Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Rescue Puppy - Marlena!

I am happy to announce that I got a new dog, Marlena, via the Give a Dog a Home – German Shepherd Rescue in San Antonio Texas. She was brought to us by Rescue Road Trips.

Without further ado, Marlena:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Genevieve RIP

Our beautiful German Shepherd/Belgian Mallinois mix, Genevieve, has passed on this last Friday at 13 years and 5 months old. We will miss you, “love junkie”.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Alice, there is no Santa Claus

Letter: Linares Debate Response Misunderstood

To the Editor:
I attended the debate between State Senator Art Linares, Emily Bjornberg, and Colin Bennett on October 8th at Valley Regional High School. With regard to the letter from Sue Huybensz, who also attended the debate, I am certain that she misunderstood the discussion. In particular, she completely misinterpreted the response by Senator Linares regarding his stand on the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision. In no way did Senator Linares say that he is opposed to a woman’s right to choose. He pointed out that this issue is not germane to candidates running for the State Senate. If he were running for the United States Senate or were in line for consideration for a position on the Supreme Court, the issue of what methods of birth control must be paid for by a private enterprise would be a worthwhile topic for debate. At a debate for election to State Senator, the issue is a red herring. When Art shared that he was raised Catholic, he was pointing out that nobody’s personal and religious beliefs supersede the laws of our country. The aim of Senator Linares on the evening of October 8th was to bring the debate’s discussion back to issues that are germane to CT residents, issues that a state senator is empowered to do something about: returning prosperity and top-notch educational and  professional opportunity to the residents of our state.  As a CT woman, I plan to cast my vote for Senator Art Linares.
Alice van Deursen

Dear Alice,

I completely agree with you that Mr. Linares was stating that the SCOTUS decision was not applicable to his candidacy. Its just that I completely disagree. I think that we need strong advocates for women's rights in the capitol as well as in all elected/appointed public positions. Most moderate Republicans would fit this bill. Have a look around you at what is happening in this country. States, such as Texas, Mississippi, North Dakota, Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Ohio are making it more difficult for women to obtain abortions. Those decisions are all being made in state senates.  The Hobby Lobby decision a distinct slippage of women's rights. Are you aware that women earn 23 cents less on the dollar than men, that fewer women enter STEM studies than men, that women are still discriminated against in our country? Across the board, women's rights are threatened by right-wing extremists such as Mr. Linares seems to be and it is a constant fight to maintain what women have won. His views are not in keeping with this district or the times we live in. These reasons are why women's issues are not a "red herring".

If his comment about his religion was to say that religion doesn't matter, then why didn't he just say that? Are his debating skills that lacking, or was he just hedging or being disingenuous? Whether I misinterpreted his meaning or not, why couldn't he just be honest and open about his feelings on this issue and women's rights like the other candidates were? Perhaps women's issues don't matter that much to Mr. Linares. But, we'll never know because he won't agree to another debate.

You can thank your long gone sisters for your right to vote for a candidate that might take rights away from you.
Sue Huybensz
Deep River

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Recent letter to the editor re: CT State Senator Art Linares

Here is a recent letter to the editor that I wrote about CT State Senator Art Linares:



I am a fellow Republican woman who always wanted to be married, but I wanted a career instead of children. Thankfully, when I headed to college in 1974, I had access to birth control and due to Roe v. Wade I also had access to what could be a very excruciating choice. [Thankfully I never had to make that choice.] So it was time travel for me to hear Art Linares’ answer to this question at the debate held on October 8 at the Valley Regional High School: “Where do you stand on the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision?” Linares only stated that “he was raised Catholic and isn’t up for appointment as a Supreme Court Justice.” In other words, Linares is against a woman’s right to choose even birth control!

Haven’t we already dealt with this issue 40 years ago? This extremely right-wing view could have totally changed my life and taken my choice to have a career away from me. Also, I would note that extremist views such as Linares’ are not a fit with his own district’s constituency.

Birthing a child sometimes can be life-threatening. Linares doesn’t care: “No exceptions.” I have had a colleague who died from a brain hemorrhage while she was trying to have a child.

I may have wanted to hear more on Linares’ stances, but it seems he doesn’t like to show up to debates.

Please, if you value your choices as a woman, do not vote for Art Linares.

Sue Huybensz
Deep River

So far it has been published in and

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Duna Keringőt: Budapest vagy bust 8

Nephew Robert took us out to dinner and took us a crepe place for lunch: Nagyi Pali. Everything was terrific there! Here is another shot of the Parliment Building. I guess that during Robert and my mom's walk there early in the morning the fog was rising off the Danube and here is a photo of that.

Here is the Opera House, a stature of the composer Liszt and some shots of its interior. Mom bought a music box that played a Franz Liszt composition.

We then took the subway to Vajdahunyad Castle and ambled around the grounds. I don't know who this sculpture of a bearded man was, but he reminded me of my husband. Robert commented that the entwining of these fishes' tails seemed x-rated to him. LOL! I told him that it couldn't be, since it is in a public park.
Suddenly, like a flash, a Yorkshire Terrier pup ran into and out of my camera frame.

Here we are at the Széchenyi thermal baths, which is only a short walk from the Castle. The cement block is a steam vent and lets steam escape into the air. In the winter, there is a huge cloud of vapor here. The interior was highly decorated, with a marine theme. The first mosaic is of Poseidon with his two sons who are Ichthyocentaurs. In the second mosaic, mermaids assist Aphrodite as per Homer:

Of august gold-wreathed and beautiful
Aphrodite I shall sing to whose domain
belong the battlements of all sea-loved
Cyprus where, blown by the moist breath
of Zephyros, she was carried over the
waves of the resounding sea on soft foam.
The gold-filleted Horae happily welcomed
her and clothed her with heavenly raiment.
A large urn is decorated with abalone, scallops and other sea shells. A small mosaic of a mermaid. A tile detail with mermaid and mermen faces plus waterlilies. The floor tiles are also decorated with a fish motif. This metal radiator has a dragon motif that must be related to the heat theme. Are these innocent children bathing, or is that a note of shame in the boy as he is hiding himself? This must be none other than Apollo driving his chariot across the sky. Clerestory windows are the source of much of the lighting in the building. Finally, we have two street shots of the baths. We never did go on to bathe, if we had, we would have seen the wonderful outdoor bathing areas.

Across the way, there is the zoo. And we just wanted to get some shots of the bactrian camel that we saw there on our first visit. And so we did!

The day that mom and I were on our own, we went to the Great Market Hall to shop for more souveniers. It was interesting but not as interesting as the open markets in Asia, were there are huge areas to buy fresh fish and such. Mostly it was for foreigners to buy trinkets at a market rate.

This guy with his huge bread loaf was posted all over town, and my mom got a laugh out of it. So here it is mom, just for you!

This is a chestnut macaron I had at Le Meridien the night before we left. Sigh. Am I back there yet???