Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Correction: and Christmas Without Ann

First, I apologize to anyone trying to make sense of last night's rambling (to put it politely) post. Got Journey Girl costumes mixed up, so here is the correction. The Asian doll, named Callie, has fau fur boots and a pink Vest, Not a coat, but the vest has fau fur trim to match the boots. Fau fur is white, I think. The Kelsey Journey Girl with auburn hair and green eyes has a fau leather coat which is brown and it also has fake (tired of using "fau") fur trim. She has shoes which have furry feeling uppers and hard soles.
All of the Journey Girls can Stand Independently, Yeah!

If I didn't feel scared of the future in general, I would be Glad to see the backside of this year! Started writing out Christmas cards today. Ann and I used to write them out together. When one of us got stuck or couldn't think of the right word, the other could help by filling in info. in which the card receiver might be interested. Or one of us would say to the other, "Just say in everyday words what you want to and then we'll figure out how to shorten it for this card." Also, since Ann was a visual artist, she could draw or paint on cards, or we made combined cards, like the year I used combinations of Braille shapes (in dots) to make Christmas tree shapes and Ann colored each of them differently. She was good at picking the right kind of card for each person. Cards to friends and family will be more ordinary and boring from now on.

Don't know what the hell I'll do Christmas day by myself. Sleep maybe, or play with dolls, sew. Get drunk? Nah, tempting but a rotten idea! Our family gets a gag or small gift for the person whose name they drew last Christmas. Living on Disability, we did this and got one another small presents. Not this year. Very sad! But I know I will get through it.

One Buddhist belief is Impermanence, what we consider the "self" keeps changing and so does everything else. The hard part of this is death and pain. The good part is that however horrid things Are, or Feel, they also will change, are not Permanent. I'll be glad when this holiday season is done, and maybe sad too, because Ann will have been gone for almost a year. It doesn't seem possible! But then I was so overwhelmed with just Coping with everything from a Memorial Service at the house to unpacking in the house I moved to that although I knew Ann was gone, had died, I only had time to feel the pain of it in brief spurts of semi-free time, until the last week or two of August. Ann died Feb. 1st. So it will soon be a year and it feels much more recent than that.

I kept getting stuck in the midst of cards today. A friend was writing what I asked, but I'm Glad it wasn't a literal transcription or there would have been a lot of "aaaa" and "um, let me think" in most cards. Cards will also be shorter now, without a colaborator to help me think of things the particular card receiver might care about. After doing 8 or 10 of them, my mind just went depressed and blank and I had to stop for the day.

I could use a Nap! But whatever happens, it is impermanent, whether it feels that way or not.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

18 inch dolls and hily Collector Sale?

Hey Phily Collector, is your doll sale over? I couldn't figure out, after following your link, Where your stuff Was on the page, from my computer's speech.

New subject. Maybe no one cares since some or maybe all of you are collectors of 1/6 scale dolls and action figures. But after describing my impressions of a BFC. 18 inch hard vinyl doll, I thought the Joourney Girls deserved a write up. I like them and understand how they can compete with American Girl dolls. They are a bit older, supposed to be ten instead of eight. So they have slight beginnings of breasts. There is an African American doll who, I've been told, looks just like the picture of the little girl on the box. She has a wonderful curly Afro which is black, and brown eyes. There is an Asian American doll who is darker than the BFC. doll Yuko. No one can guess what country her Asian ancestry is from. I like her corduroy pants, sparkly tank top, (Pink, of course, bummer) and fau leather jacket with fau fur trim. She has boots which are trimmed in the same fau fur as her jacket. Her hair is straight and black. There is a European American blonde with blue eyes, I don't kno how her hair is or her clothes. (Still undescribed) A European American with brown hair, glasses, and I think blue eyes, and a European American with curly auburn hair and green eyes. There is a Latina with tan skin, a round face, and I think I was told she had chestnut colored hair and brown eyes. So why no Native American doll? It Should be popular.

The quality of these dolls' hair is good and can be styled, except for the African American doll, whose hair could be over straightened or tangled from combing. The dolls are posable with vinyl arms and legs and soft middles. There heads turn from side to side but don't nod. I like the clothes of the Asian American doll best, but I do believe All of them have Pink in their clothes, Gag! Too Much Pink in doll world!

These dolls are vinyl to just above the waist, so sit up well.

They can wear American Girl doll clothes and cost between $29 and $35, instead of $100 or More!

Ok, I confess, I bought at least one. No, not All of them. They are hugable! Ann and I used to hug one another before going to our rooms to crash. In this new place with some new people I'm not anxious to go around hugging strangers.

The eyes of these dolls do not open and close, I feel sorry for them. You can see too much, physically and metaphorically, if you can't close your eyes. The eyes of the BFC. doll don't close either. In my opinion, her black straight hair which is cut in layers, gets rough at the ends from too much combing, but the Journey Girls don't seem to have this problem.

Journey Girls have no articulation at ankles and wrists, none at the elbows either.

I can understand the lure of the American Girl Historical Characters but they are budget breakers and a child with an imagination can put her or his doll into any place and time. The historical stuff is inspiring and probably the Journey Girls can't match the narratives of Historical Characters. But Taryn, the African American doll wants to play jazz in New Orleans. They Do have Goals which Have to be Worked toward. Obviously, I like these dolls. I'm old fashioned when it comes to kid's clothes though, and don't like some of the short skirts of some of the dolls. Hey, I'm not sure Taryn Has any pink in her outfit! Yeah!

More than enough for now, sorry if you were bored. I do still work with (sew for) 1/6 scale dolls.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful today for a friend who drove me somewhere then hung around to help me straighten out a messed up sewing project! Also thankful to Ann for making out her life insurance policy to me, as I had to her. She is helping to insure that I can live in a house with Heat! I've lived in places Without it Before. I can remember having to go to bed when the sun went down, not because it was dark, no problem. But because it was So Cold!

Toni Morrison wrote a book called I think, "One Blue Eye" (I am happy to accept correction if that title isn't right, it has ben many years since I read it. It was a very Painful book about an abused African American girl and her belief tat she Must have blue eyes.

One of the mood setters for the book was a description of trying to keep warm under a quilt in Winter. And as usual, she Got it Perfectly. You don't dare move one square inch, even if your cramped from laying in the same position all night. Because if you do, you know the pain of the numbing cold from the bed where no body heat has warmed it will be terrible and you will be too miserable to sleep until you have warmed That square inch, if you can. Of course, Toni Morrison said it much better than I can.

It is finally beginning to get cold here, possible flurries by morning, and every Winter I am Thankful to have Heat! I've slept in a bedroom where ice glazed the inside of the window next to my bed. And in a house where it was so cold my fingers hurt too bad to keep reading Braille atop the covers. Reading Braille Under the covers isn't easy and it can get too cold to be worth the discomfort. Each time you turn a page of paper thick enough to hold Braille dots, you either do the book damage, (unthinkable to me) or you have to raise the covers up a bit, letting in More cold air.

