Saturday, February 28, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday #41

It's Shadow Shot Sunday in Australia, and Tracey, at Hey Harriet is ready once again for all kinds of wonderful shadow pictures from around the world.

(By the way, has anyone noticed the TV commercials shown recently for Sunny Dee drink? I don't know what the drink is like, but what wonderful shadows!)

These pictures were taken on my back deck.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Make a Note: Spring Came Today

Look! It's here! The crocuses that I planted years ago are blooming in Rita's yard!

Today was so warm! It went up to about 55 degrees, and this morning the sun wouldn't quit. Yes, I have to say it got cloudy and cooled off quickly this afternoon, but for a little while I could believe in spring again.

(They are predicting snow showers for Sunday.)

The budding daffodils are in my garden.

I feel like the audiance at Peter Pan. " If you believe....clap your hands."

I'm clapping!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thematic Photographic #38

This week's theme for Carmi's Thematic Photographic is Winter. Hopefully this will be the last such theme for a long time.

Hope is the thought behind my winter photo. I call it, Hoping for One More Snowfall. Personally, I'm hoping that the sled on the front porch of this house is waiting there in vain. The temperature today soared to 50 degrees, as I passed this house, but then, I can remember snow in April some years ago - so who knows?

Sky Watch Friday #33

Our thanks go to Klaus, Fishing Guy, Ivar, Sandy, Wren and Louise for hosting Sky Watch Friday for us every week.

The other day I was on my way home in the early afternoon, and although the sun was still shining, I saw clouds gathering.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WTF Wednesday

Well, I wasn't gonna blog it. But I was inspired by Trannyhead. So, WTF, I'll do it. I already did it pretty much to my own satisfaction because I got it out of my system by tooning it. I learned how to do toonlets from Daryl. I'm borrowing from everyone these days.

It started like this. Click to enlarge.

Then things went from bad to worse and required a merry-go-round of phone calls to Medicare and other places as well as some on-line research - by me this time instead of letting an insurance agent do it and trusting his word.

These conversations took place only in cartoon form, not on the phone or in person.
Anyway, it's over now and all is well again. Just took a sleepless night and some real effort on my part. You just can't depend on anyone these days, can you?

Misadventures Along the Road - Part 3

When Joe, Rita and Kitty and I moved from New York, two years after Ralph's death, there were a number of things I left behind in a kind neighbor's garage. Soon after we got settled, the two youngest girls and I (and the dog) drove back to Long Island with a U-Haul trailer to retrieve our possessions. We spent a couple of days visiting, then started back, trailer full, and this time with my friend and two of her daughters. It was a very hot, Sunday afternoon. A U-Haul trailer is not permitted on the Belt Parkway, so we were forced to take the dreaded BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway). Not a road known for it's good repair and a smooth ride. As we buzzed along in Brooklyn, almost reaching the Verrazano Bridge, we rounded a blind curve - and the trailer hitch broke. We quickly got the girls and the dog out of the car and safely onto the grass. Almost immediately, a Brooklyn NY Police car appeared. Thank heaven! The two cops were very cheerful and helpful, telling us they would get us back on the road. One said to me, "Just walk back to the curve, and wave off the traffic." I DON'T THINK SO! I wasn't about to stand anywhere near Sunday traffic moving at high speed, and wave at them. The cop shrugged and said well, he guessed he'd have to get out the traffic cones from his trunk then - which he did. A much better solution!

They got us hitched up again with a piece of chain, and directed us to the nearest U-Haul lot, which they assured us would be easy to find. Uh-huh. Then we were on our way again. Need I tell you, we could not find the lot following the directions we had been given.

Do you happen to remember the opening scene every week on the old "Welcome Back Kotter" show? That is exactly where we were, under the El. No one in the entire neighborhood spoke enough English to give us directions, even if they knew what we were asking. We wandered around for a while, and did come upon the lot at last. We got our new hitch, and found the Verrazano Bridge, and headed home.

Have you noticed a theme here? Every time I am in a car that breaks down, I seem to be accompanied by children and a dog.

I'm not sure why I felt I had to try to illustrate these incidents. I know I did it very badly, but since the pictures are done - here they are, for better or worse. Another mishap will be coming next week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Birthday Boy

On Friday, Isaac turned four. At his Montessori pre-school they celebrated in their traditional way. His dad supplied the birthday cake - by request, a giraffe cake this year. His classmates made him a paper crown. And he walked around the circle four times. The candle in the center represents the sun. The months circle it. The birthday child starts beside the month he/she was born. When he reaches the starting point, he is one, and he shows the class pictures of himself at that age. Around he goes, and pictures are shown of each age. Four trips around the sun this year! Then he blows out the candle.

