3 Day Quote… Challenge #3

3 Day Quote… Challenge #3

For my third and final quote ~ Gene Krantz

“Let’s work the problem, people. Let’s not make things worse by guessing.” ~ Gene Kranz, Mission Control Director ~ Apollo 13


 Although he has many wonderful quotes, this particular one has always resonated with me.

Gene Kranz was the NASA Flight Director for the Apollo and Gemini programs. He wore flat-top haircuts and vests made by his wife Marta  but his steely nerves, ingenuity and perseverance are what he will always be remembered for. 

On April 11, 1970 at 2:13pm ET, the spaceship Apollo 13 launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida ~ destination Moon.


The crew was James A. Lovell, Jr. Commander, John L. Swigert, Jr., Command Module Pilot and Fred W. Haise, Jr. Lunar Module Pilot.


But on April 13, the mission suffered a crippling explosion that would nearly doom the spaceflight and its crew.The near-disaster of Apollo 13 was a stunning reminder of the perils of human spaceflight and how NASA managed to overcome the incident and save the mission’s three-man crew. 

It began with these now famous words five scrambled words spoken by Capt.James A. Lovell Jr.:

An oxygen tank had exploded  in the spacecraft. 


From that moment on, Mission Control. led by Kranz, worked round the clock over the next four days to bring the crew of the Apollo 13 home.  His leadership and faith in his team both united and filled them with a sense of intense drive and great purpose. They all knew that under his watch, failure was not an option. And home they came because Gene Kranz “listened to his gut.” 


With the explosion and the “hacks” devised to fix the problem, the duration of the mission was 142 hours 54 minutes and 41 seconds. Apollo 13 returned to Earth on April 17, 1970, landing in the Pacific Ocean. The retrieval ship was the U.S.S. Iwo Jima.


Celebrating With A Cigar

After his retirement, Gene Kranz became a much sought after speaker as well as an accomplished author.



**Cover photo is view of the Earth from Apollo 13

*Use this link  ” Mission Control. led by Kranz, worked round ” to watch some fascinating videos like Poison Pills and Apollo 13 ~ wow!

3 Day Quote… Challenge #1

3 Day Quote… Challenge #1

This is my second challenge and I’m a bit slow on the uptake so continue to bear with me. I was nominated by Samantha Murdoch who has a wonderful blog. Please take a look! Coincidentally, I just realized that my quote choice for Day#1 is “akin” to one of Samantha’s…

The rules are as follows:

  1. Post 1 quote each day for 3 days…
  2. Pick a theme for each day but according to someone more experienced at blogging than me ~ not necessary…
  3. Nominate 3 blogs to pick up the challenge and “pay it forward”…
  4. Let your 3 bloggers know by posting on their blogs….Enjoy!!!

My nominees are:





Day 1 ~ Authors 

“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”

~ John Steinbeck (The Winter of Our Discontent)


John Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors. Winter of Our Discontent was published in 1961 and was his last book. Ironically, of his 27 publications, it is the only one that is set on the East Coast. The story takes place in the fictional New Baytown  which was modeled after Sag Harbor, NY, where Steinbeck lived while writing the book. Sag Harbor, once a whaling port, is now part of the trendy and expensive Hamptons ~ home to many celebrities.

Steinbeck’s modest Sag Harbor home

In the book, the main character, Ethan Allen Hawley, visits the tide pool during times of change and turmoil in his life. It is his safe place, his port in the storm.

John Steinbeck

February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968



A Little Joy After My Bleak Posts Of Late…

A Little Joy After My Bleak Posts Of Late…

Some of you may have read my entries when I was nominated for a  (3) day blog challenge on “Quotes”. Of course, I chose dog quotes and I centered them around a pit bull mix puppy, approximately (6) months old named Blue. He had been discovered by security staff from one of Maine’s ski resorts, Sunday River in Newry on October 2, 2015. He was at the edge of the dense woods and to their horror  his muzzle had been taped shut. They called the ACO who in turn took him to  Bethel Animal Hospital which is owned by Dr. Gary Stuer,  part of my GSD Sasha’s medical team.  Honestly? As someone who lives in the Western Mountains of Maine, I can tell you with 100% conviction that it’s a miracle the puppy was discovered. The mountains are high and the woods dense and thick. Bethel and Newry (Sunday River) connect and you can’t tell when you’ve crossed the border of one into the other. 

