December 30, 2009

Photo Contest

There are some awesome photos in this article.

This is just one of the amazing photographs in the National Geographic International Photography Contest 2009. I would so love to be doing this. I could be Jane and Hubby could by my Tarzan!

About this photograph:

Nazroo, a mahout (elephant driver), poses for a portrait while taking his elephant, Rajan, out for a swim in front of Radha Nagar Beach in Havelock, Andaman Islands. Rajan is one of the few elephants in Havelock that can swim, so when he is not dragging timber in the forest he is used as a tourist attraction. The relationship between the mahout and his elephant usually lasts for their entire lives, creating an extremely strong tie between the animal and the human being. (Photo and caption by Cesare Naldi)

December 27, 2009

Two Fer

There was no way we could keep up with the snow here the past few weeks. Hubby has a cracked rib that is taking its time to heal and trying to shovel snow even carefully is not helping. I would do as much as I could. The snow shovel is about as big as I am and looking down the driveway with two to three feet of snow with 5 foot drifts here and there, the driveway looks as long as a football field. At least that is the impression I have as I feel so intimidated by the overwhelming job of trying to get enough snow out of the way to get the car out of the garage. I think everyone who knows me is by now tired of the snow stories, especially my family in warm sunny southern California.

Hubby suggested we look on craigslist for someone to do the heavy work, enough so we could get to the library and get groceries. We found several ads right away and called one and arranged for someone to come here today around noon. We got a two for the price of one, two very nice young men with two machines. Until today I never cared to hear machines roaring, but I so liked those rip snorting snow eating machines here today.

Yay, we were able to get out of the garage, get down the driveway, take care of the errands, and neither one of us has a sprained back. I have a big grin on my face and I am going to make myself a cup of hot green tea. Yeah.

December 26, 2009

Shadows Of The Dancing Leaves

I have something to quiet me during the winter months. This isn't the exact picture of our windows but close enough.

Sitting in the bedroom during the other three seasons I can see the leaves dancing in the breeze through the drapes. The two huge trees in the front yard are bare now, and the snow and naked branches have a beauty of their own. There are aesthetic qualities to the quiet of nature in winter, which I am learning to appreciate. There are chores to be done in winter that are not needed any other time. During the harsh winter storms I look at pictures of the leaves with fondness. I am still adjusting to the change in weather and the winds and snow. It is invigorating to go outside in cold temperatures, and then it is cozy to come inside and cook and bake and make huge pots of coffee while padding around the house in my UGGs.

We enjoyed our white Christmas. The snow is almost covering the mail box and the black wrought iron chairs are almost covered. My daughter sent me a Snuggie so now I can join the online Snuggie Club!!

December 25, 2009

Big Hearts, Lots Of Love

With hearts full of love and gratitude, we wish everyone a wonderful Christmas!!

December 24, 2009

Any Way You Say It, Say It With Heart

Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays!
Seasons Greetings!
Happy Christmas!
Happy Hanukah!
Happy Kwanzaa!
Yay Winter Solstice!
Yule Tide Greetings!
Feliz Navidad!

December 22, 2009

My Gift To You

Last year a very kind lady gifted me with a bookmark. Since I read many hours every day, I handle this bookmark several times a day. Occasionally I glance at the words, and often I take the time to read the words, really seeing them and reaching out and embracing them.

If it were possible for me to duplicate the bookmark and send it to each of you over the internet, I would gladly do it. Instead, it is my pleasure to share the words with you in this post.

I wish you enough sun
to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain
to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness
to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain
so that the smallest joys in
life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain
to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss
to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos
to get you through
the final good-bye.

December 20, 2009

A Kiss Is Still A Kiss, A Sigh ....

(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)About this photo:
Punk lovers kiss on the Central Pier as rebels from across the world arrived for the Rebellion Festival on August 7, 2009 in Blackpool, England. Thousands of punks descended on Blackpool seaside resort for the annual Rebellion festival, featuring bands from the heyday of the rebel punk rock movement.

A post by Janeywan on her blog "Life In Westcliffe" relates to this post, don't you think?

December 19, 2009

Donkey Business

Young Chuck moved to Texas and bought a donkey from a farmer for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day. The next day the farmer drove up and said, 'Sorry Chuck, but I have some bad news, the donkey died.'

Chuck replied, 'Well, then just give me my money back.'

The farmer said, 'Can't do that. I went and spent it already.'

Chuck said, 'OK, then, just bring me the dead donkey.'

