Sunday, December 31, 2017

Creative healing

The sixth day of Kwanzaa
This one is especially near to my heart: the principle of Kuumba, creativity! The only way to build a vibrant community is through the creative devotion of the people within it.

Just as the arts can help revive a dying neighborhood, so can the application of creative energy build positive bridges of hope, where before there were only walls of separation. Our whole country desperately needs this kind of creative healing.

What better, more hopeful task can we set ourselves upon than that, this New Year's Eve?

IMAGES: Many thanks to Jeffrey St. Clair via LinkedIn's SlideShare, for the nicely designed symbol image and "seven principles" slide, to the Pinterest board of Students at the Center Hub for the Mae C. Jemison quote, and to SororitySugar's Tumblr (tagged Gamma-Sigma-Sigma) via Pinterest, for the Mitch Albom quote.

Saturday, December 30, 2017


The fifth day of Kwanzaa
Here in the United States today, we continue to re-fight battles that should long ago have been won, while a hundred small and large disadvantages assail African-Americans at every encounter, continually.

All Americans stand to gain, if only we can keep working together for the goal of realizing the dream of true equality. It is only when all of us are empowered to reach our full potential that we will truly reach greatness.

IMAGES: Many thanks to Jeffrey St. Clair via LinkedIn's SlideShare, for the nicely designed symbol image and "seven principles" slide, to Kathryn Drumright Sr's Pinterest board for the Harriet Tubman quote, and to Goalcast, for the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Investing wisely

Fourth day of Kwanzaa
Part of working together to support our community is working within the community. Support local institutions, locally-owned small businesses, locally-based arts and community initiatives. If we want a strong, vibrant community, we must invest in it!

IMAGES: Many thanks to Jeffrey St. Clair via LinkedIn's SlideShare, for the nicely designed symbol image and "seven principles" slide, to MyThirtyOne via Pinterest, for the "support a dream" quote, and to ThreeOwlPolyLove on Pinterest, for the Mother Teresa quote.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Working together

Third Day of Kwanzaa
Once we're strong within ourselves, it's time to work together for the good of our community and each other. Oh, how our nation and our world needs more of this value!

IMAGES: Many thanks to Jeffrey St. Clair via LinkedIn's SlideShare, for the nicely designed symbol image and "seven principles" slide, and to BrainyQuote, for both the Sam Walton quote and the one from Bob Dylan.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Second Day of Kwanzaa
"To be responsible for ourselves and create our own destiny." It's a worthy goal for us all.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Jeffrey St. Clair via LinkedIn's SlideShare, for the nicely designed symbol image and "seven principles" slide, to "Quotations I like" for the Carl Jung quote, and to QuoteFancy for the Epicurus quote. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Recovery, Happy first-day-of-Kwanzaa, and don't forget Boxing Day!

And just like that, it's over. Except for the digging out . . . and except that for some of us, it's NOT over.

Happy Kwanzaa!
If you celebrate Kwanzaa, of course, the holiday has only just begun! Today is the day to especially celebrate Umoja, or Unity--something we all could use a good deal more of, in my home country of the United States.

At the basis of unity is shared respect and--yes--love.

And Boxing Day!
Don't forget today is ALSO Boxing Day in much of the English-speaking world! This year, more than ever, it might be a great moment to consider a large, charitable donation.

IMAGES: Many thanks to Brian Gordon and his Fowl Language cartoons, for today's grin, to Jeffrey St. Clair via LinkedIn and SlideShare for the beautiful Umoja Unity design, and to the Tumblr of Adam Hernandez AKA "Slim Baby!" (via Pinterest), with thanks to TinEye Reverse Image Search, for the Cornel West quote and image.

Monday, December 25, 2017

But a Merry Christmas I wish you anyway!

A little science fictional glee seems appropriate right now . . .

IMAGE: Many thanks to Buzzfeed, via Shoebox Greetings, and I'm pretty sure cartoonist "Brian" is my Westwood, KS semi-neighbor Brian Gordon, of the ever-wonderful Fowl Language cartoons about parenting. Of course, I NE-E-E-E-EVER feature his cartoons on my blog . . . :-)

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Better watch out!

It's Christmas Eve. Did you remember Santa? (They hope so!)

