legendary giants of America were the product of speculative science and today—thanks to tabloid reality—remain the patron saints of fake news.

In 1894, ethnologist Cyrus Thomas seemingly slayed the giants of America en masse with his report that concluded that the ancient mounds were created by native Americans, not any lost white culture of giants. The theory of these ancient giants actually held sway in the early decades of the 19th century with the U.S. government, whose officials openly advocated the existence of a lost white race of Mound Builders, sometimes called Welsh Indians or “paleo-Hebrews.”

Even the Smithsonian got into the jolly white giant mode by referring to oversized skeletons, and attributing the American mounds to a lost white race until 1894. But by the turn of the century the great white giant hope had become a glimmer of the past, a part of “fringe” science. (Meanwhile, some ideas considered fringe by 19th century scientists—such as the concept that rock fell from the sky—became mainstream science, as any meteorite hunter will attest.)

Move up to the 21st century and, guess what, the giants are back. Just the other day someone sent me an article dated from the World News Daily News professing that the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in favor of the American Institute of Alternative Archaeology (AIAA) against the Smithsonian Institute in a case claiming that the Smithsonian had destroyed thousand of giant skeletons in the early years of the 20th century. The fake article apparently has gained widespread attention on the Internet and many believe it’s real. But unfortunately for the believers there is no AIAA and no Supreme Court case involved the Smithsonian and the destruction of the remains of giants.

As a writer of fictional archaeology tales featuring the greatest archaeologists who never lived, I can sympathize to an extent with these adventures yarns, new and old, from the dark side of archaeology and journalism. Yet, in writing six original Indiana Jones novels—in addition to Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade—I worked under the guidance of George Lucas, who insisted that all artifacts be real-life objects, and all myths and legends be based on existing narratives. So, even in fiction writing, my stories needed to be based on some recognizable reality.

That included Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants! But my giants were made of stone, because the title is a folk name for Stonehenge. In the legend, a wizard—none other than Merlin—built it with stones he stole from Erin. Through his magic, he flew them from Wales and set them down on the great plains of Salisbury and made a ring of power to endure forever. According to the scribe Geoffrey of Monmouth, Merlin, the arch-Druid of Albion, built the Giant’s Dance to commemorate the treacherous slaying of Vortigern by Hengist, the Saxon, at nearby Amesbury.

All that said, our American giants, in spite of the help provided by the tabloids, probably will never become a legend in the heroic vein of Merlin’s tale. That would require the discovery of long hidden stone tablets or ancient scrolls telling of certain powerful giants possessing magical abilities, who filled the triple extra-large shoes of America’s ancient giants. Or maybe the next George R.R. Martin could make them up.

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Synchronicity and Loss of Visibility

In blogging about synchronicity for more than 10 years now, we’ve gotten some wonderful stories that illustrate how synchronicity works under numerous types of conditions and situations. The experience that Nancy Atkinson relates occurred to her daughter. It may be one of those archetypal synchronicities that’s ore common than we realize.
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“My daughter had a weird experience yesterday – she has to drive about 28 miles to work each day in a neighboring town. She also been struggling with whether or not to have a child, or to just continue teaching her special-needs students, who depend on her so much. Her thoughts were how could she possibly commute to work and also have a child, in that the hours away from said child would be too much.

“All of a sudden a big piece of plastic blew unto her windshield and totally obstructed her view! She was traveling 70 miles per hour down the freeway! Somehow she managed to get the car to the side of the road without an accident and, totally shaken to the core, went to open the door to pull off the plastic, when it blew away and across the medium and other side of the freeway.

“Just two nights ago I felt the need to send a prayer for protection for her. As a teacher in a difficult school, I often feel as though my daughter is working in a war zone. Anyway, I know the plastic had something to do with clarity, as she was totally unable to see the road for some time. Not sure how to read it it. She thinks it was the Universe’s way of saying, “No way! you can’t commute and be okay with having a child!” What do you think?”

