Something has been nagging at me since I first watched S8E5. It was still nagging at me after my re-watch. It finally came to me.

We saw Daenerys take off for the Red Keep when the bells were ringing, and that was the last we saw of her. I’m pretty sure that from that point we saw Drogon burning the city from a distance.

Bran had that vision of the shadow of a dragon flying over King’s Landing. Could he have warged into Drogon? Could Daenerys have lost control of Drogon?

I am not looking for a way for Daenerys not to be at fault, or anything. But I do have to say that nagging feeling has gone away. I am one of the few who is not outraged the Daenerys’ so called heel turn.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. It’s horrifying, to be sure, but it makes sense for the character. She was always scary, but she had people close to her that tempered her potential for madness. Those people are now all dead.

She said she was going to break the wheel. The people are part of that wheel. They could have rebelled, but they did not. They showed their displeasure from time to time, but they were just as happy about Ned’s beheading as they were about Cersei’s walk of shame. Clearly, they were not paying attention to their government, so were part of the problem.

Back to Bran. He obviously had a vision of the fall of King’s Landing. How much did he see? He was also told that he would never walk again, but one day he would fly. Was that just flying by warging into birds, or was it warging into Drogon? I assumed it meant dragons when I first read that passage, and it hasn’t happened yet. Unless it has.

If it was Bran, did he intend to frame Daenerys for it? Did Daenerys try to stop it, or did she just go along? Hwo would she even stop it? Will this solidify her power, or get her killed? I can imagine Arya has but one name on her list now.

It has often bothered me that Daenerys just left her cities across the Narrow Sea behind. Perhaps Daenerys will be High Queen, after all is said and done. The Seven Kingdoms will once again rule themselves, but with Daenerys keeping the peace, under threat of Drogon burninating the countryside. That would be the happiest ending I could imagine at this point. Assuming that they don’t find out that Jon is actually Robert’s bastard. That would fix everything.

Okay, I think I’ll try this sleep thing again.

It may not go this way in the HBO series, but I still believe Jon Snow is Robert Baratheon’s bastard, not Rhaegar’s. It’s not because I have thought he was Robert’s from the beginning, and I hate to be wrong. It’s that I really hate that the rebellion was based on a lie. Unless there is some good writing to back that up, this amazing, creative, strong, detailed, well-written world is held together by the weakest of threads.

Bran, if you’re listening, I hope you can find the moment of Jon’s conception.

It’s possible I will just end up liking my story better. It happened with Harry Potter. It can happen again. That doesn’t mean I will hate on GoT or think it’s ruined. I love for people to tell me a good story, and this story is better than most.

First, read the article, but do come back. Sorry, no time for a fancy link or quoting of text. Maybe I’ll revise later.

I look at the last episode like I look at Empire Strikes Back. The bad “guys” (Cersei) won this round. Now, how will our heroes handle it?

I don’t think the female characters have been betrayed. The writers have proven that the ladies have not become Mary Sues (a term I despise but fits here). They are human and always have been. We don’t always like the characters in GoT. They make human mistakes, and they often pay for them.

Daenerys has always fought her crazy. She does things wrong. She learns from her mistakes (we were reminded of that this season), the history of her family, and the advice of the people she keeps close, and she grows as a ruler and a person. Don’t be mad until the show ends, and she doesn’t find her way back to Mhysa-status. I trust that if she doesn’t, there will be a good reason, and good writing to back it up.

Sansa did what she feels is best for the North, in the way Littlefinger and Cersei taught her, without regard to gender. She was Sansa being Sansa, for better or worse, making her own decision, just like she did before the Battle of the Bastards. She is playing the game. Don’t assume she intends to put Jon on the Iron Throne. She wanted to be Queen from episode one. Perhaps now she realizes she doesn’t need a King.