IMAGE: Many thanks to FunnyPicture for this image!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Aren't we there yet? Oh, yeah! Happy Festivus!

Happy Festivus!
Yes--this is it! The day has arrived! Have you set up your Festivus Pole? Have you aired a few grievances? Have you eaten your meatloaf and M&Ms-studded cake? Then you're celebrating in Festivus style!

For those of us who celebrate Christmas, however, we're still counting down the days. For some of us, a little wine helps . . . 

IMAGES: Many thanks to Teenormous, for the Seinfeld-inspired Festivus T-shirt design, and to Country Living and cartoonist Scott Metzger for the pre-Christmas grin.

Friday, December 22, 2017

It's all about proportions

The Artdog Image of Interest

Yeah, that's a pretty generous garnish. I've heard of lemon water, citrus water, cucumber water, and mint water, but who knew pine water was a thing?

IMAGE: Many thanks to Funny Pictures Christmas Cats, via Pinterest, for this image!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

That funny-looking tree!

Seriously, people. 
You have pets and you also want one of those tree-thingys?
In researching this month's Images of Interest, I found a BUNCH of funny pictures of pets tangling with Christmas trees.

I'm not going to glorify the ones where the animals appear to be in active danger (though the tree-topper cats are pushing it), but here's a collection of assorted favorites. Happy holidays!

This was a much-re-posted favorite, all over the Internet.
Assorted critters
It's not just dogs and cats who get in on the Christmas tree action.

Yes, it's a rat. Don't judge--rats make great pets. They are sweet natured and smart. Also take to trees pretty naturally.

Almost a "Hallmark moment," if you're a rat-lover.

Here's another natural climber. Matches the pseudo-flocking pretty well, don't you think?

Who knew Bearded Dragons made such good Christmas decorations? This one liked the warmth the lights created.

I thought this little guy was especially stunning. When better for a chameleon to show what it can do?
But the Cats rule
Dogs, lizards, rats, and ferrets may take the occasional stab at consorting with the Christmas tree, but the cats OWN this territory. Don't believe me? Take a look:

This is my favorite Christmas Cat photo of all time.

What? You thought it needed something more?

it's almost like the toy closet scene from ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, don't you think?

Ruler of all s/he surveys . . . naturally.

Never doubt it.

So, then, are we who want Christmas trees defenseless?
Well, maybe. But we do still have a few options left.

We could take the "minimalist" approach . . . or is that simply how the tree looked after the cat got done with it?

I think this might qualify as "extreme cat-proofing."

I actually did a variation on this "Fortress Christmas Tree" idea one year, when we had a puppy. Made it harder for the humans to mess with the packages, too!

Whatever pets you may have--and however they interact with your Christmas tree (if you have one), I hope you got a Christmas laugh from this post, and I wish you the best holiday season possible!

IMAGES: Many thanks to The German Shepherd Dog Community's Facebook page for the "Oh Christmas Tree" German Shepherd; to Bonnie Cook's Christmas Animals Pinterest Board for the Christmas tree Rat on a limb and the Christmas Ferret; to Michelle Nyree's Pinterest Board for the red-package Christmas tree rat; to TikkiLink's DeviantArt page for the ornamental Beardie, and to Harlingen Pets' Facebook page for the Christmas Chameleon. As for the cat collection: a thousand thank-yous to: Emma Bruck's "Emma's Pics" Pinterest Page, via my own earlier post from Christmas 2015; to FunnyCatsGif's "Christmas Cat" post, for the two mid-tree cat photos; and once again to Bonnie Cook's Christmas Animals Pinterest Board for the tall "Tree-topper Cat" and "I'm the Star." The three "cat-proofed" trees are all from i iz cat's "6 Cat Proof Christmas Tree ideas to try out during the holidays" page. I appreciate you ALL!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Understanding is key

The Artdog Quote of the Week 

Understanding is the first step to trust. Trust is how we create bonds of peace that will not break. Trust, not bluster, not force of arms, not putting the other down or destroying them. Unfortunately, we have a long way to go, for that level of enlightenment.

IMAGE: Many thanks to BrainyQuote for this image and quote from Albert Einstein.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Holiday charm-eleon

The Artdog Image of Interest

When caught in a jam, be creative! It also helps to be cute . . .

