I miss you Sam!!

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

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Anyone Have Answers? I've Got Questions

After all the reading and listening and watching – when I get the chance, I’ve begun mulling some questions around in my mind – don’t have any answers, would be interested in hearing from anyone who does. But here are a few.

1.Why not limit Congress from serving more than two terms? That’s all that a president gets. Go in, do your best for two terms and then out.
2.Why not stop Congress from voting for their own pay raises? And how and why did that get started anyway?
3.Why not stop paying for law-makers high-priced insurance premiums? You know they just might pass some changes in the law on the insurance companies, if they had to find one for themselves.
4.Why not make Congress pay into the Social Security System. They make the laws for it, so maybe if they spent some of their own money, they might have a little more incentive in making it solvent.
5.Why not stop companies from paying CEOs and other executives’ outrageous salaries and bonuses while doing away with workers pensions?
6.Why not stop all this unnecessary spending so we will have the money not only for the countries security, but to help the needy and elderly Americans? I’m really big on that one! Improve our schools, our highways, our bridges and levees, our infrastructure in general?
7.Wouldn’t it seem likely that changes like these would put people in Congress who sincerely wanted to improve the country – not just for themselves and their buddies, but for everyone? It seems that the longer men and women stay in the Congress, the better they get at bending the rules and somehow that always seems to end up benefiting them more than the country.

But the sad thing is, only members of Congress can do this, after all they’re the lawmakers, but somehow I’m just not real sure that the Congress is really that interested in changing much of anything.

Shadow Shot Sunday!

I wanted to play today but we've had no sun! And when we did have a few rays, I couldn't download my pictures to the computer. Then a friend of mine sent me this and I had to share it because it is so awesome! Can you just imagine what it would be like to catch something like this?

Why Men Don't Write Advice Columns

Walter Barnes, was recently employed as the only male, at a renowned Boston newspaper, to write and to provide advice in the "Letters From The Lovelorn" section of the paper. The following is an example of his conscientious effort to sincerely provide the most applicable guidance possible.

Dear Walter,
I hope you can help me here. The other day I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn't driven more than a mile down the road when the engine conked out and the car shuddered to a halt. I walked back home to get my husband's help. When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbor's daughter. I am 41, my husband is 44, and the neighbor's daughter is 26.

We have been married for ten years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that they had been having an affair for the past six months. I told him to stop or I would leave him. He was let go from his job six months ago and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. He won't go to counseling and I'm afraid I can't get through to him anymore. Can you please help?

Dear Sheila:
I sure can. A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the intake manifold and also check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solve the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the injectors.
I hope this helps.

I think that about covers it.

Happy Valentines Day !

Picture of pink roses.
I sometimes feel as though this quote very aptly describes how I feel about all you lovely people who visit my blog and leave your lovely words.

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out. Roy Croft

May you all have a very Happy Valentine's Day filled with love and laughter and beauty!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

According to the true Indian view, our consciousness of the world, merely as the sum total of things that exist, and as governed by laws, is imperfect. But it is perfect when our consciousness realizes all things as spiritually one with it, and therefore capable of giving us joy. For us the highest purpose of this world is not merely living in it, knowing it and making use of it, but realizing our own selves in it through expansion of sympathy; not alienating ourselves from it and dominating it, but comprehending and uniting it with ourselves in perfect union. Tagore
The real joy and wonder for me in doing these posts every evening is like switching on that light bulb in the dark corner of my mind; pouring light into spaces I have never wandered. Whether out of fear or ignorance those dark places have been there, but I'm slowly, surely beginning to shine that light on them and they are disappearing. It's an awesome experience!

Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.
And creating that capacity is the secret to finding happiness, fulfillment, love, joy, sometimes when we least expect it. It does require ridding ourselves of fear and opening ourselves, our hearts so we can create the capacity to receive everything.

Facts are many, but the truth is one. Tagore
It's far too easy to get mired in facts and allowing the truth to slip away.

Amazing Hummingbirds!

This is something I have never seen before, or ever even heard of. This woman lives in a Hummingbird fly zone. As they migrated, about 20 of them were in her yard. She took the little red dish, filled it with sugar water and this is the result.
The woman is Abagail Alfano of Pine, Louisiana - she has been studying them daily and one morning put the cup from the feeder, with water in it, in her hand; as they had gotten used to her standing by the feeder they came over to her hand. She says in touching they are as light as a feather. Abagail also said, 'if she had known her husband was taking pictures she would have put on makeup.'

Don't Mess With Us Old Broads!

Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year old woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.

Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank. My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.

I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters,--- when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be=2 0automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.
Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof. In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on th e number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:

#1. To make an appointment to see me
#2. To query a missing payment.
#3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
#4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case=2 0I am sleeping
#5. To transfer the call to my bathroom case I am showering.
#6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home
#7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later date to that Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.
#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry. The contact will then be put on hold, pending=2 0the attention of my automated answering service.
#10. This is a second reminder to press* for English. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement. May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?

