Monday, December 10, 2018

Sweet rejoicing

There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.
~John Calvin

For Music Monday, In Dulci Jubilo from Christmas with The Singers. You know I love choral Christmas music!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights / Jamal Khashoggi

I am raising my voice. To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison. I can speak when so many cannot.
~Jamal Khashoggi

Today's post is a response to the following message from the international literature festival berlin:
On December 10, 1948, 70 years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was announced by the United Nations General Assembly at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. On this anniversary, the international literature festival berlin (ilb) calls upon individuals, institutions, universities, schools, and media who value freedom of the press and human rights to organize and participate in a worldwide reading in memory of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Poems in honor of
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and the memory of Jamal Khashoggi

Universal Declaration for Jamal
by Linda Mitchell

barbarous acts have outraged us.

Since Jamal,
of our human family, is murdered.

Because Jamal
championed freedoms of justice and peace.

Considering Jamal’s
rights should have been protected.

Insomuch as Jamal’s
dignity and human worth were disregarded.

We reaffirm
better standards for all peoples and nations.

Forasmuch as Jamal
is compatriot, colleague, father, spouse, friend, brother

We are not his
We are not his
We reaffirm
This Declaration
and, Amen

© 2018


Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

by Michelle Kogan
Golden Shovel built from Article 03 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

A human life is the responsibility of everyone.
When a voice has
spoken for those oppressed, the
voice also needs right-
ful protection. To
slaughter any life
is a blight against all liberty
everywhere, and
all measures of human security
need to unite to right this heinous act of
dehumanization toward that person.

© 2018 Michelle Kogan


Article 6.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article VI
by Tabatha Yeatts

For you,
made of the universe,
breathing stars with every breath,

For you,
who unfurled like a flower
in the world's womb,

The right to be seen—
replete with spirit
a complete unit of life—

For you,
spark of life's fire,
wherever you go.


Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 18

by Harry Yeatts
iambic tetrameter blank verse pentastich

These folks hold tight to their beliefs.
Those folks over there do the same.
And both believe diff'rent from me.
So then we're all non-believers,
And have every right to be.

© 2018


Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
an acrostic

all I need is
determined by
elected officials who
question my value and
understand nothing of the
allowances made
to make
ends meet

perhaps it's time to
reject the
optimistic view
that these
elected officials
can comprehend
the truth of
nothing is ever secure.

© 2018 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes


freedom to be nice
by Donna JT Smith, © 2018
found poem from the UDHR

  with reason
  and conscience
  in brotherhood
  has rights
   religion or belief
   and friendship
 may nothing be
  aimed at


A concrete poem by Brenda Davis Harsham:

© 2018


Elizabeth Steinglass has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Liz!

Reading the paper

[Nick] Davies does a bit of teaching, and he has his students imagine that they are asked to write a report on what the weather will be like tomorrow. They interview a woman in one room who says it will be sunny. Then they interview a man in another room who says it's going to rain. Your job, as a journalist, is not to simply write up what you have been told, he says. Your job is to look out the window.
~The Economist

Journalism-related art today, getting ready for a Khashoggi post tomorrow.

Newspaper Reader
photo by Dr. Avishai Teicher

Women’s photojournalism course in Farah City, Afghanistan
photo by ResoluteSupportMedia

Allegory of communist press censorship
by Jacek Halicki

Die Zeitungsleserin
by Adolph von Menzel

by Suzanne Scheuer
for the U.S. Works Progress Administration

Portrait of Emma Zorn
by Anders Zorn

Trompe l'oeil mit Porträt
by Martin Orthner

A final quote:
News is what someone wants suppressed. Everything else is advertising.
~Katharine Graham

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Use as needed

I suspect that we are all recipients of cosmic love notes.
~Sam Keen

Sometimes I don't know which way to go with Wellness Wednesday because I'm not sure what you need this week. My younger daughter came down with a stomach bug last night, so I mostly need electrolyte recipes and permission to nap. But what is on your plate? My Australian friend Kat just told me about the bushfires that recently blazed through her area and how stressful that experience was (thank goodness for rain!). I ended up going with a little bit of a bunch of things...use as needed:

Smoke pollution from fires:
* Fire Support: Herbs for Lungs and Trauma

DIY Electrolyte drinks:
* 4 Homemade Electrolyte Recipes

* Gratitude Journal: 67 Templates, Ideas, and Apps for Your Diary

* Study: Tetris is a Great Distraction for Easing an Anxious Mind
* Relaxation Apps

* Nick Cave on death and grief

* Amaretto Cream Truffles (I made them Sunday and had planned on using amaretto extract, but at the last minute I decided on strawberry. TBH, I couldn't taste the strawberry, but the truffles were still a hit.)

