I miss you Sam!!

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

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

I'm slipping away for a few days to Whidbey Island with friends and I'm really looking forward to it. I have scheduled my posts for the days I'm gone and will check in from time to time -- when I can find a computer. May is almost here!

Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.
Kahlil Gibran

O day after day we can't help growing older.
Year after year spring can't help seeming younger.
Come let's enjoy our winecup today,
Nor pity the flowers fallen.
Wang Wei, On Parting with Spring

There is more pleasure in making a garden than in contemplating a paradise.
Anne Scott-James

Shadow Shot Sunday!

Time to play with light and shadows hosted by Hey Harriet Click on Harriet's name and sign up to play!

We've had SUN! for several days and I've had such fun looking for shadows! I'm still fascinated by color shadows as well as the shadows of trees that actually have leaves on them now.

My favorite wine glass!

I actually felt like I was on the prow of a ship when I first saw this one.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tonight's Look at Wisdom and Beauty

Not hammer strokes, but dance of the water sings the pebbles into perfection.
- Rabindranath Tagore

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

The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.
- Anais Nin

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

The greed of gain has no time or limit to its capaciousness. Its one object is to produce and consume. It has pity neither for beautiful nature nor for living human beings. It is ruthlessly ready without a moment's hesitation to crush beauty and life out of them, molding them into money.
Rabindranath Tagore

Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on.
Rabindranath Tagore

I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy.
Anais Nin

Sky Watch Friday!

It's time to share our skys once again! Sky Watch is hosted by Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise click here to sign up and show Your Skys!

Here in Seattle we've gone from gray to sun to gray and back again! Always something different, something beautiful.

This one made me think of some other worldly, one-eyed creature peering down at us one evening last week.

Vapor trails were playing games in the sky this day and I love the rainbow colors although I'm not sure where they came from.

And finally an incredibley beautiful backdrop for the Tulip tree!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

And What About Our Children?

Speaking of financial crises and how they can expose weak companies and weak countries, Warren Buffett once famously quipped that “only when the tide goes out do you find out who is not wearing a bathing suit.” So true and I agree with NYT Op-Ed columnist Thomas Friedman who said in his column today that what’s really unnerving is that America appears to be one of those countries that has been swimming buck naked – in more ways than one.

He goes on to say that credit bubbles are like the tide. They can cover up a lot of rot. In our case, the excess consumer demand and jobs created by our credit and housing bubbles have masked not only our weaknesses in manufacturing and other economic fundamentals, but something worse: how far we have fallen behind in K-12 education and how much it is now costing us.

In the 1950s and 60s, the U.S. dominated the world in K-12 education. We also dominated economically. In the 1970s and 80s, we still had a lead, albeit smaller, in educating our population through secondary school, and we continued to lead the world economically, albeit with other big economies, like China, closing in. Today, we have fallen behind in both per capita high school graduates and their quality. Consequences to follow.

In the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment that measure the applied learning and problem-solving skills of 15-year-olds in 30 industrialized countries, the US ranked 26th out of the 30 in math, and 24th in science. That put our average youth on par with those from Portugal and the Slovak Republic, rather than with students in countries that are more relevant competitors for service-sector and high-value jobs, like Canada, the Netherlands, Korea and Australia. And while our fourth-graders compare well on such global tests with, say, Singapore, our high school kids really lag, which means that the longer American children are in school, the worse they perform compared to their international peers.

It’s not that we are failing across the board. There are huge numbers of exciting education innovations in America today, but the problem is that they are too scattered around the country leaving all kinds of achievement gaps between whites, African-Americans, Latinos and different income levels.

But it’s not just where education is concerned that we are failing our children. Bob Herbert, also a NYT Op-Ed columnist, wrote yesterday about our “Children in Peril”. There is little doubt that poverty and family homelessness are rising, the quality of public education in many communities is deteriorating and that legions of children are losing access to health care as their parents join the vastly expanded ranks of the unemployed.

Unemployment is expected to continue to rise for the foreseeable future, and with state and local governments staggering beneath the weight of budget deficits, there is no reason to believe that these problems and their profound negative impact on our children will do anything but worsen. States from coast to coast are cutting social service programs that include investigations of abuse and neglect along with socially beneficial and even life-saving programs for children are in the works in many states.

So, when do we stop the petty politics among those in Washington? I believe in Obama’s awareness of these problems as well as his desire to focus on trying to solve them, but what about members of the House and the Senate? When does our country, our people and particularly our children get put at the top of their list? That’s what I’m waiting for, but I’m not holding my breath.


My friend Bobbie of Almost There posted this on her blog this morning and I'm joining her to post it on mine. It is so important that we help where we can, support where we can, get the word out. Hope you will join us.

"Mariposas Action: Justice, Hope and Renewal

On May 3-4, 2006, police arbitrarily detained more than 45 women in response to protests by activists from a local peasant organization in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico. En route to "Santiaguito" prison, dozens of the women were physically, psychologically, and sexually abused by the arresting officers in police vehicles.

This May makes the third anniversary of the events at Atenco. yet the women continue to wait for adequate justice, and those responsible continue to enjoy impunity. The women have chosen the mariposa (butterfly) to represent their case and to symbolize their need for transformative justice and their own personal renewed strength for having endured and survived such torture. For the next two months, until the anniversary of the events at Atenco on May 3-4, Amnesty International activists are making paper butterflies to send to the Mexican authorities to demand justice in this case. Please join us and make as many butterflies as you can - get your friends and family involved and demand justice for the women of Atenco!"

