Friday, October 23, 2015

Bells of Dunblane/ (insert naughty word) another deadly school attack

First a bit of history.  We lived in Longmont, Colorado on 20 April 1999 when the Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado massacre occurred. My husband plays the bagpipe (how these connect...) keep reading.  In Dunblane Scotland on 13 March 1996 there was a school massacre  at Dunblane Primary School.   22 October 2015 Stockholm, Scotland there was another school attack that killed 1 student and 1 teacher before the attacker was killed......(There have been many, more you can look them up but over 180 in 16 years.) My husband, Doug, plays the bagpipe and was a member of the City of Denver Pipe Band (for how these connect...) keep reading.
Doug  wrote this out for me and since I tend to cry easily I will just post it as he wrote it.

Bells of Dunblane

It has been said that a bagpiper has a tune for every occasion.

Andrew was the Pipe Major of the City of Denver Pipe Band.  In his day job, he taught French at the Boulder Valley School District.  He lived nearby in Littleton, Colorado where his daughter, Stephanie, was a student at Columbine High School.  Stephanie was a highland dancer with the band and was well-known to other band members, of which there were nearly a hundred.

In 1998 a friend of Andrew’s visited Scotland.  While there, this friend attended a pipe concert where he surreptitiously used a pocket tape recorder to record the event.  He thought Andrew might be interested in hearing it, so he made a copy and sent the tape to him, but inadvertently forgot to include the names of the tunes.  Andrew played the tape and found several tunes he liked.  One in particular caught his attention so he wrote manuscript copies of it and shared it with members of the band.  The band included the tune in its repertoire as “The Nameless Tune.”  They played it at concerts that fall and into the next spring.

Then came the Columbine shootings.  Fifteen people, including the two shooters, were killed and 20 others wounded.  Stephanie and a friend had the good fortune to choose that day to go home for lunch and raid Andrew’s refrigerator (and skip returning to school that day).  They missed the whole thing.  Through her connection with the pipe band, Stephanie was asked if the City of Denver Pipe Band would perform at the memorial.  The band agrees and “The Nameless Tune” was included in the services.

In the summer of 1999 the City of Denver Pipe Band toured Scotland, performing at several locales well-known to pipers, including Oban.  After the performance at Oban a man came out of the crowd and said he recognized “The Nameless Tune.”  It was the “Bells of Dunblane.”

You do remember Dunblane?  On March 13, 1996 a gunman entered Dunblane Primary School and killed a teacher and sixteen children.  A piper, Robert (Bob) Mathieson , visited Dunblane at the time of the funerals and heard the bells tolling.  This inspired him to write the tune.  Without knowing its history, Andrew chose this tune to commemorate the students of Columbine High School.

The Bells of Dunblane has become the tune of choice when pipers perform for memorials to the victims of school shootings.

It has been said that a piper has a tune for every occasion.  Sadly, that is true.

Doug Stevenson,
Former member of the City of Denver Pipe Band

You can listen here:
(  is a list from February 2, 1996 until October 1, 2015


Monday, October 5, 2015

still another school shooting

"Da*n it we need to stop this NOW.  We need to take away the mental health stigma and stop the bullies (a form of mental illness) and we will stop the crazy shooters.  We have to say enough and make it stick.
Thoughts of Lace Embrace 2015….

First off Lace Embrace was fantastic.  Not as well attended as some years but there were other things going on at the same time…I do not know how well it was publicized.  I’ve 2 hours plus away by car.  I got the info via an email…

My daughter, Jan, accompanied me this year and I did enjoy the entire weekend while she was here and hope she did too.  The problem occurred because I am a dork and don’t do needle tatting as many people do.  I shuttle tat and teach shuttle tatting…I can teach the very, very basics of needle tatting but Saturday proved why I maybe should not try to do something over my head as a teacher of needle tatting.

Jan is definitely in the bobbin lace camp of tatting…no shuttle for her (at least yet) as the shuttle is not being friendly to her hand…needles are.  This was her first attempt at needle tatting….
[The pattern was a simple ruffled ball from Patty Dowden 2011-2012 all uses permitted (except sale of document).  Continuous thread method used for shuttles. 
R: 1-1-1-1 close ring very firmly, do not reverse work, shoe lace trick closed firmly.  Firm tension allows the ruffles the stiffness needed to stand up.