My response: “Wow, Nancy. A seemingly random piece of plastic hits her windshield, totally obstructing her view, while she’s thinking about whether to have a child. Maybe it could mean she’s not seeing the bigger picture, which could pose some risk to her? Or, perhaps her best course is to “pull to the side of the road” – let the idea go for now, sit on it. Powerful synchro regardless. I’m glad she had the presence of mind to pull over.”

Then I started thinking about this synchronicity and wondered how many people had similar experiences when facing a choice. And I realized I’d experienced something like this when I was in my late twenties.

I was on my first solo cross country flight for my private pilot’s license in a Cessna that looks like the one above. I was en route from Vero Beach to Lake Okeechobee or Belle Glade, can’t remember which. I’d bee in the air long enough to reach altitude when oil suddenly covered my windshield. I turned on the wipers, which only smeared the oil everywhere.

I called the closest tower and asked for help. The controller I spoke to diagnosed the problem immediately: the engine had blown a gasket. He advised me to fly by instruments to the nearest airport and use the side window for visuals. I don’t think I’ve ever been so terrified, but I didn’t panic. You can’t afford to panic when you’re flying solo in a plane with oil smeared across your windshield.

I landed safely, but that was pretty much the end of my flying.

The difference between my experience and that of Nancy’s daughter was that I wasn’t thinking about any big choices I was facing. I was just excited to finally be on my first solo. But the event itself seemed straightforward. When your vision is obstructed, it’s difficult to make good decisions. It’s time to  take a breather, set things aside, come back to it later.

I suspect this type of synchro manifests itself in many different ways.

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Who’s flashing us from the moon?

Moon Mystery

Have you heard about flashes of light from the moon? It’s something I vaguely recall reading about years ago, but it hasn’t come to my attention for a long time. However, recently while reading a book by Ingo Swann, called PENETRATION, the subject came up again. In fact, it’s the topic of the second part of the book, which was pubished in 1998.

Apparently people have reported seeing flashes of light beamed from the moon for centuries. So these flashes must sometimes be bright enough to see with the naked eye. The phenomenon usually last only two or three seconds, but sometimes continue for minutes or hours, and the illuminations even change colors. Swann wrote that scientist have studied the phenomena, but have no answer and are peculiarly quiet on the subject. That seems strange because by the turn of the century a lot of research had been done on the moon.

Swann notes that many of the illuminations come from large meteor craters, such as one named Plato, which is 60 miles across. He writes: “Many of the self-luminous ‘objects’ are seen to move about. Others of them form geometric patterns, such as circles, squares, and triangles. Sometimes lights have been seen emerging from smaller or nearby craters and moving to Plato, then descending the crater walls. In 1966, there were numerous reddish glowing spots shining out from Plato.

Swann, who died in 2013, was a renowned psychic researcher. In Penetration, he revealed a secret series of experiences he had with an intelligence agency, experiences that related to unusual activities on the moon, especially the dark side. He tells a story of meetings held in a secret underground facility not far from Washington DC, and of being taken to a remote location near the Arctic Circle to witness the expected arrival of a huge UFO over the surface of an Alaskan lake. Swann contends the government knows far more about the moon than has been made public.

But what about those mysterious moon flashes? Now, twenty-one years after that book was published, I decided to see what, if anything, I could find out about the subject. Where would Google lead me? Would it be conjecture by outside observers about aliens or has science solved the question?

I was surprised to see that Popular Science published an article on the very subject of moon flashes June 6 of this year and it appeared on the Internet just hour before I began writing this moon commentary. Very convenient and up to date. Synchronicity, right?

The headline on the article says it all: THE MOON KEEPS FLASHING US AND WE HAVE NO IDEA WHY. That’s surprising. Despite extensive research, no one knows for certain what these flashes are about. But they have a name now: Transient lunar phenomenon (TLP).

From the article: “Tony Cook, a researcher based at Aberystwyth University in the UK who’s written about TLP, estimates that there’ve been about 3,000 reports of lunar flashes, although many have been made by amateur astronomers and inexperienced observers. More recently, the European Space Agency has operated its NELIOTA telescope since 2017, discovering there are far more flashes happening than we thought and they’re distributed more widely across the surface.”

