I miss you Sam!!

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

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
~Author Unknown

Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another.
~Juvenal, Satires

The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.

In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.
~Charles A. Lindbergh, Life, 22 December 1967

Shadow Shot Sunday!

Ah! fun time! Playing with shadows! It's Shadow Shot Sunday! This is sponsored by Hey Harriet! Click on her name to sign up and join in the fun!

Well, you know I have developed this passion for colored shadows and yesterday I found myself wandering around Value Village looking for "colorful glass thingies"! And this is one that I found.

Then lunch on the deck always tempts me to play! However, I think my timing was wrong -- the shadows looked a lot bigger that they did the last time I took them -- hmmmm don't say it! I haven't gained a pound!!

And what is lovelier than a leafed-out tree on a sunny spring day!

Jump Start Class

One of our neighbors developed a Jump Start program for pre-school children a number of years ago and it has been incorporated in the school system here in Ballard, WA.
The program is designed to prepare children four and five years old for Kindergarten and it has had great results. Click on the photos to see the little buggers' faces, some of the expressions are pretty cute.

Soon after I moved here, Toni asked if I would be interested in volunteering one day a week in the class that she teaches (there are two classes a day, two teachers for each class). She told me she thought it would be good to be able to have someone available to read to the kids during their play time. I agreed and have been doing it every Wednesday.

I took my camera to class with me a couple of weeks ago and got some shots of the kids during snack time and thought I'd share those with you this morning.

Some of the other grades have planted a garden and spend part of their science class planting and tending the plants.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news.
The good news is that you don't know how great you can be!
How much you can love! What you can accomplish!
And what your potential is!
- Anne Frank

Life is a gift of nature; but beautiful living is the gift of wisdom.
- Greek Adage

We can stay young by focusing on a dream instead of on a regret.
- Unknown

It is a mistake to regard age as a downhill grade toward
dissolution. The reverse is true. As one grows older
one climbs with surprising strides.
- George Sand

Liberty University Expels Campus Democrats -- Oh, Really!

NBC's First Read reported the following article today. My, my, it does say a lot about Republicans and Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Choice and you know, all those other silly, socialist/democratic ideas, huh?

Liberty University, the school in Virginia founded by the late Jerry Falwell, has expelled the Democratic Party club on the campus, saying that the national Democratic Party's views contradict the university's mission.

Said a school official in an email to the Democratic club, according to the Lynchburg (VA) newspaper: "The Democratic Party platform is contrary to the mission of Liberty University and to Christian doctrine (supports abortion, federal funding of abortion, advocates repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, promotes the "LGBT" agenda, hate crimes, which include sexual orientation and gender identity, socialism, etc.)."

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe held a conference call with reporters in support of the Democrats at Liberty University.

Of course, one must ask: Just how many Dems attend Liberty?

Giggle for the Morning

This is a true story, proving how fascinating the mind of a six year old is. They think so logically.

A teacher was reading the Three Little Pigs story to her class. She came to the part where the

first pig was trying to gather building materials for his home. She read,

the first pig went up to the man with a wheelbarrow full of straw and
said, 'Pardon me sir, but may I have some of that straw to build my house?'

The teacher paused then asked the class, 'And
what do you think the man said?'

One little boy raised his hand and said very matter-of-factly,

I think the man would have said,

Well, I'll be a son-of-a-bitch, a talking pig!'

Needless to say, the teacher had to leave the room for a few minutes.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Evening Wisdom, Thoughts and Beauty

Our care should not be to have lived long as to have lived enough.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Soren Kierkegaard

Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it depends on what you put into it.
Tom Lehrer

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Winston Churchill

Sky Watch Friday!

Time to share the beauty of your skies! Sky Watch Friday! is graciously hosted by Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise! So click here to sign up and share with us the beauty of your skies!

It seemed that vapor trails were playing games again in the skies over Ballard (Seattle) this week. The first one you may have to click to embiggen to see what I'm talking about. It looked like a string of beads. And it disappeared in minutes.

The next two looked as though they were playing loop de loop.

As always, our blue spring skies serve as a lovely backdrop for the beauty here on the ground.

And then the sunset.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
Abraham Lincoln

Life is rather like a tin of sardines - we're all of us looking for the key.
Alan Bennett

Life is like an onion: You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.
Carl Sandburg

I love my past. I love my present. I'm not ashamed of what I've had, and I'm not sad because I have it no longer.

Denial and the Real Cost of War

Bob Herbert had a heartbreaking Op-Ed piece in the NYT this morning. He wrote of the incredible and overwhelming number of young men and women who are suffering serious mental and psychological problems due to repeated tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Just last week John Russell, a 44-year old Army sergeant who had been recognized as deeply troubled and was on his third tour in Iraq, went into the counseling center on the afternoon of May 11 and opened fire -- killing an Army officer, a Navy officer and three enlisted soldiers. The three enlistees were 19, 20 and 25 years old.

As Herbert says, this is what happens in wars. Wars are about killing and once the killing is unleashed it takes many, many forms. Which is why it's so sick to fight unnecessary wars and so immoral to send other people's children off to wars -- psychic as well as physical -- from which one's own children are carefully protected.

The destructive effects of war in Iraq and Afghanistan should not have surprised anyone. Speaking of Iraq back in 2004, Dr. Stephen C. Joseph, who had been an assistant secretary of defense during the Clinton administration, said, "I have a very strong sense that the mental health consequences are going to be the medical story of the war."

Because we have chosen not to share the sacrifices of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the terrible burden of these conflicts is being shouldered by an obscenely small portion of the population. Since this warrior class is so small, the same troops have to be sent into the war zones for tour after harrowing tour.

As the tours mount up, so do the mental health problems. Combat is crazy-making to start with. Multiple tours are recipes for complete meltdowns, Herbert writes and I couldn't agree more.

The RAND Corporation reported in a study released last year, that not only is a higher proportion of the armed forces being deployed, but deployments have been longer, redeployment to combat has been common, and breaks between deployments have been infrequent. Recent attempts by the military to deal with aspects of deployment policies have amounted to much too little, much too late. The same Rand study found that approximately 300,000 men and women who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan were already suffering from P.T.S.D. or major depression. That's nearly one in every five returning veterans. Many of these stories of violence, drunkenness, broken homes and suicides never make there way into print. The public that professes such admiration and support for our fighting men and women really aren't that interested in the dirty details.

We are brutally and cold-bloodedly sacrificing the psychological well-being of these men and women, which should be a scandal. If these wars are so important to our national security, we should all be engaging in some form of serious sacrifice and many more of us should be serving.

But as Herbert says, the country soothes its conscience and tamps down it's guilt with the cowardly invocation: "Oh, they're volunteers. They knew what they were getting into."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
Rachel Carlson

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
Greek Proverb

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.
John Muir

ABC Wednesday - R

Time to play with the alphabet again and today's letter is R! ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt. Click here to sign up and play!

R is for Rainbow Roses! These are real, dyes are injected into the stem before the plant buds. They have blue ones and lavendar ones and they are exquisite AND expensive, as you can see!

And Raccoons!

For Red vegetables!

And for wishing you a Rainbow Day!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness.
Albert Einstein

Flowers are the sweetest things that God ever made and forgot to put a soul into.
Henry Ward Beecher

Nature is the art of God.
Dante Alighieri

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we only will tune in.
George Washington Carver

Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.
Rabindranath Tagore

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