Rinker Buck: The Oregon Trail

This is a book about memory on both personal and national levels.  I didn’t want it to end.  Someone had it on the list for a local book club and karma bought it to me a few days later.  This is the type of book that is both heartbreaking and profound at the same time.  I will hold onto this book for a long time.

Rinker Buck is a fellow resident of the State of Connecticut.  Rinker takes a journey with his brother, Nick, across the Oregon Trail during the summer of 2011.  Rinker brings in his personal life and past into the American past and through self-reading brings out the truth about America’s past and the Oregon Trail’s past.  Rinker also talks about how the past is changed and hidden away and covered over and rewritten and reinterpreted. Many parts of the Trail are literally paved over.  Other parts have been taken over and renamed and their history glossed over.  Other parts are never discussed at all in the course of the teaching of American history.  Rinker brings these memories out to the forefront.  Yet reading it, I feel that his journey barely touched the surface.

A must read.


Connecticut SB 487

Good morning.  Thank you for taking the time to have this hearing and for incorporating individual testimony.
I am in support of SB 487.  I know there are many countless others who share this as well.
I want to let you know that Thomas Paine, who wrote the short book Common Sense, which as you know helped spur the American Revolution, was in favor of hemp production and believed hemp was one of the products that could make America strong and keep America independent from outside economic influences.  Most textbooks take out this part of his work.  I didn’t discover this until I read the complete book.  If you haven’t, I encourage you to do so.  I believe Mr. Paine would find the banning of hemp a travesty and if he were here today, be in favor of this bill.
I don’t know if Mr. Paine knew about marijuana or cannabis, I can’t ask. Yet I do believe he would find what we are doing today in banning plants a travesty.  Marijuana and hemp are that: plants.  The banning of plants is incomprehensible.  I’ve heard every argument from many people about why marijuana needs to be banned and I don’t get it.  Hemp as well.  Early Americans used hemp for rope, clothing, and everyday items.  America would not be America without the hemp ropes used to build the ships that sailed before metal was able to be processed securely.
Do we really need to sit here and debate about THC, reefer madness, gateway drugs, self-medication, and processing ad nauseam?  Marijuana is a plant that has a world of possibilities that we as adults are well aware of.  Any substance can be abused and we are well aware of that as adults as well.
Would you rather have the marijuana processed in a clean facility and you know what is in it than processed in someone’s garage or basement?  I can tell you from experience as an EMT that many people, even from their “regular” dealers, are sold marijuana laced with substances they don’t know about.
Are people afraid to admit to their own use?  Afraid to admit that their children may be using?  I know I would rather be out in the open than hiding.  Wouldn’t you rather be able to monitor what is going into the marijuana before people smoke it or at least give them the options of their own plants?  I know if someone told me today I have a disease or sickness where the best alleviation of it is to smoke or intake marijuana due to the THC, I would want to grow my own plants and gladly pay the State to do so.  It is small price to pay and cheaper than many prescription options.  Or are you afraid of the prescription drug companies?  They won’t lose out, they actually serve to benefit in the long run.  Many of them already use marijuana in their pills.  Look it up if you don’t believe me.
Why are you enabling the large dealers, many of whom are white and never see jail time and run enough marijuana to run a small empire and pay no taxes whatsoever ever on their transactions, to continue to do this?  Wouldn’t you rather have the money from their transactions, which can run into the millions of dollars, in the State coiffers than in their pockets?  Why are you enabling mass incarceration, or are you afraid of all the people who run the prisons here in Connecticut?
Please go out among your constituents and talk with them.  Listen to the people here today that have been persecuted when they are trying to take care of themselves.  Help bring crime down.  Help bring money and common sense into Connecticut.
Thank you.

Review: Pictures of Hollis Woods

Hollis Woods is trouble, or is she?

As this story unfolds, the reader meets Hollis in both the past and present.  Hollis has been written off and Hollis is always running.  Yet now Hollis finds herself in a situation where she must care for herself and her caregiver.  As this story unfolds, Hollis reveals what happened to get her to where she is now.

An excellent, inspirational story.  A must read, especially for preteens and teens.

Daily Prompt: Tether

via Daily Prompt: Tether

This has been sitting in my hold pile for a while.

Tether.  This word always make me think of tethering a horse and not being able to go anywhere.

Currently the State of Connecticut, where I live, and the Town I live in, have both (as of my writing this) as of yet to pass a budget.  There is a lot of talk where the money that is needed will eventually come from.  Not one person wants more taxes and the politicians are really digging around to find ways to tax, like on cell phone bills and usage, within the State.  (One proposal I read.)

The taxes may come from things we are tethered to whether we want to be or not.  I can’t have my business, run it, without my cell phone.  I know I speak for others as well.

I know we all feel tethered at times.  Life is responsibility and responsibility is life.  Responsibility tethers us, there is no way around it.

Are we horses?  No.  Can we untether ourselves?  Yet then the question is at what cost and at what cost to ourselves and others?

Review: Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

If you, dear reader, are a fan of American history, particularly New York City during the Revolutionary War, this is a book for you.

If you like the Broadway show Hamilton, this is a book for you to read.  Chains is on the other side of Alexander Hamilton. Chains gives an eye-opening look to what was going on outside of the major names and players of the American Revolution.  Chains shows a piece of the underbelly of American history.

The story of Isabel Gardener will break your heart and leave you wanting more at the same time.  Isabel is 13, a slave, caretaker of her younger sister, Ruth, and not one to sit back. Her story is page turning, heart stopping, and will take your breath away.

10 out of 10 for making your mind bloom.

In Memory

I’m doing something a little different here today.  A local author died a few days ago.  I don’t know if I ever met him directly but I did read his book.  The book focuses on local politics and I don’t believe I reviewed it on here.

I’m putting up the link to the local article.  Maybe those of you reading this who like politics will read this.  My local area has a very fascinating history when it comes to politics and is one of the most controversial in the area.

Here is the link:



Strawberry Moon

The full strawberry moon is out tonight.  A full moon is always awesome to watch as it rises in the sky every 28 days.

The superstitions surrounding full moons are many yet I find working two or three days after a full moon are usually worse than the full moon itself.

All creatures seem to stir more with a full moon.  The moon tugs at the Earth more than we as humans seem to realize sometimes.

Someone I know has been watching for the horseshoe crabs coming up on shore.  I wonder if the Native Americans watched for them.  In all of the research I’ve done, I’ve never found anything about native Americans and horseshoe crabs.  Are there any stories or legends that have been preserved about them in Native American mythology and oral traditions?  Horseshoe crabs were named so by the colonists due to their shape. What did they think of these creatures as they came up on the beaches?

These are some of the questions I’ve been pondering watching the full moon rise.