I miss you Sam!!

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

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pet Pride

It's time for our pets to have their day with Bozo of Wings and Paws who sponsors this meme and gives us all a great chance to show our stuff! Click here to sign up and play!

This is my friend, Izzie! Well, she was my friend when she was little!


Now she'd rather play with Mojo!


As for Mojo, well as you can see, she's passed out again!

Now, look into my eyes! How can you possibly resist a face like mine?

Posted by Picasa

Shadow Shot Sunday!

Time to tip toe around looking in all kinds of strange places, obvious places, wherever for shadows to share with Harriet and the rest of us on Shadow Shot Sunday! Click on here to sign up and have the most fun ever!

My first two shadows came as I was cleaning and waxing the shelves around our fireplace and took some of the trinkets there and put them on the window sill. Of course, the minute I did on this gorgeous sunny day, I saw some fun shadows! A crystal dolphin given to me by a good friend for Christmas one year and a lovely set of star shaped candle holders my husband bought for me one year for my birthday when we lived in Germany.

Then there was a marvelous shadow on the grass near the beach where I had such a fun morning taking pictures!

Happy 4th of July from Seattle!

May you all have a wonderful July 4th!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Evening Wisdom, Nature, Beauty

If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.
Henry David Thoreau

Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he's been given. But up to now he hasn't been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild life's become extinct, the climate's ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day. [Uncle Vanya, 1897]
Anton Chekhov

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.
Mohandas K. Gandhi

The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.
Blaise Pascal

To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.
Helen Keller

Looking Back - Part 9 - A Job That Made a Difference

My husband and I raised our kids in Montana, where my husband was stationed at Malmstrom AFB. I didn't work outside the home while the kids were small, but when they were all in elementary/kindergarten,I took a teaching position in the same Catholic school they attended. I didn’t teach any of their classes, of course, but it was fun because we could go to school together in the mornings, come home together in the afternoon and we had the same holidays and shared the same school activities.

Once they moved on to public middle schools, I took a job at the local library. I had gotten discouraged with schools in general, as well as the teaching environment at the time. I decided that I needed a change. So, for a couple of years I worked in various departments of the library and enjoyed it primarily because I got to be around books all the time and books have always been one of my favorite things.

But then one day I saw an ad in the newspaper that tweaked my curiosity. It was regarding a new program in Montana and the position was for a director of a local facility for a project called Independent Living. It was designed to help people with disabilities to become more integrated into the community. It was something I felt strongly about, something that I felt needed to happen for the disabled and so, although I knew very little about disabilities and knew no disabled people in the community, I knew I was more than willing and able to learn. So, I put in my application. Three days later I had my first interview.

The project was being directed by a nun, Sister Helen, out of the program's office in the state capital in Helena and she was looking for directors for Great Falls and Billings offices. The interview went well and I met a wonderful disabled man, Jim Clark, who worked in the local office of the state employment department. He would be working with the new project as well.

I had to admit that I had no experience with the disabled, but that I was willing to learn and that I felt very strongly about the need for such a program. However, no one was more amazed than I was when three days later I was offered the job. I had to ask them why they had chosen me. Thinking about it later, their answer made perfect sense – for one thing, I didn’t know what many involved with the disabled, considered impossible, I didn’t know what the usual excuses were for why the project’s goals were out of reach, I didn’t see why it couldn’t be done. They didn’t hire a disabled person at the time because there weren’t that many that would even be able to access and do much of what had to be done – that’s how bad conditions were at that time. The plan was to put the entire project in the hands of the disabled once the immediate goals were achieved. I knew the job probably wouldn’t last more than three to four years, and I was more than okay with that as I felt the disabled should, indeed run their own project, but I was excited about being able to help get it moving.

They also hired me an assistant, a Vietnam veteran who, due to wounds he received there had developed epilepsy and had been unable to find work in spite of having a degree in business. His name was David – one more David in my life in addition to my husband, David and my son, David -- well, at least I wouldn't have to worry about talking in my sleep.

The next three years were among the best, the most exciting and rewarding years of my life.

