Friday, July 31, 2009

Just for Fun

Too hot and humid to go anywhere or do much of anything. And I just felt like tooning, so this is what I came up with. As usual, click to enlarge.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sky Watch #55

When it's time for Sky Watch Friday, we thank the team of Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Louise, Fishing Guy an Wren for all their help. Please go here to see wonderful skies from all over the world.

My pictures today are just a lovely, warm summer afternoon, looking at the sky from my back deck. I hope you find them pleasant.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Think Green Thursday

Michelle is once again bringing us Think Green Thursday. I hope all readers check out her blogs frequently. They are really special.

I'm sure that many of you support World Wildlife Fund, and receive literature from them from time to time. My post this week is stolen straight from something they sent to me - in different words, but it is a list of things we can all do to help keep our world green. These are very basic, but I know that I have to be reminded of them from time to time.

We do live on a wonderful planet. If we want to keep it this way we just have to try harder than most of us do.

First of all, we can start walking. At least, most of us can. We don't really have to hop into the car quite so often. And by walking, we may also better enjoy the sights and sounds and smells of the great outdoors. And while we're walking, we can carry a water bottle - a REAL water bottle, not a plastic one we have bought, already filled with water. (There are serious questions as to whether that bottled water is all it's cracked up to be anyway, and those many small plastic bottles just pile up and never go away in the dump.) Perhaps, like me, you live in an area where the well water is not clean and chemical free. If that's the case, you can at least avoid the multi-packs of small bottles or use a filter so you don't have to buy it at all. We can also try to avoid buying products that come in plastic containers instead of glass.

When we stay indoors in cooler weather there are a number of things we can do. First, we can wear sweaters instead of pushing up the thermostat. We can remember to turn off the lights in rooms we aren't using.

I hope by now we are all recycling, and not contaminating the soil and water by dumping medications or other dangerous items.

Of course we're trying to remember those cloth bags when we shop. If we do forget them, we're asking for paper rather than plastic.

We get so many catalogs in the mail! If they are from merchants we never use, we might try contacting them and asking to get OFF their lists.

And how about the big one. Plant a tree. Plant several if you have room. They clean our air. They filter noise as well. And they provide habitat for wildlife.

Summer Fun

Now that my Flickr pictures have been restored, I'm able to see what the California branch of the family is doing these days. It looks as if my grandson has been having a great summer. Many activities with family and friends.

He does keep busy right at home.

And they also spend as much time as possible, camping in Big Sur country.

Isaac has his own sleeping bag to use in the tent.

He loves all the things most kids do, like roasting marshmallows, climbing trees, playing in the water, and just plain having fun.

Me too. Wish I could be there with them.

He's a lucky little boy.

Hey! Blogging is great for a grandmom who likes to talk about her grandkids!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And Another Thing...

I have one more thing to say about Health Care. And it isn't even in my words.
This is by cartoonist, Mike Lukovich. For me, it pretty much says it all.

Why do I feel more and more that I won't live to see a decent health care system in our country? and that the present one may well prove to be the reason for my own demise?


She did it! Marcela, from Flickr finally did it. She told me step by step what to do and I can now see all of my photos - all 1448 of them. I've also gone to my daughter's site and I can see hers too!

It took a long time, and a lot of frustration, but I'm back to Flickr at last.

My dear friend, Lisa, went to all the trouble of emailing me my daughter's pictures earlier this evening. Thanks so much to her! She's a really good friend. - And while I'm at it, she has entered the photo contest in The Press. Go on over to her blog post and get the link so you can take a look and vote - maybe
for a couple of her pictures.

But again - Thank you, Marcela!

Follow Up on Flickr

Well, today Flickr got back to me at last. But what they had to say makes no sense. They tell me that 25 of my pictures are designated as "Private" and that's why I can't see them. Come on, now, Flickr.

First of all, I am the only one who can't see them. Everyone else can. Secondly, I have not designated any as Private. And third, what would that have to do with the fact that I can't see other people's pictures either?

They really have to do better than this.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Flickr Is Flickering Out

Is anyone else having a problem with Flickr? And if so, any ideas on how to resolve it?