Your Humble Client

Way to go, girl!
Remember: Don't make old ladies mad. They don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss them off!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Little Beauty and Some Tidbits of Wisdom

If anger be the basis of our political activities, the excitement tends to become an end in itself, at the expense of the object to be achieved. Side issues then assume an exaggerated importance, and all gravity of thought and action is lost; such excitement is not an exercise of strength, but a display of weakness.
He could very well be speaking of our political environment today.

There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Ayn Rand.

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Sign hanging in Albert Einstein's office at Princeton.

Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches to conceive than how others can be in want. Jonathan Swift.
Just ask those in the banking and financial centers that plead for bailouts and then go for a holiday at the exclusive resorts around the world.

When the tide of life turns against you,
and the current upsets your boat.
Don't waste time on what might have been,
just lie on your back and float. Unknown.
I'm trying to learn this one.

Shit happens! Unknown.
This one I know!
And with that final tidbit of wisdom, I bid you a pleasant evening, lovely dreams and a beautiful tomorrow.

Sky Watch

There was an unusually large and interesting vapor trail across the sky one afternoon last week and you may have to click on the photo to enlarge it and see more detail. It reminded to of a big exclamation point! Maybe it was excited to have a blue background for a change! The skies that entire day were different than I had seen recently.
Join us along with the Sky Watch Team of Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise and share your skies with us! Just click click here,  
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

The more I read Tagore the more I learn about myself, about life, about people, beauty, nature. One of the good things about more time for myself is the time to discover beauty, joy and hopefully wisdom.

Children are living beings - more living than grown-up people who have built shells of habit around themselves. Therefore it is absolutely necessary for their mental health and development that they should not have mere schools for their lessons, but a world whose guiding spirit is personal love. Tagore

As a former teacher as well as the mother of four, this quote truly spoke to me. The past two years I've been volunteering in a Jump Start program for pre-schoolers as well as an after school art class for first to fifth grade. It's been disturbing to see how little quality time parents today spend with their kids. It's all about more and more activities, after school, weekends. That is truly sad not only for the children but that their parents don't see/understand what they are missing as well as how much they are shortchanging both the children and themselves.

Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come. Tagore

And, as one gets older and begins to truly realize the inevitable, this is a beautiful thought to hold onto.

Do not say, "It is morning," and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a new-born child that has no name.
And to see the wonderful possibilities of each new day! Tagore

Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.
And that is the challenge! Opening ourselves to new experiences, to the joys that can be ours, the love we can experience! It is up to us to let go of fear and open ourselves in order to receive what is there for us.

Senior Dress Code

Many of us 'Old Folks' (those over 50, WAY over 50, or hovering near 50) are quite confused today about how we should present ourselves. Feeling 'young', we try to conform to current fashions and present a youthful image.
Contrary to what you may have seen on the streets, the following combinations DO NOT go together and should be avoided:

1. A nose ring and bifocals
2. Spiked hair and bald spots
3. A pierced tongue and dentures
4. Miniskirts and support hose
5. Ankle bracelets and corn pads
6. Speedos and cellulite
7. A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar
8. Unbuttoned disco shirts and a heart monitor
9. Midriff shirts and a midriff bulge
10. Bikinis and liver spots
11. Mini skirts and varicose veins
12. Inline skates and a zimmer
Most importantly

At some point you have to give up them
'DAISY DUKE' shorts

Pandas of the Day

Pandas always seem to know how to have fun and enjoy themselves and today with some lovely sunshine to make up for the snow yesterday, I'm feeling pretty much ready to go play, too!

OK mum, you can come and get me down now!!

I'm king of the WORLD!

Look deep into my eyes... You are feeling sleepy...

Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

A vapor trail, beautiful against the sky, accenting the beauty of the sun on a winter day.

Tonight I share some more quotes from Tagore. There's no particular theme with these, but just some wonderful words of wisdom.
"The burden of the self is lightened when I laugh at myself."
Being able to laugh at oneself is one of the greates gifts that we can give ourselves. But maybe one of the hardest. It is worth the effort and is a gift that keeps on giving -- sounds like a commercial, doesn't it? But it's true nonetheless.
"Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven."
When spring finally comes and the trees lift their new leaf clad arms, they do indeed seem to be speaking to the listening heaven.
"We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility."
Perhaps that is why it is so difficult to become great, as great humility is not easy to come by for many of us.
"We gain freedom when we have paid the full price."
This always sends me searching for the answer to the question -- what is the price?
"We live in the world when we love it."
And when we love it we care for it, we protect it, we shelter it, we feed it. Looking at the world today it would seem there has been a shortage of love over the years.

ABC Wednesday - D is for Dancing Daughter

My daughter is a personal trainer and pilates instructor whose primary passion is dancing the tango. Needless to say, I'm a proud parent and love having a chance to celebrate my kids! These photos were taken at sunset on the roof of a building in downtown San Francisco. A photographer friend of hers had asked she and a dance partner to pose for her and these photos were the result of the shoot. To join us for ABC Wednesday click here
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The Whale

A female humpback whale had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Faralon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her -- a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.
She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, nudged them, and pushed gently, thanking them.

Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.
The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so fortunate...to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you. And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.

I pass this on to you, my friends, in the same spirit.

Monday, February 9, 2009


All of these are by Tagore. He does say it all so beautifully. I really enjoy reading his poetry and looking for ones that I particularly like to share with you.
These are some of the beautiful things about love that perhaps we don't always think about. Love can make such a difference in all our lives if we recognize it and accept it rather than fight for or against it. And it comes to us in many differnt ways. Not the same for everyone. Not just lovers, wives or husbands or children. Sometimes the greatest love of all comes from those who can see inside us. And those might be husbands, wives, family, but they also may be those friends that somehow manage to see inside our hearts. How do you see love?

Love does not claim possession,
but gives freedom.

Love adorns itself;
it seeks to prove inward joy by outward beauty.

Love is an endless mystery,
for it has nothing else to explain it.

Love's gift cannot be given,
it waits to be accepted.


That's My World - Deception Pass

Deception Pass is a strait separating Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island, in the northwest part of the U.S. state of Washington. It connects Skagit Bay, part of Puget Sound, with the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is one of the most beautiful places in my world!

The first Europeans to see Deception Pass were members of the 1790 expedition of Manuel Quimper on the Princesa Real. The Spanish gave it the name Boca de Flon.[1] A group of sailors led by Joseph Whidbey, part of the Vancouver Expedition, found and mapped Deception Pass on June 1, 1792. George Vancouver gave it the name "Deception" because it had appeared to be a narrow bay instead of a strait, which would have made Whidbey Island a peninsula.

In the waters of Deception Pass, just east of the present-day Deception Pass Bridge is a small island known as Ben Ure Island. The island became infamous for its activity of smuggling illegal Chinese immigrants for local labor. Ure and his partner Lawrence "Pirate" Kelly were quite profitable at their smuggling business and played hide-and-seek with the United States Customs Department for years. Ure's own operation at Deception Pass in the late 1880's consisted of Ure and his Native-American wife. Local tradition has it that his wife would camp on the nearby Strawberry Island (which was visible from the open sea) and signal him with a fire on the island's summit to alert him to whether or not it was safe to bring his illegal cargo ashore. For transport, Ure would tie the illegal immigrants up in burlap bags so that if customs agents were to approach then he could easily toss the bags overboard. The tidal currents would carry the discarded immigrant's bodies to San Juan Island to the north and west of the pass and many ended up in what became known as Dead Man's Bay.

Between the years 1910 and 1914, a prison rock quarry[3] was operated on the Fidalgo Island side of the pass. Nearby barracks housed some 40 prisoners, members of an honors program out of Walla Walla State Penitentiary and the prison population was made up of all kinds of prisoners, including murderers. Guards stood watch at the quarry as the prisoners cut the rock into gravel and loaded it onto barges located at the base of the cliff atop the pass' waters. The quarried rock was then taken by barge to the Seattle waterfront. The camp was dismantled in 1924 and although abandoned as a quarry, the remains of the camp can still be found. The location, however, is hazardous and over the years there have been several fatal accidents when visitors have ventured onto the steep cliffs.

Upon completion in July 1935, the 976 foot span Deception Pass Bridge connected Whidbey Island to the tiny Pass Island, and Pass Island to Fidalgo Island. Prior to the bridge, travelers and businessmen would use an inter-island ferry to commute between Fidalgo and Whidbey islands. Boats can be seen waiting on either side of the pass for the current to stop or change direction before going through. Thrill-seeking kayakers go there during large tide changes to surf the standing waves and brave the class 2 and 3 rapid conditions.

Deception Pass is a profoundly dramatic seascape where the tidal flow beneath the twin bridges connecting Fidalgo Island to Whidbey Island goes extremely fast and rough. During lower tides, the swift current can lead to standing waves, huge whirlpools, and roiling eddies. This swift current phenomenon can be viewed from the twin bridges' pedestrian walkways or from the trail leading below the larger south bridge from the parking lot on the Whidbey Island side.

Join us and show your world! click on the icon at the top of page and sign up! Many thanks to Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise for making this meme so very much fun!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Secrets of Beauty

Once when the late Audrey Hepburn was asked for her beauty secrets this is what she said. I'm sure you've heard them, I know I had, but they are such wise and beautiful words, I thought that they are worth reading again.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

The Lap Dog

I was looking for some other photos this morning and ran across this one. I must have looked too comfortable in what Mojo considered to be "her" chair, because she came out and climbed into my lap and Adam grabbed the camera. She tries to do this in every chair I sit in -- much to Sam Schnauzer's annoyance.

And We Think It's Cold Here!

These photos were sent to me by a friend -- as usual, but they were a good reminder that I don't really know what cold is! They were taken in the town of Versoix which is near Geneva, Switzerland. Put a sweater on and enjoy! I just heard from Susan,This Irish Photographer, who let me know that Lac Leman, the lake you see, is Lake Geneva on English maps. Thank you so much for the info, Susan!

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