Saturday, August 30, 2008

Camera Critters #21

When my family came to visit this summer, we enjoyed an afternoon at the Wetlands Institute. Among many other things we saw there, we visited Lois, happily swimming in her aquarium. Lois was named for the kind lady who donated her to the Institute. Here she is.

Here I am, doing what probably most people do when they visit her - putting my hand on the glass to attract her.

Here is my son-in-law, hamming it up with Lois.

And here is my grandson, looking as if he isn't too sure what to make of her.

If you'd like to see lots more critters, wild or domestic, please visit Misty at the Camera Critters site, here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sky Watch 7

Recently one of my daughters had a new roof put on her house. It was accomplished on a day when the sky was a beautiful, clear blue. It went something like this:

The men climbed up and went right to work. Very efficiently. No nonsense.

In no time at all the old roof had been stripped away, and new shingles were laid.

This is how it looked from the ground.

Seemed like no time at all, and they were finishing up the job. We're very glad that the weather cooperated.

Tom, Sandy , Imax and Klaus are doing a great job handling Sky Watch for us. Please go to the site and follow the links to photos from participants.

Oooops! Almost forgot to give credit where credit is due. My daughter, Rita, took these pictures.

Wake Up America

Did you hear the speech that Dennis Kucinich made at the Democratic Convention yesterday? I missed it. I can only take just so much of political conventions. Had to move on to other things. But today The Pagan Sphinx posted a video of this speech. I am so glad she did!

I have added the video to the bottom of this page. Please check it out.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nice Morning

As a matter of fact, it was a beautiful morning. And Villas Girl had the day off. She asked me if I'd like to go over to Hereford Inlet. Sure I would!

We started out a little after 9:, and stopped on the way at the site of the os
prey nests we had seen before. No babies in the nests now of course, but we did see the parent birds.

I guess I'll post one of my photos, but Lisa alw
ays gets closer and nicer shots than I do, and she'll probably be posting them soon. I stayed in the car for this one. She got out and got closer.

I do enjoy just looking out over the wetlands. the grasses along the road are be

Then we continued on to Hereford Lighthouse.

I was in seventh heaven, because the
re were so many butterflies today. I knew I wouldn't be able to capture many on film. I'm just too slow moving. But I had hopes. And I did manage a couple. I hope Lisa caught some. This is what I was able to do.

There were a few other fuzzy ones, and there are a few pictures I really haven't examined too closely yet, but these are the best.

I had a lot better luck with the sparrows at the feeder.

They're easy.

And the gardens are as lovely as ever.

They never seem to fail to outdo the summer before.

I think there was one year when I wasn't too happy with them. But that was really a matter of my own taste.

Others seemed to be just as thrilled as always. And that was the one and only time that I had any reservations.

I have visited these gardens at all times of day and in most kinds of weather. I sometimes like to just sit on a bench in a corner somewhere and listen to the birds and watch the butterflies and the squirrels going about their busy little lives. It's beautiful.

I was very glad that Lisa invited me to join her today. I always enjoy her company and we share a love of nature and of photography.

After she dropped me off at home, she continued on to the Nature Center in Goshen. I'm sure she'll have lots to tell you about that as well as lots more about the ospreys and the gardens, accompanied by her pictures.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mutual Admiration Society

Deborah Godin, who writes a beautiful blog called The Cloud Messenger, has nominated me for the Brilliant Weblog Award. Thank you, Deborah. It is only recently that I have found your blog, and it ha
s already become one of my top favorites.
And then there is Bear, whose blog Bear Naked is so very entertaining as well as informative. She has presented me with a whole Bouquet of Bears. Thanks to you, Bear. You are so creative, and I do enjoy your blog so very much.

I have received a few awards recently, and they have started me thinking.

The first time I received an award it took me by surprise. I was stunned. Me? Why would anyone think my blog was worthy of an award? I had seen them on other blogs, given to people whose writing I admired and who had things to say really worth hearing.

