Watch the “Eclipse Across America” Safely!


Let’s Say it all Together, shall we??

  • I will not look at any phase of the Eclipse with my naked eye!
  • Conventional sunglasses will not protect my eyes during the Eclipse.
  • Cheap, unsafe, and uncertified glasses or viewers won’t protect me either!

It’s for your own good, you know!  (Sorry for sounding like your overprotective Mother, but it’s true!!)

Here in Spokane, we’ll see the eclipse at around 95%.  That still allows enough of the sun’s rays to cause potential damage to your retina cells (Solar Retinopathy), which can cause permanent damage including blindness.  So, the experts at NASA, the American Astronomical  Society and my eye doctor all say, “don’t look at it without the special glasses…Period!!”  I for one will heed their warning!

You Have Options!

If you simply cannot resist temptation, please wear the appropriate eye protection while you view the Eclipse.    You should look for safe eclipse glasses that meet the ISO 12312-23 International Standard, which protects your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays when you stare at it.

The American Astronomical Society can recommend appropriate vendors, manufacturers and retail stores on their website.  Take the time to look up the info.

Or…Consider these ideas…

  • Get the $1 cheapies! A lot of places still have them, but everyone wants them, so good luck! If you have a pair, great; but if they are cracked/crinkled/3+ yrs old…Trash ‘em!
  • Plastic glasses/cardboard viewers: More sturdy/spendy than the cheapies, but work.
  • Welder’s shields/goggles: Maybe you already have a pair in your garage! Just make sure the glass is rated 14+ to best protect your eyes while viewing the eclipse.
  • Solar-viewing Binoculars: Cool! Close up view of the eclipse & eye protection all in one!
  • Go Eclipse Gonzo with a Telescope with a solar filter lens: This will cost you, but if you’re really into this, then money’s no object, right??
  • Make your Own Viewer/Glasses: Do a little homework…Google it and get ideas on how to create your own safety glasses for viewing the eclipse. Several versions exist, from those that allow you to look directly at the sun to the over the shoulder version.
  • Live Stream it on your mobile device: NASA will have live coverage from 12pm – 4pm EDT – from 12 locations, airplanes, a plethora of ground telescopes, and 57 High Altitude balloons…All for your viewing pleasure and from the comfort of your own home or desk!  View the eclipse as it happens, from those 12 locations at NASA’s Special Eclipse LiveStream website.   (Some of us can’t afford to take time off to head into the path, so this is a great option!

What about my Critters??

Simmer down, Ellie Mae!  The critters will be just fine lying around the CEE-Ment Pond!

According to Purina, your pets may sense the darkness and think it’s dinner or bed time behaving as they would as the sun sets…that’s it. The fuzzy ones shouldn’t feel any other adverse effects.  If you’re that concerned, simply keep them inside during the eclipse.  After all, animals are more sensitive to natural phenomena than humans.

No need to get Fido or Fluffy the special glasses…unless it’s for a cute photo op!

(I think my little Chewie would look FABULOUS in a pair!!!)

Most important…

Enjoy this!  However you choose to view the big event, be safe, have fun, and realize you’re viewing history!









Time for this American to “Make America Great Again” by moving “FORWARD!“

I am the following labels:

  • Female
  • A college graduate (Go Eagles! – EWU, 2014)
  • Neither liberal nor conservative – right in the middle
  • The granddaughter of Welsh-Irish immigrants (Yes…They were legal and eventually became American citizens after WW II)
  • Whitecapture
  • Married
  • A Step-mom
  • Catholic
  • Straight
  • A cat-person (although I really like dogs, too!)
  • A Military wife (We’re retired from USAF now!)
  • Proud to be a Red-headed Chunky Diva!

Blah…blah…blah! The list could go on forever.

Bottom line, really is this…I am an American.

All the things I am have combined to make me the unique, free-thinking, spirited person I am today. My experiences, my education, my friends and family…All of it counts, just as it counts for you and has made you who you are.  I am so appreciative and thankful that we are not carbon copies of each other.  Life would be so boring if we were, right?

