Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #12

On Mellow Yellow Monday, Drowsey Monkey hosts a fun meme for us.

My first photo today is of a large bird that my boss gave to me years ago for Secretaries' Day.

And my second photo is here just because I am wishing away the time until we have beautiful sunflowers blooming again, in the warm sunshine.

Please forgive me if I do not make too many comments. A house full of company from CA and NY.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday #45

Shadow Shot Sunday is brought to us by Tracey, at Hey Harriet, coming from Australia, where their calendar is a day ahead of ours in the U.S.

Today I have a picture that I saw as I looked down from my back deck.

I also noticed the forsythia beginning to bud.

Please forgive me if I do not get a chance to make many comments. Have a house full of guests from New York and California.

Friday, March 27, 2009

More from Garapata Park

This week for Sky Watch, I did not post my own pictures, but used several taken by my daughter, Kitty. She visited Garapata State Park, twenty minutes from her home, and she took 20 or 30 photos. Every one of them is more beautiful than the last. I want to show you just a few more.

This is just one reason why I would so love to be living in California.

I can remember a time when I used to say that I didn't really like white calla lilies - Easter lilies - because they are too stiff, and reminded me of death. That, of course, was before I had seen them growing wild like this. This picture on the left was taken from the spot where she ate her lunch.

Kit loves callas, and she took quite a few pictures of them. I don't blame her. I'm sure I would have done the same if I were there. They must have made a spectacular show. They have had quite a lot of rain out there lately, and that is what has brought them into bloom.

They seem to go on forever in this canyon.

Kitty and Mike live fairly near this park. "Twenty minutes from Paradise" is how she put it. Of course, the callas are not the only attraction. The hills, the rocks, the beach, the ocean views - all are spectacular.

And there are other flowers to be found there.

This, of course, is wild iris.

The rocks themselves are beautiful.

The beach is lovely. The winds create sand sculptures such as this one, sitting on the rocks. There are endless things to be discovered on the beach and among the rocks, and endless sights to be seen in a place like this.

"The rains make amazing things happen" as my daughter says.

I hope you enjoy her pictures as much as I do. I wish that she would show them herself on Sky Watch, or on a photo blog, but she says she doesn't have time, and always tells me to use them myself. Both she and her husband are really good with the camera.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Epilepsy Awareness Day

Today is Epilepsy Awareness Day. If you can, wear something purple today in observance. And go to to learn what you can about this problem.

We have blogging friends who suffer from epilepsy. I have learned a little more than I knew from Michele, at Rocky Mountain Retreat, where she posts her beautiful photos from British Columbia. Her struggle has touched my heart.

Sky Watch Friday #37

Sky Watch Friday once again. Thanks to Klaus and his team for hosting.

My daughter, Kathryn, lives in north central California. These are her photos, from a visit to Garapata State Park. I have included eight of the many she took, because I simply could not choose any fewer. I think she did a wonderful job of recording her visit.

This is Garapata State Park.

She calls this one "Paths to Paradise".

Rocks rock!

Hills, sky and birds.

Waves in the water. Waves in the sand made by the wind.

Happy calla lilies.

Garapata beach.

Callas and the Pacific Ocean.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mr. Obama

"It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak."

I think I got the exact words right.

This has to be the greatest explanation a President of the U.S. ever gave to a reporter who was demanding to know why the White House didn't jump into the fray as quickly as the so-called "news" hounds did.

Evolution of a Toon

I've been playing with again.

I have been delightfully entertained by the Tuesday toonlets that Daryl, over at Out and About in New York City has been doing. She's the one who got me started on this. When I first went to the site, I tried creating characters to match my family members. It isn't like drawing your own cartoons. You are offered several sets of body parts, drawn by quite a number of different people. You can create characters of your own by picking and choosing among the various parts. I believe you can eventually make sets of your own, but I haven't even tried to discover how to do that yet. I'm sure the idea is to create characters to people comic strips about completely imaginary beings, but I like the idea of trying to put together something resembling people I know.

The first one I tried was myself. Since it was a first attempt, it wasn't really the best by far. I wasn't familiar with methods or with what was offered. My first attempt at me looked like this. I had particular trouble finding hair that in any way came close to my own.

When my oldest daughter came to visit, I showed her how to do it. She managed to find a great likeness of herself. She also did one of me, and used a different hair-do entirely. I then adapted her hair-do for me, and came up with something like this. I tried that for a while.

Last night I was playing with it some more. I really searched all the various sets of parts, and found hair that actually looks much more like my own. Not that I'm particularly happy about it. I hate my hair and what it has become in recent years. But I have to admit, this does look more like mine. I sat myself at a computer and gave myself a light bulb overhead indicating a bright idea for my blog post.

Who knows? I may find another solution that I like better, or perhaps get into designing my own set of parts. I guess the evolution will continue. Meantime, I'm having fun. I've changed a few of the other characters as well, particularly little Isaac. I do enjoy putting him into different clothes, and giving him different props, like a kite, or a cat, or an ice cream cone. And of course I change his expression, using different mouths or eyes, or eyebrows. Maybe I'm doing the same thing I used to do as a child, playing with my paper dolls.