{Just 3 picots in the start ring.  The shoe lace trick (tie) functions as a lock join onto a picot and the start of the first spiral.  A picot precedes the ds on all the chain segments. }
Chain segments: -1-1 lock join to next picot on previous row/segment.
{Repeat around the spiral, lock join so there is a space to start the next segment.  The first spiral has 2-2-in each segment, the second spiral has 4. The third spiral has 8 segments, the fourth has 16….continuing as large as desired.   It will be very dense. ]
Now that you have read the pattern we are starting where the problem occurred.  (Neither the teacher, a shuttle tatter, nor I and I can teach only the basics of needle method…) Jan did an awesome job on the starting ring…then we went on using the ring method but without the lock join (how to do that with a needle?? Way over my skill with a needle at this time but learning it soon) and the needle won’t bend to make the turn…duh then I noted it wasn’t a chain!!!!!!!!!!!!...start over this part using chain method and taking it off the needle as needed to make it work.  I still (Oct 5, 2015) am not sure how to make it work….
I suspect that will be the last time Jan tries needle tatting….unless a tatting friend, Brigitte, is available to help Jan with tatting.  Brigitte did a good job of explaining how to tat with a needle.  Way better than I did.  Jan picked up adding the stitches quickly but I am not sure she will try it again.  I can only hope…
I do need to figure out how to do the lock join before long as it is in the beginner lessons.

Peace, Cyn

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A powerful message for all

Gentle readers here comes another mini rant.  I say mini rant because the video said it way better than I ever could.  Please watch the video that I think can be found here:

I don't know who the young man (Orlando Jones) is nor do I know his acting ability but if this isn't straight from his heart then he deserves an award.  After watching the less than 2 minute long video all I could do was sit in stunned silence.  It doesn't end with the bucket over the head nor with a donation to ALS but with a challenge to us all.   

I take the liberty of posting the written info here just in case you won't (or can't) watch the video:
'With a somber tone, Jones laments, "Gandhi and Martin Luther King and millions of others are dead, and they were fighting for human RIGHTS, and it all seems to stem from some militarized police force threatening the rights of PEOPLE to assemble."  Noting that he is a "lifetime member of the NRA" and "active member of the great state of Louisiana's police force," he goes so far as to display his badge before getting to the grit of his message.
"I'm not pointing any fingers here at anybody but myself, and I'm asking something very hard of myself. I'm challenging myself to listen without prejudice, to love without limits, and to reverse the hate. So that's my challenge to me and hopefully you'll accept this challenge too."
The video wraps with a series of hashtags that flash on the screen in silence: #justiceformichaelbrown #weareallferguson #reversethehate.

We'll have to wait and see whether Jones's campaign catches on, but something tells us it's already making people stop and think — and that's the first step toward change.'    
Peace, Cyn

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hate is a 4 letter word

Gentle readers, this morning after seeing another "I hate you fill in the blank '  post on facebook regarding the affordable care act, and a couple other hate posts i started to get angry...first off i am tired..exhausted...done with the concept of hate and began trying to calm my mind before going to Quaker meeting...for those of you who don't know that Quakers still exist please read my later post entitled "  Quakers...yes we are still here..." and then I  read the following written in 2012 and posted on the Daily KOS ( A big thank you for saying what I wanted to say):
Daily Kos member
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MON JAN 09, 2012 AT 01:57 PM PST