As the months went by, new people started to comment on my posts and I went to their blogs. I have two blogrolls: one of those I feel I want to read every day without fail; the other of those I read whenever I find the time. As time passed, both of those lists grew longer and longer. Today I should just consolidate them, because I really want to read them all every day. That would be impossible of course, because by now the list is far too long to even put it onto my sidebar. My list of personal favorites that I have bookmarked contains dozens of blogs, most of which I can't possibly read more than about once a month, and I spend waaaay too much time sitting in front of my computer.

I think our blogging community has become a large group of close friends. We read one another's posts and feel we know these people and love them, and feel support and validation from them. It has become a mutual admiration society in the truest sense of the words. And we all feel the need to tell one another how we feel. We give one another awards in an attempt to do this. Bear Naked said it. She offered her appreciation to all of her readers. Perhaps that's what we all should do. One BIG AWARD! I love you all. You have all done so much for me, knowingly or not. And you're a lot of fun to have around.

Pill Pushing

An article appeared in the Sunday newspapers this week titled How MDs Learn About Drugs. The upshot of it was that our doctors usually receive the information on the pharmaceuticals they dispense from the salespeople for the drug companies themselves.

There is one thing that I have observed among all of the doctors I have ever met - and, believe me, I have met more than my share! They all have one thing in common. Every last one of these doctors is a human being. Every one of them! Human, just like you and me. Subject to making mistakes, possessing faults and idiosyncrasies and hang-ups - just like us. They are also influenced by advertising ploys, by the pseudo-friendship of salesmen, by flattery and by bribes, just like us. Frightening!

For most of my life, I took very few pills. Didn't like the idea. Preferred to maintain my health by means of good food and exercise. For the most part, it worked.

Except for arthritis, which I've had to some degree since I was a teenager, all of my various ailments appeared only since my retirement. Within those relatively few years, it's been one thing after the other. Each specialist I have seen has prescribed one - or two - or three new medications. Like most people, I have usually assumed that the doctor knows best, and meekly accepted the pills.
After all, what do I know about it?

I've tried to become informed regarding what the meds are supposed to do, and what risks might arise from their use. Except for one or two, the doctors had to be asked before giving me that kind of information. And except for one particularly unpleasant gentleman, they did give it when asked. (That one had been unknown to me until I found myself hospitalized with a pulmonary embolism a few years back. When I casually asked him what was in the IV, he flew into a rage, informing me that he was the doctor, I the patient, and I should just do as I was told. I later asked a nurse the same question, and she quite happily gave me the answer and a print-out.)

More recently, I have grown concerned at the number of pills I swallowed each day, and am trying to decrease the number, with the help of doctors of course. Most of them are cooperative.

It worries me that doctores - like the rest of us - due to pressures of time and their heavy caseloads, often rely on the pill pushing salespeople for their information. It worries me that doctors - like the rest of us - are susceptible to bribes and blandishments. It worries me that doctors - like the rest of us - are only human. And it worries me that the rest of us too often do not question what that little pink pill we are swallowing might do to us. It worries me that our society now allows TV ads for pharmaceuticals, just as if they were just another cosmetic or candy or means of entertainment.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Camera Critters # 20

Swans are such beautiful birds. We have many on the lakes in Cape May Point, NJ. One day while visiting Lily Lake I saw at least two dozen on the water.

I took a few pictures, though I could never capture all of them at once.

On another day I saw five. This is unusual, since they are usually in pairs. Perhaps one had lost a mate. First I saw them swimming together. Later I spotted them at rest.

And I just have to add this one even though I've posted it before - on Mothers' Day I think.

Misty hosts Camera Critters each week allowing us to share our photos with one another. Please take time to stop by and enjoy some of the wonderful images we have to show you.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sky Watch 6

The month of August has brought us many days of clear blue skies filled with stacks of bright, fluffy clouds. One day I
started to the super market, but was drawn to the skies. I just had to chase the clouds.

I stopped along the way to photograph the horizon.

I stopped at an athletic field, and found some crepe myrtle blooming nearby, which looked so pretty in the foreground.

I made it all the way to the super market, and stopped in the parking lot.

On the way home, the clouds were behind me.

Couldn't resist pulling into the local airport to see how they looked from there.

