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This may come as a shock to you - unless you have known me for five minutes or longer - but I have zero Do-It-Yourselfer skills. NADA. Zilch. I blame it on my father, because, well, he passed away 43 years ago, so he’s not here to defend himself. Read more

"When I say the word “Amazon,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? Okay, I figured you’d probably say Amazon.com, the giant online retailer. But believe it or not, there is another Amazon that has nothing to do with next-day delivery of sporting goods, pet food, or wireless headphones...... I’m talking about the Amazon rainforest."... Read more

The December Solstice brings in the astronomical winter and summer seasons for the two hemispheres of our planet - The winter season for the Northern Hemisphere and the summer season for the Southern Hemisphere. On the day of a solstice, the Earth is at its maximum tilt, 23.5 degrees, either toward or away from the sun. In the northern hemisphere the date marks the 24-hour period with the fewest daylight hours of the year.

This week's post is the true retelling of what happened one recent Christmas to me and my family. I was beginning to lose all hope for a joyful family Christmas. But then it happened. I like to think of it as a Christmas miracle.
Read what happened and decide for yourself. Do you believe in miracles?

"Let me make this crystal clear. I HATE SNAKES. With a passion. I cannot think of a single redeeming thing about them. Okay, well, maybe one thing. Apparently, some snakes actually like to eat other snakes. Why do I hate them so much? Well, they just creep me out. They don't have any fur, no legs, not even eyelids. What's that all about?"  Read more

Just got the news that the world population has passed 8 billion of us humans.  I remember fondly my sociology classes back in the 60’s where my professors absolutely forbid using The Population Bomb as a footnote or a reference.  Paul Ehrlich was no scientist, my educators said, he was a dopey doomsday prophet.  I think the world population at the time was maybe 4 billion.  A lot of us, seemed like to me.  8 billion, well, I have trouble enough getting to know the neighbors now, sure don’t want many more.

One thing I never hear in the debates concerning global warming and climate change is that maybe, just maybe, there are too many of us.  More mouths to feed, more houses to build, more cars to drive, more garbage in the landfills, more need for heating and air conditioning, small stuff like that.  Sure, turn the thermostat down, but hey, what if there were 4 billion less of us wanting to stay warm?   Oh, I know, we love our kids.  We love our dozen grandkids.  And we certainly love our 100 great grandkids.  Although, to be honest, judging from my old man’s memory at 99 years of age, he couldn’t tell you any of their names.  And he has a lot of trouble with his grandkids’s names.  Which are only three of them.  The fact that us 8 billion are living longer thanks to medical science and improved health care doesn’t really help either.

When I came to the South End, four cars drove off going north of our shack, four cars returned home at night.  Better believe we knew our neighbors back then and, unfortunately for them, they knew us.  Now it’s a constant parade of commuters and contractors and lawn service crews.  I don’t recognize most folks at the local grocery.  And with my memory, remembering their names wouldn’t be a likelihood.

So when we’re looking for solutions to overheating the planet, why not look at overpopulating it.  You won’t miss an extra grandkid or twenty, all I’m saying.
The Skeeter Daddle Diaries

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country. In the past few years, its popularity has exploded. Why? COVID? Perhaps to some extent. Personally, my theory is because it’s easy to learn and requires minimal skill or physical exertion – and if you fall, there are three people who can drive you to the hospital. Read more

"The Peruvian Amazon is a magical and mysterious destination where you can enjoy a romantic getaway or an adventure without a parallel...... one of its most charming places and full of natural beauty is the beautiful Sandoval Lake. A perfect example where you can appreciate the different and numerous wildlife while you marvel at the dreamy landscapes” Read more

Now the mizzus was a sort of mail order bride.  I came out to the rainforests here in the 70’s, bought my 7 acres and my mule just before the interest rates went wild and discovered how few single ladies there were in the woods of the South End.

So I resorted to what our pioneer ancestors turned to … no,  not THAT … I wrote back to the Midwest for a wife.  I had a lady friend in Minnysota who was just fixing to graduate with her masters degree in librarying.  Librarying, I thought to myself, is even better’n school ma’arm.  She could teach some of the artists on the South End here how to read and write and then we could sit around the porch and discuss Nietzsche and Tolstoy, the events of the day.

Late spring of l981 I commenced to writing heart wrenching, bodice ripping, pulse pounding love letters.  I told my darling all about our little island, how it was a tropical paradise where our beautiful cottage nestled in the arms of million year old cedar trees and coconut palms and you could see the Olympic Mountains every night at sunset glowing like a fireplace and that old sun had nothing on the lovelight in my heart for her …

Course she didn’t have a chance….  Who could resist my literary charms?  And I’m sure she carried a picture of my irresistible self in a locket in her bosom, pining – PINING, ladies and gentlemen – for that day a letter would arrive from her Prince Charming, old lumber Jack himself, king of Camano, practically Paul Bunyan with a book of poems under his ax arm.

Well, I was surprised TOO she didn’t rush out to my waiting muscle bound arms.  So I wrote some more.  I wrote a dictionary worth.  Then I wrote an encyclopedia Britannica.  Spring turned to summer, summer turned to fall, fall became winter, my dreams turned to mush.  I run outa words.  ME!  With nothing left to say.  I was about to give up and become a Zen hermit priest.

But one day I got a letter saying she was coming OUT.   …  For a day or two, then going to Alaska to see her cousin.  Alaska?  Why on god’s green earth would she go to a godforsaken hellhole like that when she could have the whole South End paradise?

Course she was gonna see the cottage wasn’t a cottage – it was a shack.  Leaky roof, crooked floors, a ladder to the upstairs.  Alaska was gonna look REAL good.  And Prince Charming?  I was in serious trouble now.

But luck was on my side.  The day she flew in a storm took out a dozen trees to the South End and power was out when we pulled in the drive.  So I lit up the oil lamps and popped the champagne and boiled the crabs on the woodstove and I won’t tell you the details but let your romantic imagination run wild and you might have some small notion of why the mizzus is still the mizzus and why we both still celebrate the day she came out here and not our wedding anniversary and why the South End will always be a tropical paradise to at least a couple of us old lovebirds.

The Skeeter Daddle Diaries