Try it if you think you'd enjoy it. It does not take any artistic talent - just takes a lot of patience and some time. That's part of the pleasure of being retired. I have lots of time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Epilepsy Awareness

Try to remember, Thursday, March 26th will be Epilepsy Awareness Day. Our friend, Michele, at Rocky Mountain Retreat has asked us to wear purple if we can on that day, to observe the occasion. Follow this link to learn more from the IBE and the ILAE about what they are trying to do to help those with epilepsy.

Monday, March 23, 2009

9/11 Memorial

My cousin emailed this to me yesterday. He wondered why it was never given publicity. I don't recall any either. My daughter said that it looked familiar to her but she did not remember where she saw it. That does seem strange. In any case, I thought I would post it for those not familiar with it.


This is a gift that was given to the United States of America by the people of Russia, to commemorate those who died in the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11.

It is called "Monument to the Struggle Against World Terrorism" and the artist is Zurab Tsereteli.

The tear drop is a very impressive tribute and is located across the river, directly in line with the Statue of Liberty.

The Chair

This week I posted pictures of an antique chair on my Shadow Shot Sunday meme. I love this chair very much, and I started thinking of its history.

I have no idea when it was made, or even who made it. I believe it was an ancestor of mine, but could possibly have been a friend who gave it to the family. I do know that it was hand made by someone not terribly skilled in the art. The rungs are unevenly spaced, and even the crosspiece in between the two front legs is at a bit of an angle.

Somewhere there is a photograph of my mother, about the age of one, seated on this chair. My mother was born in 1895, so we know the chair was around before that date. In the photo, it looks much as it does today. But it was to undergo many changes in the years between.

Mom was not a person who valued antiques. I could tell you some stories about what she did to furniture that would turn your hair white. The chair, it seems, was always in her home, but she was never satisfied with how it looked. I believe the first coat of paint was a dark blue. Over the years, she added coats of pain whenever the mood struck. At times it was green, red, goes on. I really don't know how many coats of paint there were. When I first saw it, it was painted brown, with some of the rungs in yellow. That's how it remained for many years. I always thought the color combination was pretty ugly.

Because it is a nursing chair - or some call it a sewing chair - the seat is only a foot from the floor. Ideal for a child. One of my favorite radio shows was Captain Midnight, and I sent in box tops, or whatever was called for at the time, and received a cardboard airplane dashboard/instrument panel, a rudder and a foot pedal, just like the Captain's. I think there was a pilot's cap that went with it too. I set it up in front of the chair in my bedroom, and flew with the Captain all over the world. That chair and I have had many adventures!

I never parted with the chair, but I must admit it was consigned to the storage shed or in the attic for much of the time. But I used to look at the picture of my mother sitting on it, and wished it could be restored to its original state. But somehow, I never got around to having it done.

As an adult, my son has turned to a hobby of woodworking. A couple of Christmases ago, I told him I didn't want anything for Christmas except to have that chair refinished. I told him this long before the holiday of course. Joe is not one to rush into a project (I'm being kind. He is the world's worst procrastinator.) so I didn't really think he would do it, but I handed over the chair, and it went to live in his workshop. On Christmas Eve, he walked into my house carrying the chair with a lovely big bow on it! And it looked just as it had in the photograph! I wanted to cry.

So that is the story of the chair. It sits in my living room now. Sometimes Raggedy Ann sits on it. She is a blonde Raggedy, as you can see, instead of a redhead, because she was made for my blonde daughter, Kathryn, by her godmother. Kathryn hasn't yet seen fit to keep her. Sometimes, as we grow older, we grow more sentimental about such things. She may decide at some point that she would like to have her back. Meantime, Raggedy Ann is waiting.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #11

Once again Drowsey Monkey is hosting Mellow Yellow Monday for us.

This time I have two pictures. The first is of a store front window in Cape May. The second is of a few of my own toys, collected from yearly charity campaigns that involved a rubber ducky race. They are pretty cute little guys. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Joe


Many thanks for all you are and all you do for me and for all the family.
You make us proud of you every day.

Click to enlarge.
Once again, I forgot the disclaimer - Several people have mentioned the cake. I did not make it, nor did I take the picture. It was from Google.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Welcome SPRING

At last! It's here!

The flowering almond buds are bursting! The vinca is starting to bloom! The daffodils and tulips and grape hyacinth will follow in rapid succession!

Spring is truly here!

In Australia, Harmony Day is being celebrated, affirming the idea that EVERYONE BELONGS - We are all members of the Family of Man, whatever our race, creed or culture, and every one of us should treat every other with respect. It's the Golden Rule. It's the Human Rights Campaign. It's what each of us knows deep in the heart and should be practicing every day.

Shadow Shot Sunday #44

It's Sunday in Australia, and time for Shadow Shots, hosted by Tracey, at Hey Harriet.

Today I have pictures of a very old chair that was my mother's It was made by hand by an unknown ancestor of mine. Sorry that it is sitting on a terrible old carpet. Not the prettiest setting.


Let's all of us, wherever we are in this world, take a note from Australia and celebrate HARMONY DAY. All we have to do is remember that all of us on this planet should be treated with respect and kindness. We are all members of the only race - The Human Race. As Australia's motto for the day tells us - EVERYONE BELONGS.

Everyone truly does belong in the Family of Man.