Despite deep facial tissue damage the puppy  who the staff  named “Blue“,  made a wonderful recovery and was adopted by a lovely family. If you read this article  which also has a short video, you’ll find the link to Blue’s Instagram!

Bethel Animal Hospital had an Open House on October 8 and the guest of honor was no other than Blue! What a strong little guy he is! All muscle and kisses! One of the major networks was there and will be running a feature on him later this month.

They still haven’t found the waste of oxygen that did such a horrid thing to an innocent puppy then left him to die in the woods. I thought with the reward someone would have, as they say in Maine, thrown the culprit under the bus, but not yet and it’s been just over one year.

Blue is such a testament to the indomitable spirit that we all have but sometimes it’s in hiding. Look within yourself and you WILL find it. Maybe not all at once, but bit by bit. The will to survive is strong and a miracle thrown in along the way certainly doesn’t hurt.

My original posts:

Challenge #1  

Challenge #2 

Challenge #3 

“The average dog has one request to all humankind. Love me.”

~ Helen Exley

I Am Not A Bigot But I Love Bears…

I Am Not A Bigot But I Love Bears…

You’re probably wondering what the correlation is between bigotry and bears; I would be confused by the title as well. I follow a blog whose author has often espoused racial or ethnic opinions. On this topic we are polar opposites for I embrace ethnic diversity, one of the many things I miss being planted in the New England mountains when my roots remain forever rooted in NJ. I judge all people by how they present themselves; are they kind, honest, sincere? It doesn’t matter to me if they attend a synagogue, a mosque or practice Buddhism. I don’t care if they wear a yarmulke, chapel veil, kufi, burka or hijab. I’ve read many prejudicial comments made against Muslims based solely on their religion when in fact they have become a seemingly ubiquitous part of our national culture.


Where this particular blogger and I agree however  is animal welfare and animal abuse. We believe in the preservation of life and humane treatment of animals, sentient living beings. I was making an effort today to catch up on the many blog posts I’ve missed the past months as I’ve been involved with my German Shepherd; traveling to veterinary appointments and transitioning her medical journey from Facebook to WordPress.

I was making good progress, taking my time to truly connect with each blog entry and offer my thoughts. Then it happened. I moved on to the “controversial” blog and was rather offended by a response to a post the blog owner had written (in addition to his overt bigotry). As an animal lover, he had posted the tragic story of Pedals, a NJ black bear who was reportedly killed by a hunter during NJ’s first expanded  black bear hunt which allowed archery for the first time in decades.  The fact that the majority of bears were killed in the exact area where my roots are is extremely disturbing but I’ll refrain from elaborating on my distain for both bear hunts and the methods allowed in many states. 

Pedals walked as a biped because of injuries to his two front paws with one paw even thought to be missing. He was an iconic presence in Northern NJ and had a huge Facebook following. Videos taken by residents who captured him ambulating in an upright position captivated viewers globally and many mainstream media outlets did extensive features on him. Yet a hunter, who had boasted for (3) years that he would “take out Pedals” appeared at a weigh station last week in Green Pond which is in Rockaway, with a dead bear that had upper limb/paw injuries that were consistent with those believed to have disabled Pedals. Furthermore, state biologists photographed the dead bear and will issue the photos to the public in the near future. Needless to say the thought of a hunter deliberately stalking and then killing a disabled bear who had never harmed a human in any way has disturbed thousands of people, even those who hunt. The administrator of Pedals Facebook page made this heart wrenching announcement on October 14. The Gothamist even wrote that  Pedals was assassinated.

Which brings me to how I became involved in the comment on the controversial blog’s post about Pedals. The commenter, articulate and intelligent, thought the blog owner was straying from the “real issues” facing the white race by posting about the killing of a bear.