For more than two weeks now, I have had a problem. The picture titles are in place, but no pictures are in sight. This is the case when I try to upload my photos and also when I try to view other people's photos. Two or three may show up, here and there, but most do not. I'm missing 24 of my own at the moment. - some I tried to upload, and some older ones that were there until a couple of weeks ago have now disappeared.

I emailed to Flickr of course, and got an acknowledgment, but have heard nothing more, and I'm getting impatient. My daughter in California just let me know that she is uploading a lot more, but I can't see them. I hope she'll email me at least a few or put some on her blog.

I really don't care for most of the other systems that create albums for you. Up until now I have enjoyed Flickr very much. But this is ridiculous. I've given up trying to upload any more pictures for the time being, but I would really like to be able to see my family's and friends' photos.

Interestingly enough, I'm told that other people CAN see the photos I've put on the site. I'm the only one who cannot see them.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #29

Our friend, Drowsey Monkey, has another Mellow Yellow Monday waiting.

This week I'm celebrating my garden. I've had lots of flowers blooming.

But so far this year, the vegetables I have planted have not done well. I've had some lettuce and a few snow peas, but the others haven't shown much promise. But - this week I have a couple of tiny squash starting! This is amazing because other years that is what has NOT done well. Lots of blossoms, but no fruit. But here it is. At least a beginning!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday #62

Tracy is once again hosting Shadow Shot Sunday for us at her delightful blog, Hey Harriet.

My neighbor's cats (She has five!) seem to prefer my home to theirs. When I look out on my back deck each day, I'm sure to find at least one of them. This happened to be a two cat morning.

I really wish they would all stay at home. At least this time they weren't lying right in front of my door to trip me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Health Care - and whatever

Brack Obama has promised us that he will try to get us a good, strong, sensible health care program. (Operative word: "try") He is working hard to keep that promise.

Personally, I do not agree with everything he suggests. Have any of us ever agreed with everything a politician has suggested? But I do believe it is at least about a thousand percent better than the sorry state of our present system.

The "business as usual" people do NOT have the welfare of the public at heart. Our congressmen, secure in their own health care benefits as well as all sorts of other percs, are not willing to rush to our rescue. Nor are they anxious to appease this upstart president who seems hell-bent on forcing them to act like hard-working law makers and actually get something accomplished for the good of their constituents. Maybe they need a real kick-start from said constituents.

My son asked me the yesterday, how come they feel they deserve to take a month's vacation, while we continue to suffer? He has a point.

I listened to Mr. Obama's press conference on the subject. I love to listen to that man talk! After hearing all the "Yes, but..."s and the "What's the hurry?"s and what is supposed to pass for intelligent argument from the nay sayers, hearing him speak calmly and coherently, directly and to the point, and as my son said, just saying what needs to be said, is so refreshing. Hearing someone with authority actually make sense for a change is almost enough to make me cry for joy.

And then there's the Press. Oh, Mr. Cronkite, we miss you so! On an evening when the whole point is to discuss health care, there has to be an alleged reporter who must ask a stupid question entirely off the subject. (and don't tell me that was not deliberate) And so the next morning, are we to hear a good solid discussion of what was said about health care? Of course not. We are told by the "news people" that what WE want to hear is about the off-subject bit. "Everyone" is talking about nothing else. No no. THEY are talking about nothing else.

While I'm ranting, may I add that I really do not see any virtue in these public polls of opinion on such matters. There is certainly a time and place for the public to express opinions, but I see no place on a "news" show for an email survey of the public on their reaction to such things. I would really, really like to just hear the news - real, honest-to-God news, straight up. Then let me make of it what I will. Give me the facts and let me go from there.

Guess I can't leave well enough alone. I feel I have to add something here. And that is that no, I don't agree with the whole plan. As I have expressed many time, what I really feel we should have is a single pay system. The insurance companies have such a strangle hold on us and their lobbyists have so much influence already that I don't believe Mr. Obama is going to get from Congress anything near what he wants. But he is in there trying, and in my book, that counts for a lot. If he doesn't get it, no doubt he will be blamed for whatever the result.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sky Watch #54

The team that brings us Sky Watch every week consists of: Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Ivar, and we thank them very much for their work.