Ser Brienne allowed herself to feel love. For once in her life she let herself trust enough to be intimate with a man. That takes the kind of strength we know Ser Brienne to have. We all know she has loved Ser Jaime far longer than the two weeks the article describes. Their love for each other was finally consummated after years. Ser Jaime came to Winterfell for Brienne, knighted her, fought under her command, then pursued her as a woman. And then left in the harsh way that he did. She can cry in her damned night gown if she feels like it. If the situations had been reversed, Ser Jaime would be bawling in his small clothes, too.

Missandei was another in a long line of heartbreaking losses, but I don’t see the betrayal of character. She was put back in chains, after months of being treated like a second class citizen by the North. I’d say, “Dracarys,” too. Or are you actually mad that a translator couldn’t hold of the Iron Fleet by herself?

Okay, I think I got it out. I shall resume my day.

Being a huge fan of the First Amendment, I have in the past defended the KKK’s (and by extension other hate groups) right to assemble. If we take away their rights, that leads us down the path of groups being banned just because some people don’t like them.

Charlottesville has changed my perspective. I will concede that they should still be allowed to assemble privately, or publicly in closed session, so they can freely discuss their morally bankrupt ideas with other like-minded folk. They should not be allowed to assemble publicly, however.

The First Amendment only guarantees the right to peaceable assembly. If their intent is genocide and overt bigotry, they cannot peaceably assemble. It is not peaceful to chant about hatred of non-white people in the presence of non-white people. That is hate speech, and therefore violent. It is not peaceful to emulate lynch mobs, by carrying torches. It is not peaceful to surround protesters, while carrying said torches. That is bullying. That is threatening violence. It is not peaceful to emulate German Nazis, by chanting their chants, carrying their flag, and imitating their salutes. Their role models were so dangerous, the whole world fought to save us from them.

If we cannot keep hate groups from assembling publicly, due to the First Ammendment, we should create stipulations. If they will not agree to sit silently, without props or a single weapon among them, their permits should be denied. If there is a single protester, the threat of violence exists, and the assembly should be disbanded. If a single item that could be used as a weapon is found, the assembly should be disbanded.

I may add to this later. I have to get ready for work.

This post is years overdue. I started reading A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) in 2005. This should have been my first blog post. Here are my long held theories, which may end up being spoilers for you. You’ve been warned.


My cousin got married last month, in her new hometown: Orlando, FL. Naturally, that meant the clan planned a fabulous vacation around our gala. I am one of the odd birds out there who was never really interested in visiting Florida, except to see family that is, and I had been putting it off. The wedding made for the perfect excuse to go, finally. I am so glad I partook in the festivities.

Not only was the wedding everything we dreamed of, and more, but we all had a delightful time enjoying the city of Orlando, and surrounding environs. Okay, so my mother and sister did not enjoy driving in Orlando traffic so much, but everything else was delightful. On my first day there, my sister chose St Augustine as the place she wanted to explore for her birthday. What an unexpected treat. St Augustine is charming. We enjoyed an authentic Mexican meal at Playa Chac Mool. If you go, I can recommend their chicken flautas. Very yummy. Our service was impeccable. After lunch, we enjoyed a walk on the beach and St Augustine Pier. This was my first time seeing pelicans up close. I had no idea they could be so charismatic. Having worked the night before, then taking an early flight from Milwaukee, I was too pooped to climb the St Augustine Lighthouse, but there was plenty to do and see on the grounds, in the Keeper’s House, and in the gift shop.

After St Augustine, we headed to my aunt’s house in Altamonte Springs. We had a nice spaghetti dinner to celebrate my sister’s birthday. By the time we got back to our time share, I was ready for my pajamas.

Aside from the wedding, Wednesday was the highlight of the trip for me: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I had heard so many good things from friends and family, that I just could not wait. I really must give a shout out to Ms Brenda Wheeler. Without your generous gift of complimentary passes, I would never have been able to afford this dream come true. I don’t think you understand what a Harry Potter fan I am, or how perpetually poor I am. Now that I think about it, I may never have had this experience without your help. So, I thank you, and my family thanks you, for your hospitality.

