Saturday, October 22, 2016

Criquette for President


Okay, my companion Criquette decided enough is enough and she is running for President of the USA. She promises sunflower seeds in every bowl. She has my vote!!!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

I Lived Here for 25 Years!


Believe it or not, I lived in these apartments in St. Paul, MN for 25 years before I bought a house. I first occupied an efficiency in the basement and the last two years I lived there in a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor. I had many positive experiences and knew the residents well. There were four full apartments and two efficiencies. For a time I was the caretaker, shoveling snow and gardening. The apartments were right across from the University of Minnesota - St. Paul Campus.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Beacons from the Lighthouse


The treacherous grey rocks surrounded the coasts,
Mists covered the areas like wondering ghosts
Of past slain sailors in that cold, cruel sea,
There a large lighthouse was built for all to see.

Now ships sail safely past those treacherous rocks,
At the mists of evil darkness they can now mock,
As they follow the bright beacons that lead to home
And to safety from wherever they had to roam.

In our lives we have a lighthouse shining bright
Across the mists of darkness, pure beacons of light.
If we all follow them, we will always in safety live
Follow the beacons in darkness follow the wisdom they give.

Shine beacons of the lighthouse that for truth does stand
Shine in faith in this strong, favoured, happy band,
Shine with the promise of safety that we may gain
Eternal blessings of heaven, be free from hurt and pain.

                                                           M Ann Margetson

Sunday, March 27, 2016

My Companion Criquette

My beautiful Double Yellow Head Amazon parrot has been with me for eight years. We hit it off straight away when I brought her home. She is now twenty-five years old and is in great health according to her vet.

I adopted Criquette from some friends who could no longer keep up with her. When they first adopted her my friends did not have two kids and two dogs and parrots require a lot of attention because they are very social and need an enriching environment for them to thrive. Since I brought her to her forever home she has pretty much taken over my house and thinks it is hers. She will chase away people that come to visit, especially females. She is very smart, talks a lot and very affectionate -- too much so at times.

Although she was given to me, I have spent lots of resources on her to keep her healthy and thriving. I purchased a very large custom surgical stainless steel cage for her; she had no trouble accepting her new abode as her other cage though large was not as roomy as her new one. Criquette is out of her cage as long as I am home and she enjoys flying from room to room exercising her wings. I also have health insurance for her and it has come in handy for her annual checkups and related visits. She is also quite the acrobat and enjoys climbing challenges.

At 25 years old she is still young; amazons can live 80 - 100 years. I have created a fund for her so that she will be taken care well beyond my lifetime. Criquette has her own legal documents including notarized adoption papers that I take with me when we travel.

Though parrots make wonderful companions it is not for everyone. If you are considering adopting one, please do your homework and read up a lot about their care. It is not like having a dog or cat. Unfortunately, many parrots end up at rescue centers because people can't manage or spend the kind of time these creatures need. Interestingly, my parents had parrots when I was growing up and that's the only kind of companion I have mostly had in my adult life. They are beautiful creatures that have their own personalities, but most of them live a long time. It is quite the commitment if someone adopts a parrot; so think twice about venturing down this journey.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Stories from South Texas: Olivia

Growing up in Brownsville, Texas was always an adventure; we didn't have much money and I remember finally getting a bicycle for my birthday when I was 15 or 16. It was a Murray bike that up until recently still stood prominently in my parents home. That bicycle provided me a sense of freedom that I never knew before since my family had no car and primarily used public transit. One of the places that I used to venture to was a close friend's home. He had two sisters (Olivia and Olga) that I liked very much. I really got along well with the entire family and often had dinner with them. My visits were frequent because I really liked the youngest sister Olivia. We were good friends, but I never had the courage to ask her out. I don't know if she ever knew that I liked her a whole lot. Once I went off to college I lost contact with her and her family. I hope that she had a great life and I wish I had been more courageous in my youth to have told her how I felt. I remember her as a very sweet person.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Pantilier

                                From Pantiland Photo SeriesĀ©

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wet Snow in Minnesota--again


Well, can you believe this, it is snowing again in Minnesota. We have a major storm system that is grazing the Twin Cities, but our neighbors to the south will get the brunt of the snow. It is a wet snow that in theory will melt by tomorrow (3/24/2016). Driving is challenging and some folks are going home early to avoid the hazardous journey. If you are reading this I hope you are having 80 degree weather.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Been awhile

Hello World, I hope you all are well. It has been a tumultuous day with the terrible events in Belgium. I hope that all of us are sending positive energy to all the victims and survivors. We still have a long way to go as humans on this precious planet we call Earth.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stories from South Texas: La Esquela

This is Brownsville High School, which I attended many years ago. I knew a lot of nice kids back then, but I lost touch with all but a couple folks. I would not mind reliving that time with all that I know now. I wonder what that would be like? That is why it is so important to make the best of each day we have...savor in the moment and try to live it well, because it will be a memorial of your past.

I had lots of love interests in those three years I spent there, but I was too shy to act. In my senior year of high school, I finally got brave and began dating my best friend's sister, he couldn't understand what I saw in her. Her name was Josie, and cute as can be. I went off to college in another state after graduation and we wrote to each other and had nice visits when I came home for the holidays. At the end of my freshman year in college I received a "Dear John" letter from Josie...stating that though she loved me a lot, my aspirations and goals were way beyond what she sought for her life and preferred the life of a small town. We never saw each other again.

It wasn't until years later that I understood her decision - most of us growing up in predominately Mexican-American communities had little hope of our going away to college or college. Many of my friends after high school either got married and went to work at local businesses or joined the armed forces. There were not many options. My pursuits were out of the norm for Josie and I think she could not see beyond what she knew and had transpired with her family. Though there is more to this story, regarding what Josie told me, essentially her decision was based on historical options. I went on, obtained by bachelors degree, masters, completed work on my Ph.D. and obtained an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.

I recently told this story to a friend who still lives in the Latino community and she indicated that my story is still reality for many members. I really hope Josie's life embraced newer horizons as she grew older, but mostly I hope she had a happy life regardless of her choices. Here is a song for you Josie:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009 (I Remember You Alberto)


ALBERTO DUNES JR

LCPL - E3 - Marine Corps - Regular
19 year old Single, Chicano Latino, Male
Born on Jan 20, 1949
From BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS
His tour of duty began on Jun 10, 1968
Casualty was on Nov 11, 1968
in QUANG NAM, SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTY
OTHER EXPLOSIVE DEVICE
Body was recovered
Religion
ROMAN CATHOLIC

Panel 39W - - Line 48

**********
I knew Alberto well, we both attended Faulk Junior High School and Brownsville High School. I had the opportunity to go to college and he did not so he was drafted to go to Vietnam. Kids back than had few options, you either went to college, tried to become a conscientious objector, go to Canada or were drafted. My friend Alberto went to Vietnam shortly after graduation from high school. Six months after he began his tour of duty, he was killed in hostile action. Several years ago I visited the Vietnam Wall memorial in Washington, DC and saw his name inscribed on the wall. He was only 19 when he was killed.