SCREW IT! I’M GOING TO DECORATE!

It may well just be me at Christmas time.
I’ve posted pictures of my Christmas tree over the years. It’s 14 feet tall and plastic. My daughter, Vanessa, persuaded me to stop using real trees about a decade ago and I must admit plastic ones are easier cause the lights are already attached (but I add some red heart-shaped lights). It’s also easy to put up but the decorating part takes 2 days each way…2 days to put up and 2 days to take down and this Holiday I’ll be on my own to do it…with a very tall ladder.

Still, I’m going to do it. I decided today. I’ll start the day after Thanksgiving. I mean, if I’m going to do it I might as well have it up a full month.

My squirrel can see the tree through the window. She’s quite fat now. We’re talking liposuction fat. Should I stop feeding her? There are squirrel experts among you that’s why I’m asking. BTW, when I’m late putting peanuts (in their shells) in her feeder, she comes onto my porch and looks through the window for me.

Most of my time these days is spent writing climate articles and my opening for our weekly virtual Fire Drill Fridays and reading. I read about a book a week. I stop everything around 6pm, watch the Rachel Maddow show and then scroll around for shows to watch. I’ve pretty much scraped the bottom of the barrel watching things I never thought I’d see. I won’t name names. But last night, the new season of “The Crown” started and it’s really good. Also, a multi-parter on Showtime about Ronald Reagan which tells the real story of his rise and the effect he had on American politics. Finally the truth!

I mentioned this before but if you haven’t already seen “My Octopus Teacher,” a documentary on Netflix, you must! It’s amazing and very moving.

We’ve gotten word that “Grace & Frankie” will continue filming our 7th and final season in early June of 2021. A long time to wait but, given the age and vulnerability of the 4 leads, it’s best. I’ll be headed into 84 by the time we’re done. Yikes! This last season will have 16 episodes instead of the usual 12.

It’s clear (and it makes me sad) that when I write a blog about something serious, like the climate crisis, way fewer people follow it as opposed to when I write this sort of every-day-what-I’m-doing blog so I’m trying to intersperse them. And big thanks to those of you who follow regardless. Believe me, I notice.

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127 Comments
  1. Hi Jane

    This tree is beautiful! You must be careful climbing ladders! I won’t be putting my tree up myself this year. Still recuperating from back surgery. But my son and daughter-in-law will do the honors. I usually decorate the whole house, inside and out.

    I follow you on everything you do. I read all your blogs, though I don’t always comment. I attend all Fire Drill Fridays and, there again, I may not comment other than a Hi Jane from Charleston, SC, I do find the meetings helpful and informative. I have stepped out of my comfort zone, and contacted my congressmen, where in the past I would not have done it, but with your encouragement, I did it!!

    Sorry to hear Grace and Frankie won’t be filming until June, ’21 instead of January, but I do understand the cautions that must be taken. I will continue re-watching seasons 1-6.

    Again Jane, be careful climbing that ladder!! We do not need any broken bones!!

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. With much love and admiration!!
    Elaine

  2. Hi, Jane! How nice your tree, be careful when going up the stairs. I am very happy about the relationship between you and your squirrel, waiting for more updates on it. In terms of your posts on serious subjects, I believe it is because they have subjects that require a little more knowledge about them. I read them all and find it very interesting. Leaving my feedback regarding the interleaving of the posts: I agree that it looks cooler this way. xoxo.

  3. I’ve already started playing Christmas songs on the piano, much to the disgust of my family (who aren’t very cosy family Christmas people) … I kind of hoped lockdown would force us all to like each other but we seem distant as ever.

    I also just want to say thank you for your perseverance in regard to the climate crisis, I’m 16 and the state of the world is depressing, thank you for using your celebrity to help inform people! Really, you have my deepest, most heartfelt gratitude! Xx

  4. You have such a beautiful tree, Jane! My family started decorating early this year as well!
    I have really enjoyed attending the virtual Fire Drill Fridays! I started following in early October and have been a faithful attendee ever since.

  5. I enjoy following all your blogs and am really happy to hear that there will be another season of Grace and Frankie.
    My husband (a retired lawyer) and I love the show. We are part of your following here in Canada. Stay safe and healthy. Keep up your work on the climate crisis, with the change in your government you may now get some help! Good luck.

  6. A friend here in Santa Fe, Ali Mcgraw – who you may have known in her former life in th 60s and 70s, recommended My Octopus Teacher last week. Wonderful!!!! Solid recommendation. I just sent her a couple Green New Deal books and What can I Do?

  7. Jane, I’d like to thank you for all the beautiful thoughts you share with us. You are such an inspiration for me. About love, about let the things go away, about the environment, about climate crises, about clothes, about ageing, about gym, about life. You inspire me to be a better citizen!
    Kisses from a beach city São Sebastião – São Paulo – Brasil
    <3

  8. I too am also very sad that I most likely will not be surrounded by my loved ones for Christmas. But, I would rather everyone be safe this holiday season than to worsen the spread of the virus.

    It has been very sad for me to watch people I know not care about the virus until it directly affects them. To me, that’s the same as the person next to you getting punched in the face and then you saying “Well time to go on as normal” and not helping that person or trying to stop the attacker. Very sad.

    I hope your squirrel continues to do well! I enjoy taking walks and observing all of the different creatures going about their day. It is amazing how this pandemic has opened so many people’s eyes to the beauty of nature and solitude, a lesson I’m especially grateful for because I have learned to be less anxious when I am by myself.