Our first task was to find and furnish an office. Once that was done, we set about locating as many of the disabled in the Great Falls area as possible. We got lists from hospitals, care givers and state offices. We visited one on one with as many as possible. We set up meetings where the disabled could come and voice their needs, their hopes and we began a list of things to accomplish. Things like providing parking spaces, with parking meters low enough for them to reach from a wheelchair --the idea of free handicapped parking hadn't even been thought of at the time. Ramps to enable them to cross streets, attend church; go to movies, access the working environments so they might be able to get jobs, doors wide enough to allow wheelchair entrance into restaurants, stores, offices, restrooms. It was a daunting task and we met a lot of resistance, and lots of excuses as to why it could never happen.

But over the next three years it did happen, as we set about to educate the public about the disabled. We met with business owners and city officials. We even took part in a school program in local high schools where we brought people with different disabilities to meet with students, to tell them their story about their disabilities and to answer questions. Gradually we began to see such incredible and wonderful changes not only in the disabled community, but in the entire community as they began to accept the disabled as needed and viable members.

Looking back and seeing how much has changed for the disabled over the past twenty-eight years gives me one of those warm, fuzzy feelings just knowing that I had a small part in making that happen for a lot of people in Great Falls, Montana.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty

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

Music fills the infinite between two souls
Rabindranath Tagore

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.
Albert Schweitzer

The good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge.
Bertrand Russell

Good things happen to those who hustle.
Anais Nin

Sky Watch Friday!

Summer is here, the skies are beautiful everywhere! Join us along with the hosts of Sky Watch Friday, Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise and share the beauty! Click here to sign up!

This week has been Seattle at it's best! Blue skies, warm sun, cool breeze! Needless to say, I headed for the beach and the park just five minutes from our house. There were a few gauzy clouds earlier, but they soon vanished. All of the photos will look better if you click on them to embiggen.

Such rich green trees and shrubs hugging the edge of the sandy beach. Took my breath away!

There was one young man out on the water early with his water skies and sail/kite!

There were sailing boats everywhere and lots of people!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Evening Wisdom, Thoughts and Beauty

I just realized that today is my blog's 1st birthday! And what a year it has been!
To all of you who have added so much to my life over the past year, your friendship, your understanding, your encouragement, your marvelous comments, I just want to say, Thank you! from the bottom of my heart!


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


The soil, in return for her service, keeps the tree tied to her; the sky asks nothing and leaves it free.
- Rabindranath Tagore


God respects me when I work, but loves me when I sing.
- Rabindranath Tagore

The butterfly counts not months but moments, And has time enough.
- Rabindranath Tagore

Posted by Picasa

A Trip to Costco

A friend of mine sent this to me yesterday and I thought it said a lot for senior humor.

Yesterday I was at my local COSTCO buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Biscuit, the Wonder Dog and was in the checkout line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had, an elephant? So since I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn't, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.) Horrified, she asked if I ended u p in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter's butt and a car hit us both.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

Costco won't let me shop there anymore.

Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Looking Back Part 8 – A Cinderella Evening

In 1967 my husband returned from Vietnam and after a month’s leave, we left the states for his new assignment to an air base in Wiesbaden, Germany. Our daughter, Robyn, was nine months old we were excited about picking up the pieces of our lives after Vietnam and making the most of the three year tour in Europe.

As many of you who have been reading these posts of mine know, my husband was a silver medalist in the 1964 Olympics and soon after we arrived in Germany he discovered that one of his team mates, who was in the army, was also stationed in Germany. The two of them became part of an American fencing team that was entered in several fencing tournaments in several countries. The first one was in Milan, Italy. We went by train and took our daughter and had a great trip. Shortly after that David told me that the team had been invited by the Commander of the French Forces in Germany, General Jacques Massu, to participate in a tournament in Baden-Baden.

The fencing tournaments in Europe were quite different from the ones in the states. At the finish of this particular tournament, the finalists would compete in the evening at a formal occasion. The award ceremony for the winning team would be followed by a formal ball. It all sounded very exciting! I set about shopping for an evening gown to wear – just in case the American team won. Our team members weren’t too excited about the tournament as they figured the French or the Germans would take the honors.

