I miss you Sam!!

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

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pet Pride!

Come on pets of all kinds, join Bozo from Mumbai and lets show everyone how special, cute, smart and beautiful we are! Get your two legged friend to click here on Bozo's name, and sign you up to show your stuff!

Here is Mojo, showing off one of her toys! She's too big to play with that anyway! At least I think so!


I just have to get out of the house sometimes, she makes me so mad and I don't want to hurt her -- her dad just might kick me out of the house!


She's got her nerve! Getting in my Mom's lap!!


Guess I'll just smoke my rawhide cigar -- maybe that will help me relax!!

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Evening, Wisdom and Beauty


The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.
Isak Dinesen


The true peace of God begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land. Joseph Conrad


The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.
Kate Chopin

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One's first step in wisdom is to question everything - and one's last is to come to terms with everything.
Georg C. Lichtenberg

Shadow Shot Sunday!

Shadow Shot Sunday is hosted by Hey Harriet each week! Click on her name to sign up and have some fun! Become a shadow detective and start looking for those elusive/interesting/fun shots!

My son, Adam, and I took the dogs to the beach this morning and it was so beautiful! And shadows were everywhere!

This is Sam Schnauzer!


This is Adam's dog Mojo watching to see where the stick Adam has just thrown will land!


Adam, Sam and Mojo in the sand!


Rocks and moss washed up and drying on the beach.

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1. She was in the bathroom, putting on her makeup, under the watchful eyes of her young granddaughter, as she'd done many times before. After she applied her lipstick and started to leave, the little one said, 'But Gramma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!'

I will probably never put lipstick on again without thinking about kissing the toilet paper good-bye...

2. My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him, '62.'
My grandson was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, 'Did you start at 1?'

3. After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. Finally, she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings.
As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a trembling voice, 'Who was THAT?'

4. A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like: 'We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing we made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front garden. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods'
The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this all in.. At last she said, 'I sure wish I'd known you sooner!'

5. My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, 'Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?'
I mentally polished my halo and I said, 'No, how are we alike?''
'You're both old,' he replied.

6. A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's computer. She told him she was writing a story. 'What's it about?' he asked.
'I don't know,' she replied. 'I can't read.'

7. I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was.. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued.
At last, she headed for the door, saying, 'Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these, yourself!'

8. When my grandson Billy and I entered our holiday cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, 'It's no use Grandpa. Now the mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights.'

9. When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, 'I'm not sure.
''Look in your underwear, Grandpa,' he advised, 'mine says I'm 4 to 6.'

10. A second grader came home from school and said to her grandmother, 'Grandma, guess what? We learned how to make babies today.'
The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep her cool. 'That's interesting,' she said, 'how do you make babies?
'It's simple,' replied the girl. 'You just change the 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'."

11. Children's Logic: 'Give me a sentence about a public servant,' said a teacher.
The small boy wrote: 'The fireman came down the ladder pregnant.'
The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. 'Don't you know what pregnant means?' she asked.
'Sure,' said the young boy confidently. 'It means carrying a child.'

12. A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren to their home one day when a fire engine zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire engine was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog's duties.
'They use him to keep crowds back,' said one child.
'No,' said another. 'He's just for good luck.'
A third child brought the argument to a close. 'They use the dogs,' she said firmly, 'to find the fire hydrants.'

13. A 6-year-old was asked where his grandma lived.
''Oh,'' he said, ''she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just go and get her. then when her visit has finished, we take her back to the airport. '

14. Grandpa is the smartest man on earth! he teaches me good things, but I don't get to see him enough to get as smart as him!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Looking Back - Part 9 - Adventures on the Road

By late 1971 we had four children ages five, three, two and a half and six months and needless to say I had my hands full. Fortunately, they were all very good kids and well behaved. My first daughter was the epitome of the perfect child from the day she was born and I naturally assumed it was all due to my marvelous parenting. Then my second daughter was born and while she was (and is) beautiful and funny, she was also a holy terror whose greatest pleasure was derived from tormenting her older sister. So much for being the perfect parent. The two boys came later and they were pretty much kept in line by both of their sisters.