According to a German astronomer, Hakan Kayal, who was cited in the article: “TLP flashes are typically just that—bursts of light that appear and disappear within a second or two, although the literature also documents some longer lasting observations that brighten the surface for minutes or even hours. The spikes in light have been previously described as a sort of sparkle, often red or pink in hue, that stretch out for up to 10 miles in diameter. Astronomers nowadays typically see them happening several times a week. In rare instances, these light changes sometimes result in darkened patches popping up on the surface.”

Although scientists don’t have any explanation yet for TLP, here are some ideas that have been suggested by scientists: meteorite impacts; the release of gas or vapors, perhaps through moonquakes, that can cloud the surface and reflect light abnormally; electrostatic discharge due to interactions with the solar wind; and light emission caused by rock fracturing.

Hm, no mention of aliens beaming us from their hideouts in the craters. That option, of course, doesn’t make science magazines. Interestingly, the article doesn’t even attempt any jokes about aliens. 

Certainly the author must be aware that some of us might see an alien link! The fact that no mention of aliens is made, not even as a joke, is odd. Ignoring the alien factor won’t make it go away.  In fact, if Ingo Swann were still alive, he would read the article and probably say that there are scientists working for the government who know more than they’re telling us about the moon.

It  appears that Swann was right. Newly leaked government documents prove that the  government has not only known about aliens for decades but has physical evidence in the form of crashed vehicles from out of this world. You can read about that part of the story here.

 

 

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Astrologer Alex Miller and trump’s astrological solar return

Astrologer Alex Miller is the only astrologer I know of who uses asteroids and his posts are often stunning and always insightful. This one is extraordinary  and somewhat depressing about the election in 2020. It concerns trump’s solar return for his birthday on June 14.

A solar return is a chart erected for when the sun returns to its birth position in your chart. It usually falls on or near your birthday and becomes your chart for the next year, showing your strengths and vulnerabilities. Here’s what he has to say about trump’s solar return chart.

Before you get depressed, read the whole thing. There are possible glimmers of light. And it means we all need to turn out in droves and vote for the democratic nominee.

Donald Trump’s 2019 Solar Return: Jupiter to the Rescue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Instagram and Trump and the rest of it…

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 29: U.S. President Donald Trump and his granddaughter Arabella Rose Kushner walk across the South Lawn as they return from a weekend stay in Bedminster, New Jersey at the White House on July 29, 2018 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day, the President once again went after the media on Twitter, calling them the ‘enemy of the people.’ (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)

I waded into Instagram for only one reason: because my agent said you need a social media platform to sell books. I’m not so sure  IG is that medium, but I know that Twitter isn’t. Facebook may not be that medium, either, but it has  a third of the world’s population engaged, so who knows?

Here’s what I know about IG. Pockets of it are so dark and strange it’s as if you’ve fallen into an alternative universe. I ran into one of these tonight.

A sampling:

How to offend a liberal with 4 words, a series:

there are 2 genders
Abortion kills unborn babies
Guns don’t kill people
Illegal immigrants are ILLEGAL
We need border security
Make America great again
Your feelings are irrelevant

Huh?

Then this, from an IG called superior_conservatives:

Beside giving illegal visas, we should give them Mastercards as well, with a photo of AOC as the backdrop.

Or this: Trump is literally making unemployment rate go down and is bringing in more jobs. So shut your ass up you dumb Obama cock sucker.

When the press, when ordinary people, talk about the lack of decorum among trump supporters, the lack of any sort of presidential anything, this is the kind of thing they’re referencing.

When the president talks like some racist misogynistic who holds nothing but disdain for the rules of law and what’s best for the country he’s supposed to be leading, it’s no surprise that the people like this come out of the closet. Hey, guess what! I’m also a racist. I think women and everyone else who isn’t like me belongs in a detention camp, a cage, prison. No collusion, no crime, nothing going on here, you stupid electorate. Just vote for me in 2020 and let’s make America great again.

Well, sorry dude, hate to break your bubble. Even Fox News recognizes that trump’s refusal to comply with subpoenas, his instructions to staff to do the same, constitutes obstruction of justice.

