I was taken aback as I viewed the recent cover of  The Nation magazine. Here take a look and tell me what you see…


If you answered an Explorer Border Patrol Scout Troop that is the correct response. The thing is this interest group supported by the Boy Scouts and the NRA is not new. This extension of the Boy Scout program has its roots from 60 years ago.  Thousands of youth have received training  “to confront terrorism, illegal immi -gration and escalating border violence —an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to I’m adding ‘supposedly’ prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.”

If this doesn’t bother you, then we are on different pages because children ages 14 + are given beebee guns that look like real weapons and actually shoot them at our Southern border at others acting as patrol officers is scary as it brings back images of another country training its youth…

Compare the photo above to the black and white  photo below…

These young men below are members of the Hitler Youth movement…



We had to postpone our Milwaukee Rep jaunt last weekend as ‘The Cold’ had hit our household and it was really just the first day of this plague for Natureman. It actually ended up being a perfect day to just lay low. Followed by a week full of meetings in addition to attending LiveStrong AND his day trip to Madison for Water issues, I realized he’s just going to do what he wants so I didn’t change the Rep tickets again.

Yesterday, Sunday, was also a gorgeous 50 degree day ideal for travel not something we can boast too often during a Wisconsin winter …

The play Legend of Georgia McBride is about ‘gender bending’ and was just the right medicine with a perfect blend of humor, music, sequins and good  thematic matter and theater.

The storyline centers around Casey, a young newlywed soon to be father. His income as a failing Elvis impersonator is not paying the bills nor keeping the bar afloat. He  finds himself soon to be unemployed unless he takes on the role of a female impersonator whom he names Georgia McBride in the attempt to spark new business with a drag show in this seedy little Florida Panhandle bar. Casey decides to keep this job change a secret from his pregnant wife… You know that will not fare him well.

Besides watching how Georgie McBride alias Casey embraces his new persona with some lessons in self discovery re:gender bending while enlightening us the audience re: drag and LGBTQ history. There were a lot of good one liners with my favorite delivered by one of the drag queens Anorexia ‘Rexy’ Nervosa’  “Drag ain’t a night job. Drag is a protest. Drag is a raised fist inside a sequined glove.” Loved it.

Treat yourself and see it when it plays near you as it only has one week left in Milwaukee (until Feb 9th).


photo credit: Michael Brosilow  (You know we can’t take photos…)



Another TRUE story shared by civil rights activist Lynda Blackmon Lowery, our Martin Luther King Jr. day keynote speaker risked her life as young teen marching from Selma to Montgomery over the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the right to vote

In her talk with our seventh grade middle schoolers Ms Lowery spoke of the constitutional right to vote granted to all of our citizens. She remembers when in order to be able to get a ballot to vote at one time a black person had to guess the correct number of jelly beans in a jar.

Thirteen year olds understand this was wrong.

We, as adults should understand and fight the voting restrictions being implemented in many of our states and the repercussions of gerrymandering, don’t you think?

The “N” Word…

I promised to share stories our MLK keynote speaker Ms. Lynda Blackmon Lowery shared with us at lunch last Monday. The following powerful story was about language and the time her Daddy took her, a very excited young girl to go buy a new pair of shoes. As they entered the shoe store she was holding her Daddy’s hand with him towering above her…

The buccolic scene quickly changed as a young white girl approached them not much older than herself, stared up at Ms. Lowery’s Daddy and matter of factly asked him “What do you want n…..? It was at this point in the story Ms. Lowery’s eyes welled up as she continued explaining the change she saw in her Daddy’s frame and eyes. A look she will never forget. A mixed look of hurt and anger. The use of the ‘n’ word cut immediately to his core. He said nothing, tightened his grip on her little hand and they left. They never spoke of it. Yet some 6 decades later that day still carries so much weight.

Ms. Lowery’s story had a visceral effect on me. I continued eating but let me tell you each bite didn’t go down easily. I grew up in the South and learned at a very early age there were certain words you never used and one of those was the ‘N’ word. Later I would learn the ‘history’ of denigration the ‘N’ word carried. To this day I have never used it. It wasn’t ever used in a kind way. It carried a tone of white supremacy and if I hear it used from a white mouth, it makes me think less of the person using it. It is always considered offensive when used by a ‘white’ person. The racial slur reveals volumes of years of slavery.

I know there’s controversy regarding its usage and that a diminutive form ending in ‘ga is considered an endearing term. Ms. Lowery doesn’t feel the word should be used by anybody. Not rappers, youth, nobody…

As the Crosby Stills & Nash lyrics say: Teach your children well…


It was inevitable and just a matter of time until one of these would come home with one of us. They were in our friends’s homes/ their friends’s homes. They are all around us and they were like bad visitors who overstay their welcome. You know the kind when they’re almost out the door, they linger on and even become more boisterous. And since you’ve got stuff to do it would have been oodles better if they didn’t even stop by at all…

Yesterday was the day as Natureman returned home headachy and awoke after a doze with more complaints, a sore throat and some congestion. The End of the Rainbow Valley got the unwanted guest. That full fledged first seasonal cold. My job was clear to try to make sure it runs its course as quickly as possible and doesn’t turn into anything more… You know I’m going to need the patient’s help on this one.


Needed: Fluids. Rest. Translated ‘No wood hauling.’ and a little isolation trying to avoid more germs and others for these first couple of days.

We were supposed to head in to Milwaukee for the Rep and en route stop in Madison for brunch with the newlyweds. Unfortunately, both events had to be cancelled on our end. Even if there was some relief in sight, I knew it would just be temporary…

We did use the day to lay low and since Balto had a free day of doggie day care I dropped him off as he could use the exercise and socialization. (The barn cats although playful aren’t quite as exhausting) He came home wiped. Snarfed dinner and fell asleep at the food bowl. We were almost as bad but made it until 9 ish.

In this area this cold has tended to be long lasting and can turn into pneumonia. Fingers crossed we can avoid that… And it interfering with his chemo/ infusion schedule.

You’ll be needed as reinforcements to help remind this guy that maybe heading to Madison on Thursday re: Water issues can be handled by others… Thanks.


One never knows what one will encounter going down our country one mile drive way. There had been a very noisy pack of coyotes since deer season had come and gone.

Natureman had mentioned spotting a recently killed  deer viewable on the nearby hillside which may have explained Balto’s recent interest away from the house. It didn’t surprise me to then see a frozen deer pelt laying on the drive. But before my return  to toss it aside it was gone. Mmm. Somebody must have wanted it.

Then a couple of days passed and what was left of that deer had been dragged  onto that very same spot on the road. I drove around it but knew it needed it would need to be pulled off roadside. I’d say it had been picked to the bone, wouldn’t you?


Wait, you didn’t think I was going to pull it off with my good gloves on, did you? It was a job for Natureman, the one with the work gloves!


If you missed last week’s FOTO FRIDAY here’s that link: FOTO FRIDAY: UNIVERSAL SIGNS



The one thing we can do for our children is to model being a good person who works towards making the world a better place for future generations…

How lucky to have grandchildren who will remember the night their Zayde (Grandfather) was recognized by his community for his good deeds this past Monday and received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 2020 Drum Major Legacy Award of the Coulee Region for decades- long work for social justice, equality, compassion, cooperation, protection of natural resources, economic fairness and equal justice…

It was an evening of inspiration for old and young alike. I hope the kids don’t mind me sharing that both grands were very surprised at how “not bored” they were. They enjoyed the event, and the eldest mentioned that even though she didn’t have school that day, she still ended up learning a whole lot of important things. Out of the mouth of babes…

L’dor v’dor, from generation to generation

3 generations of Baltos