Anything you want to add?

Monday, December 3, 2018

Anita Baker

I used to sing at funeral homes for families that didn't have a vocalist. I didn't get paid. I needed to sing.
~Anita Baker

Anita Baker's Rapture album (1986) was one that I listened to on a daily basis. For Music Monday, Anita Baker:

One more Anita quote:

I'm picking and choosing in terms of the stress factor. If it's not fun, I'm not going to do it.
~Anita Baker

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Papery Dark

It makes your teeth feel good to say it: Maggie, Maggie, Maggie. It feels like eating peanuts. Try it.
~Sylvia Cassedy

Two Maggies today. I just love this Maggie Smith poem with its gold butterflies and shadows:

Mountain Child
by Maggie Smith

When the girl leaves the mountain,
she is no longer a child,

but she has not outgrown the hawk.
She wears its shadow on her shoulder,

an epaulet. It bears the weight

of allegory. When the girl leaves
the mountain, it’s autumn,

so many yellow leaves on the gingko,
clusters of butterflies seem to cling

to each branch. Each time
the wind blows, a few take wing...

read the rest here (scroll to the bottom)

Ginkgo Tree by Will Power


I love this (admittedly dark) Maggie Blake Bailey poem, too:

Glacier Climbing
by Maggie Blake Bailey

...Years ago, I left to climb a glacier
in Alaska and learned how to cling
to the mountain, how to bracket...

read the whole thing here


Last day to turn in human rights poems!

Carol's Corner has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Carol!


[Vilhelm] Hammershøi's art is about being present in the world as it is, accepting its beauty, and living in the moment.
~Richard Dorment

Today's post was inspired by a visit to The Phillips Collection in DC.

Interiør med kunstnerens staffeli
by Vilhelm Hammershøi

Grey Thaw
by John F. Folinsbee

Garden at Vaucresson
by Édouard Vuillard

Moulin à Saint-Jacut or Les Villas
by Édouard Vuillard

by Nathalie Djurber
photo by Tabatha

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Personal Gifts

A hug is a great gift - one size fits all, and it's easy to exchange.

For Wellness Wednesday, some ideas for things that you can make and give.

* I made these last weekend and they are really saving my lips:
10 minute DIY lip balm

* Construct a timeline of a person's life (or a couple's lives), and make game from it. I talk about Timeline here. You would take life events and put them on slips of paper or cardstock and see if other people in the family can put them in the right order. Did Grandma start working at the library before or after she lived in Georgia? Did Grandma and Grandpa meet before or after Grandpa joined the army?

* Make a zine for someone about a topic that interests them. What's a zine? A mini magazine with 8 sections folded from a single page:
Zine Template
How to Make a Zine

* Make some healthy cookies for someone who shies away from everyday sweets:
Turmeric Ginger Cookies

* Make some florentine cookies for someone who eats sweets with gusto:
Milk Chocolate Florentine Cookies

* I made a lyric fill-in-the-blank game that we played as a family...I tried to include songs that either all three generations might know, or that people could guess. Players got 1/2 points for entertaining answers. People were more likely to get it right when the blank was only one word, like "Rock me momma like a south bound ______" so include lots of those if you want it to be fairly easy.


I know it's not much but it's the best I can do, ___________________ and this one's for you

There's nothing you can do that can't be done, ___________________ that can't be sung

You may be right, _______________, but it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for

Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong, _________________, mountain mama (The person who answered "baby llama" got 1/2 point and me singing that version for probably all time.)

(Answers: my gift is my song, nothing you can sing, I may be crazy)

Do you have any suggestions for things to make? (Or any lyrics for me to guess?)