The family opted to forego the big party at home this time in favor of getting together with their good friends whom they don't see as often as they would like. Isaac loves the twins, so he was all in favor of this. On Saturday they all went roller skating. It was the first time for all three children. From the looks of the pictures they sent me, they all had a really great time. There was a brief class first, then on to the practice floor before taking the plunge onto the main skating rink. They only fell a few times, but since there were three of them, usually holding hands, even the tumbles turned out to be fun. I have a feeling the adults had just as good a time. The picture on the left is Maya, Cassi, Isaac, the twins' parents and Isaac's dad. The double trio is the moms and one dad and in back, and Maya, Cassi and Isaac in the lead. The girls are a few months younger than Isaac, but they are shooting up so tall! These are the girls he used to refer to as "the babies", and helped Mama take care of from time to time.

They rode the tiny merry-go-round and played some video games as well as skating. Then on to ice cream! Isaac told me on the phone later that he had a special flavor of ice cream, called "birthday cake", and it was all different colors.

Then they headed for Friendly Park where they did what comes naturally to most children.

I think it's pretty safe to say that my grandson enjoyed his birthday very, very much this year. At least that's how it sounded to me when we spoke on the phone.

Of course, there were presents too. the girls gave him a tool box, so he can help his dad build things. His mom tells me he has already written his thank you notes. When he was printing mine, she told him there are eleven letters in my last name. That seemed a bit much for him, so he wrote it to "G-mom 11". That's fine with his g-mom. I can't recall my kids being able to print everyone's name when they were four.

I really love this last picture. Click to enlarge.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Otter with Camera

Well, so long as we're on the subject of animals, here's one for the books!

My daughter sent me an article from the Monterey County (CA) Herald, under the by-line of Stephanie Pappas. It seems that a professional photographer, Enrique Aguirre, who specializes in nature photography, was aboard a safari boat along with a number of other photographers, in Elkhorn Slough, back on February 3rd.

They suddenly noticed an otter floating on his back. Someone noticed there was something peculiar about this otter. They realized it was actually carrying a video camera, pointed right at them. Of course, it was obviously old and rusted. Still, what an amazing event to have one of the animals they were trying to photograph, pointing the lens at them. The only one who was able to get a clear shot of the otter before he dived below the water again with the camera, was Enrique Aguirre. Here is the only shot he could get.

How incredible, is that?

Playboy Bunnies

This one came to me in an email. I'm sure I know of a few readers who will enjoy it very much.

2009 Playboy Bunny Calendar!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #7

It is Mellow Yellow Monday once again. I'm having a lot of fun with this meme, thanks to Drowsey Monkey. I never realized how many things I see each day are a lovely, bright yellow. When I was in the drug store, I kept finding all kinds of things.

Life is definitely better with a splash of yellow, as Drowsy Monkey says.

Thematic Photographic #37

Carmi, at Written Inc. hosts this meme each week. Thanks to him, there are always lots of fun photos on the theme of the week. This week it's Busted. Down here at the southern tip of New Jersey, that's an easy one for us. Right off Cape May Point are the remains of the SS Atlantus
(Yes, that's spelled right), which was a concrete ship. It sunk long ago, and what is left is just what is sticking out of the water in this picture. I've included the informational sign that stands on the shore near it. (Please click to enlarge) I'd say, that's about as busted as anything can get.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday #40

If you visit Hey Harriet on a Sunday (or on a Saturday if you live Stateside) you will find many of us participating in Shadow Shot Sunday, with photos of all kinds of shadows.

Today I found shadows of the blinds on my front window, on the curtain, and shadows of the blinds on the side window, on the lamp shade, crisscrossing the pleats on that shade.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sky Watch Friday #32

It's Sky Watch Friday, and the team of Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise have another week's meme prepared for us.

This past week I drove over to the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor. When I left the house it was sunny and warm. By the time I got there (It's only a short drive) it was getting cloudy and the wind had picked up, making it really chilly


I had intended to walk along the Salt Marsh Trail all the way to the water, but I quickly changed my mind and went back to my car. I really wasn't dressed for it.

If you'd like to join in, or just to see sky-related pictures from around the world, go to the
Sky Watch Friday site.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

For Isaac's Birthday

I emailed this one to Isaac earlier, but what the heck. I'm just showing off I guess. I am gradually learning what to do with these cartoons. Still have a long way to go, but I'm getting there. It keeps me busy and off the street. click to see the other half of the top panel.