I don’t understand why any woman, of any color would support you. I don’t understand your Evangelical support because, frankly, there’s no moral compass connected to anything you do. Your prime directive is to make money as president, which is why you won’t release your tax returns and are demanding that your former attorney, Andy McCabe and everyone else who has worked for you must ignore his/her subpoenas from Congress.

We stand at an unprecedented point in history, where Democracy lies in the cross hairs of a nut in the White House who figures he can bully his way to a second term. I think Joe Biden is a nice guy, was a good VP for Obama, and that his life has been riddled with tragedies that give him an insightful understanding of the human dilemma. But I also don’t think he’ll win against trump. Nice Guys rarely win against bullies, even a Nice Guy with Biden’s long public service record.

We’re entering a  new paradigm, and to fully realize it, we need visionaries, not throwbacks. We need impeachment that holds trump accountable, not waffling about whether impeachment is a good political strategy. If impeachment proceedings aren’t brought against trump, then the Dems are basically saying, Hey, we know you’re a crook who violated innumerable laws, but we’re going to give you a pass in the hopes that we win the White House in 2020. It’s a weak, stupid strategy.

And by doing that, they’re telling every subsequent president to do whatever the hell they want and not worry about consequences unless there’s an expedient reason to do so. The current  DOJ policy says that current presidents can’t be held accountable, can’t be indicted because they are like kings and emperors, autocrats and dictators who are above the law.

Really?  Since when is anyone above the law?

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Elizabeth Warren’s Birth Chart

The first chart I did for the Dem candidates was that of Kamala Harris. Here’s my interp of Elizabeth Warren’s chart.

She has a Cancer sun, Taurus Moon, and Libra rising. Notice that all the planets are above the horizon – except for Jupiter in Aquarius in the 4th house. Of the thousands of charts I’ve done, most have planets scattered through the chart, above and below the horizon. The fact that she has 9 planets above the horizon tells me one really important thing: no secrets here. What she says is what she believes. What you see is pretty much what you get.

Her one-degree Cancer sun in the 9th house is conjunct her Uranus at 0 degrees cancer.This house rules the courts, law, attorneys, worldview, philosophical and spiritual beliefs, publishing, and foreign people, places, travel. Whenever I see the sun and Uranus conjunct, I know this is the chart of a genius. For Warren, that brilliance manifests itself in the law – her knowledge of it, of politics, of the courts, and her talent for policy. She has a plan for everything. And oh, she teaches law at Harvard.

Her rising, Libra, is depicted by the sign for justice – lawyers, courts , the law.

She has three planets in the 8th house. It represents other people’s money – banks, mortgages, insurance, taxes – as well as more esoteric stuff, like life after death and the paranormal. This house is the source of her banking knowledge. She has Mars and Mercury conjunct here in Gemini, the sign of the communicator. Mars makes her intellectually (Gemini) feisty, and Mercury enables her to communicate her opinions and beliefs about her policies.

In that 8th house, that third planet is the moon in Taurus, the most stubborn sign in the zodiac.The moon represents our emotions, intuition, how we nurture self and others, what makes us feel secure. Warren will never back down from what she believes and she’ll never be shy about expressing it

But here’s the really important thing about Warren’s chart and her chances for the presidency: her 0 degree Jupiter in Aquarius in the 4th house.

A little background. Every 11.6 years -call it 12 – Jupiter returns to where it was when you were born. It’s called a Jupiter return. That year is usually one of harvest, expansion, great luck, you’re in the right place at the right time and are the right person for the job. That kind of luck. BIG magic. Around the time of the election, Warren will be pretty close to her Jupiter return on December 17.

Now, what’s also interesting is that Obama has natal Jupiter at 0 degrees Aquarius in the 12th house.

In January 2009, around the time Obama was inaugurated, he hit his Jupiter return.

Now look at trump’s chart.

His Jupiter at 17 Libra is in his 2nd house – money, earned income, values – and fits with wealth and its expansion. In December 2016, trump entered a Jupiter return in Libra.