    I really wish people would read and digest the information you give us about the climate crisis! Ugh! I find it frustrating that people aren’t taking action to educate themselves on this very important issue! My only hope is that once Biden takes his seat in office and the mass mobilization pushing the “10 Actions in 10 Days” that the spotlight will shift to this issue. Either way, I know we the people will hold the office accountable!

    As someone who is just starting my acting career, I am curious… what acting techniques do you use? Do you follow any specific expert’s techniques (Meisner, Strasberg, Adler) Do you mix certain techniques together and find what works for you, or do you strictly follow a certain teacher’s technique? Just curious!

    Be careful on that ladder! Last year, I fell off a ladder on stage during a dress rehearsal for a show in front of the entire cast and crew. Thankfully the only thing that was hurt was my dignity!

    As always, it is great to hear from you! Looking forward to this week’s FDF!

    -Kennedy

  9. Hello Jane, your tree is beautiful!!! Mine is already up too! I did it last week! We usually wait until the end of November , but this year we did it earlier.
    I’ve been one of the fortunate ones. I go to work every day . I’ve never missed a day due to the pandemic . My work hasn’t closed their doors, although some people were briefly laid off . (I am in Canada)
    Glad wait for the new season of Grace and Frankie! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it over and over! (Especially my favourite episodes)

    Stay safe!

  10. What a beautiful tree! I love the mixture of ornaments; it’s so cozy.
    Enjoy your time decorating and Happy Thanksgiving! I bet I know where your squirrel is going to be on Thanksgiving. 😉

    As always, I’m looking forward to Friday. Attending Fire Drill Friday always brightens my week.

    Much love,
    Megan xo

  11. Getting festive during this time of year is wonderful, especially after 4 years of a hateful narcissist Authoritarian running our country. We now have good to look forward to with Biden & Harris being elected.
    Moving forward Janee Pennington and husband Colin Watson will be coming into town, from Seattle. I believe Janee did some writing for Grace & Frankie, Janee has finished filming in Seattle. I have not seen any episodes of The Crown, but I look forward to watching it. By the time we finish watching Rachel, and the news programs and a dinner, we are exhausted hearing all the Trump chaos. We are here on the Bay, have preserved a 9,000 sq. ft. Oyster Cannery and our Lighthouse Property, originally owned and built by silent screen actress Gladys Walton next door, to our cannery property. Anyway life will change with the old out and new coming in. May your holiday’s be bright and merry. 🦃🎄🐿

  12. Be careful on that ladder, Jane! We love you and want you to be safe.

  13. 🌻 Love your work, Jane!
    Your an inspiration to many,enjoy your wonderful tree and keep fuelling us with your amazing energy!
    🙏

  14. Jane, for me it is better that you go back to work until June, here in Mexico those who have returned to the sets have been infected a lot, I think it is difficult for the type of work, the proximity and the closed place, I die for the new season but I prefer to know that you are safe. I love hearing from you in any way and I like learn and know about the climate crisis, but what I like more is having you around and receive your wise advice is the most important for me.

  15. Hello dear Jane.
    I’m glad to know you are fine!
    I, I have not been so much and it seems that I have not commented anything on some of your blogs. But, I haven’t stopped following you on Fire Drill Fridays.
    I am very anxious waiting for your book. I already claimed it three times but Premiere Collectibles tells me they are waiting for more of your autographed books to send it to me … I would like to have it for Christmas. It will be a great challenge to read a book in English !!! To write I use the translator although I shouldn’t. And when I hear you speak I understand you almost totally !!! LOL!, I feel like a rare case.
    I’m glad to hear that Biden won and that there’s a female vicepresident. I’m seeing on television that Julissa Rejnoso willbe chief of staff to the first lady. She was an ambassador in my country for a long time and she was loved a lot! (It does not happen with all ambassadors that)
    Hopefully good “winds of change” come in your country. And that this translates into a better and friendlier foreign policy towards the world, but especially for the Latin American countries that have more faith once have been harmed by the interference of the United States (I hope I do not offend with this comment)
    Well this has gotten long …. I sincerely apologize. I don’t know anything about squirrels …. isn’t she “pregnant”? 😁 I think if she could live in your tree she would. It looks beautifull! I am sorry that your children do not accompany you to the next parties … but, I also know that transfers and meetings must be avoided.
    God willing we can live “without fear” again.
    I send you a strong and loving virtual hug.
    I admire and respect you very much and I feel you “like part of my little family.”
    I love you a lot!
    Stay safe!
    From My little country, URUGUAY,🇺🇾🇺🇾🇺🇾 all My love.❤️❤️❤️
    Graciela
    😍🌹☺️🤗❤️

  16. Love the tree there are a lot of decorations going up early here,cheer us all up .
    I will intersperse also,can anyone evict Trump earlier than Jan 20th ?
    I have become an avid CNN and Stephen Colbert watcher in recent months .
    Grace &Frankie has been a tonic to enjoy .Tell the leads to take good care of themselves we hopefully have a reliable vaccine by June .
    I enjoyed the alternative episode earlier.Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen whom I adore ,of course Lily and yourself great chemistry.
    Finally after 4yrs of damage and Denial on everything which matters .
    Good luck and Best wishes to the President elect Joe Biden.