The next days were pretty much the same.

One day I took pictures of clouds above a small circus that came to town.

I find it very hard to ignore big marshmallow clouds. I may have to start walking with the rim of my hat pulled low and my head down.

Please go to Sky Watch, hosted by the team: Tom, Sandy, Imax and Klaus, and visit lots of others with wonderful photos.

Blog Posts

My daughter did another blog post yesterday. In fact, she did two.

She lives 3000 miles away. We email, we telephone, but it isn't enough. When she does a post (which isn't nearly often enough because of her busy life these days) it means so much to me. It gives me just a little insight into what she is thinking these days, perhaps how she is feeling. I probably read too much into it. My imagination carries me a little too far. But it's something.

I miss her.

I have another daughter who lives 200 miles away. Within easier traveling distance, yes. But due to circumstances, we do not see one another very often. I miss this daughter very much. She is the one most like me in many ways - although I must admit, at one time or another, I feel each of my three daughters are "most" like me. I even feel that about my son at times.

She does not blog any more. Has not for a number of years. I wish she would, but her writing style is very different from her sister's. She goes for humor in her writing and her speech. It is more likely to hide her feelings rather than betray them. I need to talk with her, to see her face to face.

I guess that today I am just missing having all of my children together.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Never Rains But It Pours

It's true - it never rains, but it pours. Daryl, of Out and About in New York City, has given me this Just Plain Fun to Read award, as well as You Make Me Smile.

No rules - just the awards. I LIKE it that way, and anyone I give an award to may automatically feel the same way. No rules - just - I like you and like what you are writing, so here's how I feel:

Lisa - Villas Girl - You already know that You Make Me Smile, so now here it is:
Your blog is Just Plain Fun To Read, so here's your award!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Let's Kick Ass!

Wow! This award came to me from someone to whom I would like to be presenting it. Gina is a kick ass blogger herself, for real! The Pagan Sphinx is always on the top of my list of must reads. She offers art, music, wonderful and insightful pieces on sociological and political subjects, personal stories and some beautiful photographs. She is also a contributor to The Peace Tree. She makes me laugh and cry, stirs my conscience and inspires me to action. Thank you, Gina, so very much. This award is the most fun ever. I love it. ;-)

This is what it's all about:

"Do you know any bloggers that kick ass?

Maybe they've got incredible, original content. Or they're overflowing with creativity. Is it someone that helps you become a better blogger? Or a blogger friend you know you can count on? Or maybe it's someone who simply inspires you to be a better person...or someone else who sends you to the floor, laughing your ass off.

Whatever the reason may be, I'm sure you know at least a couple of bloggers that kick ass. Well...why not tell 'em so?"

The rules are as follows:

1) Choose five other bloggers that you feel are "Kick Ass Bloggers"
2) Let them know that they have received an award
3) Link back to both the person who awarded you and also to
4) Visit the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky and leave a comment

Casdok, of Mother of Shrek: I have such admiration for this woman, who wished to raise her son, as we all wish to raise our children, guaranteeing them every opportunity for full, happy lives, in peaceful and congenial surroundings. She has not found that so easy a task as most of us. But she has persevered. We can all learn a great deal from Casdok.

Caroline, of Caroline's Crayons: Her weekly offerings are so wonderful. Detailed, often intricate drawings tell stories of her experiences or memories, or illustrate something current in our world. I am always eager for the weekend, when Caroline will show me something new and amazing. There is often more to her story than meets the eye, and her warmth and sensitivity shine through.

Tranny, of Law School Sucks and So Do Lawyers: She keeps me laughing. This woman has faced so many problems, juggling school, a baby, attempting to accomplish the sale of her condo, car problems - all of this alone, since Mr. Tranny is rather busy over in Iraq. And yet she manages to find humor in it all, and shares it with us.

Ralph, of Homespun Headlines: Ralph was among the few who commented on my very first post, and I am grateful for his encouraging words, then and now. He is a nice man. His posts are warm, articulate stories about his daily life, his family, and sometimes his past. His love for his family and friends comes through loud and clear. I have great respect for this man.