I am thankful to have this computer from Rehab. Services for the Blind, and for the instructors who taught me how to use it.

There is a Buddhist technique for helping us remember that we are all interdependent and interconnected, whether we think we are, or want to be, or not. I think of it as "tracing down the roots" of a thing. I truly Enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning and consider it a luxury. So I tried one day to figure out how many people and other beings had given me my treat. There was the Earth, the rain, the sun, the climate where the coffee was grown. Without these things, land, light, warmth of sun, water, we'd all be dead. Then there are the people who grew the coffee, making sure on a regular basis that it got what it needed to survive. There were the native species of plants displaced by a coffee plantation or small holding. There were people picking the coffee, roasting the coffee after it was dry, packaging the coffee, loading it onto vehicles to take it to the U.S. That is a lot of people! But there were also unknown factory workers somewhere making bags to hold the coffee, or jars or cans, and for bags some factory workers had to make those coated wire devices to hold the bags closed. Most of these people are going to be poorer than I am, they Deserve my gratitude. Someone has to seal each coffee container.

Trucks and truckers may take the coffee to boats, can you imagine the number of humans who made all of the truck components? And trucks run on diesel, which has to come from oil which comes from Earth. Then the oil must be Refined by More people.

Dock workers unload my coffee, truckers or freight trains or maybe even planes take it to my part of the country. It is driven by people to stores and working people unload it, stock shelves, and check me out when I buy it at the store. Someone/s made the store or shop, Built it, made the shelves in more factories, lit it, invented fluorescent lights, cash registers, and grocery bags. And some humans made my cup and others manufactured the pan or coffee pot I use and still More people brought me the Gift of indoor running water. After about 45 minutes of Thank Yous, this exercise drove me nuts and the coffee, which I still enjoyed was cold. But I got the fact that Nothing I have came to me Except from the Earth and Sky and the human labor and creativity of other people.

I cannot take complete credit for any thing temporarily in my possession. All of it is temporary. Even if I create something, the materials I use came from Earth (or their inventor did) and human work. I am a very fortunate person and am thankful to all of those people whom I will never know for the life I have right now, as I experience it.

That is one Buddhist way of realizing interdependence with all life and with fellow humans. Everybody says "The Earth is our Mother". But it's True. Without the Earth, Sun, Rain, and Wind, we'd all be dead. It is really just that simple and that profound.

I find the Earth too big to comprehend. I wouldn't be here or enjoy what I enjoy without Earth. But "natural phenomena" kill also. Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, and mud slides. Part of this is caused by our own human foolishness, building homes (when there is a choice) in the midst of wild fire country, or on the sides of steep mountains where mudslides and/or avalanches are likely, building nuclear power plants on or near known fault lines. And there is climate change. But some of these things are Not avoidable and never Have been. So I am thankful when I can be and when I cannot I try not to afflict others with my moods or if it is due to natural disaster, I try to help people who need it.

Lots of rambling, but I thought the Buddhist technique of teaching interdependence was interesting and I Feel good today for almost the First time since this "holiday season" (beginning with Halloween) began. Feeling come and go, but it's been a Long Slog, this Fall and through the beginning of Winter. I am thankful to all the people (including the musicians whose music I enjoyed) who have helped make this day a Happy feeling one!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Flavas Awards and Filling Emotional Holes with Dolls

Hey Phily Collector, Great description of Tawny's accessories, Thank You. Silver jewelry is particularly hard to find in doll land.

What is Tawny's hair like, Kioni "Diamonds and Denim?" It sounds like she might share a face with Kioni but with a different paint job. Is this right?

Your description of accesories was Very helpful!

I've been realizing that I have a problem. Logically I know that Nothing can replace Ann and that if I ever have a friend again who I can feel warm and close with and talk to about anything, it will take time to grow such a friendship.

Emotionally, even though most of me Knows better, I have been Craving dolls to fill the hole left by Ann's death and living alone with fear, due both to her absence and my disabilities. I'm wrecking what is left of my bank account. Not wise, good, or safe, in this economy.

I learned to trust Things, not myself and not other people, very early. So when in a lot of emotional pain, that old pattern returns. Not a problem if I don't take it to excess, a Problem now.

But I am finding it a Very difficult problem to handle, though maybe I have an idea (thanks to a Cherokee healer) on how to start. I will implement it and see how it goes, will let you know, especially if it works.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Thanksgiving Day without Ann makes me aware that although my family was as kind as they could be and I like the house I'm renting, I have no sense of being in an emotionally warm home. Ann and I used to spend some holiday time together, whatever else we did.

I collected dolls for other reasons in the past. Now I find myself looking for a Thanksgiving ay or "black Friday" sale on those I want, just to fill my loneliness. No luck anyway, a good thing for my budget.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ann and I used to trade off holidays. One year we would go to my family Thanksgiving, one year we had our own. I don't miss the labor of getting up early to cook, but Thanksgiving won't be the same without Ann.

We did an unusual and yummy thing, instead of using traditional stuffing. Ann could not digest wheat, so I mixed uncooked brown rice with chopped nuts, spices, veggies., and fruit. We might have ginger-pear turkey with nuts and veggies. Or we might have pineapple (in its own juice) turkey with almonds sliced and celery and carrots.

Since Ann hd a documented severe sleep disorder, she slept in. I would get up and mix the stuffing we had already discussed, Or, if I had an advance plan, make it a surprise.

Ann learned something on a cooking show which made our turkey Look weird, but Taste Better. The chef on the show would mix up the stuffing, slit the turkey's skin and insert some stuffing into each slit. This was especially helpful with the white meat, which can get a bit dry. But it gave our turkey bumps, Braille turkey? No problem.

The meat took on some of the flavor of th fruit (juice included) and spices used in stuffing.

There are foods Ann cooked which I miss and cannot duplicate. She made Wonderful fried chicken, once every couple of months. She devised a cornmeal and spices coating which I came to prefer over flour, bread crumbs, or cornflakes.

I tried using her spice mix and baking the chicken. But she drained it so well that my baked version was much more greasy, yuck!

Ann also made wonderful creative omlettes. I can make good scrambled eggs, but Not omlettes.

And Ann made French toast. When she first suggested this I was Not enthusiastic. At the state blind school they had to make mountains of the stuff and pile it on plates. So it just tasted like soggy, eggy (no it ain't a word) white bread. But Ann used glutten free bread and mixed spices and sweetener in with the eggs. It was Very Good. She could also make pancakes, turned over at exactly the right time, not me.

But I still have Much to be Grateful for! I am dry (it has been pouring and cold here) have a place to rent, have running water, and am alive. Besides all of that, I have a computer used to communicate with others and food to eat and share. And doll clothing to sew.

Without Ann it is Hard to feel thankful, but I am and I do. People have been very kind to me this year, to help me survive it, and the pleasure of learning about dolls has been part of that kindness.