    • A curfew in California ,numbers rising fast .
      The aftermath of the election still a concern from 6000mls away.
      I’m not able to articulate exactly my thoughts on all of these issues affecting our planet !I do however recognise and support in which ever way I can ‘”Fire Drill Fridays”
      So keep doing what you do .
      Yes G&Fhas been a light relief at this time and as an older person I recognise myself in some situations x

  17. Hola Jane, tu arbol de Navidad es precioso, me alegra mucho que poco a poco tu ardilla se acerque a tí, esas pequeñas o grandes cosas nos hacen felices.Yo hace unas semanas rescaté un erizo de ser atropellado, desgraciadamente se esconde y no le he vuelto a ver. Espero que sea 2021 y poder ver la séptima parte de vuestra serie, una de las mejores que he visto jamás.Supongo que tienes razón respecto a los temas que tratas en tu blog,yo uso Facebook y cuando comparto una noticia sobre un tema serio, no obtengo el mismo resultado,es un pequeño ejemplo yo no soy una persona conocida,prometo leer lo que publiques la próxima semana. Un abrazo de Isabel.

  18. Jane,
    Your tree is soo beautiful!!, but please be careful on the ladder! We need you! That is so sweet that your squirrel comes and looks for you! Wow! That is awesome that you read one book a week! I look up to you so much already, but I wish I could do that! I am still on Mary trumps book that I got a month ago. I have trouble focusing for a long period. How do you stay so focused? I also have Vice President elect Kamala Harris book. I am reading a lot more these days. I wasn’t much of a fan of reading. I love autobiographies though! It’s so interesting to learn about other people’s lives. And how we relate. I loved reading your books!! That is a very long time to wait for G&F. Good thing we have all the other seasons to watch while we wait! Yes we want safety first. That’s what matters. At least someone is taking this virus seriously. I’m not going to get into it. Ugg. I love all your blogs. You know soo much information and are so smart! Though I have to admit sometimes when I write on them I go off subject.😬 I don’t mean to. That’s why I write down everything I am going to say. Otherwise I go crazy. I have to remember also that it’s not like I’m texting you. Lol the other day at work someone had a question I think about the election I don’t remember. I hardly remember today. Anyway I said maybe I could ask Jane Fonda that question. She gave me the weirdest/ funniest look. Then I’m like nevermind I will just google it.I explained to her that I follow your blog. Lol. So I hope you have a good rest of your week.
    Love always,
    Stacey

  19. I’m always here reading along. It’s such a joy. Your storytelling magic touches me / has always touched me. I’m with you on the decorating. However, I do leave some small faerie lights strung around a plant or a window ledge all year long. I missed them too — too, too — much when all the holiday lights came down in January. More than ever as I get older, I need those magical tiny lights in my life. I need beauty more than ever: it’s such a healing force in my life. Tiny faerie lights and candles: they warm up any room. By the way, I’m glad that you did write this type of blog. We all need balance in life. These past few years, I realized how much I need to focus on the balance in my life. Thank you for that.

  20. You caught me. So much news Jane. Sorry I haven’t kept up with your fire drills. I’ll try. I’m 100% on your side.

  21. Love this! Be careful on that ladder!🎄

  22. Hello Jane, it is sad that sometimes things that are important are left in the background, but I want to say that I love your love for the planet, there must be more people like you in the world, I am very happy for the new season of Grace and Frankie a majestic series that I can see a thousand times and a thousand times I am laughing, kisses and hugs ❤️❤️❤️ I love you

  23. I follow everything you do, Ms.Fonda. I admire you and thank you for your lifelong dedication to doing the right thing. Sincerely, a scared 28 year old 😳

  24. I love hearing about your life and would totally love to hear more.😊

  25. I love your beautiful Christmas tree

  26. Jane, you make me smile.
    Thank you.

  27. Jane I met you years ago at your childrens summer camp outside Santa Barbara. Our son was fortunate to attend the camp. I toured projects the children had accomplished and attended their final performance that year. I sat in the second row from the top of the bleachers. A woman tapped me on the shoulder and introduced herself by her first name. She asked me if I had a child attending the camp. I said yes and she asked me to point him out on stage. She was warm, casual and had wore no makeup. I asked her if her child was attending. She said her child was not attending but there to meet the kids. At that point she proudly pointed to her daughter walking toward us. It was at that point I realized that I was talking to you. It was refreshing to meet someone of your celebrity. I will never forget how you were so friendly and unpretentious. You are a very special person with a huge heart and have gained lots of wisdom and insight along the road of life. I applaud you for standing up to the many deniers of climate change. We need more people like you in the world.

  28. Jane,
    your tree is fab!! Excited to see that plans for season 7 of Grace & Frankie are going ahead, I can’t wait for the 16 episodes too. I have been looking for more documentaries to watch recently, are there any ones on the climate crisis and environmentalism that you recommend? X
    Stay Safe,
    Robyn x

  29. We said screw it too and decorated our entire apartment. What’s the point in waiting!

    Hope you’re having a great week!
    I plan to read all your posts 🙂

  30. I love your tree. I love your must-watch list (huge fan of the crown over here). I love your fat squirrel. And we’ll wait as long as we need to to have GaF back ❤️

  31. Thank you for sharing personal thoughts like these. You become more real to us, and I feel this inspires us even more to join in on your climate change efforts!