    I meet you all the time. You hate Obama. You hate gay people. You hate black people, immigrants, Muslims, labor unions, women who want the right to make choices concerning their bodies, you hate em all. You hate being called racist. You hate being called a bigot. Maybe if you talked about creating jobs more than you talk about why you hate gay people we wouldn't call you bigots. Maybe if you talked about black people without automatically assuming they are on food stamps while demanding their birth certificates we wouldn't call you racist. You hate socialism and social justice. You hate regulations and taxes and spending and the Government. You hate.
You like war. You like torture. You like Jesus. I don't know how in the hell any of that is compatible, but no one ever accused you haters of being over-committed to ideological consistency. You like people who look like you or at least hate most of the things that you hate. You hate everything else.
Now, I know you profess to love our country and the founding fathers (unless you are reminded that they believed in the separation of church and state), but I need to remind you that America is NOT what Fox News says it is. America is a melting pot, it always has been. We are a multi-cultural amalgamation of all kinds of people, and yet you still demonize everyone who is not a rich, white, heterosexual christian male or his submissive and obedient wife.
You hate liberals, moderates, hell, anyone who disagrees with Conservative dogma as espoused by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. You hate em.
Well, here are the facts, Jack. If you hate the Government then you are unqualified to manage it. If you hate gay people more than you love America than you should take your own advice and get the hell out. There are several countries that are openly hostile to gay people, but they are full of brown people and you don't like them much either from what I understand. It looks like you are screwed, but that's not what I am here to tell you.
More rant below the fold . . .
Now that you have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at President Obama and it still hasn't worked you are panicking. Obama's approval ratings are still near 50% despite your best efforts to undermine the economy and America's recovery at every step you can. You tried to hold the American economy hostage to force America into default on its' debts, debts that YOU rang up under Bush, so you could blame it on Obama and it failed. You've used the filibuster more than any other Congress ever, going so far as to vote against providing health care access to 9/11 first responders. You remember 9/11, don't you, it's that thing you used to lie us into a war in Iraq, and then when Obama killed Bin Laden and ended the war in Iraq you told people that he hates America and wants the troops to fail. You monsters. You hate Obama with a passion, despite the fact that he is a tax cutting, deficit reducing war President who undermines civil rights and delivers corporate friendly watered down reforms that benefit special interests just like a Republican. You call him a Kenyan. You call him a socialist. You dance with your hatred singing it proudly in the rain like it was a 1950's musical.
Frankly, you disgust me. Your hatred nauseates me. Your bigotry offends me. Your racism revolts me.
Dear haters, I am openly questioning your patriotism.
I think you hate gays, Obama, black people, poor people, all of us, women, atheists and agnostics, Latinos, Muslims, Liberals, all of us, I think you hate every one who isn't exactly like you, and I think you hate us more than you love your country.
I think you hate gay soldiers more than you want America to win its wars.
I don't even think you want America to win wars, you just want America to have wars, never ending wars and the war profiteering it generates. You love that kind of spending, you love spending on faith based initiatives and abstinence based sex education (George Carlin would have loved that one), you love spending on subsidies for profitable oil corporations, you spend like drunken sailors when you are in the White House, but if it is a Democrat then suddenly you cheer when America doesn't get the Olympics because it might make the black President look bad. But oooh you love your country, you say, and you want it back. Well listen here skippy, it isn't your country, you don't own it, it is our country, and America is NOT the religiously extremist Foxbots who hate science, elitist professors and having a vibrant and meaningful sex life with someone we love if Rick Santorum doesn't approve of it. Rick Santorum isn't running for America's fucking high school dance chaperone, he should probably just shut the hell up about sex, but he can't because he has nothing else to run on.
Republicans can NOT win on the issues. They've got NOTHING. All they have is a divide and conquer class war that pits ignorant racist and bigoted people against the rest of us in a meaningless battle of wedge issues and the already proven to fail George W. Bush agenda again of tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, privatization and war profiteering and nothing else, so all they can do is blame black people, gays the government, anybody and everyone else for their own failings. The party of personal responsibility, my ass.
But they love multi-national corporations, just ask a gay hating and racist religious extremist if they think Corporations are people and they will gladly agree, but if you ask them if gay people are people they aren't so sure.
Dear haters, you are the cruel, heartless misinformed assholes who would sell America out to Haliburton in a heartbeat, you would rather pay ZERO taxes than you would see a newly born baby get access to quality health care, you cheer when we discuss denying health care to young people with preventable diseases, and you boo when we discuss the First Ladies plan to cut back on childhood obesity. You are a cross to carry and a flag to wrap yourself in away from being the people who Sinclair Lewis warned us about, but I guarantee that if Fox News told you to dress that way you would, because you are the same blind, ignorant and closed minded dunces who drove this country into a civil war years ago because you are bound to the notion that some men are more equal than others. In short, the reason I proudly wear my union army hat is because of seditious sell outs like you who constantly fuck over working class Americans so a foreign entrepreneur like Rupert Murdoch can get a bigger tax break. If corporations are people, they are neither American patriots nor capable of love. Just like you.
So stop wearing your hate with pride. Stop celebrating your anti-science, anti-math ignorance. Stop using code words to mask your bigotry like "family values", especially when you hate my family and when you stand on the same stage as a guy who has had three marriages or if you share a seat in the Senate with a guy who cheated on his wife with hookers while wearing diapers. You should be ashamed. I know that you are just doing this to motivate your misinformed hate cult base because if they actually knew that your ideas will make them poorer than they are now, they would never vote for you. You are doing your best to impoverish your countrymen so rich people can get bigger tax breaks and you can keep on delivering corporate welfare to the special interests who have bribed you, and I am disgusted by the way you gleefully parade your hatred with aplomb. I don't think you do love America. At least, not as much as you hate everyone in America who isn't exactly like you.
You should think about that, and maybe get some help.
And for the record, I do not hate you. I am embarrassed by you and nauseated by your cruel and thoughtless behavior and your all consuming greed, but I do not hate you. I forgive you and I hope you can change someday, but I don't hate you. You have enough hate in you for the rest of us as it is.