As we discover our differences, I think it’s amazing and wonderful when we can find the common ground…Find the things that we can share and build relationships from there.

History proves that our country works best when we work together. As a team.  Not necessarily agreeing on everything, but remaining respectful of other views and open to discussion and compromise to get things done for the betterment of all.

So, why can’t we do that now? (Rhetorical question.)

One word: DANG! 

Election 2016 has left us, as my husband likes to say, feeling like we’ve been “pulled through a knot-hole backwards!” We’ve been subjected to incredibly intolerant and hateful words and rhetoric, spewed from the mouths of politician and voter alike.  (Pretty 50-50 on that one, too!)

I viewed (and hidden) some really ugly, cruel, intentionally inflammatory and derogatory posts from both my liberal and conservative friends. I witnessed some out-right lies and rumors, false news stories meant to incite and deride, and just plain meanness from people I know for a fact are not like that in any way in their personal interactions.

haters-gonna-hateFor some reason, this election made it “OK” for some to be truly nasty! (Frankly, it’s never OK to be that way!  But that’s just me, although it’s easy to get caught in that trap, isn’t it?!)

Maybe it was the dynamic surrounding the two completely different candidates and the Country’s perceptions of who they are and their agendas.

Perhaps an election season that spanned over 500 days! (Yeah!  We’ve been hearing this crap for almost two years!!  OY!)

God knows, it couldn’t have been the staggering amounts of media hype we’ve endured throughout!  I am so over the over-paid, self-important political pundits from all sides trying to tell me what to think!  Shut up already and let me digest the actual facts and not your skewed, biased & mostly made up spin on them!  Man!  (I’m a little torqued on that one, having been a part of the media animal for a number of years during my morning show/radio days!  Apologies to any and all listeners who I may have offended by my own zeal and need for ratings during those moments!)

CBS’s “The Late Show” host, Stephen Colbert said it so perfectly:

“So how did our politics get so poisonous?  I think it’s because we overdosed, especially this year. We drank too much of the poison. You take a little bit of it, so you can hate the other side. And it tastes kind of good. And you like how it feels. And there is a gentle high to the condemnation, right? And you know you’re right, right? You know you’re right.”

Hate is easy to do, I’m afraid.  Kindness in the face of hatred…even harder!

OK…Now what?

So, Trump’s the President-elect. Wow.  Just wow.

To be clear, I would have felt exactly the same way if it would have been Hilary elected instead. I was not a fan of either candidate…equally so!

Trump won the electoral vote; Clinton won the popular vote. (Kind of Bush/Gore 2000 Redux, only without the whole hanging-chad thing!)

One half of the country is thrilled and the other is devastated, to the point of tears in some cases. Either way, we’re stuck with him now.  So where do we go from here?

Let’s look at the options, Shall we? 

Let me first say, I am sympathetic to those who feel like all their efforts were for nothing.  I can relate to the ups and downs of the victory/defeat rollercoaster and have been on the receiving end of both the up and down slope.th1kxwekfe  What garners respect and shows the world just what you are made of is how you handle each of these moments.

You are in charge of your reactions and emotions…You can choose how you will react to Donald Trump’s election to become the 45th President of the United States.

So…what’ll it be?