    I have always been, in some way, connected to you since 1983 when I used pictures in your exercise book in my room on my mother-in-law’s house in Italy. And I have been with you every step of the way since then! Your workout videos were background music for my growing children, who have come to think of you as family! My oldest does your Complete Workout with her son in the morning, the way her mother has all these years! It’s on my bucket list to do a Prime Time exercise DVD with you some day when this pandemic is behind us.

    Until then, thank you for inspiring me to make a safer world for our children and grandchildren. I always knew the issues in my mind, but you are the one that truly spoke to me and inspired me to actually act on these thoughts.

    So thank you for sharing yourself; thank you for being someone I can relate to and who continues to point me in the right direction.

    Here’s to your great fight and spirit, Jane!

    Wishing you much courage, peace and love (and a personal pitch for many more exercise DVDs 🙂

    Holly Brown

    • Thank you for sharing personal thoughts like these. You become more real to us, and I feel this inspires us even more to join in on your climate change efforts!

      I have always been, in some way, connected to you since 1983 when I used pictures in your exercise book in my room on my mother-in-law’s house in Italy. And I have been with you every step of the way since then! Your workout videos were background music for my growing children, who have come to think of you as family! My oldest does your Complete Workout with her son in the morning, the way her mother has all these years! It’s on my bucket list to do a Prime Time exercise DVD with you some day when this pandemic is behind us.

      Until then, thank you for inspiring me to make a safer world for our children and grandchildren. I always knew the issues in my mind, but you are the one that truly spoke to me and inspired me to actually act on these thoughts.

      So thank you for sharing yourself; thank you for being someone I can relate to and who continues to point me in the right direction.

      Here’s to your great fight and spirit, Jane!

      Wishing you much courage, peace and love (and a personal pitch for many more exercise DVDs 🙂

  32. Hi Jane, needless to say I’m a big fan! Have been following you for many years and you are truly inspirational. I admire your exuberance and frankness. I really hope to see a new season of Grace & Frankie, I’ve watched all 6 season with such pleasure, I miss you ladies! 🙂 Your tree is gorgeous and I agree, even though I will probably be alone at Christmas, I can’t wait to put it up and will follow your lead. Stay as lovely as you always are and stay safe <3

  33. Hi Jane
    Fantastic. No tree should ever be felled!! They are our lungs. Good on you for getting a plastic one. When I was a child in Wales my mother worked evening shifts in a factory that made artificial Christmas trees. So, we’ve had one since the early 70s. Knowing my mother and the quality of the tree it’s probably the same one!!
    I worry a lot, though, about our use of plastic, however, artificial ones are much better for the environment. An English lady around the corner from where I live in Hamburg was on TV last week because she makes the most environmentally sustainable artificial trees. I will have to look into it.

    My theatre company does staged, rehearsed readings. These kind of readings are extremely powerful, because like radio plays you just use your imagination. I’ve started publicising them as the most carbon neutral form of theatre. It’s true. So I’m very happy to be bringing theatre to the people and not harming the environment one bit.

    Take care
    Jason

    https://couchtheatre.org/2020/03/22/couchcast-there-was-no-one-in-the-park-today-by-jason-couch/

  34. HI Jane, I do love your “every day what am I doing posts”. And I’ve decided since I really enjoy all of your posts, the way you think, the way you make me stop and think, I am going to go to the start of your posts and read them all from the beginning! I think, for me, because I do find you to be very inspiring, it will be a great way to remind me to keep working towards driving what change I want to see in the world and in addition I’ll get to take the occasional break for a squirrel story 🙂 Thank you Jane Fonda for showing me and the world that we can all make a difference if we just choose to do so.

  35. So cool that you watched My Octopus Teacher, it was filmed around the corner from where I grew up. I’ve just come back home to Cape Town after being away for a year. I’ve never been away from home for that long but couldn’t get back due to Covid, work etc. Every time I come back after long periods of travel I get a renewed sense of gratitude for having grown up in such a beautiful part of the world.

    Side question.. Do you have any tips/ advice for new protest goers..? There is one in the city next week against Gender Based Violence. I really want to go, 90% will go, but for some reason I feel nervous and not really sure why.

    I never really get home sick when I travel because I’m usually swept up in the adventure of discovery; but last year when there were so many violent attacks in South Africa against women it really struck a cord in me and I so wished I was home to show support and join the protest outside the Parliament building. Now that I’m here I feel a little anxiety towards going. It’s probably just the unknown as it will only be my third protest that I’ve been to.

    The protests that I have been to have all been about causes of change that I feel strongly about. Just before going, I do feel a sense of anxiety and I think possibly other people do too. I went to a climate change protest last year in Cape Town. There was a Facebook event and about 300-400 people clicked attending, but when the day came, I think there were only about 80 of us, if that. It was a silent protest, 108 sun salutations on the promenade. That protest allowed for a lot of internal thought: why am I here, what am I showing up for, so epic there are other people that stand for this too, where is everyone else who clicked attending??

    I do believe showing up in person is powerful when standing for change, but maybe you can shed some light on how to get around the fear and unknowns around protesting?

    Danielle x

    • Well, Danielle, I’m proud of you for wanting to go. You should do it but with a proper mask and try to keep some distance. Bring water. Do you have friends to go with? It’s ok if you don’t but more fun if you do. South Africa has the highest rates of rape and gender violence so this is an important cause. I think there would be something wrong if you didn’t feel a little scared. Going despite your fear means you’re brave and it’s good to overcome fear. You’re putting your body on the line for something you care about. God’s work!