I thank each of you who have taken the time to write, I have enjoyed our correspondence. Thank you to those of you who write blogs also. I can learn things I wouldn't otherwise know and just enjoy reading about products I did not know existed. If you are spending Thanksgiving alone, have a peaceful and creative day. If you are sharing it with others, have a peaceful enjoyable day with your company.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Power of Shame

I keep thinking of that interview with Nobel Peace Prize Winner Leymah Gbowee, heard on the BBC. She drew Christian and Muslim women of Lyberia together to stop the civil war tearing their lives, the lives of their children, and their country to pieces. They used many nonviolent actions, sit-ins, speaking out, public prayer, a sex strike, and something I had never considered, the power of shame. The way in which this was used was for women of all ages to threaten to strip naked in front of government officials. In this country that sounds like an invitation, doesn't it? Annvitation to have sex or sexually abuse women. But in Lyberia it was understood to be what it was, ant of compete desperation! When the BBC. interviewer asked Why the women chose to do This, the answer was clear. Ms. Gbowee said it made the men stop in shock to think, "What have we brought our mothers and grandmothers to that they would do This?"

To have the courage, after a history, during the civil war, of rape and mutilation, to become SO Vulnerable, to discard one's own shame as an abused woman and shame those carrying on the war which caused the abuse, I can't Imagine!

And it worked! The men in the room Had to know that some of these Very women had been raped by forces under Their command. Yet until now they had taken their asaults quietly, not discussing them when it could be avoided. Some of these women had to have been those who survived mutilation committed by the forces commanded by the Very men who were forced to see them.

I have always thought of the power of shame as a negative, something abused children of both sexes and abused women and some men kept silently buried deep inside themselves. In order for there to be shame on the part of perpetrators of violence, there must once have been a culture of Respect. I wonder how long it has been since our society has, as a whole, had a culture of Respect for mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers. Some people, as individuals and as groups mostly always have.

But I wonder if the power of shame is Really used, or is Capable of being used to change behavior here. Oh some of us make moral judgments about public figures who are caught being human in their private lives, but that's Not the same as forcing those who have done great harm to face it. Do I think I have the answers? No. I only wish we still had enough Respect for one another that shame Could be used as a power for Healing.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Terminology for Disabilities and Perceptions of People With Disabilities

I want to clarify a bit of language around the topic of disability. First, blind people use words like "see" "look" and "watch" about as often as do people with sight. When I say I "watched" a movie it means I listened to it with descriptive audio. I missed the color displays, but got the same basic info. you did from "seeing" it through your eyes. If I "looked" at something, I touched it enough to get the info. I'm interested in. Some blind people, including me will use words like, "checked it out" or "scoped it out" but these are easily understood terms which sighted people understand.

For some people it is important to state that they are first a Fellow Human Being, then that they have a particular disability. Thus, words like "wheelchair bound" "in a wheelchair" or "crippled" are offensive. A person Uses a wheelchair, white cane, works With a dog to assist them or to guide them. The wheelchair is a Tool, Not the person Using the tool.

A person with partial sight is usually referred to as Visually Impaired. But again, it is He or She who is visually impaired, Not that Visually Impaired Guy or Girl. The person Is not the impairment, the person Has the impairment.

Since I'm totally blind I have no objections to being called a blind person or a deaf-blind person. But that is because I'm older and there is so much more to get upset about in the world that I don't find these terms offensive, so long as I am not called a "girl" or the word "poor" is not put ahead of blind or deaf-blind.

But the politically correct phrasing would stress Personhood first, and that makes sense. A person who is blind or a Person who is deaf-blind is not summed up by his/her disabilities.
I'm just old enough that "blind person" is better than Other names I have been called.

People with disabilities have the same range of feelings and behaviors as those without disabilities. As adults we do not want to be treated like children! I was So glad when I Finally got a bit of gray in my hair because people Stopped calling me that "litle blind girl". I used to think I would die among the ranks of "little blind girls" even wrote a poem about it.

This brings up another subject, honesty. When I ask a friend I trust how something looks on me or if colors match, I am asking for the truth! "Those pants really don't work with that shirt" is Not an offensive comment if I am asking. I'm likely to say "Thank you, what would work better?" The same is true for fabric coordination, I Want to know if my possible choices work, look good, or Not.

You have to work to get info. when you cannot see it and have trouble physically hearing it. I was royally annoyed the other day to find that "hand-mace" doll clothing is Not "hand-made." I am thankful to the friend who told me this, I just Wish I had known it Sooner!

It seems that "hand-made" can mean I followed a pattern and used a sewing machine. I have been designing doll clothing and sewing it By Hand! Now I need a truthful friend to tell me how much of my work must be ripped out and redone on the machine! I asked a different friend why nothing was said earlier. Her response was that my stitches were small and my sewing was good and she thought is was awesome that I could do this, even though some stitches in a seam were crooked. I cannot Hope to compete with sighted seamstresses if I don't have decent Info.! My seams are straight, but contain crooked stitches which mark them as Made By Hand, and inferior looking when cmpared with "hand-made" doll clothes. Very Frustrating. Now I must go through All that I have made and re-do seams which have a few crooked stiches in them!

It all could have been avoided by someone telling me that "hand-made" did Not mean sewn By Hand. But to be fair, probably no one thought of this for a while, then they did not know how to tell me. Then, as my second friend said, it was so amazing that I can do what I do that they saw no need.

The truth is that some people with disabilities are wonderful people. Some are a pain in the butt, and most are a mixture of traits, just like people without disabilities.

If anyone has a real question, please feel free to ask. I'm pretty offense proof..

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hard Week, and the Look and Feel of Porcelain

It's been a Long week and I am Tired. Dog was sick, got me up at night to go out, which is excellent, only one inside mess to clean up. He's much better now. A friend brought fleas over from her cat and both the dog and I are allergic to the bites. In the case of the dog, if I don't keep him on Benadryl on a regular basis, he rips out chunks of fur and scratches himself bloody. Then it gets infected and I have to medicate him More and pay a large vet bill. I already have him on a monthly pill to kill any flea which bites him, but that doesn't stop his allergic reaction TO the bites.

If I scratch a flea bite, it is just like a mosquito bite, swells up, turns ret, etc. The poor dog had to have his rump shaved, (a friend now calls him "speckle butt" because his skin has the same black and white ticking as his fur) b I am spared humiliation by being able to better control the urge to scratch. (laughing)
So, will have to buy Frontline for the cat at a ridiculous price.

Also this week, I found an unopened card from Ann to me. It was written back in 2007 and was very loving. It threw me for a loop, brought up all of the old unanswered questions about her death again. I thought I was beginning to make peace with the fact that I would never know exactly what happened but the card reopened all of that hurt and upset again.

On the Positive side, I was wishing there was some way we could communicate, so I can choose to accept the card as communication if I want. It is hard, given Ann's sudden death years later, but the best way to proceed.

Also, I am Very fortunate to have anyone in my life who thought so well of me at all! I still miss Ann and the card reminded me how Much I miss Ann.