So what we have here is both Obama and trump winning the presidency as they approached their Jupiter returns. Will Warren be the third person to do the same? There may well be other people who have won presidencies under their Jupiter returns, but I’ve only done the last 2 presidents.

After seeing Warren in a town hall with Chris Hayes, I love this woman. She understands that you don’t govern according to politics, but according to what you believe is right.

 

 

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Venezuela

View of Caracas from Mount Avila

 

I was born in Caracas, Venezuela during the oil boom, born to American parents who arrived there in 1937 to work for Standard Oil. That made me an American citizen.Years later, I realized it was one of the few things that I shared with Senator John McCain, born in Panama to American parents.

Today, Venezuela is a a country in complete chaos. Rampant poverty. Not enough food, medicine, water, not enough of anything for survival. From the news I read on the Internet, it sounds like the birth of a Dystopian world that isn’t quite Dystopia yet because there are no set rules yet in place. In The Hunger Games, we knew early on what the rules were – 12 districts, and once a year, these districts were pitted against each other in the games that pitted children against children. In Venezuela now, there are no such clear rules.

Maduro, who inherited his position through the previous dictator, Hugo Chavez, when he died, declares that he won the presidency. Juan Guaido, president of the National Assembly – like our Congress – says he’s the prez. More than 50 countries, including the U.S., agree with him. But as long as Maduro is backed by the Venezuelan military – that drove back incoming aid from Colombia and the Red Cross- then he can do stuff like cut power to the country for more than a week.

During many of the years that I lived in Venezuela, went to school here, had a life there – it was under the dictatorship of Perez Jimenez. He was a despot who, like his dictator brothers around the world, did away with his adversaries, made deals with the king pins in various parts of the world, including the U.S. – and could do so easily because of the oil, the country’s greatest economic resource.

In fact, when my dad went there in 1937, he did so for a job. The U.S. was coming out of the depression and he, an accountant couldn’t find work in Tulsa, Oklahoma, answered a Standard Oil ad. He spent nearly 30 years in Venezuela, working for a company that helped to develop the oil industry in Venezuela – and really milked it for profit.

In the early 1960s Jimenez nationalized the oil companies and Americans started leaving the country in droves. I remember standing on the balcony of our apartment the night that Jimenez fled the country, watching the procession of government cars speeding down the mountain. He had embezzled $13 million from the Venezuelan treasury and ended up living in Miami Beach.

But that was the night, I’m sure, when my dad decided he’d had enough. He was going to retire, take his pension (meager, considering all the years he’d worked there), and move back to the U.S. I understand why he made that decision. But for me, the repercussions were huge. I loved Venezuela. Loved its diversity, its beauty, its strangeness. I loved my life there, enfolded as it was in all sorts of weirdness. When school was cancelled it wasn’t because of a hurricane; it was due to a revolution. But the process was the same – a run to the grocery store for water and other supplies and the shelves would be bare. No cell phones back then to record it, just that permanent photo in your head.

In the late 80s, we returned to Venezuela on a trip with my parents. In the city of Maracaibo, where we had lived in an “oil camp “ – housing for oil company employees – we were hurrying down a road in intense heat and my dad was trying to remember the address of the house in which we’d lived. When you compare the reality to the memory, that’s tough. Suddenly, he said, “57, we lived at 57!”

And there it was, the little house where we’d been living when my sister was born, where a rabid monkey once had sought refuge during an escape, where I’d plucked incredible mangos from a tree in the backyard. We knocked at the door. And the couple who owned the house invited us to lunch.

That Venezuela is now history.

In that Venezuela, among the oil brats who shared at least a part of that history, are trump supporters. And I don’t understand that at all.

Here are some of the BBC’s more recent headlines about Venezuela.

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New Moon in Gemini

The New Moon in Gemini on June 3 has something good for everyone. New moons are always about new opportunities, new people, new chapters opening in our lives. New moons favor submissions, interviews, starting new projects.

This one, at 12 degrees Gemini, also enjoys Mercury at 27 degrees Gemini, and the part of fortune at 20, exactly conjunct the 20 degree Gemini rising in the chart. This is all about communication, networking, and socializing.