By that time we were living in Montana. As you know, my husband was in the Air Force and he was stationed at Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, Montana once we returned from Europe. He got a month leave every year and while most of our neighbors took a week here and a week there during the year, my husband would save all of his until summer and then we’d travel for a month. We had purchased a small camping trailer a couple of years earlier and it had worked quite well. Still, traveling with four kids in the back of a station wagon – even with a trailer was not conducive to making long trips. And so following fall my husband took the trailer to Dallas and my father sold it for us.

Then just as we were beginning to wonder what our next travel solution might be, my father called to tell us about an ad that he had found in the Sunday Dallas Morning News and that he had checked out. It seems that an oil man in Dallas had purchased a brand new, large, customized Winnebago and had an employee deliver it to him from the Winnebago factory. He planned to use it as his office in the field. He had it two days and died of a heart attack. His family was quite wealthy and no one was interested in having a Winnebago, they just wanted to settle his estate and move on. My father felt that the price they were asking was too unbelievable to pass up. We agreed and arranged for the loan at the bank and my father handled it from there. It was winter and we weren’t going to be able to travel for several months so my father and mother said that they would keep it at their house until spring, at which time they would drive it to Montana. It was the beginning of some wonderful times on the road and was the absolute perfect way to travel with the four kids and the dog and the cat! It had a full bedroom in the back, a bath with a shower, lots of storage room, a kitchen with cabinets, sink and a stove, with an eye level oven and a fridge. The couch made a double bed; there was a double bunk over the driver and passenger seats. There was a comfortable chair in the living room area, a pull out dining table. It had a built in vacuum system and just in case traveling became a little too overwhelming, there was a built in liquor cabinet. Looking back in light of the motor homes they have today, it was crude at best, but back then it was a castle on wheels!

As the children got older we decided to try and make our month long travels educational as well as fun. We thought with all the historical sites within easy traveling distance we could perhaps liven up history and help make it come alive for them. So, we chose sites, found books about them to read along the way. The day school was out we would hit the road.

One of the most interesting trips was one in which we pretty much followed the path of the Nez Perce Indians as they had tried so desperately to escape the military troops who were determined to either kill them or get them back onto the land that had been assigned to them in the Treaty of 1863. Nez Perce country in the Northwest included the territory where Washington, Oregon, and Idaho join together. But when the Treaty of 1863 decreased their lands to one-tenth its original size, some of the Nez Perce bands refused to agree and became known as “non-treaty” Nez Perce. Among them were Joseph and his band, who were located in the Wallowa Valley in Oregon. In 1877, a number of young warriors from Joseph’s band attacked settlements of people who had earlier killed members of their family. When the U.S. Army was sent to make a show of force, the Nez Perce drove them back, and the Nez Perce War of 1877 began.

Fearing retaliation, the non-treaty Nez Perce fled their homelands. They walked or rode, but whatever, just kept moving in any way they could in order to reach safety. They initially hoped the Crow Indians, their hunting partners on the Plains, would give them shelter once they crossed the Rocky Mountains. When the Crows instead attacked them and stole horses, the last chance for the Nez Perce was flight into Canada where they might live with Sitting Bull’s Sioux.

Traveling over 1,500 miles, through what would become the four states of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and finally Montana, the fugitive Nez Perce kept moving – they were determined to reach safety for themselves and their families. Their long journey took them through the newly established Yellowstone National Park where they encountered several groups of tourists. The journey lasted more than three months, across mountains, rivers, and prairies.

As we followed their trail, we would spend the evenings reading to the kids about the next step in the Nez Perce's journey. When we finally reached the Bear Paw along the Montana Canadian border where the last battle was fought, we were on that last leg of our trip as well. It was late when we arrived that first night and in the dark you would swear that you could hear the ghosts of those who had died there. We would find ourselves almost whispering as we wondered and talked about what Chief Joseph's thoughts were. At that time it was a very remote, rugged and somewhat sad place. Early the next morning we walked over the site. At that time there were still holes to be seen where both soldiers and Indians had dug in with the hopes of avoiding bullets. It had the same eerie feeling that you get at the Custer Battlefield where you would swear you can hear the sounds of the battle still raging. Somehow you can feel the history and it makes an impression that books alone could never achieve.

