I miss you Sam!!

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

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

I'm very grateful to have found so many different kinds of love over the years, love that has filled and touched my life in many ways. I still find myself asking questions regarding love from time to time, but asking questions is not a bad thing -- unless you're expecting the perfect answer, hence Gibran and Tagore!

Your friend is your needs answered.
Kahlil Gibran

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

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Kahlil Gibran

Shadow Shot Sunday!

Join us for Shadow Shot Sunday and play with us in the sun and shadows! Click here to sign in and join the fun!
Also remember Earth Hour 2009! Kudos -- again -- to Australia for reminding us to take care of the Earth. Click here to watch a great video!

It's hard to find shadows with the shortage of sun these days -- I know spring is coming! But when???

I caught this as I was going downstairs to the basement. I got caught there last week myself!

Candles in my bedroom.

Plants in the kitchen.

And playing finger games when I could find nothing else to occupy me and I didn't want to leave the sunny kitchen.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.
Kahlil Gibran

Life is given to us, we earn it by giving it.
Rabindranath Tagore

A Look Back

A couple of days ago I was reading a post by my friend, Sujatha, of Blogpourrie, about long layovers in airports and it brought back some vivid memories of my trip from Madrid, Spain to the US in 1969. I mentioned that to Sujatha in my comment to her and she urged me to write about it. It wasn’t particularly funny at the time, but looking back now, I have to admit I did get a large chuckle out of the memory and I decided to share it with the rest of you who might be planning on a LONG flight in the near future with small children.

In July of 1969 my husband, David, and I were living in Madrid, Spain where he was stationed with the Air Force. We had a daughter, Robyn, who was three and a half and another daughter, Kerith, who was thirteen months. I was six months pregnant with our third child at the time. We were due to go back to the states in October of that year and would be going to Great Falls, Montana where my husband was to be stationed at Malmstrom AFB. We were looking forward to returning to the states in spite of the fact that we had loved our three years in Europe.

There was one little problem, the obstetrician at the hospital informed me that I couldn’t wait that long to return to the states since my baby was due in November. So, we made plans for me to return to my parents home in Dallas, Texas. David would join me there in November and we would continue on to Montana.

The idea of that long of a trip with Robyn alone would have been a no brainer, she was quiet, well behaved, loved books – she was the perfect , adorable little girl and I was certain it was because we had raised her in the best possible way, right?? Then there was Kerith – what can I say? She was more than a hand full, she could be a terror and her greatest joy was to see how quickly she could piss Robyn off. I might add that I had very big babies and while you couldn’t tell I was pregnant from behind, when I turned around I had to be careful not to knock lamps off the tables etc. etc.

At best, this wasn’t going to be an easy trip! In spite of the fact that my very understanding pediatrician had given me a mild medication to keep Kerith sleepy for most of the trip back to the states.

David took us to the airbase that morning in July of 1969 and put the girls and I on the plane. There was a general returning to the states on the same plane and he had been given a going away party which ran over time and delayed his boarding for nearly two hours. Two hours in which the rest of us sat in the plane, on the runway, mumbling obscenities under our breath.

We finally took off and after a uneventful flight, arrived at an air base in New Jersey only to find that we had missed our connection to Atlanta by a half hour. We had to take a bus to Philadelphia to catch the plane for our next destination – Atlanta! Oh, did I mention that it was in the upper 90s and the humidity was about the same! Well, you get the picture!

We finally boarded the plane and took off. Robyn went to sleep immediately, her arms wrapped around a teddy bear. Kerith was still snoozing away and I was finally able to relax a bit and doze off as well. Then came the announcement! The pilots were experiencing some difficulty with the plane and we would have to land in Baltimore to have it taken care of – everyone would have to wait in the airport!

I did manage to talk the pilot and stewardesses into letting me remain on board – even though I knew it was going to be very hot – no air conditioning! But the thought of moving my overburdened body and two kids off still another airplane was more than I was willing to do. They did bring me lots of cold drinks, ice, water etc.; the girls continued to sleep, the baby I was carrying, stopped kicking and went back to doing whatever the unborn do and I was able to relax.

An hour later we were in the air again, next stop – Atlanta! It was two o’clock in the morning and I had to change planes again for the final leg of the “fun” journey back to Texas!