It's finally beginning to turn cold here, made up a big pot of soup from some of the "mystery" foods from cleaning out the freezer, in case my friends who hunt get a deer. Sometimes "mystery" soup is very strange and requires a lot of adjusting to make it good. But I got lucky this time, all ingredients taste good together. Just added salt, pepper, and some Thai basil, yum. Have broccoli and chese cornbread t go with it, Good Food. So, there are a Lot of dishes to do and I feel so tired I just don't Care! I will get them done, but maybe tomorrow, when I don't expect company.

New subject. The Look and Feel of Porcelain Dolls. Ann once told me that the attraction of porcelain dolls was that the porcelain was porous, like real human skin, so the dolls Looked more real. I dislike the texture of porcelain, it feels rough to me. Never had a wish to own anything porcelain because it is not pleasant to handle. I'm glad human skin doesn't Feel like porcelain, even if it Looks like it. I wouldn't like to hug a porcelain feeling person.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More Peace Keepers

I also consider the police officers, Fire Fighters, National Guard troops, and anyone else who responds to an emergency and helps people at risk of injury or death to be both heroes and Peace Keepers. I have in mind the Joplin tornado last May which killed 162 people, those who Did try to help survivors of Hurricane Katrina and succeeded, and those who helped so many people escape a live on Sept. 2001. In some cases those charged with helping others helped themselves instead, but many brave men and women Did rescue others at risk to themselves. We may never know all of their names.

Out of the Loop

I don't know how to write this without sounding simple and stupid, so I guess that is how I will sound. Tonight I was reading more o Eli Perrizer's book, "The Filter Bubble". That's the smart part of what I have to say. In the book Mr. Perrizer was writin about how those who watched police dramas on TV during a particular period of time tended to think of the world as a "meaner world" than their neighbors who did not watch these shows.

Then he explained how the internet, as it is now set up, can often lead people to believe they live in a "friendlier world" than is actually true. After all, Google picks our search results from a search history giving us a pretty good chance of liking what They choose. We tend to read the blogs which agree with us most, and the internet news sources also. Facebook shows us what we or our friends "like" most, of course Our world is "friendly". I think this is partially responsible for the polarization in our country. When did I last listen to someone I Really disagree with, but who was Also quite intelligent? I'm not talking about someone who is just out to make a headline for himself or herself. I mean someone who genuinely and sincerely disagrees with us for at least Some reasons We must admit make sense.

The other day I ran into this kind of disconnect between my own mind and reality in the world of action figures. I looked up Power Team, because I've heard so much which was positive about these figures.

If I look at G.I. Joes I know I'm looking at United States Military figures. No problem. I have a lot of respect for our soldiers and believe that they deserve better care when they come home than they receive.

When I looked up Power Team action figures I kept reading the phrase "Peace Keepers," and "World Peace Keepers" and my mind went through a disconnect.

One of the beliefs many Buddhists hold strongly is that you can't defeat harm with hate or rage. This probably sounds bizarre to a non-Buddhist. The idea is that if I am campaigning for something you do not want, and we scream at, throw rocks at, or shoot at one another, neither of us is acting out of a peaceful mind or peaceful motives. We are both using violence to try and get our way.

I usually think of Peace Keepers as people who try to facilitate understanding between differing groups, who commit random acts of kindness, who work for the common good in some way. In my mind they are some of the people I have the honor of knowing personally, though they will never be famoous. But there are plenty of famous ones: the Dalai Lama of Tibet who does not try to convert anyone to Buddhism and has said "My religion is loving kindness." Nelson Mandela of S. Africa who Chose to speak about reconciliation when he had Every reason to speak of hatred after his Many years of imprisonment. I think of pro-democracy leaders like the Burmese monks who have lead uprisings at the cost of their lives, of "The Lady" Aung San Suu Kyi, and one of this year's Nobel Peace Prize Winners, Tawakkol Karman, of Yemen. There is Muhammad Yunus, "Banker to the Poor" and Zen Master Thich Naht Hanh of Vietnam, who has worked to bring veterans from both sides of the Vietnam War together for the purpose of healing. I heard a stunning interview with Leymah Gbowee of Lyberia, another of this year's Peace Prize Winners, on the BBC. And there are so many more!

But when I saw that Power Team men and some women were "World Peace Keeper's" with tanks and guns and other weapons of death my mind stopped and said, "Hu?" or the dorky equivalent.

Then I did some thinking. Let's see, the U.N. has Peace Keeping Troops in How many countries? There is NATO, the African Union, and ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and they All have guns, grinades, and Many other kinds of weapons! Without them, Could Lyberia have become a stable country again? Without the ANC would the black and mixed race peoples of S. Africa have achieved those freedoms they now have? How much longer would the war in the former Yugoslavia have gone on Without NATO? Does any human freedom come without Someone/s paying the price of imprisonment, torture, and/or death? In the real world I just screamed at my cat for playing with spools of thread I had previously sorted to go with color coordinated sewing projects. My thought was not peaceful. It was "Oh shit, not again!" I had to have sighted help to sort that thread and didn't want to have to crawl around my work space to find spoools of thread, Again!

I know that Both kinds of Peace Keepers are Needed in this world. Until we humans progress beyond revenge, a normal human motive, Peace Keepers with guns Can help. It's not a perfect world or a perfect system, but sometimes it brings people a chance they might not have had, to reassemble their lives Sooner rather than Later. That is a worthwhile goal.

But we Need the Peace Keepers among us Without guns, too. They lead the way in showing us who we can become, all of the Good of human potential.

I listen to the BBC. And NPR. for news, but somehow, hanging out with those who have the Luxury of living in peace had made my world a "too friendly" without the addition of Facebook or internet news sources. For me, it all connects, I hope it will for you.
I thank our planet's Peace Keepers who must use weapons to prevent opponents from slaughtering one another. Someday soon, may your work be Unnecessary and may You find enough peaceful work to care for yourselves and your families. This is my prayer for you.

Damn this Autothink, the Computer put Dynamite Girls in my "labels" category just before Power Team. Analyzing my word content about war and peace humm, Dynamite Is a weapon. Brilliant!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why Blogger, not Facebook, About Deaf-Blind Listserv, and Two Doll Questions

So what's the difference between blogging anda Facebook page? For me there is quite a bit. First, only people who Give a rip what I think or who share common interests with me will read this blog. I won't know whether anyone did or not, although some of you are kind enough to list yourselves as followers. Thanks for letting me know I'm not just talking to the wall. That knowledge has helped a lot this year!

Another difference is I don't name others except public figures and I Try to be respectful to them also. A lot of Facebook pages seem to be Full of name dropping, name calling, or both. I Could use a blog that way, if I wanted to, but it would be Very boring! Who wants or Needs to listen to name calling when there is talk radio and plenty of TV hosts who indulge in it? And name dropping is Just as tiresome, to me, anyway.