Wizarding World. Wow. Where do I even start? I must remember to add pictures to this post later, once I get them transferred from my phone. The rest of my party had been to Wizarding World once before, so they were anxious to see the new addition. I could not be more happy with that choice. I feel as though I began my wizarding adventure the same way Harry Potter did: In Diagon Alley. Universal Studios treated Harry Potter with such love and attention to detail. To say I am impressed with the hard work Universal put into making the park a wizarding experience, would be to sell it short. Everywhere you go there are sights and sounds that make you feel as though you could really be a witch or wizard. The quality clothing you can by in the park only add to the experience. People of all ages don their robes immediately. If they have purchased an interactive wand, the set off casting spells at cleverly arranged points throughout the parks. The result is a park full of witches, wizards, and muggles having a grand time interacting in every way with the park and the park’s staff. Seeing my 20-year-old Hufflepuff niece cast Wingardium Leviosa for the first time is one of my all time favorite #proudaunt moments. #badgerpride

Lunch at The Leaky Cauldron was fantastic. I know I have never had food nearly as good in any theme park. I forget the name of the chicken sandwich I had, but it was very good. The Butterbeer’s reputation is well earned. Now I see what all the fuss was about. It. Is. Delicious. My sister had a shepherd’s pie that I think I might have to go back for. The highlight of The Leaky Cauldron is really the staff. Yes, the food is great, and the atmosphere is spot on, but the staff works so hard that they don’t even look like they are working. They all seemed to be having a great time making sure we had the best experience possible.

Diagon Alley was such fun that we actually spent most of our day there. No one was in a hurry to leave the wand shop despite the crazy crowd in there. You want a wand? You got it. Name someone from Harry Potter. Their wand is there. You could spend a long time there trying to think of obscure characters whose wands you know Universal would not bother making, but don’t hold your breath while doing it. You will lose that game. If you do not want a character’s wand, but instead prefer to get the wand that would choose your wizarding self, Universal has that covered, too.

I heard a total of two complaints the entire time I was in the park, and they were not lines and crowds. One Hufflepuff girl I happened to be shopping near complained to her boyfriend that the Hufflepuff clothing is all gray. After visiting a few shops, my niece and I could see her point. There were many shirts that were gray with black and yellow designs, whereas the other houses all enjoyed clothing that were house colors. Hufflepuffs want black and yellow, Universal. If it has to be gray, then perhaps something more like a charcoal would work better. That plain gray was, well, plain. Hufflepuffs aren’t that boring. That, as I said, was one of two complaints I heard. The clothing choices are in all other ways outstanding. I mean, really, you can buy a wool sweater with an H on the front that you would swear Molly Weasley knitted with her own wand. The other complaint, I think actually speaks well for the parks. Most of the shops are actually facades, false storefronts that guests are no meant to enter. They are decoration. While I thought they added to the imagination of the place, and enjoyed thinking about what the wizarding community might buy in those shops, the more action-oriented people in my group were frustrated by these locked doors. They were that enticing. Personally, you can’t prove to me that these are simply doors that are locked to Muggles and Squibs.

My favorite moment happened outside one of these shops, actually. I was pondering the window across from Ollivander’s when two ladies rolled a cart past. They looked like they were on a mission, and the dramatic music only added to that feeling. I thought surely something was about to happen, but it turned out it was a merchandise delivery to the clothing shop. That my head made an exciting adventure out of something I would not have even noticed somewhere else was highly amusing. But soon, I was truly in awe as the dragon atop Gringott’s breathed fire over us.

A trip to Diagon Alley needs a stop at Knockturn Alley, naturally. I was impressed with the creepy vibe. It certainly felt like someplace naughty. Of course I bought a lovely Dark Mark scarf there. I love that I could wear it out and hardly anyone would notice I was sporting Potter gear.