Now, you have to realize that during the nearly three years we had been in Europe, the hippie movement had really moved across the US, the media wasn’t what it is today and while I had read a little about it, I really had no idea how prevalent it had become in the states – that is until I walked off the plane and into the waiting room of the airport in Atlanta. Men with beards and long hair, clothes that looked as though they had never seen the inside of a washing machine, women in long dresses – also in need of a Laundromat , with long hair that could have used the Laundromat as well. Most of them sat on the floor all over the airport. Several women were nursing babies, breasts hanging out uncovered. Numerous little kids were running around, having a great time, as unwashed as their parent/parents and even dirtier – if possible. There were a couple of guys playing guitars and singing songs I had never heard before, pushing tin cups out asking for contributions to the “cause”.

Now, I was never, ever straight laced as they used to be called and I had certainly been a wild one so to speak in my day – well, at least my parents thought I was wild and don’t forget, my husband was black (well, actually David is still black, he’s just no longer my husband – good friend, though and his being black had nothing to do with our no longer being married). What I’m saying is that I was always a very liberal minded woman, but the new face of America in the 60s was still a shock.

And I was still in shock when the three and a half of us boarded our plane to Dallas. Ah, how time changes everything! Looking back I wonder if anything could shock me that much today. Probably not! But it’s been good for a chuckle or two.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

Love possesses not nor will it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love.
Kahlil Gibran

Love... It surrounds every being and extends slowly to embrace all that shall be. Kahlil Gibran

Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.
Kahlil Gibran

Sky Watch Friday

And it is Sky Watch Friday! Do join Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise who are so great to host Sky Watch and give us all a chance to share our skies! Click here to join the fun!
I meant to add this reminder of Purple Day to my blog, but I forgot at the last minute so I'm adding it now.

Here in Seattle it's very hard to believe that it is almost April! We still have beautiful skies, but only because of the constant, ever changing clouds that seem to change moods as frequently as I do! To be sure they're prettier! We have had rain, of course, snow with the biggest flakes I've ever seen, lots of wind and the skies changing totally on an almost hourly basis. Here are just a few from the last two days!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

An eye for an eye, and the whole world would be blind.
Kahlil Gibran

Coming generations will learn equality from poverty, and love from woes.
Kahlil Gibran

Perhaps the words this evening or more wise than beautiful, but they are all too true. So, we look to the skies for beauty.

Children Writing About the Ocean

As a former teacher, my friends know how much I enjoy reading about things that kids write and say in the classroms, consequently they send me the good, the bad and the funny things that they find. This is one of them for your afternoon giggle!

1) This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles. (Kelly,
age 6)

2) Oysters' balls are called pearls. (Jerry, age 6)

3) If you are surrounded by ocean you are an island. If you don't have
ocean all round you, you are incontinent. (Wayne, age 7)

4) Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily
Richardson. She's not my friend any more. (Kylie, age 6)

5) A dolphin breaths through an asshole on the top of its head.
(Billy, 8)

6) My uncle goes out in his boat with 2 other men and a woman and pots
and comes back with crabs. (Millie, age 6)

7) When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the
ocean. Sometimes when the wind didn't blow the sailors would whistle to make
the wind come. My brother said they would have been better off eating beans..
(William, age 7)

8) Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids. They are beautiful and
like their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant? Like,
really? (Helen, age 6)

10) Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting. Electric eels can
give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think
they have to plug themselves into chargers. (Christopher, age 7)

11) When you go swimming in the ocean, it is very cold, and it makes
my willy small. (Kevin, age 6)

12) Divers have to be safe when they go under the water. Divers can't
go down alone, so they have to go down on each other. (Becky, age 8)

14) The ocean is made up of water and fish. Why the fish don't drown I
don't know. (Bobby, age 6)

15) My dad was a sailor on the ocean. He knows all about the ocean.
What he doesn't know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom.
(James, 7)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

Let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
Kahlil Gibran

ABC Wednesday

Welcome to ABC Wednesday and today we celebrate the letter "J". Click here to sign up and join us for the fun!

I found "J" in the beauty of nature and in music and in the animal world!
J is for Jasmine!

And for Jonquil!

And J is for Jazz!

And J is for Jaguar!

A Few Reasons to Say "Holy S.. "!!

