International Holocaust Remembrance Day

For all of you poor imposed upon people who compare wearing a mask to being the equivalent of a Holocaust vicim, please read this post.

words and music and stories

“It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say.”
Primo Levi:“The Drowned and the Saved”

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day in commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust,
It was on 27 January1945, that Soviet soldiers liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau (Poland) , the largest Nazi concentration and extermination camp, freeing the survivors and revealing to the world the depth of the horrors perpetrated there.

At the beginning of 1945 Germany was being invaded and there were “insane transfers” from camp to camp: survivors of Majdanek were sent to Auschwitz, those of Buchenwald to Bergen-Belsen, the women of Ravensbruck towards Schwerin, everyone was being snatched away from liberation

Human memory is a marvelous but fallacious instrument. This is a threadbare truth known not only to psychologists but also to anyone who has paid attention to the behaviour of those who surround…

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Mules in the CBI and their Veterinarians

Mules also served their country in World War II, and made a real difference unlike the jackasses of today.

Pacific Paratrooper

Merrill’s Marauders

We often comment on the animals who help us, especially in war, BUT the Veterinarians who care for them are very rarely given a voice…

I received a message from Lavinia Ross @ Salmon Brook Farms about her veterinarian, D.E. Larsen, DVM and his mentor, Robert W. Davis, DVM, Please visit to read!

GP, you might like this post by our old veterinarian who retired some years back. One of his mentors in vet school was the same veterinarian who cared for the mules used by Merrill’s Marauders in Burma during WWII.”

Article about Dr, Davis

Dr. David E. Larsen, So. Korea

The most famous American unit of the CBI was the 5307th Composite Unit, also known as “Merrill’s Marauders.” Undertaking operations similar to those of the Chindits, it used large numbers of mules. Six Quartermaster pack troops were part of the unit, and mules were liberally…

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Aslant or Askew? Italics in Fiction

Audrey Driscoll has an interesting and very helpful post on the history of Italics with useful suggestions on when to use them.

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

Recently I described some problems I had with italic characters in one of my books. And no, I don’t mean people from Italy; I’m talking about text in what is called italic type.

As the Wikipedia entry explains, italic type has been around for quite a while. It arose in imitation of calligraphic handwriting, hence its rightward slant. Italics have a certain ornamental quality, and are often used where elegance is required, as in wedding invitations.

Here is a great description from Wikipedia, of a specific type of italics:  “a more deliberate and formal handwriting [with] longer ascenders and descenders, sometimes with curved or bulbous terminals…” Love that typographical jargon!

Those longer ascenders and descenders are most evident in the letter “f,” which was the one that recently gave me grief when I was correcting a few errors in one of my books.

Image by Maat via Wikimedia Commons…

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Wikipedia Day

Have you ever used Wikipedia and wondered how it got to be where it is. Read this to learn more

words and music and stories

Thank you Wikipedia❣️

Today we celebrate Wikipedia‘s birthday, born from an idea of the entrepreneur Jimmy Wales and the philosopher Larry Sanger
It was launched on 15 January 2001, as a development of another encyclopedia project called Nupedia.

Wikipedia is a free multilingual online encyclopedia that includes all forms of knowledge and makes them accessible to all.
Written and supported by a community of volunteer contributors, it uses a software known as wiki that facilitates the creation and development of articles.
The main aspect of the wiki (Hawaiian term which means “fast”) is to facilitate the creation and modification of a page, allowing hyperlinks to other pages.
It relies only on user donations, it has no advertising or cookies to resell data.
Contributors, known as “Wikipedians”, after registering with a nickname and a password , can edit any content, with the possibility of reviewing it and discussing…

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Happy Solstice

I wanted to share this blog from 2017. It still holds true for me.


Come Darkness Come LIghtMary Chapin  Carpenter’s Longest Night of the Year is my favorite solstice song.  John Norvell pubished the video on You Tube in on December 19, 2012.  The song is from her 2008 album “Come Darkness, Come Light:  Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Mary Chapin Carpenter at Christmas

“The Longest Night Of The Year”

They say that spring will come again
No one knows exactly when.
Still the sun’s a long lost friend
On the longest night of the year.

We stare into the firelight
While December beats outside
Where the darkest hearts reside
On the longest night of the year

So keep me safe and hold me tight
Let the candle burn all night
Tomorrow welcome back the night
It was longest night of the year

I used to think the world was small
Bright and shining like a ball
Seems I don’t know much at all
On the longest night of the year

We press…

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December Full Moon–Cold or Yule Moon, December 18

Shine on the water, shine on the land, help brighten the darkness, your time is at hand.
Full moon of many names
please help to brighten
the longest nights of the year

Frost or cold because cold is a given
Yule or oak because the solstice is nigh
Child because it rises so early children can see it
Chang'e 3 because China landed 3 rovers on it

Carol of the Lies–Library Carrel 2, 2021

Hark how the lies
Proclaim alibies
All seem to say
Throw truth away

Bad times are here
Disaster looms near
Our side is best
To hell with the rest

Right, wrong; right, wrong
Join us , stay strong
With careful lies
Eyes on the prize

One seems to hear
Words without cheer
They all are wrong
With us you belong

The words are a sham
Don't give a damn
Country's gone to hell
Easy to tell

Glibly they speak
We have what you seek
Suspend your beliefts
We offer most relief

Time to start a revolution
When seeking a new solution

Oh hear those words
Speaking the absurd
Where has truth gone?
How  to respond?