  • Option 1:  Act like Congress has for the past 6 years, like children sitting back to back in the sandbox, arms folded, loudly stating “I’m not playing with you anymore!”   That’s worked well, hasn’t it?  We’ve accomplished pretty much a whole lot of nothing with this tactic!
  • Option 2:  Cry.  A lot.  Cancel your college classes.  Call in sick to work.  Put your life on total hold, spending endless hours on Twitter, Facebook, Snap Chat, etc. pondering how you’ll ever go on, while bingeing on ice cream and chocolate and a lot of wine.  (Seeing a lot of this by the way on social media…Really?)  Warning:  If this goes on for longer than November 9th…You need to seek professional help!  You’re being a little over-dramatic on this one!
  • Option 3:  Protest!  Shout at the rain.  Break things.  Set your neighborhood on fire and blame the establishment.  Shoot people just because you’re pissed.  Block roads and trains so that others can watch you implode in a fit of rage.  (Not very productive, in my opinion, to trash your own stuff because you’re angry…Amounts to nothing but a big temper tantrum.  I used to get spanked and placed in “Time-Out” for that behavior!)
  • Option 4:  Immediately contact your DNC/RNC and volunteer to help!  Work for change the way you see fit!  I include the RNC even though Trump won the election, because there are a lot of Republicans who are just as unhappy with his victory, too!  If you want change, get involved, but don’t expect instant gratification!  Big change rarely happens fast…It takes time to gather momentum.  Patience.  Diligence.  Passion.  Research…Rinse.  Lather.  Repeat.
  • Option 5:  Accept the fact that this is how it turned out.  Whether you chose The Donald or the Queen of the Pantsuit, this is the hand we’ve been dealt.  Get up.  Get dressed.   Brush your teeth.  Have a bowl of Capt. Crunch.  We have 4 years of this…If you’re really that adamantly opposed, please see Option 4!  …and keep your Senators and Representatives on speed dial!!!
  • Option 6:  Remember that no matter what, we are Americans…All of us…Regardless of gender and gender-identity; no matter our race, religion, political affiliation, etc.  We must band together and work it out!  America is big enough for all of us.  there’s room for you to be who you are and for me to be who I am, hopefully, with enough crossover to keep us talking and working toward beneficial and amenable compromise.

the6cq48atI guess when you look at it that way and really break it all down, we really do have some choices…It just depends on how you want to handle it.  It is personal.  It is up to you.  Can both Camp Clinton and Team Trump come together and work it out like adults?  I think so.  I have faith.

Here’s what I will do:

Yes…I am an American.  I believe our country was founded on the backs of those who knew both victory and defeat, understood the inherent need to work together in order to free us from tyranny and unfairness, and believed they could make a difference.  Most importantly, they were not afraid to keep trying, no matter the cost, to make this the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Yeah…I’m flag waving!  So what!  I know in my soul that we can get past the raw emotion of a very difficult election season and move toward a more calm and rational look at our future and what it holds.  Not  everyone will be happy with every single decision made by this new administration.  In fact, there will be ideas presented that will go against everything you and I hold as truth.  We will at times differ on what those truths are, for sure.  But we’ll make it!  I know it.  I feel it.

I am an American.  and though I may not be totally thrilled with the choice that our country made as its next leader, I am willing to open my ears, listen to what he has to say and give him a chance to prove he’s worthy of the seat at the Resolute Desk!  Just me.  This is my choice.

God bless America!





Ditching the Cable Monster: Why We Haven’t Looked Back!

Halloween scream - Fun pic!!How many people do you know would be completely lost without their tether to the cable box or DVR?  I mean, totally distraught if they were to disconnect their cable TV and quit cold-turkey without so much as Netflix or Hulu to get them through their days?  Utterly out-of-their-minds, full-goose-bozo hysterical!? It’s like digital heroin!

Case in point, I have one friend who pays for all the digital cable tiers, movie channels, sports packages as well as the highest-level of internet access possible, and home phone service. Pardon the crudeness, but he is literally Comcast’s B**ch! His bill is like a house payment, man!  That’s seriously out-of-control crazy!

My husband Chad and I were talking about this “addiction” one evening as we surfed through our 400+ digital channels and still couldn’t find anything we wanted to watch.  Hmmm…This was happening more often as time progressed.  So, we started tracking how many times we found nothing to satisfy our TV cravings; thus, begrudgingly opting to watch something from our own stash of movie or TV series DVDs, all the while complaining that there was nothing good on!