  36. Dear Jane, wow, a 14-foot Christmas tree, how very impressive!

    I watched your interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK this morning. Thank you so much, it was really great and you are beautiful.

    On my way home (in Hong Kong) tonight, I was stopped by a few youngsters. They were students and had set up a street stall (after school) for Greenpeace HK. You are so right, within minutes, I was put on the spot right there right then, that as an adult, I was not doing remotely enough, not knowing nearly enough. I signed on the dotted line on the iPad. For now, I am only contributing financially, but maybe one day, they will call me for some more or action. I don’t know.

    And yes, it is joyful reading you writing about your squirrel… it brights it all up…

    Take care,
    Wx

  37. Hi Jane!

    We are in the next phase with the Fire Drill Fridays Greenpeace volunteer teams.
    Our community is growing by the day!
    I can’t fully put into words just how happy and deeply moved I am to be a part of such a wonderful cause. It has been an overwhelming few weeks and thankfully we won! We have the best leaders from Greenpeace who put their whole hearts into their work. As a text team leader, I feel very honored to help those just starting out and making a difference where I can.

    With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I would like to thank you for all that you have done and continue to do!
    You are a true inspiration.
    Love to you & Tulea

    Kara, from Amsterdam,NY 🙂

  38. Hi Jane,
    I always love reading your updates and I have to say, I really appreciate your blog posts about the climate crisis and political issues and credit you for teaching me so much about this movement. It is because of Fire Drill Fridays that I began to get involved in climate activism locally and then with Greenpeace and Fire Drill Fridays as well. Over the last several months I was able to reach out to so many people across the country with the voter outreach campaign and I truly feel that collectively as volunteers we made a huge huge difference. There were many conversations I had with voters who didn’t know anything about the climate crisis and were actually willing to have a conversation about it, and it is moments like these that made it even more of a rewarding experience. I have met so many other volunteers who have had told me the same thing and we love watching Fire Drill Fridays together each week and discussing what we learned, so thank you again for playing such a huge role in this movement—I am so glad I got involved!

    A few days ago I had a chance to watch the new documentary about Greta Thunberg called “I Am Greta” and I wondered if you’ve seen it yet. I was moved to tears throughout the film and was so amazed that she was able to turn her weekly protest outside the Swedish parliament into a worldwide Fridays for Future movement essentially on her own. The doc was incredibly inspiring and it was really interesting to hear the story from her perspective as well as her family’s. It was upsetting to see how many politicians laughed at her and claimed that changing policies to better our climate were impossible because of the economic aspect, but it is clear she has had a major impact on the world. I mean, look at how many people across the planet know of her efforts and the hard work she has put into spreading the word about the climate crisis. After seeing such a massive turnout this election for young voters, I have a feeling we are well on our way to making the changes we need.

    xo Robin

    • Thanks for all you’ve done with Fire Drill Fridays, Robin!!! Yes, I watched the Gtreta documentary as soon as it came oiut. It’s good. She’s attacked because she’s so effectiuve. xx

  39. Jane, do your tree decorations have individual stories? My husband and I will only decorate with decorations of meaning, and each year buy a new one. If this is the case, i think this year your new edition should be something to celebrate your FDF achievements?

    • Yes, every piece has a story. Some have been with me for 4 decades or longer

      • I did notice that you have several blown glass bird ornaments. I have one wire tree dedicated to my German blown glass birds. If I could post a picture of it I would.
        Do you have a favorite ornament?

  40. My dear Jane,
    I’ve just finished watching an extremely touching movie on netflix: THE LIFE AHEAD, starring Sophia Loren in her 86s. I was also surprised to discover an young Romanian boy playing the role of young Iosif. The story of her character is so delicate and, at the same time, it’s like a loud SOS to take more care of our elders. Have you already seen it?! So, have faith that you’ll do great in your 84s filming 7th season on Grace&Frankie.
    I miss you and when this happens I’m just looking at my mobile screen, to lay my eyes on our hug photo taken 2 years ago.
    be safe,
    XXX ❤❤❤

    • Hello dear Jane. I hope you’re well. your tree is very beautiful, here at home we haven’t started to fix it yet. I also watched the new season of The Crown and it is incredible. I am currently going back to the world of series, which series would you recommend? a big virtual hug. be safe.

    • Dearest Jane… I actually thought I was following your blog but went to log in and I had to re set up my account.
      I love your tree!!! As I saw you were going to be on a ladder I about had a heart attack. Please be careful!
      I have been following the Fire Drill Fridays and have purchased your book. I can’t wait to read it. You are truly a wonderful lady! Thank you for all you have done with your activism.