Monday, November 26, 2018

Bonny boys

We must ask nothing of artists but to be of their own time.
~Eileen Grey

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! The above quote doesn't really relate to the song other than that Eileen Grey is Irish, and so are today's musicians. For Music Monday, the Chieftains with the Corrs:

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Hat

I think it just takes one little snowflake to start a snowball to go down the hill.

Happy Poetry Friday! I was feeling kind of mistake-y this week. Revisiting my mistakes, experiencing other people's tomfoolery, watching how one mistake can lead to another...which inspired this week's poem. (Is this a form you guys know? I am not sure whether I made it up or had already seen it somewhere.)

Hats by Marco

The Hat
by Tabatha Yeatts

Sara labelled the hat the wrong size
And Ronald bought the hat

Ronald's new hat covered his eyes
And he walked into the cat

The cat jumped and ripped the screen door
And the dog ran outside

The barky dog woke Baby mid-snore
And Baby cried and cried

Her cries spooked a squirrel who raced
And roused a lazing snake

Snake hugged squirrel in a snug embrace...
All due to a hat mistake.


I'm going to take next week off for Thanksgiving, but I hope to still be able to visit some of y'all's blogs to say hi. Hope you have a warm and snuggly holiday! TeacherDance has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!

P.S. I've enjoyed the Human Rights poems I've received very much. Please send yours in by November 30th.

Monkey Flower and Hawk's Beard

From one to half-a-dozen plants are figured on a page; but Miss Adams manages to keep the character of each species distinct, and the grouping is often full of skill and grace.
~The Spectator, 1907

For Art Thursday, illustrations from Wild Flowers of the British Isles by H. Isabel Adams, 1907:

Crab Apple, Dog Rose, Blackthorn

Mullein, Monkey Flower, Mimulus

Red Bearberry, Scotch Menziezia, Marsh Andromeda

Chicory, Hawk's Beard, Ox-Tounge

Spotted Catchfly, Soapwort, Corn Cockle

The Stonecrop Family

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Slow Down

Only one in four jokes ever works, and I still can't predict what people will laugh at.
~Steven Wright

Keeping ourselves amused this Wellness Wednesday with this and that. Here's Jim Ignatowski from Taxi taking a driving test:

Dad Joke Generator (Dad Jokes do make me laugh, like this Dad Joke competition between Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.)

Shakespearean insult generator and a Shakespearean insult song by Hank Green.

And because it's always nice to watch Robin Williams speaking gibberish:

What made you smile this week?

Sunday, November 11, 2018


I shall not easily forget those long winter nights in the front line. Darkness fell about four in the afternoon and dawn was not until eight next morning. These sixteen hours of blackness were broken by gun flashes, the gleam of star shells and punctuated by the scream of a shell or the sudden heart-stopping rattle of a machine-gun. The long hours crept by with leaden feet and sometimes it seemed as if time itself was dead.
~F. Noakes

Commemorating the end of World War I:

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Continuous Living

If nothing saves us from death, at least love should save us from life.
~Pablo Neruda

photo by Larry Jacobsen

Today, poems about our commonalities, our struggles and joys, our rebirth.

Don't forget to send me your human rights poems by November 30th!


Your Laughter
by Pablo Neruda

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.


The Street
by Octavio Paz

It’s a long and silent street.
I walk in the dark and trip and fall
and get up and step blindly
on the mute stones and dry leaves
and someone behind me is also walking:
if I stop, he stops;
if I run, he runs. I turn around: no one.
Everything is black, there is no exit,
and I turn and turn corners
that always lead to the street
where no one waits for me, no one follows,
where I follow a man who trips
and gets up and says when he sees me: no one.


photo by Tauralbus

Instructions on Not Giving Up
by Ada Limón

...Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.


Today's Little Ditty has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!

Phlogopite Plus

I love rocks with the unconditional love that you lavish upon a newborn baby.
~Hope Jahren

Rocks today!

Smithsonite, Aurichalcite
photo by Rob Lavinsky

Phlogopite, San Vito quarry, Monte Somma, Italy
photo by Didier Descouens

Apatite-(CaF), Muscovite
photo by Robert Lavinsky

Azurite, cross-section through merged stalactites
photo by Tony Hisgett

Pyritized brachiopods
photo by James St. John

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It's Time!