I have nothing new today, so I have gone into the archives. I found a few pictures of our beloved Cape May Lighthouse, taken at different times of year, under various weather conditions, summer and winter, sun and fog. I hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Think Green Thursday

Each week Michelle hosts Think Green Thursday for us. We owe her our gratitude and we owe ourselves the enjoyment of reading her blogs.

This week my post is more blue than green. I have been reading Sea Notes, from the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.

First, it spoke of carbon pollution's impact on the ocean's chemistry, and asked that we let our senators know that we are concerned about climate change and its effect on ocean wildlife.

You may find many items of interest in Sea Notes if you care to investigate it. I especially enjoyed reading about the little Pacific island of Tuvalu. It is located halfway between Australia and Hawaii. Until the present time, Tuvalu has imported deisel oil from New Zealand as its power supply. Today, in the face of changing conditions, the island is in peril of complete inundation due to the rising sea level. Their national survival depends on changing the thinking and therefore the actions of all nations. To demonstrate their willingness to be the first to change, they have pledged to go completely to solar and wind power by the year 2020. This is expected to cost $20 million. Obviously, it cannot happen without help, which they hope to receive from the U.S. and Italy. Already, the Italian government is funding an $800,000 solar power system at a school on Tuvalu. This tiny island country has been in existence for thousands of years. It is now hoping against hope that through the actions taken at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, it will have a chance to continue to exist.

Please Help

Please help to stop mountaintop removal coal mining.

The Army Corps of Engineers is taking public comment, from now until August 14th. Please consider contacting them to encourage an end to the present streamlining of the permit process for this kind of coal mining. Help to save our mountains, streams, and wildlife habitat.

Just go to the site at for detailed information and a form with which to contact the Army Corps.

Thank you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just Because I Like It

Tracy, of Hey Harriet, wrote a post today and included this quote:

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
~ Buddhist quote

I just like it so very much I wanted to share it. Her post is a very happy one.

A Time of Stress

My dear friend, Casdok, has posted today. She is the mother of a twenty year old autistic son who is about to move on to a specialist home. It is an extremely stressful time for both of them. Perhaps a word of support and encouragement would be in order.

Her post today includes a couple of videos which I found very interesting. They certainly give pause to those of us who have never experienced autism first hand in ourselves or a loved one.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #28

On Mellow Yellow Monday, Drowsey Monkey hosts this meme. I thought it would be quite a challenge, but I soon found that YELLOW is everywhere, and always lifts my spirits.

Living at the shore, as I do, there seems to be a popular theme going on. Mermaids! In West Cape May I found this sign posted along the road.

It is at the end of the driveway beside this gift shop.

Remember This?

Over the winter, I worried about the mandevilla I had brought inside to see if it would survive until this summer. My readers will probably groan at the thought of hearing still more about it. I named it the Dr. Seuss plant when it got way out of hand, a skinny, scrawny thing, growing up, up and up to the ceiling and stretching itself out in every direction.

Come spring, I moved it outside, hoping for the best. I cut it back severely. It never quite died, but didn't look very healthy for months. then when I decided it had about had it, I moved it UNDER the plant stand while I put a larger flowering plant on top. I intended to get around to throwing out Dr. Seuss. Never did. I kept forgetting it.

Today I actually looked under the stand because I kept seeing some strange leaves above the other plant, at the base of the hummingbird feeder post.

Dr. Seuss lives!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday #61

It is once again Shadow Shot Sunday, and Tracy will show us many wonderful shadows on her blog Hey Harriet. This has become a very popular meme as more and more of us join her to show one another how lovely the world of shadows can be.

My daughter Kathryn has become very much aware of shadows these days. I do wish she would send her pictures to Shadow Shots herself, but I guess she doesn't really have the time in her busy life. So I am grateful that she calls my attention to them and I can share them with you. These are pictures of her son, brushing their cat, Emily.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sky Watch #53

Sky Watch Friday has arrived once again! Many thanks to the team that keeps us going: Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Louise, Fishing Guy, and Wren.