You can send butterflies directly to the President of Mexico at:
Lic. Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa
Presidente Constitucional de los Estado Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de "Los Pinos", Casa Miguel
Col. San Miguel Chapultepet
Mexico D.F., C.P. 11850

Go to the site on your computer. Color or decorate the butterfly however you wish. You may sign your name on it if you like. - Cut it out. - Mail it to the President of Mexico. Send a letter if you wish. - Encourage family and friends to do the same.

For more information on this case, go to: amnestyusa

The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

My friends, James and Chiaki, who live in Portland, took a trip to one of Oregon's Tulip Festivals and sent me some lovely photos to share. I decided to post them this morning because I feel another rant coming on regarding children and education in our country today. So, enjoy the beauty, I'll be back later to put a damper on it all.

That's Mt. Hood in the background.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. 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

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

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.
Anais Nin

It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.
Anais Nin

It's all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all.
Anais Nin

ABC Wednesday

Hey! It's ABC Wednesday! Join Ms. Nesbitt and the rest of us and celebrate the letter N!

And today I celebrate N with NATURE and NASTURTIUMS!

Time for the Morning Giggle

Why Men Don't Write Advice Columns........

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'm 41, my husband is 44, and the neighbor's
daughter is 22.

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:

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 solves the problem, it could be that the fuel
pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the injectors.

I hope this helps,


And .....

Just in case you're wondering ...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.
Kahlil Gibran

Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.
Kahlil Gibran

When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.
Anais Nin

When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.
Anais Nin

That's My World -- Haunted Manresa Castle

Time for That's My World sponsored by Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise. Click here to sign up and share your world with us!

Several weeks ago I wrote about Port Townsend, WA for My World. I purposely didn’t write about a particular site in Port Townsend because I thought it was interesting enough for me to devote an entire segment about it on My World. And that is what my subject is for today. The photos are courtesy of Google.

Today, Manresa Castle is a well known hotel in Port Townsend, Washington. It is the site of many weddings, as well as a great place for vacationers. It also hosts Milongas which are specifically devoted to the tango, and groups of tango fans who enjoy celebrating and dancing that beautiful and exotic dance. It also has a reputation for being haunted.

The Castle was completed in 1892 as the home of Charles and Kate Eisenbeis. Mr. Eisenbeis was a prominent member of the early Port Townsend business community. His business interests were diverse including a bakery, brick works, lumber mill, brewery, bank and a hotel. In 1878, when Port Townsend became the first incorporated city in Jefferson County, its citizens elected Eisenbeis as the first mayor.

In keeping with his status in the community, Eisenbeis built what was the largest private residence ever built in Port Townsend, consisting of 30 rooms. Locals referred to the building as the "Eisenbeis Castle;" its design was reminiscent of some of the castles in Eisenbeis' native Prussia.

The walls were 12 inches thick, made with bricks from Eisenbeis' own brick work's and the roof was slate. Tiled fireplaces and finely crafted woodwork were installed by German artisans.

Charles died in 1902 and Kate remarried a few years later. The Castle was left empty for almost 20 years except for a caretaker. In 1925, a Seattle attorney bought the Castle as a vacation place for nuns teaching in Seattle schools. This plan did not work out well and in 1927 the Jesuit priests purchased the building for use as a training college. The priests spent their sixteenth and final year of training here studying ascetic theology.

In 1928, the Jesuits added a large wing housing a chapel and sleeping rooms. They also installed the elevator (an Otis) at a cost of $3,400 -- a substantial sum in those days. When their addition was complete, the Jesuits stuccoed over the bricks of the original portion to give the building a more uniform look. They named the complex "Manresa Hall" after the town in Spain where Ignatius Loyola founded the order.

The Jesuits left in 1968 and the building was converted into a hotel. The elements "Manresa" and "Castle" were taken from the two previous owners to create the current name.

The three different owners since 1968 have all done their part to lovingly renovate the building to modern standards while maintaining its Victorian elegance. For example, there were only 3 bathrooms when the Jesuits left - today there are 43.

Ghost Stories:
Reports are that rooms 302, 304 & 306 are haunted. There are reports of two ghosts in residence. One is about a monk who hung himself in the attic. Sometimes people hear footsteps walking above them, but there is no one in the attic. The other ghost is a young lady who had been waiting for her beloved to return from war. After hearing of his demise, she threw herself out her window.
Also, In the chapel/cafe drinking glasses are know to explode, even when in one server's hand, & sometimes the empty glasses are know to be turned upside-down. There were many entries in the room journals, that the manager has graciously let some visitors read, that comment on the Castle's haunting.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

It's been a lovely day -- not quite as much sun as I would have liked, but much warmer and in a way the beautiful colors seem even more beautiful against the gray/blue skies. So, I decided to share not only the lovely colors, but the lovely words that some have written about spring. This line by Gzowski does indeed express my feelings lately!!

We need spring. We need it desperately, and, usually, we need it before God is willing to give it to us.
- Peter Gzowski

But as you wind down your day, take time to appreciate the beauty that can be seen most everywhere -- if you take the time to look.

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant

Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly--and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
- Omar Khayyám

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.
- Virgil A. Kraft

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