Weary Willie Day is celebrated on December 9

Although this character personified the Great Depression, the emergence of another possible COVID variant spread possibility is enough to make any of to feel weary

Weary Willie Day on December 9th recognizes the art of clowning and the impact it has on our lives. This holiday was named for the character made famous by Emmett Kelly, who was born on this day in 1898. 

Times and attitudes changed when the country was in the depths of the Great Depression. Downtrodden and world-weary was the face of the nation.  People could identify with Weary Willie like never before. Weary Willie, his frowning, whisker-shadowed face, and his dirty, torn and worn costume, went on to become an American icon.”

I'm wearing a frown
because my luck, it is down
But don't worry dearie,
Life is not always weary

A new day will dawn
with an unweary yawn
we'll be back on our feet
and rejoin the elite.


This is a wonderful account of the ship that fired the first US shot of WWII.

Don Ostertag: Off Stage

A Reblog to remember December 7th, 1941

Even the open sea had adopted the Sunday morning calm of the towns that outlined the clover-leaf shaped harbor. The glow from the lights of Saturday night had dimmed several hours before. Now the only lights were those needed by the people who were going to church and those who were working the Sunday shifts.

On board the USS Ward an easiness had replaced the uncertainty of the night, the first night of the Ward’s task, patrolling the mouth of the harbor…the first night under the new captain..the first night the young crew felt they were part of the actual Navy.

When he felt comfortable with how it went that day, Lt. William Outerbridge had decided it was time for him to go to bed. He was tired. The hectic last couple of days had had drained him. Arriving on board of the…

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Pearl Habor, 7 December 1941–80th Anniversary

One of the lesser-known memorials at the Pearl Habor site is a copy of a poem that First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt carried in her purse during the war.

“Pearl Harbor Quote” by MrTopher is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Dear Lord,
Lest I continue
My complacent way,
Help me to remember
Somehow out there
A man died for me today.
As long as there be war,
I then must
Ask and answer
Am I worth dying for?

To read more click here.

Eclectic Samuel Butler

Luisa writes a lovely acknowledgement too. 😉

words and music and stories

English novelist and critic Samuel Butler was born in 1835 in Langar Rectory, in Nottinghamshire, England, into a long line of clerics, preordained to a career in church, to which he too, by his father’s wish and expectation was predestined. His relations with his father, Rev. Thomas Butler were difficult and antagonistic.
He later wrote of his father “he never liked me, nor I him; from my earliest recollections I can call to mind no time when I did not fear him and dislike him.”
After graduation, he went to live in a poor parish in London as preparation for his ordination. There he realized that the fact of having received baptism did not cause any difference in the morals and behaviour of people. Thus he began to question his own faith and had a close correspondence with his father on the issue. But his father’s answers did not…

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Wednesday Writing — Dead of Winter Challenge

Teagan has issued a challenge to use her first Journey. Her blog

“Create something using Emlyn’s world as portrayed in Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak, as your inspiration.  Not a story with my characters, but anything else you please.  If you want to play and have not read the Journeys give me your email in a comment and I’ll send you a Kindle copy of the book.  (Sadly, Amazon will only let me send them to the USA.  Readers outside the USA are more than welcome, you’re encouraged to participate. I just can’t send you the book.)

Winter is coming,  the little birds sing
Cold air and snow are the gifts it will bring
Some feather their nests while others fly south
Seeking food sources to stuff in beak or mouth

Squirrels scamper through orchards, rooting through leaves
Searching for nuts, any food it  percieves
Raiding birdfeeders with skill and precision
They jump or they hang with practiced decision

Groudhogs retire to thier lairs underground
when their usual foodstores no longer abound
They live off the fat they stored up all summer
Spending the cold months in snug burrow slumber

Wolves thrive in winter because of their fur
Two layers thick help keep them secure
With a long bushy tail that covers their snouts
and packmates to snuggle help keep the cold out.

Humans also retreat inside from chill breezes
Hoping not to spend winter with coughing and sneezes
They turn up the heat and wrap-up quite snugly
Cause being too cold can turn a mood ugly

When you hear the sound of winds thrumming
You know to prepare because Winter is coming.

Happy Thanksgiving

I learned more about Thanksgiving here.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Even though Greece doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I went to an American school so the family and I sort of do — mostly because we love the idea of a day dedicated to gratitude. In that spirit, I am very grateful to all of you for your love and support all these years! And to all my American friends, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

But what is the history behind the celebration of Thanksgiving? The Washington Post, Wikipedia, The Vintage News, and All That’s Interesting answer that question.

Thanksgiving | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books
A painting done in 1995 by Karen Rinaldo, of Falmouth, Mass., depicts what many Wampanoag tribal leaders and historians say is one of the few accurate portrayals of “The First Thanksgiving 1621” between the Wampanoags and the Pilgrims.
(Karen Rinaldo via The Washington Post)

People of the First Light

The actual history of what happened in 1621 bears…

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Cabrillo’s Tidepools Made the Top Ten List

These wonderful tide pools exist because they are partially restricted. Otherwise, they might suffer the same fate as other too-popular tidepools in Southern California. Hard to believe they are within the city of San Diego.


According to, our rocky intertidal made the top 10 list of beaches in North America for exploring tidepools. We made the list at #9, but one advantage of our location is we have rules enforced for the tidepools to help protect them.

We always knew we had a special place here and it’s nice to see others appreciate it as well. Have you been to any of the others on the list? How do you compare them? Leave us a comment.

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