I miss you Sam!!

I miss you Sam!!
I miss you Sam!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Reflective Thoughts for a Saturday

Between Prop 8, increased threats against Obama, a sudden increase in race related incidents and the roller coaster stock market, I found myself taking a downward slide mentally and emotionally today. I don't like it when those dark clouds suddenly seem to obscure all the bright and beautiful things in the world, in my world. So, I did what I frequently do when this happens -- in addition to a march against Prop 8 -- I took pictures. And as I focused on the beautiful skies we had here today, I began to reflect on the good things this year has brought into my life. Blogging for one and a host of wonderful new friends who share their lives and hopes and dreams in this wonderful blogosphere and consequently, with me. And photography which has helped me to focus on the beautiful world around me. I have so many things to be thankful and grateful for that it would be truly sad if I allowed the ugly things to creep in and blacken my view of the world. So, that being said, here are a few of the beautiful things.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dancing the Tango!

San Francisco skyline, sunset and the tango!
One of the four greatest joys of my life -- my youngest daughter. I loved dancing the tango, too, but I was never this good!

Posted by Picasa

How Much Do You Know About Our Currency?

A friend sent this to me a few days ago and I thought it was very interesting and I learned a lot about the one dollar bill that I hadn't known before -- maybe because these days they don't linger in my hands long enough for me to really look at them.

On the rear of the One Dollar bill, you will see two circles. Together, they comprise the Great Seal of the United States.

The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved.

If you look at the left-hand circle, you will see a Pyramid.

Notice the face is lighted, and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the west or decided what we could do for Western Civilization. The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin's belief that one man couldn't do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything.

'IN GOD WE TRUST' is on this currency.

The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means,

'God has favored our undertaking.'

The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, means,

'a new order has begun.'

At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776. (MDCCLXXVI)

If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery, and is the centerpiece of most hero's monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States, and it is always visible whenever he speaks, yet very few people know what the symbols mean.

The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: First, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong, and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England. Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle's beak you will read, 'E PLURIBUS UNUM' meaning,'one from many.'

Above the Eagle, you have thirteen stars, representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away.

Again, we were coming together as one.

Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war,

his gaze turns toward the arrows.

They say that the number 13 is an unlucky number.

This is almost a worldwide belief. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But think about this:

13 original colonies,

13 signers of the Declaration of Independence,

13 stripes on our flag,

13 steps on the Pyramid,

13 letters in, 'Annuit Coeptis,'

13 letters in 'E PluribusUnum,'

13 stars above the Eagle,

13 bars on that shield,

13 leaves on the olive branch,

13 fruits,

and if you look closely,

13 arrows.

And finally, if you notice the arrangement of the 13 stars in the right-hand circle you will see that they are arranged as a Star of D avid. This was ordered by George Washington who, when he asked Hayyim Solomon, a wealthy Philadelphia Jew, what he would like as a personal reward for his services to the Continental Army, Solomon said he wanted nothing for himself but that he would like something for his people. The Star of David was the result. Few people know that it was Solomon who saved the Army through his financial contributions ; but died a pauper.

I always ask people, 'Why don't you know this?' Your children don't know this, and their history teachers don't know this. Too many veterans have given up too much to ever let the meaning fade. Many veterans remember coming home to an America that didn't care. Too many veterans never came home at all.

Share this page with everyone, so they can learn what is on the back of the


and what it stands for!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sky Watch #18

I had to include this one today although I had posted it on my blog earlier this week because it reminds me of what a shining and beautiful world we live in -- in spite of economic worries, politics and all the other things that tend to distract us from what is truly important -- our environment and the need to keep it safe and clean for those that will follow after us.

Today's skies are from Oregon. On a day to day basis it's hard to decide where the skies are the most beautiful -- Washington or Oregon. I've lived in the northwest for nearly seventeen years and I'm still overwhelmed on an almost daily basis at the lovliness, not only of the landscape, but the skies and their ever changing and incredible colors.
These clouds made me think of large, white birds roaming the skies.
And the rich, vibrant colors that need no words to describe them. The promise of a lovely night and a new day tomorrow.

Click on the Sky Watch icon at the top of the page to find out how to join us and share your SKIES!
Posted by Picasa

Babies Know -- Who Is Safe!

Now, if these don't tell you something about the wisdom of babies, I'm not sure what will!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sharing the Beauty

Going through photos on my web album I found some fun and some lovely shots that I thought I'd share just because. This shot is of our deck that I'm always talking about where I spend so much time taking pictures.

And I have a good friend who house/dog sits for a friend who has a beautiful home overlooking the Sound. She also has some beautiful peacocks who seem to enjoy the view as well. And how about the seagrass, the dove nestled down among the plants and this young lady with the big ears?