You can follow me on twitter @JesseLaGreca

Peace, Cyn

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sigh...Cry...Sigh another school shooting

First off I want to cry or vomit as I write this (Friday December 13, 2013) just 1 day before the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.  We have had another school shooting....Sigh....Cry....use a bunch of naughty words....Arapaho high school in Centenial Colorado experienced the terror of a armed 'student' or 'former student' but a young man who felt he had no options in his life to address the wrongs he believed were done to him.  From what we know he asked for the 'school cop' and a specific teacher.  The school officer was out of the school on unknown business (also none of our business--officers have other duties that must be attended to).  The specific teacher was in the building but tried to lure the young man with the shotgun out of the building away from the children (yes high school students are children...becoming young adults but still legally children).  The young man with the shotgun critically injured 1 student/child and also gave another student/child (both reported to be females) a 'minor injury'.  At last report the 1 student was undergoing major surgery in hopes of saving her life and the less severely injured young woman was expected to be released yet this evening.   Additional reports indicate the young shooter had turned the shotgun on himself and caused his own death.  The teacher and school officer were not injured.  I hope the teacher and school officer get help with dealing with the trauma they have because the shooter was looking for them but took out his wrath on 2 young women.  Some reports indicate the young shooter was 'bullied' at school but other reports indicate he had poor grades due to lack of consistent attendance.  Which is correct will have to await further investigation.

We must control the access to lethal weapons.  We also must curtail the 'anger inducing games' that are so popular with the young men in the world.  The isolation of playing a violent game is only 1 part of the issue...
The military uses similar but presumably more violent games on game stations to condition recruits into believing the enemy is less than human and can be destroyed with impunity.  That is called brain washing.  The violent games convice people to believe the 'bad guy' will get up to fight again in the next scene not the reality that someone has been murdered and will be forever dead.  When the handcuffs go on or the jail door is slammed shut or the blood, vital organs,and life flow out of a dieing person then the shooter realizes that it ain't a game.  I suspect the horror of what the shooter did caused him to take his own life.

My heart goes out to the young man's family as they are going to take a long time understanding what has happened.  My heart goes out to the young women who were injured as they will have to live the rest of their lives with the scars and yes their families will deal with that too and they will heal eventually.  The teacher and the school officer also have my thougths and prayers as they deal with this.  But oh so many young men and women in the school will deal with this the rest of their lives.  My heart goes out to them all.  Lets not vilify the shooter nor the injured nor the teacher and officer but lets get some real responses to this tragedy for all so it does not happen again....

I do not have the answer as to what we need to do about the problem.  First, we need to talk to our children from the time they are little about what being bullied is and to tell a teacher, school officer, principal, mom, dad, grama and any adult what is going on until someone steps in to help solve the problem.  This bullying must be stopped.  To be stopped we have to think like adults and help our youth to understand the problem is not over when they part ways but it can affect them their entire life.  It affects the bully and the bullied.  Second, wake up people and quit thinking it is 'kids just being kids'  and you need to be their 'friend' as you need to be the adults and protect the bullied whild using the moment to help the bully to also see the behavior they are doing as the problem.  This concept of we have to be the kids firend has to go and asults have to take back being the ADULT and stopping the bullying.  Bullies feel they have to prove they are better...why not make it more popular to prove they can be compassionate towards others?