Next the issue of privacy comes along. I know that if someone wanted to find me I can be tracked down. But at least I don't have to Opt Out of being easily found. It's kind of like burglary. If someone wants to get into your house or car Badly enough, they probably will. But that's No reason to leave doors unlocked, forget to look into the back seat Before opening the car, or leaving a note on the front door about when you will return home or where the keys can be found. I am Thankful to have a place where I can write pretty much what I want to write and Not have everyone I know read it. That would lead, in this part of the country to unpleasant discussions about religion, who was or is bad or good, and politics, which Wouldn't be likely to do more than waste time and either make someone mad or hurt someone's feelings. We don't seem to know how to discuss things anymore for the Purpose of thinking of something New or Learning something new. Maybe we never did, but there are some people I read because whether I agree with them completely or not, I believe they Think. Their purpose doesn't seem to be winning an argument or trashing anyone else.

In general, I prefer that people I don't know Don't know what I look like, exactly where I live, etc. To me, Facebook seems to have an Opposite philosophy.

In order to describe my world there are certain things I have to say. But if I had a Facebook page, it would be open to the deaf-blind listserv of which I'm a part, my family and friends, of all religions and political beliefs and sexual orientations, and fellow doll enthusiasts. The purpose of the deaf-blind listserv is not to talk about dolls, (Much as I enjoy that) or to vent about the loss of Ann in my life and the changes I find myself going through as a result. That listserv is used to support deaf people losing vision or blind people using hearing. We talk about how to accomplish specific tasks, important life decisions impacted by our particular levels of hearing and vision or their lack, equipment and transportation systems we have found helpful, and new and proposed laws which may or will effect us in the future.

But I love this blog because it is like a quiet little corner which is all mine, where I can say nearly anything, so long as I don't upset Blogger's delicate labeling system, remember Yuck?
Facebook feels like a loud marketplace where everybody's yelling to be heard about the most personal things in their lives and sometimes I think It Needs a basic labeling system, to screen out cruelty. It Is amazing what some people will yell in a Wal-Mart and amazing what they are willing to say on Facebook

New subject: Is Victoria Justice, the articulated doll (play scale) I read about a plastic-haired person? What color is Tori's hair? the video (for me audio) said she wasn't built like a typical fashion doll, I liked that.
Does anyone know online doll companies with a lay-away plan? Thought not, oh well.

Thanks for reading this, anyone who makes it through.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Facebook, Dolls, and Sewing for Dolls

The more I read of Eli Perrizer's book, "The Filter Bubble" the more Obnoxious and creepy I am finding companies like Google and Facebook to be. I have never had a desire to join Facebook. For one thing, there seem to be a lot of people who use it to say inappropriate, rude, or cruel things about others. If you want to air your dirty laundry in public, go for it, but I don't want to read it.

For another thing, a Facebook user may have the problem of "being Friended" by someone they don't really Want as a Friend, because it might be too hurtful, too unwise in terms of job or other necessary relationships, or just too embarrassing to say NO.

As the author of "The Filter Bubble", Mr. Perrizer, said, Facebook's assumption is that we each only have One Identity. I think That is Ridiculous! Do I act the same way around my friends and when helping someone I don't know get information about Social Security Disability? Do I act the same way in a classroom as I do when slightly tipsy at a party? Do I talk with my family about religion, politics, or dolls?

Nevertheless, when I had the money to buy more dolls than I do now I used to buy some from and Paul David, who might have been the man, or one of the people behind this website. This gentleman has kindly invited me to become a Friend on Facebook to see his pictures. My Guess is that they are pictures of lovely dolls. I wrote back to him, explaining that I am blind and that I would actually Love to see his pictures, but cannot. I have not heard from him again, but Facebook keeps reminding me of this opportunity.

So, if any of you wish to check out this gentleman's Facebook page, it might be possible, depending on his privacy settings. If his pictures are doll pictures then I think they would be Worth seeing.

Today I received two Muslim dolls from an Ebay seller. I haven't had time to check them out thoroughly, but one sings, the other wears hijab, though I haven't figured out exactly how her head scarf covers all of her long, unpinned and unbraided hair. On the news I have only heard of black or dark blue hijab. So is tthe news media just focussed on Iran and Afghanistan, or are the dolls deliberately dressed in more colorful hijab to appeal to Muslims in the West? I don't know, but am glad to be given this chance to learn about another kind of clothing.

Have been sewing more lately for dolls, and enjoying it. Must ask someone sighted to help me by using a substance made to limit raveling of shreddy (is that a word?) material. This is something I can't do and the tlitz and glammor fabrics (satin, brocade, silk,) DO tend to Shred!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Judging the Motives of Others

I was unwilling to write this on Veterans Day because I am unwilling to have anyone think I don't respect and appreciate our veterans. I may disagree with what my Government chooses to do. But my uncle's service in Vietnam taught me and many other Americans to distinguish between Government policy and the soldiers who carry it out.

People say that in a volunteer army that difference should be forgotten. I disagree. People join the military for all kinds of reasons and who am I to judge their motives?

For some it is a matter of family tradition. For others, their wish is to protect the U.S. from alleged weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. For still others it may be the only way to earn a legal living or climb out of poverty. It may be the only way to take the family out of rural hopelessnes of the kind described in the book "Winter's Bone", the ghetto, or off of a reservation riddled with alcoholism, drug adiction, and despair. Maybe one will be treated as Less of a person by the father one idolizes, or all of one's relations who have joined the military. Such a life long disowning is hard to bear. I am in No position to judge and I don't. My wish is that all of our soldiers could come home alive and whole in mind and body, but that is Not the nature of war.

The TV show "Deep Space Nine" has episodes which move me very much, sometimes. I think those writers did a Wonderful job and this showw, in my opinion, is the Best of the Star Trek shows.

Thursday night I watched an episode where the young Jake Sisco, (the Captain's 18 year-old son was taken into the middle of a war zone because he was with a Dr. who had to answer a distress call from a planet under attack, with many wounded.

The power was knocked out by bombardment and an emergency generator had to be retrieved from the ship in which the Dr. and Jake had flown. Under shelling for the first time, Jake ran away and hated himself for it. The Dr. managed to haul the heavy generator back to the place being used as a hospital alone. Jake meets up, wandering and lost, with a soldier who knows he is dying. Jake Desperately wants to get this man to the hospital, partly because he has a good heart, and partly to make up for the "cowardice" for which he hates himself. But the soldier knows it is too late and dies in Jake's company.

Toward the end of the show Jake saves Many lives in a heroic act which allows the place being used as a hospital (a cave, I think) to be evacuated. Jake is a writer. He writes a story about his experiences and ends it by saying that the thing motivating him to run away under fire was the Same thing motivating him to save those patients and staff at the hospital. That thing was a Desperate fear and Will to stay alive! Jake, too would have died if the hospital complex had Not been evacuated.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dolls of All Sizes

As anyone who does me the kindness of reading this blog somewhat regularly knows, I am curious about Muslim clothing styles in differing countries and about the differences between dolls created for Muslim girls and Barbie, Fashion Royalty, Mixis, and other name brands. I found a very welcoming webssite, to all buyers of 11.5 dolls. It is

I can't afford to buy this month, needing decent shoes shot the budget. But with help from a friend I have added a few to my favorites, so can buy later. They have free shipping within the U.S. and their prices are reasonable. According to my friend, some of the dolls do and others do not have regular faces. But there are enough that Do to interest me.