The farmer asked, 'What ya gonna do with a dead donkey?'

Chuck said, 'I'm going to raffle him off.'

The farmer said 'You can't raffle off a dead donkey!'

Chuck said, 'Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead.'

A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, 'What happened with that dead donkey?'

Chuck said, 'I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars apiece and made a profit of $898.00.'

The farmer said, 'Didn't anyone complain?'

Chuck said, 'Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back.'

Chuck now works for JP Morgan.

Note: A reader sent this in to The Daily Dish.

December 18, 2009

The Spirit Of The Season

It begins long before the first frost -

Somewhere between memory and reality.

It touches us with compassion

and whispers to us of hope.

It tiptoes into our hearts with elation

and opens our souls to faith.

Its name is Christmas and we have yet to learn

How to keep it close for more than

this one brief, shining moment.

Someday, perhaps...with love.

~~Written by Judith A. Lindberg

December 17, 2009

Prick Or Treat Train Rides

This article in BBC News is titled Anti-groping Cameras Set For Tokyo Train Lines.

"Train gropers - or chikan - are common characters in Japanese popular culture. A railway company in Japan is to install special cameras on its Tokyo commuter trains to help deal with the problem of groping on public transport. In a survey, four in five women report being molested on public transport."

If I lived in Japan, I would be selling big giant old fashioned hat pins to women as they arrived at the train stations. Instead of Bag Lady, I would be known as Prick Lady and proud of it. I could hold classes to teach the timid Japanese ladies exactly where to aim the hat pins!

December 13, 2009

My First Time

This is the first time for me.

The first time I don't have house plants.

The first time to not have a pet.

The first time to not be married to a guy who has a motorcycle.

The first time to be married to a guy with freckles.

The first time to be married to a composer/lead guitar player.

The first time to be happily married.

The first time to live in Nebraska (been living here over one year now).

The first time to not be working at a job.

The first time to shovel snow. It is hard work!!

The driveway looked like the length of a football field, at least when it had snow on it. The snow came up higher than my knees in some places. Our house is the third house in the curve at the end of the cul-de-sac. There were so many different machines coming around clearing out the snow off the street. Little riding lawnmowers with blades on front, trucks with the huge snow shovels in front, and some gigantic John Deere machines that were almost too large for the cul-de-sac. I didn't know the snow caused so much activity but it is good to know this little town is prepared. We didn't go anywhere the first few days of the snow storm, and then we looked in the frig and decided we needed to get to the store and as long as we were going there we would go out to lunch and to the library. It was two degrees in the morning, so we wore tee shirts with sweats over that and snow boots and two pairs of gloves and down jackets with hoods. I practically had to roll out the door just to get out there and pick up the snow shovel. We worked a couple hours to get enough of the height down so I could drive out of the garage over the snow, and we made two tracks for the tires. By the time we finished I was so tired I had to sit awhile until I could use my hands again and my legs stopped feeling like rubber. I showered and dressed and then the garage door wouldn't work. It was too cold. Tried the remote several times and got the garage door to open, and the opening in the driveway was just enough to get out with the car doors against snow banks. We had a new adventure and we worked together and accomplished plenty for one day for a couple of oldies but goodies!

Note: This picture is of the garage taken from the back porch.

December 11, 2009

Online Party Nothing Like The Old Party Line

Cyberspace: Love Online is an article in Psychology Today.

Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, a philosopher who is now president of Haifa University in Israel, does not think intimate Internet relationships, and even cyber sex, are all bad. But he does think they could have an impact on the way we conduct offline life and even change our view of infidelity. The subtle but important ways it influences "real" life, is the subject of a fascinating book, Love Online: Emotions on the Internet.

Ze'ev calls cyberspace a kind of "mentally nude commune," where people often strip off their masks. What nudity leaves undone, imagination finishes. Imagination, which paints cyberspace in more intense and seductive colors, also helps people satisfy some of their most profound desires.

What's so ironic about using the internet is that it's a solitary activity that leads to social contact-while it isolates users from their own families, the people in the very next room. One reason it does this is that Internet use is almost addictive; the rewards of contact are so immediate and so pleasurable. And while cyber relationships can be more sincere and open than offline relationships, they also leave a great deal of room for deception, although online relationships are marked more by dreams than deception.

There are times when chatting is cheating. And there's a very simple way to know when you've crossed the line: There's deception.