  41. Yo también he visto la película, el personaje de Momo es conmovedor, el niño lo hace fantástico, muy bonita la historia

  42. Hola Jane y hola a todos,
    Hace muy poco tiempo que me he sumado a tu blog y sí lo sigo con atención porque tengo en mucha consideración tus opiniones. Veo que la gente no interactúa mucho, en mi caso y en cuanto se refiere a opinar sobre el cambio climático, desde que estoy en el blog solo he podido ver tus reflexiones sobre lo que debería hacer Biden al respecto y he pensado que opinar sobre ello no siendo ciudadana norteamericana, alguien puede ver que es una cierta intromisión en vuestros asuntos, en líneas generales estoy totalmente de acuerdo con tus demandas. No sé qué se comenta por ahí sobre la energía solar y la energía eólica, en mi país, España, seguimos siendo bastante rehenes de las compañías eléctricas y sus viejos métodos de obtención de electricidad, pero vamos avanzando hacia estas dos energías alternativas, sabiendo que también conllevan ciertos problemas en el medio ambiente.
    La pandemia tristemente está alterando nuestras vidas de forma importante y es algo nuevo para todos, a mi me produce bastante desasosiego ver como pasan los días delante de nosotros sin otra solución que esperar una vacuna o un tratamiento eficaz, afortunadamente se va viendo un poco de luz al final del túnel. Animo! ya queda menos para volver con Grace and Frankie, somos muchos los que lo deseamos de todo corazón, yo todavía repito capítulos a menudo.

    En los primeros meses de la pandemia durante el confinamiento total en casa, los fines de semana solo veía una serie austriaca que tampoco diré su nombre, me tenía distraída de la realidad y repetían y repetían los capítulos, hoy lo pienso y no me lo puedo creer, fueron momentos en que no fui capaz de leer un libro, ni ver una película, mi mente estaba bloqueada, yo creo que muchos hicimos cosas raras con el susto que teníamos, ahora me lo tomo con mas tranquilidad y dirijo mejor los momentos de ocio, claro siempre en casa, recientemente he visto “Dead to me” que me parece muy recomendable y Working Mothers, loca, muy loca, ja, ja. Intentaré ver“ My Octopus Teacher ” gracias.

  43. I CANNOT WAIT for another season of Grace & Frankie. We all need some laughter in our life right now. Also….keep feeding the squirrel. All ladies should be allowed to have a few rolls around the middle.

  44. I truly appreciate what you are doing for climate change and have been a loyal follower on Fire Drill Fridays since sometime in the summer. My concerns started 35 years ago in Florida when I saw pelicans flying into power lines, and I have done whatever I could ever since. Right now, I am hating the news that Trump plans to auction off sites in the Arctic to oil developers. On the good side, New Jersey’s governor banned single-use plastic!

  45. Hi Jane!

    It’s been a little while since I’ve last commented, but I’m so glad to check in. You continue to be an inspiration to me. I am the young man (25 years old now) who was telling you of the job I recently landed in south central LA as a community organizer (ok if you don’t remember). I am proud to tell you that Ive been accepted into the Coro Fellowship Program in Public Affairs here in LA! It’s a very prestigious program that will train me to be a much more effective leader here in LA. I hope I can make you proud in my pursuit to lead LA towards social justice.

    • I know, Candita. I will never eat calamari again

      • Wow Jane, what a good surprise you gave us by publishing previous comments that seemed already dead, thanks for paying attention to this blog, I don’t want to be misunderstood, but for me the pandemic gave me the gift of your company, if you were working you would not have time and it is logical, happy thanksgiving💕💕💕

      • Not to worry, calamari is “squid”, a close cousin but not nearly as developed or intelligent as an Octopus.

  46. Jane, the documentary: “My Octopus Teacher” is really wonderful, for me it became a serious moral conflict, octopus is my favorite dish, I order it in all restaurants if it is on the menu, my friends and family recommend me when they try it in some pleace and they like it, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to eat it again.

  47. Jane – a few thoughts – first is Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday! A little early, I know. I always feel bad for people who have birthday’s around Christmas. I personally feel you guys got cheated out of your own day!

    Every time I look at the news I feel like throwing something at the television. I am so fed up with this so-called President and the crap he is causing just because he thinks the election is rigged. For starters, he knows damn well it wasn’t rigged just as much as his enablers know it. What nerve! The biggest enablers – those in Congress – should be ashamed because they know better than anyone. I salute Joe Biden for rising above it all and basically ignoring this immature child with his tweets and how he throws a fit each day. I know no one has ever seen anything like this before and I pray to God that he just goes away. Anyway, that is my rant for now.

    May you and your family have a safe and happy holiday and let’s look forward to light at the end of the horizon for all of us.

  48. Hey Jane!
    1) Keep feeding the squirrel 😉
    2) I’m so thrilled to hear that a 7th season of Grace and Frankie is in the works. They just get better and better!
    Xx to you and Lily

  49. Jane, I watched the most surprising film (out soon) called Pieces of a Woman. Vanessa Kirby (played Princess Margaret in the early seasons of the Crown) delivers a tour de force. Whenever you’re tired of the bottom of the barrel, try and check it out!

    I also saw The Life Ahead, starring Sophia Loren. 86 — her presence is undeniable. Amazing life.

    • Logan, “Undoing,” “Queen’s Gambit,” “My Octopus Teacher,” are my suggestions. Thanks for yours.

      • Jane for me: This is Us is one of my favorites on HBO and its last season is already dealing with the subject of COVID, I enjoy it very much, it is very real and moving.

      • Always your suggestions are the best, I really like these three, “The undoing” is great.

  50. Dear Jane,

    I stumbled across your blog about three years ago and have been returning to it for my weekly dose of sanity ever since. Your optimism and drive, along with the wealth of information you have made available through this site, Fire Drill Fridays and your book, have been incredibly helpful to me. I’ve been involved in activism for as long as I can remember, but was lacking a clear direction. I feel like the above has facilitated that process tremendously, so a giant thank you for that!