I’m just trying to do my part to save the world.
~J. Cornell Michel

I know everybody is already telling you to vote. Lucy is just here to say THANKS FOR VOTING!

Liberty Lucy

Protect Our Votes/Election Integrity

Monday, November 5, 2018


The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.
~Henry David Thoreau

Unknown Mortal Orchestra:

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Giving/Where Strength Lies

I know what I have given you...
I do not know what you have received.
~Antonio Porchia

photo by John Morgan

Two poems, thinking about Thanksgiving and Election Day.

When Giving Is All We Have
by Alberto Ríos

                  One river gives
                  Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,

read the rest here


A Nation’s Strength
by William Ralph Emerson (1833-1917)

What makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?

It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.

Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.

And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.

Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.


Vote! It matters!

Jama's Alphabet Soup has the Poetry Friday round-up today. Thanks, Jama!

Rose Windows

We must shine with hope, stained glass windows that shape light into icons, glow like lanterns borne before a procession. Who can bear hope back into the world but us.
~Marge Piercy

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg
photo by Ralph Hammann

Speyer, Germany
by Jakob Bradl
photo by Roman Eisele

Rosetón. Igrexa principal de Noia, Galicia
photo by Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez

Église protestante Saint-Thomas de Strasbourg
photo by Ralph Hammann

Église Saints-Pierre-et-Paul
photo by Ralph Hammann

Vitrail de la cathédrale de Strasbourg
photo by Frédéric Chateaux

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Thinking about Cold & Flu Season

Health and cheerfulness are brothers.
~William Hardcastle Browne

Yipes, here we are, heading into cold and flu season and it's hard to be cheerful with [insert your own statement about that horrible man, his enablers, and his nutjob fans]. Stress can make people prone to get sick, so we need to see what we can do to cope and ward off illness.

* Key things: getting good sleep, moving around (exercise), eating well/getting your nutrients, keeping hydrated. These are all things we hear a lot, but they're the foundation. How's your foundation doing? Our bodies often can tell what they need and try to communicate it. Try not to do that thing where you're tired and instead of paying attention and getting some rest, you just drink a bunch of energy drinks. If you can get some rest when you first feel an illness coming on, you might be able to ward it off. Don't wait until you are feeling miserable to lie down!

* I can't remember whether I've mentioned making elderberry syrup before. Here are a few recipes in case you would like to try it: Plain (3 ingredient) Elderberry Syrup, Spiced Elderberry Syrup, and Elderberry lemon ginger syrup. I am a fan of the taste of elderberry, your mileage may vary. Having elderberry syrup often in the early stages of an illness can help shorten its duration. (My kids think that homemade tastes better than storebought, but feel free to buy some. A lot of pharmacies/grocery stores are selling it these days and you can get it on Amazon, too.)

* Another syrup you can make: Ginger & Lemon Balm Cold & Flu Syrup. Lemon balm is very relaxing -- if you haven't tried it and you're feeling stressed out, you might want to seek it out.

* I also like turmeric tea and golden milk when I'm feeling under the weather, although I will drink them any old time. (True confession: I am lazy enough to mostly just have the tea and not make the milk. I like when someone else makes me the milk.)

* Apple cider vinegar is great for cutting through phlegm and a host of other things. I have talked about fire cider before, and recently I made a rose hibiscus oxymel (rose hibiscus vinegar with honey) that is a beautiful shade of fuschia, in addition to having vitamin c and being a nice stomach settler. Here's info about making oxymels.

* Stress Reducing Recipes from Fit Foodie Finds

* I almost finished without harping on having beef, chicken, or veggie stock, but I couldn't quite make it. Sorry, guys! Have some stock.

What else would you like to add? Do you have a special thing you make to help stay healthy?