I feel that those trips were among the best things we ever did for our kids and we all still have wonderful memories of those times. Memories that I know none of us will forget.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Evening Wisdom, Summer, Beauty


If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.
Lewis Carroll


Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.
Tom Kraus


Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

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I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sky Watch Friday!

Sky Watch is hosted each Friday by Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise. It's a fun way to share your lovely skies with people all over the world! Click here to sign up and join the fun!

Here in Seattle we've had a little of everything from clear, summer blue to the lovely colors of the sunsets. In this first shot -- do click on it to embiggen, I caught a plane climbing steeply in the late afternoon sky. It looks almost completely vertical.



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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Evening Wisdom, Thoughts and Beauty

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain

While there's life, there's hope.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Good things happen to those who hustle.
Anais Nin

A single rose can be my garden... a single friend, my world.
Leo Buscaglia

The Lessons We Haven’t Learned

We all like to believe that we learn something from the past, but I’m not sure that we as a country have learned from ours – particularly the tragic lessons we could and should have learned from Vietnam. Bob Herbert’s Op-Ed column in the NYT yesterday pointed out some those lessons as he wrote about the death of Robert McNamara. McNamara, who was Lyndon Johnson’s icy-veined, cold and rigidly intellectual point man for a war that sent thousands upon thousands of people (most of them young) to their utterly pointless deaths, has died at the ripe old age of 93.
Long after the horror of Vietnam was over, McNamara did concede, in remarks that were like rubbing salt in the still festering wounds of the loved ones of those thousands who had died, that he had been “wrong, terribly wrong” about the war. Herbert says that he felt nothing but contempt for McNamara’s confession. I can understand why.

Herbert was drafted in the mid-1960s as the build up for the war got into full swing. He speaks of having expectations of the recruits being a tough bunch, who would somehow all look like John Wayne, only to find on the first day of basic training at Fort Dix, N.J. that he was a part of a motley gathering of mostly scared and skinny kids who looked like the guys he had gone to high school with. And that was who was shipped off to Vietnam in droves. Youngsters 18, 19, 20 and 21. Many would die there and many others would come back scarred forever. I know that it is all still very vivid in my mind because my husband was one of the first to go. Fortunately, he was an officer and in the Air Force, so although his tour of duty was surely no walk in the park, it was better than being among the droves of kids in the army.

Johnson and Mcnamara should have been looking out for those kids, who knew nothing about geopolitics, or why they were being turned into trained killers who, we were told, cold cold-bloodedly smoke the enemy – “Good shot!” and then kick back and smoke a Marlboro. Many of those kids would end up weeping on the battlefield, crying for their moms with their dying breaths. Or trembling uncontrollably as they watch buddies, covered in filth, bleed to death before their eyes, or sometimes, in their arms.

Herbert writes that he was lucky – he was sent to Korea, which according to him was no walk in the park, but it wasn’t Vietnam. But no one could really escape the horror of Vietnam. Herbert got letters from home that were heartbreaking as he learned of friend after friend who had been killed there.

He asked the same question that many of us asked at that time and that many more are asking today – why? And for what?

McNamara didn’t know. Herbert writes that his sister’s boyfriend got shot. And a very close friend of his came back from Vietnam so messed up psychologically that he killed his wife and himself.

I totally agree with Herbert who writes that the hardest lesson for people in power to accept is that wars are unrelentingly hideous enterprises, that they butcher people without mercy and therefore should be undertaken only when absolutely necessary.

Kids who are sent off to war are forced to grow up too fast. They soon learn what real toughness is, and it has nothing to do with lousy bureaucrats and armchair warriors sacrificing the lives of the young for political considerations and hollow, flag-waving, risk-free expressions of patriotic fervor. Amen to that!!