    The following isn’t necessarily a comment on a specific post, as much as something I have both wanted to get off my chest and am hoping might resonate with people.

    A little bit of background info. I’m not an American citizen, but I am married to one. We moved to Germany in 2011, because same-sex marriage wasn’t legal at the federal level in the US and, therefore, I couldn’t immigrate to America. After a brief stint in California in 2016, we decided to leave in early 2017, mainly because of Trump. This election, we campaigned for Bernie Sanders remotely and then supported Joe Biden once Bernie dropped out. While we’re happy that Biden won, we have the same concerns regarding his various problematic stances, but are hopeful that, with different movements gaining momentum, we can push him to the left.

    What is incredibly concerning to me, however, is that I’ve noticed that, while more and more people join movements and are starting to speak up, the reality outside of the bubble of activism seems to be quite a different one. What I am talking about is the growing number of people being very comfortable aligning themselves with the right and, since COVID, somehow joining forces with conspiracy theorists/climate change and COVID deniers. I work as a translator/interpreter in Germany, the US, England and France, but also teach a mandatory university transition class for international students of politics and economics, which means I am constantly exposed to opinions on these issues. I would say about 25% of the people I interact with (friends, family, students) are fairly progressive and about 75% give me a variation of the following:

    – BLM (“People are too sensitive”)
    – Climate change (“Fake news, it is not as bad as some people make it out to be”)
    – White supremacy (“Anti-fascists are worse, you can’t blame people for joining the right when we let everyone into the country”)
    – LGBTQ community (“We don’t have anything against the LGBTQ community, but we are sick of it being shoved in our faces constantly. It’s everywhere. They are continuously telling us that we should all be this way”)
    – COVID (“I am not a conspiracy theorist, but the numbers don’t add up and I don’t know anyone who has actually been diagnosed with it. I am not changing the way I live for what is basically the flu”)

    We live in unprecedented times and this pandemic seems to be contributing to these views being formed, maybe because people are uncertain and instead of them putting their own anxiety into context (lack of control), they punch down. It might simply be easier to focus on something tangible. You can’t attack COVID or a changing climate, but you sure can lash out and vent your frustration/anger/fear on people you have never been able to relate to; be it by piling on them on social media or raging at them on the street.

    Three years ago I posted on this blog and talked about compassion and the importance of listening to each other. After three years of this dystopian nightmare, however, my capacity for compassion for people who are actively supporting policies and subscribing to ideologies that not only harm me, but the people I love, is non-existent. I don’t want to understand white supremacists or conspiracy theorists anymore. The notion that we should be reaching out to Republicans and make amends now that Biden has won is outrageous to me. How is the onus on us? Before I deleted my social media (save for a throwaway Twitter account, so I am somewhat in the loop), I received rape threats and was doxxed repeatedly, sometimes for something as simple as explaining the different healthcare systems in European countries. Apparently, wanting people to not die makes one a socialist. While I will at least try to have a civil conversation with people, I have to admit that I have cut ties with both friends and family members over politics in the past two years.

    In 2018, my wife and I visited family in California. We spent a day at the Museum of Tolerance in LA, where we were told we couldn’t take a pencil and notepad with us because there had been threats of violence and exhibits had been defaced. Later that year, our 12-year-old niece visited us in Germany and we took her to the concentration camp in Dachau, because she had been learning about the Holocaust in school. At both the Museum of Tolerance and the concentration camp, tour guides touched on the similarities between Trump’s and Hitler’s rhetoric. They also pointed out that what facilitated the rise of fascism was the fact that people didn’t take Hitler seriously and therefore didn’t recognize him as a threat until it was too late. The chaos and division this malignant narcissist in the White House has created over the past four years – along with many politicians around the world with similar ideologies – is very reminiscent of that time and it seems to be here to stay. I understand that these politicians are only a symptom and these ideologies have been festering for decades; the difference is that this brand of hatred has been given a platform. It’s not taboo anymore, because people are aware that half of the country shares similar views. These demagogues have also managed to unite former disparate and incredibly problematic movements to create one big one. I cannot recommend Talia Lavin’s book Culture Warlords enough. It is such a necessary read on this topic.

    Another thing that scares the crap out of me is that this ridiculous concept of “fake news” has had a global impact. People don’t believe what they read, or even what they see with their own eyes, and it leads to apathy in those who used to care and to rage in those with a propensity to fall for this rhetoric. If everything is fake, there’s hardly a need for us to change our behavior. It’s a very handy excuse to do nothing at all or turn on whomever we perceive to be threatening our imagined freedom, which plays right into the hands of those who have a vested interest and sustaining this climate of division.

    My question is this – what do we do now that Pandora’s box has been opened? We work to hold politicians accountable, but how do we hold each other accountable? How do we deal with casually racist/homophobic/conspiracy-prone friends, relatives and students who don’t respond well to information that doesn’t support their views and who get their talking points from alternative news sites?

    I’m constantly told that I am too sensitive. This has nothing to do with sensitivity, though. I am furious. Most of all at the people who know better, but are too lazy to examine why they are holding onto views and behaviors that could be changed so easily and would make the world a much safer place for everyone. The latter tend to simply avoid me, so that they don’t have to hear me drone on about all of this. What choice, though, do we have, but to talk about this every chance we get in the hope that we flip some internal switch, sow the tiniest bit of doubt, to make them reflect?