The longest line we waited in that actually felt like a line was for the Hogwarts Express. There were seven of is in my group, and we were still all having so much fun, that it didn’t even matter that we were in line. We were at King’s Cross, in line to get on the Hogwarts Express! There was a moment, just before reaching Platform 9 3/4 that helped restore my faith in humanity. The people in front of us noticed that Universal had set up an optical illusion. From the spot we were standing, the people ahead of us just seemed to disappear when they got on the platform. Our neighbors said we needed to do it better than those people, who just walked through the wall like it was no big deal. We played it up for the people behind us. Do the people behind you a solid. Act nervous about what is ahead, and then “do it at a bit of a run,” like Molly Weasley taught us. Or do whatever. Just don’t walk through like it’s just a tunnel. You’re part of someone else’s experience at that moment.

The Hogwarts Express could have just been a fancy tram to get you from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade, but no, Universal turned this into an impressive ride. Your windows will tell you a fun story and then before you know it you are there. Hogsmeade. Honeyduke’s. The Three Broomsticks. Shopping galore. Here we split up for a while. My mom, my nephew, and I were ready for a rest and some refreshment, while the others went in search of a ride. You may prefer to hear about the ride, but trust me when I tell you to treat yourself to apple pie and ice cream at The Three Broomsticks. The pie itself is good, but the pile of brown sugar and cinnamon crumbles on top is ridiculous! It’s a pile of delicious that makes this a dessert you will have fun sharing as you make a mess attacking it with spoons.

I’m a postcard fan. I send postcards to myself and a few others whenever I go away. If you would like to do the same, bring stamps to the park. You can send mail from Hogsmeade Owlry. Just drop it in the mailbox.

As most of our day was spent in Diagon Alley, we went right to Hogwarts to take the tour. Really, you are in line for the ride, but it is set up like a tour, and things happen along the way. Characters talk to you. You don’t have to ride the ride. You can go through the tour and then bail out, but unless you get motion sick, you want to ride the ride. When else will you get to fly around Hogwarts’ Quidditch Pitch with Harry? Be warned. There is a dragon (yea!) and some rather large acromantulas after you (boo!). And they spit. I screamed. I can admit that. Bags of any sort are not allowed on the ride because you will lose them as your car throws you this way and that. There are lockers. The locker room is a madhouse, but the cast makes sure it’s a controlled chaos. As with any good ride, you exit through the gift shop. If I were a wealthy woman, I would have gone crazy in all of these stores, I am telling you!

My nephew wanted to see Jurassic Park before we left for the day. He kept dropping clever hints at The Three Broomsticks. “You’re a Lizard, Harry,” may have been his best line of the day. We exited The Wizarding World. With Hogwarts still in view, we were at the impressive gate of Jurassic Park. Alas, the light was not with me, and my party was in a hurry, so I could not get a picture with the castle and the gate in it. Certain things were already closing up by the time we entered Jurassic Park, but that was alright with me. We split up again. The others went off for some more adventure while Mom and I rested and took some refreshment.

Once rested, Mom and I ventured into Marvel Superhero Island (I hope I got that name right). I am a Marvel fan from way back, despite the Green Lantern t-shirt I am wearing as I write this. I was happy to get myself a handsome new Spider-Man mug for my morning tea, which I used several times before even leaving Orlando. I will remember by trip with fondness whenever Spidey and I have tea.

It is getting late, and I have been pecking away at this travel log here and there for most of the day. I do have more to share, but it will have to wait for another day. Or maybe it will be years before I blog again. One never knows.











Hello dog lovers,

I have some good news, and some troubling news. I’ll give you the good news first. A mama pit bull and her three pups were rescued from Chicago Animal Care and Control a few nights ago. Here is where it starts to get troubling. There had been four pups but they lost one the first night, sadly.


My friends at A & S Rescue could use some help. Mama Sophie and her babies are terribly malnourished and dehydrated.


While I wrote this post, another pup was lost. Now just two remain. If at all possible, please donate what you can to A & S. They do such good work, and will be caring for this canine family for quite some time. Vet bills are piling up for these new rescues, and there are still other fosters to care for.

You can visit A & S Rescue on Facebook.