IMAGE: Many thanks to eBaum's World for this image (check the linked page for more!)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Preparing: are you?

We all have our own way of confronting (or trying to hide from) the Holidays. 

It's not ONLY Christmas, of course--although both secular and sacred Christmas imagery and messaging seem to be everywhere in my Kansas City environment. From Festivus to Kwanzaa, from Hanukkah to  Winter Solstice celebrations to Yule, there seems to be a holiday for everybody at this time of year.

Whatever holidays you celebrate, how's it going? We're at the mid-point of December. Are you ready?

Perhaps you're one of those organized, super-prepared people, who've been buying a building stockpile of presents since last January. You already have you holiday greeting cards in the mail (or your e-cards pre-loaded to send at just the perfect moment).

Perhaps you're in the thick of it now--still working on the gift list, still considering your plans. Partway there--getting there--but not done yet. That's about where I am: working on it. If you're still looking for creative gift-wrapping ideas, you may find some of my last-December Image-of-Interest posts helpful.

Or maybe you prefer to live dangerously, and save your shopping/decorating/cooking for the last possible second. Good luck, and may the Creative Force be with you, all you last-minute thrill-seekers!

No matter how you celebrate--and no matter which, if any, holidays you celebrate--I hope you find some merriment along the way!

IMAGES: Many thanks to the Explore December Holidays Pinterest Board, for the "paper dolls" image, and the talented and creative Debbi Ridpath Ohi, via The Office, and John Atkinson, via Wrong Hands, for their humorous holiday images.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Happy Hanukka!

I've been making an effort to acknowledge the winter holidays of as many traditions as I can on this blog this year (as a practicing Christian, I can get awfully Christmas-centered if I don't watch it!)--so I am mortified that I brain-glitched on such an important holiday as Hanukka! I hope my Jewish friends and readers will forgive me. I shall try very hard to do better in the future!

Meanwhile, I wish you all the richest blessings of the season: faith, family, and a hope for the future.

May God grant you a sweet new year.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Wikipedia for the beautiful photo of the lighted Menorah, by photographer Dr. Gil Dekel.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Maintaining, extending

The Artdog Quote of the Week:

We sure could use more leaders with  skills and the mindset to handle conflicts by peaceful means, right now. It's our key to survival, I think--and I worry, as a result.

IMAGE: Many thanks to BrainyQuote, for this image and quote from Ronald Reagan.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Getting the season rolling

. . . Or at least the ornaments rolling around everywhere. Sometimes there's just no resisting temptation!

IMAGE: Many thanks to the Facebook page The German Shepherd Community, for this image.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Perhaps a smile

Every year I go into the holiday season hoping it will go smoothly, and that no one will flame out. It's a modest dream, and sometimes it comes to pass.

I no longer strive for "picture perfect," or anything even close--that way lies madness (trust me: I know this for a fact). The less I try to control things, decorate things, schedule things, and be all things for all people, the happier I've found that I'll be. 

It's not that I'm the Grinch . . . well, sometimes my inner Grinch does come out. Too much Christmas music, especially before Thanksgiving, will nearly always do it.

But I'd rather do a little judicious decorating than turn my house into a sparkling holiday jewel box. I'd rather check out Costco's holiday dessert aisles and take home a few prize items than spend days on end baking 58 different varieties of Christmas cookies.

A Christmas tree glows just as beautifully in the dark when it has a moderate number of ornaments on it, as it would if you loaded it with every ornament you've ever acquired or been given.

And I'd rather laugh than write a long post. So perhaps you'll enjoy this small collection of smiles (or perhaps wry grins) about the holidays.

I just had to throw in at least one "writer" comic. This is certainly what I hope for, each year!

IMAGES: Many thanks to Eat Hard, Work Hard for the "Stressed" meme; to Love This Pic for the "Christmas Tree in the Dark" photo; to Brian Gordon for the Fowl Language comic, and to Shoebox Greetings for the Santa-on-Facebook comic--BOTH Kansas City-sourced! I deeply appreciate the wonderful Debbie Ridpath Ohi, and her "Will Write for Chocolate" comics