    How is it not obvious to some of our fellow human beings that we are all connected, that we’ll all sink or swim together in the end? That we all deserve healthcare, clean drinking water, a living wage, meaningful lives (not just subsisting and having to choose whether we can afford kids because of student loan debt or should even consider having them because of a planet that might get increasingly more uncomfortable to live on), and being free to be whoever we are?

    For anyone who has managed to make it to this point, I’m sorry this was slightly (very) depressing.

    I wanted to end this post here, but while I was writing this, something occurred to me. What if we pooled our resources in times like these, where many people are out of work and scared? I am not talking about bringing about political change in this case or donating money. What if, in addition to political action, we donated time and our unique skills and offered them to the people in our communities who are struggling? If there is one thing that might actually reach people, it is – and I’m stealing this from you, Jane – radical empathy (not for fascists, though).

    Out of about 100 of my students, a handful tend to ask me something along the lines of “So, now that we’ve learned this in theory, how do I actually go about doing xyz in practice?” What if we simply offered whatever it is we can offer, without being asked in the first place? I can easily set aside about 5 hours/week for volunteer work to help someone.

    Here’s what I can offer (and if anyone is reading this and knows anyone who can benefit from it, please do get in touch):

    For parents who are overwhelmed with homeschooling their kids, because of school closures due to COVID, I’d be happy to help with homework. I could teach ESL classes, help with anything related to English (native), German (native) and French (fluent). I can help polish a CV, edit a cover letter, help with academic writing.

    I occasionally work for Netflix and Amazon Prime, creating dubbing scripts and subtitles. For anyone who is out of work right now and quickly needs to substitute income, I’d gladly pass on info on how to get a foot in the door at translation and transcription companies. This actually doesn’t even require a second language, since a multitude of streaming services need closed captions for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. There is so much product out there, which means the threshold to get in is low. In this case, we can take advantage of the gig economy. This kind of work isn’t done in-house anymore, but outsourced to independent contractors all over the world, which leads to social dumping, but in a pinch, is better than nothing at all.

    We all have these skills that are unique to our professions and if we are willing to stop being competitive and realize that there is room for all of us, maybe, by passing on this knowledge, however insignificant we may think it is, we could actually help each other out of – at least – this economic mess, while politicians figure out whether they want to give us stimulus checks, so we can survive this pandemic without putting our lives at risk unnecessarily.

    I hope this post was somewhat coherent…

    Please stay safe, everyone!

    xx Dani

    • You’re amazing–offering job ideas. I cool. I sent the one about dubbing to my French stepdaughter
      RE everything else you talk about, all I can say is I understand how you feel. It is very frightening and one wonders if the world is even governable. But then I remind myself that There are more of us than the loonies. And we only need 3.5% of us to win. That’s 11 million plus people in the U.S. and there are, we know, 23 million people who know there’s a climate crisis but no one has asked them to get involved. That’s who we have to organize. That’s why I’m doing my Fire Drill Fridays. If Biden creates good union jobs in the green, renewable energy sector for folks in the middle of the country who voted for Trump, they’ll come around. Not all of them. We shouldn’t waste time with white supremacists and conspiracy theorists. But a whole lot of them. The Democrats just haven’t done what’s needed to help them get good jobs and health care. They don’t feel seen. We can change that.

      • Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my criminally long post.

        Your response is exactly why I keep coming back to your blog, whenever I happen to have had especially unpleasant encounters with people in real life. It’s easy to let those experiences get in the way of the statistics. I’m 100% with you and do trust that we’ll eventually be able to win over those who have been left behind by both parties. I sometimes wonder if that process could be significantly sped up if the media stopped framing common sense objectives as socialism.

        Maybe all of us (activists) periodically vacillate between manic enthusiasm and dread. I don’t normally verbalize the latter and hope I’m not as much of a drag as my previous post might have suggested (my wife just yelled “Oh, yes you are and you do!”, while proofreading this. Ah well…) but, after that nerve-racking 5-day-election-night, all of those feelings wanted an outlet.

        All joking aside – thanks for all that you do. It’s truly remarkable to see the ripple effect of positivity and change that just one person can inspire. It makes me want to be a better person.

    • Daniela,

      Thank you for the long, insightful post. I have found myself reflecting on/regularly worrying about these important issues. I admire your courage to speak out, and to do so very eloquently. Those who doxxed and threatened you should be ashamed of themselves! The world needs more kindness and radical empathy, not toxic, hateful, or violent practices! I like your idea about pooling resources and offering help, if you are able to give it. Do you have a blog, or website on this project?

      Could I please have information from you on creating dubbing scripts/subtitles and where to go for it? I have been greatly impacted financially by the virus, and would like to try translation and transcription, if it is still needed.

      Rosie

      • Rosie, I read about work doing voice overs and dubbing and thought it was a good idea for lots of people. You can do it from home and so much product is currently being made available on Netflix that has to be dubbed in multiple languages. That’s all that I know about the subject. But I just Googled “work in dubbing films and voice-overs” and there appears to be lots of in formation. I suggest you do that.

    • Dani, That was beautiful! Coherent, thoughtful, passionate, uplifting, and with positive solutions. I’m so glad I went back and found this post. Thank you for saying every single word of it. Dona

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