To see what’s in store for you for the rest of June, the new forecasts are in the masthead.

ARIES

It should be a great month for you, and it all begins on June 3, with a new moon in compatible air sign Gemini. You may have an opportunity to collaborate on a book with a friend or could be invited to teach a workshop or conduct a seminar. You may be networking and socializing more, and new and valuable contacts are made.

TAURUS

With the new moon in Gemini on June 3, a new source of income should surface for
you. It could be a freelance job, something that comes to you through your network of acquaintances, a writing or publicity gig or even a part-time job. All that’s required of you, Taurus, is to be vigilant and recognize the opportunity as it surfaces.

GEMINI

A new moon in your sign happens just once a year and usually sets the tone for the rest of the year. Make a wish list and at some point on June 3, mull over each item on your list. Vividly imagine each thing happening. Do something special for yourself on the 3rd. Do whatever makes you happy. Then step out of the way, and let the universe do its job.

CANCER

June should be to your liking, and the good stuff begins on June 3, with a new moon in Gemini. Opportunities that surface may revolve around learning, research, communication— writing, speaking, teaching—and networking. You might have a chance to teach a course or 
or workshop, could get a freelance writing project or could be hired for a behind-the-scenes project. Gemini is a sociable sign, so expect to be out and about more than usual.

LEO

The new moon in Gemini should be very nice for your social life. As new friends enter your life, so do new opportunities for networking, publicity and communication projects. Today, you can talk to anyone about virtually anything. If you’re in sales, you probably surpass your daily quota! The new moon kick starts a good month for you, Leo.

VIRGO

The new moon in Gemini on June 3 brings new professional opportunities that could range from a promotion and raise to an entirely new career path. It depends on what you’ve been desiring and where you’ve been putting your attention. If you’ve been working toward starting your own business, then the energy of this new moon could make it happen.

LIBRA

The new moon in Gemini is a good one for you. Be on the lookout for new opportunities to network. You may be asked to conduct a workshop or teach a class on a subject in which you’re an expert. Or you may take a workshop or class. Gemini is perpetually curious, so on or around the time of this new moon, you may have a chance to research something that intrigues you.

SCORPIO

Expect new opportunities for writing and speaking gigs, for networking with professional colleagues and for living more gregariously. It’s a good time to enter the flow of events and situations and leave the worrying and fretting to someone else!

SAGITTARIUS

This new moon brings in new opportunities in partnerships. You and your spouse may launch your own business or deepen your commitment to each other in some way. You have a chance to form new networks of friends and acquaintances or to work on a publicity campaign for a new client. With Mercury also in Gemini, your communication skills are sharp.

CAPRICORN

The new moon in Gemini on June 3 ushers in new opportunities in your daily work routine and in the maintenance of your health. You might be promoted or tapped to head up a team, or if you’ve been looking for employment, you get the job you want. If you’re self-employed, a new client or project comes your way. You may have a stab at a writing project or could be hired for a publicity or merchandising campaign.

AQUARIUS

If you aren’t involved in a romantic relationship, this moon may change the status quo, particularly once Venus transits Gemini and this same area of your chart from June 8 to July 3. The new moon and this Venus transit also facilitates all your creative endeavors. Whatever your skill or talent, you may sell a project this month or be invited to exhibit your products. If you and your partner are considering starting a family, then this new moon and the Venus transit may bring it about. This part of your chart also governs children.

PISCES

The new moon in Gemini brings in new opportunities for your family/home. Unless your kids are very young, engage the entire family in the decision about where to go this year. If you have been going to the same areas year after year, be more adventurous now and choose a spot where none of you have been.

 

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‘Angel Numbers’

Seeing the same numbers repeatedly over a period of time is one of the most common synchronicities  that people report. They usually want to know what does it mean. Well, here’s one possible answer, called Angel Numbers, that popped up recently on my FB inbox from someone calling him/herself Ancient Soul.

What are your thoughts?

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Forecasts for June

The astrological forecasts for June are now posted in the masthead. Happy June, everyone!