There are Muslim peoples all over the world. This site has lots more colors of clothing than I expected, (beginning to learn already) but the look of the dolls themselves, according to my friend, seems to be Middle Eastern, rather than outfits which might be worn in India, Pakistan, Chetchnya, Nigeria, Somolia, Egypt, Mali, Hong Kong, the Philipines, etc. I remember the Razanne dolls sold by and they had both variations in skin color and outfits, though they all wore the same kind of hijab. (Haven't read this word in Braille, hope I'm spelling it correctly.)

I have looked at 18 inch dolls, curious (always!) to see what they look like. Made what I consider may be a serious mistake in ordering one, though. It is a BFC., Inc. (Best Friends Club, Inc.) doll. Instead of being made of softer vinyl this doll, advertised as all vinyl feels like Hard Plastic. If anyone were to accidentally step on her I believe she would break. Also, her figure is not that of an eight or ten year old, as the Madame Alexander or Toys'r-Us dolls say they are. She looks in shape like a Skipper, if not a model-like Barbie. I don't want an overgrown Barbie made of Harder plastic than Barbie. She is made somewhat like an action figure. Her hands, lower arms, and feet twirl around in a 360 degree circle. She has hinged knees and elbows, somewhat like a Disney Mulan doll, (though the lower arm spins) and her head turns, with some stiffness. She has three ball and socket type joints,one just under the bust, and at each hip joint. Her arms also spin 360 at the shoulder, and her head can nod a bit. Part action figure, part fashion doll, of hard plastic, and she has a "tramp stamp" if she's not careful when she sits down.

There was an Amazing amount of heavy plastic holding her in her box! Since I have no way to give "feedbback" on the product itself, via Amazon's full site, I'm inflicting it on you, lucky people. Sorry. This doll Does have a very accurate human looking face and human shaped feet. She has no touchable eye lashes, but they are probably painted on. Like her action figure sisters And the Toys'r-us doll, she can stand up by herself. I don't know what to do with this doll.

There is something adult doll collectors may not need to keep in mind, unless they choose to dress like their dolls. It is not fair, just, or right. A woman or a man should be able to dress as they choose, (without violating indecent exposure laws) Without fear of sexual asault. But the fact Is, according to many police officers interviewed on the subject, that provocatively dressed women are more likely to be raped.
This is something I Cannot forget when giving little girls dolls. I'm not aware of research showing that girls of 3 to 7 or 3 to 12 years, for that matter, who play with provocatively dressed dolls are more likely to dress as their toys do. I wish someone had the courage to Do such research so I could Know whether this matters or not. But Until I know, I Cannot in good Conscience give away dolls which show body parts covered by a bathing suit. A bra and panties cover certain areas, or, in my opinion, Should. So at Least this much should be covered by toys I give to girls. Actually, I think beauty doesn't Have to be shown by lots of skin. I have no personal desire to encourage girls to be covered from head to foot. Curiosity doesn't mean Should to me. But I insist on a happy middle ground in the dolls I give away or sell. So, what to do with This doll whose "dress" doesn't prevent her, (what will blogger let me get away with here?) butt, (play it safe) from showing when she sits down? Make her a skirt? Send her back if I can? Maybe a shiny satin skirt in one of the colors of her "top" for this B cup Best Friend. Ok, the doll wouldn't be so bad with a skirt, she just was Not what I was expecting. I Don't like the vinyl chosen for making her but her face, hair, and feet are all pretty good. Opinions? (Other that I am old?)
Adults can do what they like, so long as it doesn't involve the abuse of chilren. But when it comes to kids, yah, I am old enough to feel a sense of responsibility for what I teach and model for them. One of the Better traits of getting older.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Screaming at Ebay

Sometimes there are just these Days! I went to the Dr. last week and was told to get decent shoes (not from garage sale or a "mart" store) or face increasing pain and difficulty in walking. I got the shoes, shot my budget for the month.

Person who helped me find shoes was Great! I didn't know what size I wore, between a six and seven, depending on the cut of the shoe. Wrong, just Over a seven, seven and a half. Got help with insoles to put feet in correct poositions for use. Called to give the person an Excelent rating, which he had earned. I am glad to give credit when dredit is due. In order to Complete the survey via phone, I was required to type in bboth the Store number and the Transaction number from my paper receipt. I can't Read the thing, had to hang up and wait a couple of days for a sighted person to come.

Online survey at same store requires use of a Rodent (mouse)! I can't Use a damned Rodent! Good thing there was a sighted person Here when I tried to take Online survey. I've learned that much, most of the time.

Then there was/is Ebay. Bid on an item, got E-mail confirmation of the bid. But Ebay site is still urging people to bid more than the original price, Not more than my bid, why? Oh well. Just before item is out of time, I increased my bid $.50, to try and keep it. Ebay never recorded this change, ok, saved me fifty cents.

Today I'm confused, do I owe seller the bid Ebay confirmed? They show only that I owe starting price. I could say, fine, saves me a buck. But did seller get notification of increased first bid from me? I try to contact seller through Ebay link. Doesn't work. I wait until sighted person comes. I send message to seller, but don't know if it goes through because Ebay has a sentence saying message will be sent After I pay for item. But what is fair Amount to pay for item, my confirmed first bid, or Ebay's price listing, as though I had Never made a bid?

Try to pay for item, sighted friend had to leave. Made the mistake of giving a dollar to charitable org. via Ebay. Got all tangled up in there Giving pages, next page wouldn't download, I don't know why.

Called Ebay customer service number. Person suggests I use a different computer after I have Already explained that I am Blind! I explain that if I don't use a talking computer I cannot use any computer at all, no point in causing More confusion by mentioning Braille output. She is so sorry to hear that I am Blind! I wait while she consults supervisor. She comes back to suggest that I ask a family member to help me. My frustration level is growing by leaps and bounds! I say, "What you're saying is I'm out of luck until I get a sighted person to help me. Ok, thank you". (notice the lack of obscenities? not Easy.) I hang up quietly.

I don't give a Rip if someone is sorry or Not that I am blind Or Deaf-blind, for that matter. What I feel angry enough to Scream about is that Ebay makes billions, is a world-wide company with headquarters in California, and Can't Bring Itself to set up an Accessible Site, like Amazon has had for Years!

I had the same lack of access to Before Progressive organizations try to Change the world, they Might Consider just Following the law of the land (called Americans with Disabilities Act) and either making their Normal websites accessible Or setting up special Accessible sites, as Amazon has. They Might Start by changing Themselves, so All people who Wish to could Participate in their activities. is nearly always accessible. It IS Possible!

As they say in the Zarks (Ozarks) I feel mad enough to spit nails!) Every time I deal with Ebay Something happens so that I have to call their customer service number, and that activity is Mostly Useless! Shall I tell you what I Really think?e

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Barbie with a Camera in her Boobs?

Ok, I Have lots of Barbie dolls, so hope my reaction Doesn't lose me followers. But if it does, that's one of the Great things about living here, you don't Have to read more.