If you engage in an Internet relationship that you keep secret from your real-life mate, you're engaging in deception. "Chatting is not cheating when the significant other knows about it," says Ze'ev. The trouble with deception is that it kills intimacy and ruptures trust in the primary relationship.

I found this article interesting enough to include it in my blog. I don't know anyone personally who engages in deceptive online behavior, but I believe there are some people, some men and some women, who find a little titillating behavior invigorating. Nothing against them or their behavior, I'm just saying I wouldn't be comfortable expending any of my Luv Energy anywhere but toward my hubby. That's just me.

December 10, 2009

Welcome To The Award Ceremony

Yousei Hime, the mastermind behind the enchanting blog Shiteki Na Usagi, is sharing an award with this blog. It really warms the cackles of my heart (we're talking delighted cackling here folks), particularly because I truly believe this little blog is not in the same league with most of the blogs I read. But it is exactly what I like it to be, evolving slowly, growing up gradually, like me. I am a grandmother of four and I am learning how to be an adult in a grown-up world at last.

Back to the award. Thank you, Yousei, sincerely. I will put the award up on the sidebar very soon. Without duplicating the blogs Yousei is awarding, I am charged with the auspicious task of presenting this award to blogs I admire and appreciate. The award is what you want it to be for you. You have already done an outstanding job so there are no requirements in receiving the award. Pass the award along to deserving blogs if you so choose.

Here we go, the big wheel is spinning around and around and lands on:

Everyone Needs Therapy

Far Side Of Fifty

What I Should Have Said

Ina In Alaska


Ronda's Wonderland

I appreciate these blogs and all the blogs I read regularly. Thank you for sharing in my blogland adventure.

December 08, 2009

What A Waste

It didn't take hubby long to understand the way of the food distribution in our house when we first moved in together. We buy what we need, we use all of it. Simple.

In our house there is no waste. When we cook chicken or turkey, the bones are in the crock pot immediately for broth. Small amounts of leftovers are packaged and placed in the freezer for a later homemade soup or fried rice or rice pilaf. You get the picture.

It must come from my childhood uncertainty of the source of the next meal. My brother has the same need to fill cupboards and freezer although I don't think he is as obsessed with not wasting like I am.

This article is probably more disturbing to someone with my background than to lots of readers.

December 06, 2009

Lily Warning Lily Warning Lily Warning

When I read this story about the danger of lilies around cats, I sent the link to the cat owners I know to help spread the information.

According to the article, petals, stems or leaves of Easter lilies, stargazer lilies, lots of lilies, can kill cats. Find the whole list of toxic plants on the ASPCA's poison control site.

December 04, 2009

Not A Log Cabin, But A Log Radio To Put In A Log Cabin

Why am I so interested in solar energy? Maybe because I am old enough to remember the science projects and alternative energy discussions throughout school. Maybe because I have witnessed the escalating costs of electricity while the demand and need for electricity keep increasing. Maybe the thought of living a simple life and being able to be self-sustaining is appealing. An article in Scientific American says that solar energy costs 50% less than less year. This is so encouraging. Hubby and I share a desire to some day build a geodesic dome home.

Simple things like this log radio are appealing to me. The full description is on Design Boom.
This log radio doesn't use batteries or electricity, just solar energy.

December 02, 2009

The Smaller Dinner Plate

We started using smaller plates, thus fooling our stomachs into thinking they are receiving the regular amount of food. Why look, the plate is full so we must be getting ready for another feast. I can't say gourmet feast because the way we eat is definitely not gourmet. But it is nourishing. You know how someone says "Is he cute?" and to be honest you can only come up with "He has such a good personality". Same sort of diversion. Enter the small plate.

It is funny how my brain can be led down the garden path so easily. Now when I bring out the regular size dinner plates they look like the must be dinner platters, they are HUGE now that I have gotten used to the smaller plates. Actually the plates we use are salad/dessert plates. I always heard that as people mature (ahem, attention all seniors) we don't need to eat as much as we did when we were younger. I am here to attest to the fact that I do NOT need to eat like I used to and I feel better when I eat less and when I stay away from FF&K. I try not to say it out loud because my stomach really likes this and if it hears FF&K out loud or smells it there are rumblings and growlings that are hard to speak over. Let me whisper: frenchfriesandketchup. Did you hear that? Anyway, my friend at Fragrant Liar has inspired me to diligently watch what and how much I eat between now and Christmas. I think she jump started a few of us with her post about food. Hip Hip Hooray, let the games begin. Everyone in their places. Ready Set Go.