Monday, October 29, 2018

O Sacrum Convivium

Ladies of the choir, I want you to sound like twenty-two women having babies without chloroform.
~John Barbirolli

How about let's not do that today? Soothing choral music for Music Monday...Arnesen performed by Kantorei:

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Poets for Human Rights

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.
~Elie Wiesel

There's an anniversary and memorium coming up and I thought it would be cool if we poets got involved:

On December 10, 1948, 70 years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was announced by the United Nations General Assembly at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. On this anniversary, the international literature festival berlin (ilb) calls upon individuals, institutions, universities, schools, and media who value freedom of the press and human rights to organize and participate in a worldwide reading in memory of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

I like the idea of participating in the reading, but I am particularly drawn to celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in honor of Mr. Khashoggi. Anyone want to write a short poem (or two) for the different articles of the UDHR? I will collect the poems and send them to the international literature festival berlin (ilb) after we're done.

You can see the entire illustrated version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights here. The drawings by Yacine Ait Kaci (YAK) included in this illustrated edition of the UDHR are protected by copyright and can only be reproduced to illustrate the text of the UDHR. (There is an illustration for each article, but I am only including a few here.)



Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.


If you want to participate, send your poems about one or more of the UDHR articles to tabatha(at)tabathayeatts(dot)com by the end of November. I don't care how long the poems are or how many there are, but please do tell me which of the thirty articles they are about.

A Journey through the Pages has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Kay!

P.S. I'm going to be coming up with the Winter Poem Swap matches this weekend, so last chance to sign up for that!


Čiurlionis felt that he was a synesthete; that is, he perceived colors and music simultaneously.

Lithuanian painter and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911) today. He died at age 35 of pneumonia. Despite Čiurlionis' early death, his legacy survives and you can find a school of art, museum, bridge, and asteroid named for him. I'm sharing one of his songs at the end!

The Gift of Friendship
by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

Kings' Fairy Tale (Karaliu pasaka)
by Lithuanian painter Mikalojus Ciurlionis

Creation of the World - III
by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

Fairy Tale - III
by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

Monument of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis in Vilnius, Lithuania
photo by Alma Pater

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The body's bank account

Rare disease patients often refer to themselves as “zebras” due to the often referenced quote in medical circles “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” That is true, but remember – there are many zebras out there, too, and we depend on physicians’ willingness to learn and partner with us to find diagnoses, treatments, and hopefully eventually cures for our rare diseases.
~Anna Hull

I talked before about the spoon theory of chronic illness. Today, I'm talking about another way to describe the difficulty of dealing with symptoms on a daily basis. This was written specifically about mast cell activation disorder, but I'll bet could work for lupus, chronic migraines, and other illnesses that fluctuate. It could also describe emotional energy that people use in a day.

Scientist and mast cell patient Lisa Klimas explains:
The problem is not just that I’m allergic to some foods. It’s that I’m not always allergic to the same foods as I was the day before. Or the same medications. Or the same environmental exposures. My reactions on a given day are the cumulative product of the amount of irritation my mast cells have experienced in the previous day or two. There is always a running tally in my mind...

For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume you have $100 in a bank account. Any activity that can cause mast cell activation has to be paid for. The cost is proportionate to the amount of activation. Getting a splinter: $2. Being hot: $10. Being in direct sunlight: $10. Standing up for 20 minutes while being hot in direct sunlight: $35. Cardiovascular exercise: $40. Arguing with your spouse: $60. Moderate pain experienced in your day to day life: $50. A painful medical procedure: $70. Mild cold: $40.

...You can make deposits into the bank with medications and physical changes. Getting enough sleep: $30. Wearing loose, comfortable clothes: $15. Doing orthostatic manuevers before standing up: $10. Taking baseline mast cell medications on your normal schedule: $50. Eating food that is warm but not hot: $15. Monitoring your exercise and stopping for breaks: $15. Wearing a cooling vest on a hot day: $20. Oral Benadryl: $25. IV Benadryl: $50. Steroids: $50.

So you have this running tally in your head all day long. When you start getting close to $100, you get stressed. You know you can’t afford to spend more than $100. Things that you could have done four hours ago safely are no longer safe. Things you could eat on a day spent relaxing at home inside with comfortable ambient temperature cannot be eaten if your apartment is too hot or if you are in a lot of pain.
She says that people who see her on different days, see her being able to eat different things and sometimes give her trouble for it, as if she's faking. As Lisa says, "WHO DOES THAT?"

Lisa: "Cost for being around someone who gives you s*** for not always having the same restrictions: $75."

A zebra bracelet for people with rare diseases