I found my way back to the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse last week. Their gardens are so beautiful! If you ever get to New Jersey, take Route 147 from either Route 9 or the Garden State Parkway, into North Wildwood. It would be well worth your time. The lighthouse itself is a great place to tour, but their gardens are absolutely fabulous every summer.

These flowers are near the front of the lighthouse.

The gazing ball reflects a little of the sky along with the lighthouse itself.

I took this one while sitting in the shade garden, looking up through the pines.

And this one, sitting on a bench under an arbor, near the herb garden.

If you go two posts below, you can see more of the gardens.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Think Green Thursday

Michele, at Rambling Woods, is hosting Think Green Thursday for us once again. Please visit and read some wonderful suggestions for helping to keep our planet green, and see some beautiful photos.

Years ago, while I was working in the Planning Department of our local municipality, the Planning Director received a publication called Estuary News. It had so many articles of interest to me that I ordered a subscription to this news letter for myself. I recently received the Summer 2009 issue, and would like to share some of it with you.

There is an article written by Laura Whalen concerning Landscaping for Cleaner Water. In it she states that rain water or storm water can be a valuable resource, but it is most often simply drained away. Besides the waste of this water, it is also allowed to become a real threat. Storm water from rooftops, driveways and streets rushes through the pipes into our streams, rivers and bays, eroding the soil, destroying wildlife habitat, causing flooding and polluting the waterways. Ms. Whalen's suggestion for prevention of such problems is creation of rain gardens.

I went as directed to the Low Impact Development Center site, where I found the following definition:

"What is a Rain Garden?

PDFs | Links

A rain garden is a garden which takes advantage of rainfall and stormwater runoff in its design and plant selection. Usually, it is a small garden which is designed to withstand the extremes of moisture and concentrations of nutrients, particularly Nitrogen and Phosphorus, that are found in stormwater runoff. Rain gardens are sited ideally close to the source of the runoff and serve to slow the stormwater as it travels downhill, giving the stormwater more time to infiltrate and less opportunity to gain momentum and erosive power.

On the surface, a rain garden looks like an attractive garden. It may support habitat for birds and butterflies, it may be a formal landscape amenity or it may be incorporated into a larger garden as a border or as an entry feature. What makes it a rain garden is in how it gets its water and what happens to that water once it arrives in the garden. "

Ideally, a town would create many small rain gardens on public land, in or near parking lots and streets, wherever appropriate. But private citizens can also be a part of the attempt to conserve water and to preserve the land and prevent further pollution. Anyone can install a rain barrel, or attach a soaker hose to a downspout. A rain garden can be designed to drain within two to four hours of a one inch rain fall. It can be as attractive as any home garden, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. After digging, the planting media should be clean and weed-seed free. A liner may be used where needed. Native plants are ideal. The most desirable would be deep fibrous rooted perennials, trees and shrubs. It can cover as small or large an area as you like. The LID link above is full of plans and ideas.

Most of us enjoy flower gardens. This is something to consider.

Hereford Inlet

On Monday I was heading to the store, and on impulse I turned instead out Route 147 toward North Wildwood. I was feeling pretty good, and the morning was cool, so I decided to take a chance and make a visit to the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse gardens. It is not a large area, and there are plenty of benches where I could sit a while if I had difficulty. That proved to be a good thing. I really can't walk far or stand too long any more.

As always, the gardens were absolutely beautiful. They were also quite crowded. The small parking area was full, and many people seemed to be walking in or riding their bikes. Yellow seemed to be the main theme this year, at least on the street side. I also went a little toward the back, but did not attempt to go on up to the water this time.

There are many colors of hibiscus.

I was particularly impressed with the hydrangeas, both white and pink. They were huge balls of blossoms!

I think I will just show you pictures today.

I really love red honeysuckle.

The rose of sharon is a gorgeous shade of blue.

Here are some of those pink hydrangeas.

I intended to show you more, but Blogger doesn't like all of these pictures. I'd better not attempt them.

There will be just a few on Sky Watch this week, but not those I'd meant for this post.

This is part of the shade garden.

This is under the white hydrangea.