I am interested in Islamic clothing because although I hate the way in which some of the children's dolls out there are dressed, I am ignorant about it. Since I can't see it, maybe Dolls wearing it can teach me. And I'm Glad to live in a country of many cultures and religions, no matter what my personal beliefs are. There is always something new to learn.

So here's a censored for language E-mail I sent to a friend about a Particular Barbie. This all is probably old news to you, I don't know.


I was looking at something on Ebay and under "sponsored links" there was an article
about social responsibility and a Barbie that worried even the FBI. Since I was
looking at Muslim dolls, thought I'd better find out if the FBI was worried about any Ebay sellers of Muslim dolls.

But when I went to the article I learned that Barbie's newest "career" seems to be that of a videographer. There is a Camera
installed in her chest which can record up to thirty minutes of video (I don't know
about sound) And download it to a computer! So Where the hell do you plug her In
to the USB port? A Lot of lonely geeks may Really like this doll!
I got so hysterical thinking about this that it was hard to take it Seriously.

On one hand, a Whole lot of parents could be Very embarrassed by the pictures Barbie
brings to school. (No way I let My kid have one). On the other hand, in a politically
repressive situation, somebody's Doll Might not be Quite as likely to be smashed by the
authorities as their picture taking Cell phone. Barbie at a drug bust, Barbie on
the Border Patrol, riding her clip-clopping horse? That Chick Might Really Learn some things about the Real world after all!

I can see why the authorities wouldn't like it, but Cannot imagine what their specific
worries are, and don't Want to. Maybe now that I'm not laughing, (just smiling uncontrollably) I should try to go back and read the Whole article. I might learn some things too. Wonder if anyone in the Occupy Wallstreet Movement has a "videographer

They've been trying to find a way to extend the age at which little girls stop playing
with Barbie and switch to American Girl or dolls like her. I think This may have Just
done it! Who Knows who will buy that Barbie?

But I'll bet your little one could learn to use that boob camera in a frighteningly
short time.
Too bad I can't use this for my bllog, but I'm Not interested in FBI attention for
getting hysterical over something which concerns them. Ain't it lovely how we've been taught (or mostly taught) to cut off our Own heads, just to keep a low, supposedly Safe profile?
Good Night, set your clock back an hour.

Maybe I Will change this a bit and use it on blog. Might lose a doll collector follower
or two though.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Continued Post, Friday, Nov. 4th.

And Everyone gets interrupted by Something! That is not unique to blind or disabled people. What May be more exagerated if one has a disability is that when someone offers to help with something you Cannot do, you must wind your schedule around Theirs.

But the luxury of thought is or has become incredibly valuable to me. I know Soo many people who don't Seem to think, or who believe they don't have Time to think. There are times in everyone's life when this is true.

But I feel lucky that this is something I Can take advantage of, with no hurt to others. I used to tell my newly blind clients or consumers, "You can't choose whether you see or not. But Eventually, you Will be able to find things you can do which you Couldn't before. Either you will develop a new interest, work a volunteer job which You choose, or have time to do some of what You enjoy." This isn't Polly Anna, as the word "Eventually" usually means "within a few years". And I made that clear.

Honestly, I Haven't found advantages in losing hearing, on top of being totally blind. There are Still other ways of getting info., but it means concentrating a Lot harder. I can feel a pan handle vibrating and know that whatever I'm cooking is boiling. I have a bed shaker alarm clock, and read and write Braille, plus typing. I know some Sighted people who need bed shaker alarms (smiling) and you're Not supposed to look at the keys anyway, right?

It takes either a lot more companionship or a lot more technology to cope with deaf-blindness than to cope with either deafness or blindness alone. Those of us born into Western countries have more of a chance to acquire the skills and technology we need in order to live as independently as possible. Not everyone has an Equal chance, even here in the U.S. but I am Thankful for the opportunity to live outside my family and outside of an institution or on the street! There may come a day when I find an advantage in my current situation, but that day hasn't come yet. Mostly, living without Ann is just Scary! But I'm thankful for the patience of friends who know that if I must ask them to repeat a thing three times, I can't Change it by "paying attention" or "listening harder". I listen as hard as I can, nearly Always! It's what I need to do to survive and be as safe as possible. I've found it helps if I repeat the part of a sentence I Did hear, so the person speaking to me Knows I am Trying to understand them. Also, they don't need to repeat everything they said, just the part I missed.

New subject: I have decided to research Moslem dolls and see what I think of differing ones. I've already found that I get more search results using the word "Moslem" than "Muslim". Also, there are a lot of dolls which have come out Since Fulla and Razanne. So as I have time, I will be checking them out, whenever possible, with the help of someone sighted.I am glad the variety for moms and others to choose from has increased. I was also interested to learn that the "Prettie" dolls will have One who Could be Moslem.

Thankful and Doll Research

I am thankful for: a roof over my head, heat when it's cold, a permanent, (at least for now) place to stay, that the month of Oct., containing both Ann's birthday and Halloween has been lived through, and the luxury I have been given to think and write.

Most people fear blindness more than any other disability, according to many surveys on disability. That makes sense, as sighted peoople are said to get about %80 of the information their brains take in through vision. What they Don't realize is that if that percentage of visual input is lost, there Are Other Ways of receiving Much of it through Other senses which must be developed. One learns to listen Very carefully, Feel the environment with feet on the ground and hands. One uses the sense of smell to know many things which might not be seen, (who is a secret smoker, who chews what kind of gum, who drinks off duty, who wears a particular perfume or after-shave, etc.)

No one Wants to become disabled, including blindness. It takes more time to receive a message in words than to view a picture. On the other hand, you can be fooled by a clever paint job into buying the same doll 9 or 10 times. It takes more time And work to get something done with a disability.

Given that No one Wants blindness, becoming disabled and thus usually unemployable, especially in This economy, one is offered the luxury of Thought. How many people do you know who work so hard that they are exhausted when they get home, partly from jobs they hate, and they Still have to do laundry, take care of children, get groceries, etc.?

I have to do laundry, cook, do basic things like this too. But because no one wants to hire a blind person, let alone a Deaf-blind one, I can listen to what I like as I work. This allows me times of thought, times of relative Quiet, a Precious commodity, and the ability to put thoughts together in a Hopefully coherent way.

I have already written about the choices a disabled person must make, am I a bad, flawed human being, or are the values of this society screwed up? I'm betting readers who honor me by reading my words know which choice I try to hold onto. It isn't easy. This question must be decided again and again, when society in many ways tries to tell those of us with disabilities that we are less worthy, flawed, people.

Becoming disabled has terrible costs, I get out of the house fr fun about twice per month. This means a computer feels Vital, in terms of continuing to learn new things and continuing to be involved with society. I don't like hanging on the phone for hours. Lower income, loosing friends, not driving anymore, these are All consequences of becoming severely visually impaired. Switching over to reading via audio books takes time and isn't easy. Some people cannot take in audio information well, no matter How hard they try. And need I say that one must get help for doll shopping or wishing via the net? No more pictures, or blurry ones. Sometimes you just get Stuck paying for a product you don't like.