A couple we had become good friends with and who had a daughter about the same age as Robyn, suggested that she stay with them for the two nights that we would be gone. Three days later we packed the car with fencing gear and formal attire for both of us – just in case.

The unexpected happened and the US Military Fencing Team was one of the two finalists of the tournament and the excitement really heated up! I got all decked out in a flaming red silk formal and David carried his dress uniform with him to site of the finals/ballroom.

Candlelit dinner tables were set up around the room with the fencing strips down the middle of the floor, the crowd of French military officers, their wives and the wives of those participating in the finals began to fill the room and we were escorted to our tables by members of the French Military. I happened to be seated at a table in the front row so I had the perfect view of the fencing strip.

And the finals began.

The American team did very well from the beginning and I was so excited! And never having been one to sit back quietly and mind my manners, I was soon jumping up and down – formal gown and all. When there was a break, one of the women at my table nudged me and nodded her head toward the table where General Massu and his wife, Suzanne, were sitting along with members of his staff. The general was standing, looking at me and raising a glass of champagne. I stood and acknowledged the toast and raised my own glass. There was a big round of applause. I still feel pretty sure that David was shaking his head wondering just what in the hell I would do next.

The final round found the United States Fencing Team winners of the Military Tournament that night. The fencing strips were removed while the fencers received their awards and were applauded. Trophy in hand, they went to change into their formal attire.

The orchestra settled into one end of the ballroom and the music began. A few minutes later, General Massu walked across the floor and asked me for the opening dance. Oh, yes, it was indeed a Cinderella moment! As we danced he complimented the American Team and David and my gown. When the music stopped, he led me to his table where he introduced me to his wife and the members of their party. Then he walked me back to my table, where he bowed and kissed my hand. The whole room applauded. The American team had indeed won the day!

Needless to say, it was a fantastic, fun evening. Most definitely a night I will never forget.

Several months later I ran across an article in a military paper that told of a book that Suzanne Massu had written about her experiences as an ambulance driver during WW II and how she had met her husband, the general. I read the book and wrote her a note telling her how much I enjoyed it. I had a lovely letter back from her, telling me how much she had enjoyed meeting us. She told me that it was very encouraging to meet two Americans who had risen above the prejudice still so prevalent in our country at that time.

I often hear people in this country complain about the French and their attitude regarding the United States, but a lot of that is our own fault with the attitude that many take to other countries. David and I were an unusual couple back then, but I think it was more than that. It was our willingness to learn or attempt to learn at least a little of the language of other countries, their history, their culture. Whatever it was, we were treated with so much kindness and consideration and respect -- wherever we went.

Suzanne Massu died in 1977. General Massu retired from the military in 1969. He died October 26, 2002, he was 94.

A Little Humor for the Morning

Monday, June 29, 2009

Evening Wisdom, Summer, Beauty


Almost everything in life is easier to get into than out of.
~Agnes' Law

Posted by Picasa

Life is a shit sandwich. But if you've got enough bread, you don't taste the shit. ~Jonathan Winters

Life is little more than a loan shark: It exacts a very high rate of interest for the few pleasures it concedes.
~Luigi Pirandello


The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
~Wallace Stevens

In summer, the song sings itself.
~William Carlos Williams


That's My World -- The Washington Coast

It's time again to show off your world! That's My World is hosted every week by Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise. Click here to sign up and share with all of us the beauty of your world!

One of the most spectacular things about the northwest and most definitely my favorite are the coasts of both Washington and Oregon. Today I'm sharing the Washington coast with you. As most of you know, I have only taken up photography recently and while I have traveled up and down the coastline here in Washington, I unfortunately was not taking photos. So, needless to say, my cache of photos was quickly depleted although I'm trying to replenish as quickly as possible. Fortunately, Google has a marvelous supply, so these are courtesy of Sir Google! The beauty here doesn't require any words from me.

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