Programming on the majority of stations offered by Comcast (or Dish, or Direct TV, for that matter), in our humble opinions, had become so poor overall that even with that many alternatives we got Bupkiss!!  Nada!  Zilch!  No Joy in TV Land!!!  We were paying $203 per month for this? (Yes, I said $203 per month!)  Thank God it included high-speed internet or I would have really felt ripped off!

We had to ask ourselves, at what point does cable cease to be necessary and turn into a giant, vortex of squandered cash flow?  We got our answer in a most unexpected way.  Camping! (OK…We have a motor home, so maybe it should be called “glamping!”  We don’t do that whole sleeping on the ground thing anymore!)

So, over the past summer, Chad & I did quite a bit of travelling in the rig.  In mimagesCA97DX4Sost cases, we got the basic network channels: ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS – all with at least one other HD channel that accompanied it with alternative programming (i.e. Me-TV, Create, Justice Network, etc.)

Depending on the area of the country we visited, more channels became available, like ION, FOX TV, and C&W (each with two or more digital channels), etc.  Of course, there were the plethora of local religious fare and home-shopping channels, too – which we could luckily program the remote to skip over.

Cue that enlightened moment of TRUTH!!  Guess what?  Those 400+ channels and the DVR were suddenly passé; besides, we found out via our tracking chart that we only watched maybe 12 channels with any real frequency.  Was it really time to cut the cord?  Could we really do this?

imagesCA7P27MXIn August 2014, after yet another discussion of the high cost of cable and the limited number of channels worth watching, the answer was finally “YES! Yes, we can!” Both of us ran to the car and headed for Camping World where we had seen a fairly inexpensive but decent HDTV over-the-air antenna from Winegard…I think it cost us $45 (you can get them cheaper now).

When we got home, we hooked it up to the main TV, did a channel sweep and found 27 channels, of whichonly 8 we skipped over.   That was it! Still had our NBC Affiliate, KHQ channel 6 for the NBC Nightly News fix and all major networks with additional channels included.

Who knew there would be TV shows on the main network channels we would actually like? These channels had been lost in the shuffle of the 400+.  We immediately disconnected all the cable boxes, packed them up with the remotes and the DVR and stood in line for over an hour to tell Comcast we were breaking up with them…sort of.  High-Speed Internet is still intact, so we are completely off the grid!

I must admit, it has been quite liberating!  I watched my first episode of Nova in probably 5 years!!  It was amazing!  I actually felt smarter!  I have always loathed reality TV and am convinced that good programming has been left for dead in the wake of things like “Say Yes to Keeping Up with the Real Honey-Boo-Boo Apprentices of New Jersey!” OY!

Don’t you think its high-time we take back the possession of our collective brain cells and demand quality programs from our networks again!  When you’re being paid a year’s worth of my salary per episode to write, then by God, come up with something compelling and worth watching!  (Don’t get me started on that! That’s another blog post altogether!!)

Our decision wasn’t because we couldn’t afford it any longer; rather, we refused to waste the money.  Transitioning was actually pretty painless, since there are quite a few HD channels out there…And honey, they’re free!!

By the way, we did not pull the plug on the utility monster known as Comcast only to pick up Dish or Netflix.  We have our high-speed internet and the HD antenna; that’s it.  We don’t stream TV.  We watch what is on-air, when it airs.  If we miss it, we miss it.  It’s called having a life again!  We have not looked back with any regret whatsoever!

Just so you know…the Comcast bill has gone from $203 to $71.

Money well spentnot-spent, if you ask me!


Mistress of my own Domain!!!

Another first in my life!…I now have a registered domain for my new blog.  There’s a whole ONE post on there now, not including this little introductory one.

photoIf you are even remotely interested in reading my ramblings, then all you need to do is click on or enter into your browser (save it to favorites if you are so inclined!); and my blog magically appears before your (hopefully) eager eyes!

Can’t promise it’ll be riviting each and every time, but I will promise to make it as entertaining as possible! From random observations, to camping outings or just stuff on my mind. Whatever works!! Ha!

Thanks for even reading this!

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