I simply could not refrain from replying to the commenter as he was referring to my “home turf” plus overt prejudice was disturbing. I haven’t gone back to see if my comment was even approved. As most people know, I respect one’s right to privacy and usually don’t reblog a post or write personal information about other people without their consent. Therefore I’ve chosen to copy and paste my response in it’s entirety (I purposely omitted a few personal details from my original response).

I take umbrage at your thoughts and allow me to tell you why. Although currently planted in New England, my roots are in the area of NJ where Pedals lived. Our world consists of many vile two legged creatures but Pedals was not one of them.  He was bipedal due to  injuries that he managed to rise above. Pedals was an icon, photographed and written about by media outlets across the globe. For a piece of human hubris to murder a disabled animal not out of kindness because the animal was suffering but for bragging rights makes this hunter no better than the unsavory elements that threaten to destroy our way of life. Our planet has coexisted with wildlife for thousands of years. The killing of an innocent disabled bear that has never harmed a human is senseless and tragic. The hunters identity will be revealed because men with tiny penises and huge egos always out themselves sooner or later. Or someone from the weigh station where he tagged and bagged will spill ~ never fails. It’s located in Rockaway ~ a community I know extremely well.

There is nothing to separate the mindset of Petal’s killer from the minds of sexual predators  who rape, videotape  and murder innocent children just so they can “brag”. Remember, I hail (and quite proudly) from NJ, a state that, following the rape and murder of (7) year old Megan Kanka on July 29,1994, enacted Megan’s Law on Oct. 31, 1994 in an unprecedented 89 days. There is nothing to separate him from the Muslims/Islamists/Whatever They’re Calling Themselves who use suicide bombs to kill scores of innocent lives believing their own deaths will entitle them to meet their 27 virgins. In contrast the cell type control of al-Qaeda allowed them to control  operations from afar where they remained safe and protected while those desperate to please did their bidding.

The BLM is really a leaderless movement that promotes an ideology of violence and  “Whitey owes me”and “Cops target me”.  Sadly, institutions like Georgetown only perpetuate BLM’s misguided beliefs by its announcement last month that descendants of slaves would receive “preferential treatment during the admission process”. I don’t know which is more dangerous, BLM which operates as a lone wolf fringe element in EveryTown USA or their predecessors, the Black Liberation Army (BLA) which by contrast was extremely organized. Many today still pay homage to JoAnn Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur thought by some to be the de facto leader living happily in Cuba where she has been protected and oft revered for her past. For what it’s worth, BLM idolizes her and often chant part of a letter she wrote called “To My People” while incarcerated after being found guilty for the execution style murder of  NJ State Trooper Werner Foerster on May 2, 1973  (she was in several prisons ). She escaped from the NJ Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in 1979.  Activists and followers of ALL skin colors hid this bank robber, attempted murderer, kidnapper, and finally cop killer for several years until Cuba granted her asylum in in the mid 80’s where she has lived freely for over three decades. Since living there, she has changed her name to Assata Shakur,  earned a graduate degree, written (5) books and become a celebrity ~ imagine that. Did I mention that she’s also the godmother and aunt of the late rapper Tupac Shakur? Fred Baker, 1933 ~ 2011, was a director,  producer and actor often associated with the subversive, underground filmmakers of the 1960s and 70s.  His last directing effort in 2008 was a biographical movie entitled, “Assata aka Joanne Chesimard,” whose premise was that she was falsely convicted. Chesimard  portrayed herself in the film. I checked before I wrote this post and the DVD is available on Amazon for $29.95.  Amazon is even kind enough to print a review:

Editorial Reviews

is about the black liberationist Assata Shakur, aka Joanne Chesimard, a charismatic young Black Panther in the 1960’s who was targeted by J. Edgar Hoover’s Cointelpro illegal murderous offensive to neutralize radical Black leaders. She was wounded in a police shootup on the N.J.Turnpike in 1973; falsely convicted of killing a NJ State Trooper; sentenced to Life in prison, she escaped miraculously to find exile and freedom in Castro’s Cuba…where she lives to this day. Her life story is told and revered by thousands of young followers world-wide who see in her a female Che Guevera, an heroic freedom fighter for equality and an end to racial oppression and injustice for all people.