Cliff, of Cliff Morrow's Blog: Cliff is fun. He is a generous, hospitable man who, with is wife Marilyn, loves to entertain. He's a hard working farmer as well as being active in civic affairs. I'm sorry we live such a distance apart. I would love to meet him and his family. Under his joking and bantering, I'm sure he is also very wise. (Now, Marilyn, stop laughing.)

That's it. Each of these bloggers most definitely does kick ass. I love 'em all.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Open Letter to Obama

The publication, The Nation, has printed an open letter to Barack Obama. That letter is now on line. To those of you who support Mr. Obama, I would urge you to sign this letter to let him know how important it is that he continue to hold fast to the core commitments which made us want to follow him from the start of his campaign.

Mr. Obama has given us HOPE. Please encourage him to continue to lead us in the same direction, rather than succumb to political pressures. Compromise in some matters is appropriate and necessary, but as stated by The Nation, what is needed here is "Change We Can Believe In". He must not back down from his original stand.

Please read this open letter, and if you feel that you can sign it perhaps you will also consider adding this request to a post on your blog so that we can reach more readers. Thank you.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Every Day Kindness

On the 14th, Casdok posted a poem that I liked very much. It concerned her son, who is autistic, and some of the misconceptions held by so many in our society about autism.

My favorite verse in the poem said:

What matters is the here and now,
Not the why, not the how.

The "r" word is "retard"

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Camera Criters #19

This week I have gone back to another visit to Leaming's Run Gardens in Cape May Court House, NJ. It has been a favorite place of mine for many years, and I run into lots of interesting and very beautiful critters there. I see many of them while sitting quietly on a bench near the reflecting pond, or exploring its waters.

Please visit the Camera Critters site, where Misty Dawn is our host each week.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sky Watch

I took these pictures last autumn at Cape May Point, New Jersey, near the State Park, on the Delaware Bay.

This is the start of the path leading up, over the dunes.

As the path continues, you can see a pair of birders at the top of the dune, looking out over the water.

As we reach the top of the dune, we see the surf.

Below us, on the beach, is a lone birder with a scope. I wonder what it is he is trying to see out there.

Sky Watch is hosted each week by Tom, Sandy and Imax. Please visit the site and discover the photographs taken by participants from around the world.

I would like to say that I try to visit as many participants as possible. There are so many truly wonderful photographs, and I enjoy them all. I only wish that it could be possible to comment on every one of them, but like most of us, I find I cannot do this when there are over 300 on the list. I continue to view them throughout the week. Others must do this too, since I often receive comments late in the following week. I really appreciate what Tom, Sandy and Imax are doing for us with Sky Watch.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nature Lover

There is a huge difference between the average, every day, nature lover - like myself - and the fanatic. I truly love Nature. I enjoy nothing so much as hiki
ng woods or fields - or cliffs, if I'm luck enough to be in California, breathing the fresh, wonderful air, viewing flora and fauna, water and countryside, listening to the birdsong and all the other marvelous music of the out-of-doors. (You do understand, I am now speaking theoretically, since I am no longer really able to do these things.) But occasionally I have made the mistake of joining a group led by people like the head of this or that local organization. Uh-uh. These people make me feel very ill at ease. I start believing that I'd better listen carefully and be sure to remember it all - there may be a test later. No. I would much rather wander along in my own quiet, uninformed way, appreciating what God put here for me to see, and put me here to see. I want to thank Him, not Mr. or Ms. So-and-So from the organization.

Please don't misunderstand. I am grateful for those organizations and those good people who have learned so much more than I about the names of birds and flowers and their habitat and habits. I do like to learn about them myself, from books or the internet, or in conversation one-on-one. It's just that when I am out there, I just want to be there - me and Mother Nature, peacefully absorbing it all. At times like that I don't want instruction. I want to be allowed to discover things on my own rather than having my attention drawn to this or that. I want the adventure and excitement of finding it for myself.

Can't do so much of it these days, but Hugo and I do manage once in a while. God bless whoever invented the Hugo. Without that walker I'd be stuck in the house and have to rely on my computer to show me the Great Outdoors.