You can donate at


There is disturbingly little news on our Free Pathetic Dog. The most I have found is this article which says the Craigslist ad was taken down just hours after it was posted, but not before it went viral.

Google searches find tons of requests for updates on the situation, but so far I find no real info. I’ll add my request to the pile: If you know anything, let me know.

I should be writing my novel. Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo. Sometimes I have to get other stuff out of my head before I can settle down and write fiction, though. That’s what blogging is for. Something that has been on my mind lately is the way that babies have become an accessory to the Pinterest Moms out there. I am amazed by all the handcrafted stuff out there that new moms will allow their children to have just because it is adorable. Of course we all want our babies to be Instagram-ready at all times and look like a Pottery Barn Kids ad. Moms from the pre-Pinterest era will remind you that some items give up some form in favor of function, however.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a mother. I am an aunt. I am a former babysitter. I am a former child care worker. Before you spout any, “you’re not a mom; you wouldn’t understand,” nonsense, Pinterest Moms, I will tell you that I have a huge extended family (lots of babies) and have been listening to child safety warnings since I was babysitting you for pocket money in middle school and high school. Not being a mother does not make me less knowledgeable than you. It does not take a genius, nor a mother, to recognize that hand-crafted does not equal safe.

Recently, I was put in my place by a gaggle of new moms when I tried to tell them one of their adorable Pinterest items was a choking hazard. I politely stated that I did not want to be a buzz kill but was concerned for child safety. I was basically laughed at. For my readers, the image below is not the exact product. It is an example of the product being discussed. Now, pacifier clips have been around for years and years. They come in quite handy. I am all for pacifier clips. They will usually be included in my baby shower gifts. I have nothing against Crystal Dream, who makes product shown below. I only chose this image because I think it is adorable. If I had babies and could be convinced this product is safe, this is the one I would choose.

Courtesy Crystal Dream


Beads and buttons. Top items on the choking hazards list since the term choking hazard was invented. Why are they being used in a product we encourage our babies to put in their mouths? The only reason I see is because they are cute. Is that a good enough reason to train your child that beads and buttons belong anywhere near your mouth? I do not believe so.

What the Pinterest Moms told me was that they are completely safe. They are “made with a special 75lb weight string.” Well, I hope it is not string. The constant wetting and drying would rot string quickly enough. I assume that it is actually 75lb test fishing line, if they know the strength of the string. That is what is often used in crafting. Do you know what 75lb test actually means? I did not debate it with these woman. I opted to pick my battles, so to speak. I spoke my mind and left it at that. What 75lb test means is this: the weakest point of the line will withstand 75lbs of pressure so that the line doesn’t snap while reeling in a fish. It is made for fishing. You catch a fish with it. If it was too damaged while reeling in the fish, you cut the damaged line. Imagine a baby with one of these pacifier clips. Pretty, shiny beads are going to get their attention. They are going to play with it. That line holding it all together is going to go through hell. Just because an average baby cannot pull it apart, doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. The line will be bent, stretched, and twisted. The pacifier will get caught. That line will be yanked on repeatedly. All of this assumes that it is the line that will break. In reality, this line is only as strong as the knot at each end.

My one argument with the Pinterest Moms was that there is a reason this type of clip is not sold by the major baby products manufacturers. I was told that they are made by the major companies, and sold in Target, Walmart, Babies R Us, and Buy Buy Baby. This was shocking to me. I was going to write to these retailers. When I checked their websites, I found no beaded, buttoned, nor pearled pacifier clips. Not a single one. All there were, on all four sites, were the traditional, safe clips as pictured below.

Courtesy Babies R Us

Maybe you’re still asking, “What’s the difference? How do you know the boutique pacifier clips are not safe?” Read their disclaimers. They will at least say not to leave baby unattended with the product. Many add that it is a possible choking hazard. You will not find any safety ratings for these products. You can easily find safety ratings for products from major retailers, like the MAM pacifier from Babies R Us, shown above. Major retailers have Research & Development, Legal teams, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) all making sure that product is safe as humanly possible. Boutiques and DIYers don’t have that sort of oversight. They may have done what testing they think they need to do, but I suspect that the vast majority are relying on things like “75lb test” for their safety measures.