 

 

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How’d This Happen?

Take a good look at this guy. What do you see?

There are certain members of congress who remind me of reptiles. They’re not so different from the lizards that scamper through our backyard, eating anything within reach.

Take Mitch McConnell, repub from Kentucky, senate majority leader who blocked Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court for months. Who seems to love trump regardless of what he’s doing. Whose soul (if he ever had one) has been whisked off to trump Neverland.

You know, that Neverland that says, Women are subservient to men. Women shouldn’t have any control over their own bodies, it’s okay if the prez is a pathological liar and con man, it’s all good as long as the republican agenda can be shoved through.

If the dems ever get really serious about impeachment hearings, they already know it will die in the Senate. Mitch decides what can come to the floor. In Nixon’s era, he resigned before he could be impeached. Pelosi needs to fully embrace impeachment even if she knows it will die in McConnell’s senate, otherwise trump and every prez that comes after him (if there are any) will figure they can do what they want without impunity.

The bottom line here is ugly. Trump has torn apart the fabric of the constitution, of the presidency, of diplomatic ties with our allies, pulled out of climate and nuclear accords, and calls himself a genius, the best prez ever. As the protagonist in The Handmaid’s Tale laments at one point, “How’d we get to this place?”

Well, one possible answer is that we believed it could never happen here.

 

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Simba, RIP

Simba was my first orange tabby. He came to us from our neighbor, Annette, when she found him and his bro, Copper, as a kitten near her church. She adopted Copper and asked if we would take Simba. Annette thinks this happened in 2005, I think it was 2007. Simba and Copper were nearly identical except that Simba’s eyes were green and Cooper’s were amber. But if you saw them close together like this, you could hardly tell them apart.

Over the years, Simba was the alpha cat – not mean, but firm about his positions among the cats we had. When younger, one of his favorite spots was on top of my desk, just sitting there looking regal as I worked, as in the top photo.

Outside, he and Copper often climbed a tree in our front yard that enabled them to get to the roof, where they would sit together watching the world below. This tree: and that’s Copper during catobatics, with Simba just visible above him. When Copper was hit by a car three years ago, Annette and her family buried him next to this tree. I would often spot Simba sitting on that grave.

One summer, we stated finding dead mice around the house – in the shower, the kitchen. And then we started seeing Simba crouched in various places around the house where he sensed a mouse was hiding. We realized we had an infestation and Rob started placing mousetraps in cabinets Simba had pinpointed. Eventually, they were all caught. He was our mouse detector.

Noah, our Golden Retriever, was like a horse next to Simba but Simba befriended him early on. The same was true of Nigel and of Megan’s dog, Nika. There are Nika and Nigel at the end of the sidewalk, with Simba watching them.

He was tolerant of our other cats, but not exactly warm and fuzzy.

As he got older, his spot at night was next to my head on my bed,where we often tussled over who got the extra pillow.

When Nala entered our lives last Christmas, she quickly cozied up to Noah and Simba gradually accepted her.

For the last several days, he hadn’t been eating and yesterday, didn’t eat at all or go outside to his favorite spot by the pile of wood we use for our fire pit during the winter. He was also bloated  – we thought he’d just gained weight  – so I took him to our vet.

X rays revealed so much fluid in his chest that his lungs were floating. His stomach was also filled with fluid. Ira, our vet, walked me through the X rays and pointed out what he thought might be a mass, a tumor, close to his lungs, which would explain the buildup of fluid. Even if the fluid was drained, it probably would return, he said. Simba was already having difficulty breathing.  Rather than put him through additional tests and blood work, I felt it was best to euthanize him.

Ira and his technician, Juan, were wonderfully compassionate.

I miss seeing Simba by that fire pit in the morning. Or in the backyard by the pool, stalking lizards or trying to teach Nala about the etiquette of outside freedoms. I miss him by my head at night. I hope Noah and our other cats were with him as he passed.

Rob dug a grave for him close to where we buried Powder not that long ago. Now there are 4 cats and a bird buried in our backyard. And I’m waiting for Simba to pay us a visit.

 

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