Holler Oddities~

Oddities of the Holler.

Ghost ranches, buried old cars, coyote packs, a former free range Ankole Watusi bull, The Holler is definitely an odd place, which is why we fit in so well!

Take this thorny tree for example. It is a Silk Floss tree and is about 50 feet tall.

This time of year it is covered in plate sized cotton poofs.

The poofs develop from large seed pods.

In the fall, the tree drops its leaves and devotes all its energy to producing masses of beautiful blooms.

The Holler abuts a large nature preserve and is built on very old orchards. Back in the day, orchard workers lived on site and indulged in their love of exotic plants and trees, many of which are still thriving and producing today.

I often wish I could tell them how much we appreciate living with the beautiful results of their talent and effort.

Cheers to…

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Martin Luther King’s advice on avoiding violence – a reprise

Good advice.

musingsofanoldfart

The following post was written about nine years ago, but still resonates today.

Martin Luther King once said,“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very things it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, it merely increases the hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

These aspirational words ring true even today. A historian made a comment on the news the other day, saying the only thing man has been very good at since the…

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Winning Over White Supremacists–One Hater at a Time

Winning over white supremacists one at a time.

annieasksyou...

Image from American Progress.org

I am writing this piece with images of the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol still very fresh in my mind. It is a huge stretch to think of those brutal, sadistic, remorseless thugs and imagine summoning an iota of compassion for them. But others of their ilk–and many psychologists and researchers–say that’s precisely what’s needed.

They call themselves the “formers”: former Klansman, neo-Nazis, or generic white supremacists or other racial extremists who are now devoted to guiding those who’d followed similar paths to come to a better life.

Christian Picciolini is one of them. As a 14-year-old, he’d joined a violent group of white power adherents who became the “Hammerskin Nation.” As he described his feelings to Dave Davies in an NPR interview, the group threw him a “lifeline of acceptance…I felt a sort of energy flow through me that I had never felt before—as…

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Sea Koalas~

Pictures by Cindy Knoke of Moro Bay California sea otters which seem a lot like Sea Koalas.

Wild California Sea Otters,

remind me,

of floating koala bears.

Like koalas they have a laid back approach to life,

and don’t sweat the small stuff!

This pup is clearly embracing the parental philosophy.

Cheers to you from Moro Bay California’s wild sea otters~

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Don’t Mess With Texas?

Where did the slogan “Don’t Mess With Texas” get them?

On The Fence Voters

Former Mayor of San Antonio and Barack Obama’s Secretary of HUD Julian Castro put it best on Chris Hayes’ show on MSNBC the other day: “We need to stop electing people who don’t believe in government, to political positions in the government.”

I wonder how the people of Texas are feeling about their elected GOP leaders these days. Millions are freezing their asses off, being told to boil water, standing in line for groceries and propane, and seeing their neighbors dying after being forced into unsafe acts to stay warm. Is this what they signed up for?

One would think that this might be the final straw. After decades of corporate hack GOP leadership and deregulation on steroids, the state now resembles a failed third-world dictatorship. What more will it take for Texas citizens to throw these idiots out of office and try something different?

They had a chance in…

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Lost Values …

Grownups in government acting like bullies, spoiled children.

Filosofa's Word

The time has come, say the Republicans in Congress, to put the impeachment behind us and move on.  In one sense, I agree.  It is more relevant to study the positive changes President Biden is making, to look to the future which we can do now that we have a president who is intelligent, who will honour his oath of office, and who genuinely cares about the people of this country.

However, there are a few loose ends that still demand our attention, lest we make the same mistakes in the future that we made in the recent past.  One of those things, perhaps the one that most bothers me, is what the acquittal and related events say about nearly half of this nation, nearly half of Congress – the Republican Party, aka GOP.  The acquittal becomes, at this point, secondary to the fact that the Republican Party and likely…

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Feathers, Fortresses & Flora~

Some lovely pictures of Australia and Tasmania taken by Cindy Knoke.

These are just three of the many reasons I love Oz. Most of the creatures are very friendly!

Tasmanian countryside.

Old church, in the former penal colony,

Port Arthur, Tasmania.

Tasmanian,

flora is unique and stunning.

Old Government House, Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney.

Flower Arrangement in the Government House. We met and chatted with the Governor of New South Wales while touring Government House where she lives (I told you, Oz is a friendly place!)

Royal botanical garden Sydney.

Cheers to you from just a few of the reasons I love Oz~

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Saturday Surprise — Critters From Down Under

Animals in Australia.

Filosofa's Word

For the sake of my sanity, I need Saturday Surprise this week as much as you guys … anything besides impeachment just for this morning, please!  Well, you guys know where I turn when I’m stressed and need a smile, right … CRITTERS!

When we think of Australia and critters, a few come to mind right off … kangaroo, wallaby, koala … but there are many more critters that are native to Australia and I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of them.

More than 70% of Australian wildlife is found nowhere else in the world, but sadly much of it also is vulnerable, threatened, or endangered. The 2019-2020 bushfires didn’t help, destroying over 18 million hectares (approx 46 million acres) of land, and it is estimated that it killed over 1 billion animals. 😢  And a few endangered species are now facing the risk…

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