When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com’s standard return policy will apply.

 Some of her most blatant lies can be read here; see the fuel that helps fire the BLM decades later. Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police had strong feeling about Chesimard and Cuba even prior to the start of Obama’s intervention to restore diplomacy.

A convicted murderer is being harbored by a country our President is normalizing  diplomatic relations with for the first time in over 50 years.  Let’s ignore her crimes in the US and reward her for escaping to a foreign country by selling her books on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com ($12.92 on both sites). Let’s not forget that the US granted asylum to thousands of balseros until the mid 90’s when Clinton instituted some “policy change”. I will forever applaud NJ Gov. Chris Christie for his loud demands (ignored of course) that our administration demand Chesimard’s  return. Yet I don’t  blame an entire race or culture for these atrocious acts but rather an element within a culture. I have news for you;  many horrific crimes against man have been committed by whites. Perhaps you’ve heard of Adolph Hitler? Should society harbor a hatred of all Germans because of the warped actions of one who through charisma and intimidation had many followers? The  problem  with  most  like you is  that  you employ selective memory,  that is  often  never with a contextual  basis.  As to Chesimard?

We’re waiting for her.

My one lingering question on Chesimard is why a covert operation like the Mossad’s “Wrath of God” assassination team never took her out…

We share our world with despicable humans yet we cannot allow our disgust for them and their abhorrent actions to harden our hearts to the amazing beauty that Mother Earth still offers. Morning dew on a leaf, rabbits darting out from a shrub, deer  running in a field. A lone flower blooming in a dry and trash strewn city lot. The innocent laughter of a baby or the blush of a teen when they develop their first crush. If we focus all our energy on the horror, we lose some of our own humanity and I for one refuse to allow the despots of this world to take that from me. And that my friend is why we mourn the loss of an innocent animal,  a disabled bear who brought smiles to the faces of people all over the world as they watched his videos.

Video of Pedals June 21, 2016 (courtesy of NJ.com)

Video of Pedals 2015  (courtesy of John Sand)      

Video of Pedals Sept. 28, 2015 (courtesy of Inna Rabinovich)

Video of Pedals June 22, 2016  (courtesy of Shattered Paradigm)


And lest anyone forget ~ Trooper Werner Foerster


NJ State Trooper, husband and father



Trooper Werner Foerster

EOW May 2, 1973

He gave his life upholding the New Jersey State Police tradition 

imagesBlessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)


Taking The Plunge…

Taking The Plunge…

I started this blog to chronicle my AT hike which I realize now was just an attempt to escape PTSD ~ something I had under control until 2012. I’ve made a few posts about my abusive childhood but like so many of us, life got in the way. The death of my “heart” dog Callie Ann, a beloved friend’s suicide and the multiple medical problems of my beautiful German Shepherd Sasha. In the process I found it necessary to end a somewhat long relationship with my therapist, a LCSW. I found another one I liked only to learn my insurance won’t cover her fees because she’s a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) as opposed to a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Insurance companies and even states vary I’ve learned so in my downtime I might write an appeal to my health insurance company. Until then, I’m just going to dive in; get it out of my head. For me words are a catharsis. I use words to give shape to my experiences. Words help me “see” who I am, what I’ve done, where I’ve been, where I’m going. Words help me understand. They are a coping mechanism of sorts, a means of expression through which I can separate the good in my life from the not so good.

Initially I thought it best to blog in chronological order but upon reflection have reconsidered. It would be intensely painful and some days my stress management ability is in overdrive and other days ~ not so much. Instead I’m going to write random entries; if a memory comes to mind I’ll write about it and see where it leads.

Just going to plunge in  because essentially I’ve had:



I know, I know ~ not related but its a German Shepherd!