Oh yes - and Isaac's birthday will be this Friday.

Misadventures Along the Road - Part 2

Most of my misadventures have occurred in the thirty-three years I have been a widow. I am very grateful that my husband taught our son well, and that our son was very receptive to these lessons. He not only learned about carpentry, electricity and plumbing, he also very much enjoyed automotive lessons. In fact, early on, he decided that would be his future. He has switched jobs since, but at the time it was all he cared about, and he became very proficient in his field. So I had no problems concerning general maintenance of our car. But I was still making long trips between states, sometimes alone, and sometimes with one or more of the girls.

There's nothing like the excitement of having your engine suddenly quit, at 60 or 70 miles per hour, in bumper to bumper traffic on Long Island's Belt Parkway! Add pouring rain and an unfamiliar neighborhood. It happened just before I had reached the Coney Island Exit. Momentum carried me that far. Gravity carried me down the ramp onto Coney Island Boulevard, where I made a quick left turn, away from the ocean. I coasted to the curb.

All I knew was that I could not abandon the car in that neighborhood. I sat a while, wondering what to do. This, of course, was long before the cell phone. Finally I tried the ignition one more time, and the engine turned over.I traveled a couple of blocks, and it quit again. Sat a while longer to let it cool, and tried again. It went a couple of more blocks. I continued like this until I reached Coney Island Hospital, turned into their over night parking lot, paid $8.00, and found a space. My daughter and I dashed through the torrential downpour, got inside, reached a pay phone and called another daughter further out on the island, which had been our original destination, and she came to pick us up. This is not as easy as it sounds, since this was a holiday weekend, which means that everyone on the Island was heading for Manhattan, and everyone in Manhattan was heading for the Island, to spend the holiday with relatives. Traffic was unbelievable.

Once back at her house, I phoned my son in New Jersey, who intended to come up the next day. I described the problem to him and he knew immediately what was needed. The next day he drove to Coney Island Hospital, fixed the car, and called me. Into Coney Island we went, and then had us a three car convoy back to Suffolk County. Rescue completed.

I've also broken down - without Joe's help possible - on Staten Island. Not fun. Very expensive. Ending badly, and necessitating re-repair by my son once we did get home. If you are ever going to break down - do not do it on Staten Island!

Stay tuned. More next week.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ike's Magical Strobe Light

Any resemblance to actual facts - purely coincidental????
Well, maybe.
Please click on strip to see complete four panels.

I haven't learned everything about toonlet yet. The second panel was supposed to show the frizbee. In the third one, Mama was supposed to hold a cup of tea. Oh well. I'll learn as I go.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Did It After All !!

My good buddy, Craig, from toonlet got me through it! Names are changed in my cartoon, just because. But here it is. You won't be able to see the entire last panel, but click on it as you would to enlarge a photo, and you can see the whole thing.

No Comics Today

Yesterday I started fooling around with toonlet. It looked like fun, and I thought I just might do a comic or two now and then, more for my own amusement than anything else.

Well, you know I'm not very computer savvy. In fact, I'm a real dummy. But I did get a character or two designed. I'm sure if I took enough time I could have done better. My character has little resemblance to me. Much too young looking for one thing, but I really don't mind that. I tried other people in my life, and no, they don't look anything like them really, but have vague similarity to them. I put together one little strip. Not funny, just a brief conversation between two characters, to see what it would look like. But when I clicked on that "make comic" button, all that came up was a red message telling me that my link didn't look like a valid url.

Now, I may not be computer savvy. But I think I know my url. I've tried it a few times now, and that's all I get. So, no comics today.

I've been "talking" to a nice guy from toonlet, who is trying to help me, so maybe we'll figure it out eventually. Meantime, I can have fun trying to put together some more characters that look something like my family and friends. It is fun trying to build people. Sort of like playing with Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #6

Hi. It's time again for Mellow Yellow Monday, thanks to Drowsey Monkey. And I say it's time for spring flowers. I'm tired of waiting.

The forsythia is in my back yard. The pictures were taken last year at different times, in different light. The daffodils were from a bunch I bought just last weekend.

So many different shades of yellow! I think I like the last one the best.

Thematic Photographic - Part 2

This week's theme us Up. You can see some very clever interpretations of Up in photographs if you visit Carmi at Written, Inc.

When I was visiting Leaming's Run Gardens this past summer, I sat for a while in the Gazebo, hoping to see some hummingbirds in the serpentine garden. While I sat there, I looked up, and since I liked what I saw, I took this photograph.