My heart is broken for the loss of the families and the loss of a feeling of safety in our schools.

Peace, Cyn

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A cautionary tale

To everyone out in cyberspace this is important for you to know and yes, it is a soapbox rant but very important. I sell custom fit bras for a bit of income. The lack of knowledge out in the world among not only our young adults but and women of all ages. Yes men get breast cancer too and often theirs is not diagnosed until very late in the disease and it has spread. A couple years ago while doing a bra fitting for a beautiful young woman in Oklahoma she asked if I knew what "this is.." This turned out to be a walnut sized lump in 1 breast and a second, smaller lump was found in the other breast that had spread to her ovaries as well. I hate when a woman who does not know how to do a BSE and we find the large lump when fitting the bra. Finding a lump during a bra fitting is frightening just because we have so little knowledge of what it is. The young woman's breast cancer had spread and she also had ovarian cancer. I also have ladies share that the special man in their life has a lump on "his parts" and won't get it checked. Also a very scary situation. I held the hand of a young woman in Oklahoma for college from Botswana as she awoke from getting a double radical mastectomy and oophorectomy/hysterectomy and at just 25. Her brother pulled me aside (she had not told him but her roommate had told him where she was when she did not return his call) and asked why she had surgery. Talk about a difficult conversation! She chose the massive surgeries as when she went home there would be almost no access to follow up medical care. She wanted to teach so the members of her village could move forward with education and help to move her country into the 21st century away from subsistence farming on lands that had been treated with herbicides by the powers that be to kill the native foods for the goats and people. Her brother was just 21...I remember the pain on his face as I told him--as gently as I could I had to tell him what his sister had just gone thru. She had not told me her brother was also in Oklahoma studying in hopes of becoming a physician. He then asked me if I knew what a lump on "his guy parts" meant. (Yes even a guy studying to be a medical doctor was not comfortable asking about 'his parts'. No I didn't ask to see the lump nor touch it--I'm not a doctor. I did refer him to a doctor and yes he had testicular cancer. Their family had lost 10 of the generation between 20-35 out of 15 who had made it to at least 20 years. The doctor traced it back to the herbicides used in Botswana and the incidence of cancer in the specific area is almost 75%. This is just a horrible incidence of presumably unintended genocide by the powers that be wanting the people to take up farming instead of traditional susbistence farming. This rant is not about herbicides...I do that on other posts...this is just about the incidence of cancer and a horrible lack of knowledge of our own bodies. Men as well as women develop breast cancer and should check themselves. Men develop testicular cancers early and later. We need to become more comfortable with our bodies so we can combat this insidious disease. Cancer of all kinds has been linked to pesticide abuse. Yes in the USA we have the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) but most people do not read the label to make sure they are using the chemicals correctly. Doug, my dear hubby, a forester has gone out on way more 'sick tree calls' than he cares to enumerate only to find the person has killed his own trees by putting a common fertilizer/weed controller on at as much at 25 times the amount recommended and right up to the tree trunks. The directions tell you how much to use and not to use within 100 feet of a tree, ornamental bush, flower or vegetable garden. When he would get home from those calls. He would immediately put his clothing in the washer for a tripple wash cycle and get a shower. We had to wash his shoe soles too. Yes I have asthma caused by herbicide spray when I had a mild oversxposure while working on a TSI (Timber Stand Improvement) project in the mid 1970's. Before the knowledge of how bad it can be and now professionals use respirators and protective clothing when working with them--a leftover from the packaging of the 1960's before more knowledge of the dangers. I can not go in areas of stores due to the herbicides stored there. Some laundry products cause cross reactions and my breathing requires medications to make it possible to continue living. Please be aware that the incidence of mammary cancers in female dogs and penile cancers in male dogs are both 99% linked to herbicide use in the lawn they play on sometimes while the chemicals are being spread! It says to keep people and pets off for 3 to 14 days after application! Gentle readers please read the labels and follow the instructions for your safety and the safety of your beloved family, friends, and all companion animals. Peace, Cyn