A friend once told me that I didn't have to pay nearly as much for cab fare as one had to pay for car upkeep and insurance. I thought about this for quite a while. I think she is wrong. I don't Go out to eat, doll shopping, to the grocery store, or anywhere else by cab. he difference Is that I must make a life Here, where I live. My friend and friend's husband Dio go on road trips, vacations, out to eat occasionally, and they go to the grocery store for whatever they want when they want it, and they can shop also. If I Did all of these things via cab my whole budget would be eaten up by taxi fares. I don't.

So, there are Many costs to becoming disabled.

What has to be done is to look for and use any advantage one finds, and I'm NOT talking about mistreating other people via the Pity Factor!

So I cannot read magazines, (probably a blessing) I do and Can listen to foreign and quality domestic news sources whenever possible. I cannot see pictures, but I can create them through weaving, sewing, beading.

I can use my time to benefit others and myself by trying to grow as a person in understanding others.

Have to finish this post later, too long for now and a sighted friend is here to help, must use the time available to read flat stuff, etc.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Prettie Dolls and Politics in Tibet

I looked up the Prettie dolls and was Happy to see that there was a doll who could be Middle Eastern or from India. As many people as have contributed to our society from both the Middle East And India, I have always been surprised Never to find dolls from India. I suppose the lack of dolls from the Middle East is about Islamaphobia.

Given that to me the faces of SIS dolls Feel so much alike, I Hope these dolls Feel different, rather than just having different paint jobs. I also hope that either the African American doll, or the African doll will have UNstraightened hair. Does anyone know when these dolls will be out and where they may become available, at which stores? Before buying one, I'd be interested in the impressions of others. Are their faces cloned?

Since Chinese banks are guaranteeing some of Europe's debt, (let alone ours) I guess talk of human rights abuses will cease. Ten Tibetan monks have now burned themselves alive, to protest the destruction of their culture and homland of Tibet by the Government of China. Moslems in Western China are also suffering. I know how to say the name of that people, but Not how to spell it, I am sorry.

A question: When the dinosaurs roamed and I was growing up, a person who belonged to the faith of Islam was referred to as a Moslem person. This was considered a respectful term. Muslim meant the African American political and social movement of leaders like Malcolm X. But online, I see both words referring to the people of Islam, all around the world. Are these names interchangeable? Are they both respectful? How does a non-Muslim know which name should be used for a particular group of people?

Below are some thoughts I had when I heard through our local Buddhis listserv that the tenth monk had burned himself to death. Our TV's showed us this during the Vietnam War, but seem to be censoring it now. Of course, reporters who get to Tibet probably are accompanied by Government "minders" as the BBC calls them.

I have been thinking about the deaths of monks in Tibet. In one of the Dalai Lama's
books, I think it was "Ethics for the New Millennium" he wrote with much love about
the animal, plant, and mineral life of his homeland. He said hunting was only permitted
in one province, (where it was needed.) The Government of China is trying to drain
water from the Himalayas (some of the most pure in the world) for its industrial
and agricultural use. It was also building a railroad into Tibet, and in many other
ways destroying the fragile ecology and spiritual lives of the land of Tibet.
During the Vietnam War TV was not so careful to keep us from the truth and the Government
of then S. Vietnam couldn't keep American journalists out. So into American homes
came the Shocking and horrifying images of monks giving their lives to beg for peace.
We don't See this from Tibet, we read about it and I thank Mindy for continuing to
remind us of it.
I do not know Tibetan culture. But in a place where a people have lived for a long
time in a less technological society than ours, the life of the land and the life
of its people are considered One Whole Unit. Many Native American languages have
just one word to describe this concept. In English it takes many words and is still
poorly said.
When I think about the Tibetan monks I wish people could See what they are doing
in dying by choice. Also, I think they are probably choosing death to protect the
plants, animals, stones, and purity of the water of Tibet. They are choosing to
die to try and save many forms of living beings.
This concept of a people and a land as one unit means that harm cannot be done to
one "part" of the whole without harming the entire fabric of life there. There
is not even an idea like a "part" of the whole, in many cultures.
I cannot Imagine the pain those monks feel to have a Need to sacrifice themselves
to save all life in Tibet.
Just some personal thoughts, thanks for listening,
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 3:34 PM
Subject: [springfieldsangha] The Tenth Monk...
I read where the tenth monk immolated himself today.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Something Serious and a Comment for Phily Collector

People everywhere are closing their accounts with the big Wall Street banks.
If you're ready to join in, sign the Move Your Money pledge.
Sign the pledge
Dear MoveOn member,
The big Wall Street banks crashed our economy, refused to clean up the mess, and
still haven't been held accountable.
Now the Occupy movement has inspired people everywhere to take action in protest
a lot of us have realized there's something we can do to fight back: close our accounts
and move our money out of the big Wall Street banks
and into community banks and credit unions.
This week, in the lead-up to the November 5 Make Wall Street Pay day of action targeting
the giant banks, we've set up a new "Move Your Money Pledge." Our goal is to get
as many people as possible pledging to close their accounts with the big banks.
Are you ready to show the Wall Street banks that we're going to hold them accountable
If you're ready to stop banking with Wall Street—or if you already have—click here
to sign the Move Your Money pledge:
Yes, I want to sign the Move Your Money pledge.
By signing the pledge you'll be able to turn your private choice as a bank customer
into a powerful public display of outrage and protest by joining tens of thousands
of others who are ready to switch banks and close accounts.
We have resources available to help you find a new bank and a guide for how to go
through the process of closing an account. Whether it's a spare credit card, a savings
account, or your personal checking, every account counts.
If we can get a huge number of accounts closed at the major banks we'll certainly
impact their bottom line, but we'll also do something even more powerful—we'll
send them a very clear message that the public's outrage is only growing stronger
and that we're not going to let them off the hook
for the damage they've done to our economy.
Can you sign the pledge and close an account?
Yes, I'll sign the pledge.
Thanks for all you do.
–Daniel, Elena, Robin, Stefanie, and the rest of the team
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I thought this was interesting, it IS One Way to Talk which Wallstreet Will understand. My money is already in a bank which only exists in a couple of states anyway.

Now for that Phily Collector of 1/6 scale action figures and fashion dolls. I wish I could have read the comments you received, but logger, in its wisdom wouldn't let me. I'll bet a quarter or so (didn't say how Much money was in a local bank) that if you had typed that word in your "labels" Your post would have been censored, too, YUCK!

Must display my ignorance again. Through your blog I have discovered Power Team. But who are Lady Mission and Girls Mission figures? Are they done in the anime style? See, I Am trainable! When I get help with spelling I do Try to remember the corection, for which I am thankful. Not quite a zombie yet.

The cat I inherited from Ann has this habit of beating my backside, from behind my chair when he decides it is time to be fed. Little wretch is doing it how, takes some practice to ignore! I'm Glad that his Front paws are declawed, otherwise my, (dare I type that word?) would be quite covered in scratches.