We may have to agree to disagree when it comes to choking hazards, but what about the sanitary aspect? I cannot fathom how many germs and food particles are going to get trapped in those beads. It turns my stomach thinking about it. The hefty ribbon a retailer like MAM uses is designed to be washed, and to stand up to repeated washing. That adorable Etsy product, not so much. Sure, you can hand wash it, but how sure are you that you are getting all the soap and yucky dish water out from between the beads and from the line running through them? Remember, this is going in your child’s mouth. This is an irresistible item to teethe on. I am certain that heat from the dishwasher, and possibly even the detergent, would weaken the line over time. Using the washing machine is asking for it to get tangled and break in the wash.

I am not anti-DIY. There is a lot that can be improved by DIY or from buying from a DIYer. I am pro-local business, pro-small business. Quite a few of these boutique business are focusing on eco-friendly alternatives. I am ALL for that. Organic yarns and fabrics for baby clothes, bedding, and stuffed animals is fantastic for children who have allergies and sensitive skin. There is a trade-off there in that these fabrics are not flame retardant, but that is an individual choice. I understand the need to put children in clothes that won’t make them miserable every day of their lives, and to give them toys that won’t make them ill. To me foregoing the flame retardant fabric makes sense in a case like that. I can even understand the “hippy” parent who is taking a stand and reducing their impact on the environment. My hat is off to those parents, truly.

What I don’t understand is foregoing safety for fashion. This is your baby, your offspring. You are responsible for raising a happy, healthy, well-adjusted human being to adulthood. If you want an adorable diaper bag, that’s great. You can treat that as an accessory, like your shoes or your purse. Please, don’t treat your children like accessories. They are not Pinterest models designed to make you look good. They are individuals. Treat them with more respect. Better yet, ask yourself: as a parent, how would you feel if your child did choke on such an accessory when non-choking hazard versions were in abundance?




Seriously?! I AM LIVID!

This is a Craigslist ad that I just saw shared on Facebook. Craigslist
Just in case the ad disappears, here is what the despicable owner said: [?]

Posted: 3 days ago
Doesn’t bark, doesn’t play, just cowers: free pathetic dog. (Pfafftown)

Found this 20lb. mixed breed dog last Christmas in Monterey Park, Los Angeles. According to what the vet says, she’s probably 2.5 years old now. Looks like a Jack Russell’s drug-addled second cousin (but she’s healthy).

PROS: Does not bark, or shed much to speak of. House trained. Does not overeat, so you can just leave her dry dog food in a bowl and refill when it’s empty. Has stuck close to an unfenced residence and not run away when let outside unmonitored on a daily basis. (Well… I tried… but she won’t leave.)

CONS: Does not know what ‘play’ is. If you throw a ball at her, she will run and hide. Any treats given to her have to be handed directly (thrown ones will scare her). More importantly, she cannot keep up as a serious jogging partner.

Friendly and compliant, will sit in your lap if you put her there. Not the cleverest about “jumping” or other “tricks”. Never seen a dog where chasing a treat thrown was a “trick”… but to her, that’s a trick.

Took in for sympathy, but planning a downtown move where dogs won’t be welcome. Would make a good pet for someone who wants a non-barking, non-biting, non-playing dog just to hang out with. She’s cool with pretty much anything… dressing her up in costumes, drawing on her with a sharpie, no problem. (Just don’t throw a treat toward her.)

Food, crate, harness, leash, rawhide chews, flea bath additives, etc. included.

    Location: Pfafftown
    it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Posting ID: 4153266780

Posted: 3 days ago

Updated: 3 days ago

How is this OK?! Oh I’m so mad I can’t even post anything more about it. I will just post the photos from the ad and come back later.





I mean WTF! ^^^