Isn't nature wonderful! It's the best tranquilizer I know of.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rescuing Our Country

In January we will see a new day dawn not only in Washington but throughout this country and beyond and I’m looking forward to experiencing that “new day”. I know Obama will have so many tugging on his sleeves and coat tails, and he’s not going to be able to satisfy them all – certainly not in his first year in office. I do hope, however, that he will find a way to bring a sense of fairness – we’ve bailed out the pompous fat cats in this country who have wrecked their companies and the economy. We’ve spent trillions of dollars on a war that never should have been. Isn’t it time to start thinking about the working poor and the young people? They have been hurt to the point they’re almost destitute, it seems it’s time to help them now.

With so many brokerage houses and banks, a multinational insurance company all depending on the Treasury for resuscitation, companies like General Motors facing bankruptcy it’s beginning to feel like a supersized recession. This kind of downturn buries the people at the bottom of the economic ladder and we have an obligation to look after them as well as the big cats – after all they are America, too, and make up a much larger portion of the population.

I want to believe that Obama knows what is needed at this point and it’s JOBS! Jobs for those who depend on a weekly or monthly paycheck. Credit cards are maxed, family savings are depleted, home equity is evaporating.

As many of those who are far wiser than I am have said, we can find an answer, but our leaders will have to think big. We’re talking about a program to rebuild the infrastructure of America – and believe me, it does need it! We can help our people and our country at the same time by rebuilding and repairing roads and bridges, decrepit schools and aged sewer systems. And don’t forget more “green” thinking and planning.

Next is universal health insurance – isn’t it time we caught up with the rest of the world by providing all of our people with proper health care?

Let’s stop spending trillions on a useless war that has not only drained us of incredible amounts of money, but has seriously damaged our country in the eyes of the rest of the world. Let’s stop funneling enormous amounts of money with little oversight to banks and Wall Street. Isn’t it time that we not only repair our school systems and provide health care for all, but how about if we stop throwing this country’s resources into the black hole? How about we invest in our country’s future, in our children’s future instead?

An Amazing Story from WWII

I happened across this story on CNN and have included the link to the entire article here. It is an amazing and heartbreaking story of the bravery, heroism and courage of men captured by the Nazis after the Battle of the Bulge. In honor of Veteran's Day and the men who have served this country, it is worth the read.

WW II vet held in Nazi slave camp breaks silence: 'Let it be known'

Story Highlights

World War II vet held in slave camp witnessed Nazi atrocities first-hand
Anthony Acevedo, 84, was one of 350 U.S. soldiers held at Buchenwald subcamp
Only about 165 survived captivity and their subsequent death march, he says
Survivors signed documents never to speak; Acevedo says now people "must know"

Honoring Those Who Serve

To all those who have served our country in the past, to those who are serving it now and to those who will serve in the future, and to their families for their sacrifices as well.-- thank you!

May we never forget the debt we owe you.

For yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My World for Tuesday #3

One of my favorite places to go in Seattle is a place called Pike's Market. You can find almost anything from colorful pepper displays, a great fish market, fruit and vegetable markets, great restaurants. It's historical and grand and lively!

The quality of the products sold here is exceptional and what fun shopping it is! Plus, it has an interesting history and here's a little of that to go with the photos.

Pike Place Market is a
public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, United States. The Market, which opened August 17, 1907, is one of the oldest continually operated public farmers' markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople and merchants. It is also one of Seattle's most popular tourist destinations. Located in Downtown, it occupies over 9 acres (3.6 ha). It is named after its central street, Pike Place, which runs northwest from Pike Street to Virginia Street.
The Market is built on the edge of a steep hill. It has several lower levels below the main level, featuring a variety of unique
shops. Antique dealers, comic book sellers, and small family-owned restaurants are joined by one of the few remaining head shops in Seattle. The upper street level features fishmongers, fresh produce stands, and craft stalls operating in the covered arcades. Local farmers and craftspeople sell year-round in the arcades from tables they rent from the Market on a daily basis, in accordance with the Market's mission and founding goal: allowing consumers to "Meet the Producer." The Market is also home to nearly 500 low income residents who live in 8 different buildings throughout the Market. The Market is run by the quasi-government Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA). To read more, click here.
The movie Sleepless in Seattle was actually filmed in Seattle and had scenes that were filmed in the Athenian Cafe. This is where Portland friends of mine and I had lunch when they were here for a visit recently.
Now, if this doesn't make your mouth water, you're in serious trouble!

Posted by Picasa

What Can I Say?

What Can I Say?
I'm interested in almost everything. Use to like to travel, but it's too expensive now. I take Tai Chi classes, swim, volunteer in a Jump-start program for pre-schoolers. I'm an avid reader and like nearly everyone these days I follow politics avidly. I'm a former teacher and Special Projects Coordinator for a Telecommunications company, Assistant to the President of a Japanese silicon wafer manufacturing company. Am now enjoying retirement -- most of the time. I have two daughters, one son-in-law and two sons scattered all over the country. No grandchildren.

Portland Time