Wednesday, November 26, 2014
It's true most of the time: it doesn't take much to make me happy. Oh, don't misunderstand--I can get my unders in a wad with the best of them, but generally, it is for a good reason. It's one thing to complain about things that don't matter, but quite another to be angry over injustice--at least in my book.
I was right about one thing, though, and that is Rio was less sad and bereft while I was out working in the corral and pasture today. I ended up spending the entire day out there, and indeed, I was happy all day long. Rand said, "Turns out horse poop is an antidepressant." Rio stood behind me watching, and when I refilled his hay manger after finishing cleaning, he stood with his head in the hay storage barn, munching on a little bit that dropped off the pitchfork. I asked him to move over and let me get back in with the pitchfork to put it away. He looked at me for a minute, chewing thoughtfully...and then stepped aside. I love that horse.
Another great lesson in the important priorities in life: clean drinking water, regular feeding, and stand next to me while I walk my path.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Rio stands under the tree where Jenny lay down for the last time here, sniffs the ground, and then walks back up to the barn. I petted him, his winter coat silky and soft, stroked his face and neck. In the morning, I'll go work a while in the pasture, cleaning out his hay barn and the water trough, just to be near him and hope he does not feel as alone as he might otherwise. Perhaps, I won't feel as alone either.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Cuba secured independence from Spain in 1898, and the La Union continued to provide mutual aid benefits to members until the 1930s when large numbers of Afro-Cubans fled the south along with African Americans.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Hav-A-Tampa closes its factory ending an era for the local cigar industry and the city it made synonymous with stogies. (Morales, I., & Zink, J. (June 23, 2009). Tampa Bay Times)
The company cited rising taxes (used to fund health care for those in poverty) as one of the reasons for the closure of the factory in Tampa. Cigars, like other forms of tobacco, were glamorized in the early 1900s by both the movie industry and in print advertisements. Many a child carried a cigar box to school to hold crayons, and cigar boxes were dressed up with crepe paper or silver foil to become Valentine mailboxes. We vied for the cigar bands to sport as rings--the graphics seen as intricate art for those of us without real jewelry.
It is ironic in many ways that the phenomenon of funding health care by taxes on a product that causes major health issues continues to disproportionately affect the poor and impoverished. The rising cost of tobacco use, fueled partly by increased taxes, claims a disproportionate amount of the income of the poor, and those who are more likely to lack health care in the first place. Any number of studies have provided evidence that children and minorities (most likely to be poor) are targeted by the tobacco industry.
It is also ironic that although we can truthfully claim ignorance up until at least 1963 and the first surgeon general's report that linked tobacco use with lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, and other ill health factors, that is no longer the case. While tobacco use is declining as a whole, it continues to represent a danger to the health and well-being of all of us.
Bob Newhart probably said it best in his comedic routine in which he has a "conversation" with Sir Walter Raleigh about the discovery of tobacco (roughly paraphrased from my memory of the 1970s):
Now let me see if I understand this--you take the leaf of this 'to-bac-co', roll it up in paper, set it on fire, and inhale the smoke? Seems like you could get the same effect sitting in front of the fireplace with the damper closed.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Sunday, November 9, 2014
The c. 1880 building to the right was originally retail space on the first floor, with paired display windows under three-light transoms. The second entrance leads to the upper floor which served as a lodge meeting space (Barrow). Brick dentil molding is featured over the arched windows, which has now been enclosed. The building does not appear to be in use, and needs some sprucing up!
Visible to the rear of the building is the former Carter's Funeral Home, c. 1930. Much of that building has been altered, but it still retains the plain brick pilasters and recessed tablet above the second floor windows.