Okay, I've been pretty straight and proper the past few days, but these are soooo funny -- well, take a look and you'll understand the title!
So, you're driving down the road, listening to some great music, mind wandering and then suddenly! Holy S---!

You're headed down to the lake to do a little fishing, take some photos and you come upon someone else taking a photo! Holy S---!

You're taking a fun train ride through a really beautiful place, you lean out the window and! Holy S---!

You're enjoying a game of golf on a great, picturesque course in the mountains and suddenly out of the woods comes! Holy S---!

A stroll on a beautiful beach and then! Holy S---!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.
Kahlil Gibran

That's My World -- Mt. St. Helens

Welcome to That's My World, hosted by Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise. Click here to join us and share your world!

On May 19, 1980 I was living in Great Falls, Montana and that Monday morning when I awoke and looked out our bedroom window I was surprised to see that the ground was white and I thought it must have snowed during the night. But that didn't make much sense because it was a very comfortable temperature. Then my husband and I went outside and discovered the ground was covered with ashes and they were still falling as thick as snow. The wind from Washington had changed directions and it had brought the ashes from the eruption of Mt. St. Helens which had occured the day before, May 18, 1980. The whole town was eerily quiet throughout the day, school cancelled, people not going in to work. No one was quite sure just what it all meant or when it would end and would it have other consequences. A very new experience for most of us.

There are many unbelievable pictures and articles about this incredible event to be found online and I would encourage you to look for some of them. I have included some photos that I found online along with an account of what happened that beautiful May day in 1980 -- a day that so quickly turned so very dark. The photo above was taken prior to the eruption.

Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is 96 miles (154 km) south of Seattle and 53 miles (85 km) northeast of Portland, Oregon. Mount St. Helens takes its English name from the British diplomat Lord St Helens, a friend of explorer George Vancouver who made a survey of the area in the late 18th century. The volcano is located in the Cascade Range and is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire that includes over 160 active volcanoes. This volcano is well known for its ash explosions and pyroclastic flows.

Mount St. Helens is most famous for its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980, at 8:32am which was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. The eruption caused a massive debris avalanche, reducing the elevation of the mountain's summit from 9,677 feet (2,950 m) to 8,365 feet (2,550 m) and replacing it with a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide horseshoe-shaped crater.[2] The debris avalanche was up to 0.7 cubic miles (2.9 km3) in volume. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to preserve the volcano and allow for its aftermath to be scientifically studied.

As with most other volcanoes in the Cascade Range, Mount St. Helens is a large eruptive cone consisting of lava rock interlayered with ash, pumice, and other deposits. The mountain includes layers of basalt and andesite through which several domes of dacite lava have erupted. The largest of the dacite domes formed the previous summit, and off its northern flank sat the smaller Goat Rocks dome. Both were destroyed in the 1980 eruption.

Shaken by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the north face of this tall symmetrical mountain collapsed in a massive rock debris avalanche. Nearly 230 square miles of forest was blown down or buried beneath volcanic deposits. At the same time a mushroom-shaped column of ash rose thousands of feet skyward and drifted downwind, turning day into night as dark, gray ash fell over eastern Washington and beyond. The eruption lasted 9 hours, but Mount St. Helens and the surrounding landscape were dramatically changed within moments.

This is Mt. St. Helens several years after the eruption, as you can see, she is considerably smaller than she was before the eruption. She still frets and fusses and grumbles ever so often even now, just not like that day in May, twenty-nine years ago.
Coldwater Valley Overlook prior to eruption in 1979.

Coldwater Valley Overlook in 1981.

David Hoole, wrote the following:
Washington the Beautiful

The rivers ran thick with liquid earth and mighty forests were brought to their knees. And the air was filled with the roar of a thousand battles, the dust of a thousand armies. Day turned to night. And in the blink of an eye, Mt. St. Helens, the brilliant southern jewel of the Cascade crown, self destructed in a pyroclastic spasm of rage and fury. She stands now in lopsided disfigurement- a curiosity, a burned out, blasted facsimile of her former self. Yet if one looks carefully enough there is still a haunting echo of a previous beauty- regal boned beneath scarred skin. Or is it a distant reflection of something more disquieting? Is it the realization that having endured her cruel fate, deep inside St. Helens an angry fire burns still?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Kahlil Gibran

Have You Smiled Today????

Bet you will now!

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