As it turned out, McNamara had realized early on that Vietnam was a lost cause, but he kept that crucial information close to his chest, like a gambler trying to bluff his way through a bad hand, as America continued to send tens of thousands to their doom. How in God’s name was he even able to look at himself in the mirror, Herbert asks. And found myself asking the same question – not only about Vietnam, but about our current debacle in Iraq.

So, lessons learned from Vietnam? Apparently none.

McNamara, relying on intelligence reports, told Johnson that evidence of the attack on American warships by North Vietnamese patrol boats was ironclad, but in actuality the attack never happened. Does that remind any of you of the “slam dunk” evidence of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction?

How many more young men and women have to die? More than 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam and some 2 to 3 million Vietnamese. More than 4,000 Americans have died in Iraq and no one knows how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. There have recently been seven more Americans G.I.’s killed in Afghanistan – a war that made sense in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, but are all but senseless now.

I agree with Herbert who says that, none of these wars had clearly articulated goals or endgames. None were pursued with the kind of intensity and sense of common purpose and shared sacrifice that marked World War II. Wars are now mostly background noise, distant events overshadowed by celebrity deaths and the antics of Sarah Palin, Mark Sanford, and the like.

When will we and the politicians realize that the obscenity of war seems to be lost in our world today? That is a truly sad legacy to leave to our children.

Maxine in the Morning

The sun hasn't put in an appearance today -- as yet and I suddenly found myself in the need of a laugh. So, when that happens I generally go looking for Maxine.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Evening, Wisdom and Beauty

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
Henry Ellis

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
Anton Chekhov

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Mark Twain

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.
William Wallace

Important Information


The correct way to weigh yourself:

I can't believe I was doing it wrong all these years.

Things We Just Don't Want to Know

Last Saturday Bob Herbert, Op-Ed columnist with the New York Times, had a sad but thought provoking column regarding the life and death of Michael Jackson and how it reflects a whole era of extreme immaturity and grotesque irresponsibility that was already well under way in America. The craziness played out on a shockingly broad front and Jackson’s life, among many others, would prove to be a shining and ultimately tragic example.

It was the 80s, Ronald Reagan was president, making promises he couldn’t keep about taxes and deficits and allowing the readings of a West Coast astrologer to shape his public schedule. The movie “Wall Street” would soon appear, accurately reflecting the nation’s wholesale acceptance of unrestrained greed and other excesses of the rich and powerful. Sound familiar?

In neighborhoods through much of black America, crack was taking a fearful toll. Young criminals were arming themselves with ever more powerful weapons and prison garb was used to set fashion trends. Hip-hop would soon appear, and then the violence and misogyny of gansta rap.

All kinds of restraints were coming off and it seemed to many of us then that it was almost as if the adults had gone into hiding. The deregulation that we were told would be great for the economy was being applied to the culture as a whole. Women could be treated as sex objects again as misogyny, hardly limited to hip-hop, went mainstream. Astonishing numbers of men abandoned their children with impunity. Most of the nation seemed fine with the idea of going to war without a draft and without raising taxes --- sound familiar???

As Herbert says, in many ways we descended as a society into a fantasyland, trying to leave the limits and consequences and obligations of the real world behind. Politicians stopped talking about the poor. We built up staggering amounts of debt and called it an economic boom. We shipped jobs overseas by the millions without ever thinking seriously about how to replace them. And, we let New Orleans drown.
Jackson was the perfect star for the era, the embodiment of fantasy gone wild. He tried to carve himself up into another person, but, of course, there was the same Michael Jackson underneath – talented but psychologically disabled to the point where he was a danger to himself and others.

Reality is unforgiving and there is no escape. Behind the Jackson façade was the horror of child abuse. The court records and reams of well-documented media accounts contain a stream of serious allegations of child sex abuse and inappropriate behavior, but Jackson, a multimillionaire megastar, was excused as an eccentric. But to me, one of the worst and most inexcusable, is the fact that often small children were delivered into his company to spend the night in his bed by their own parents. One case of alleged pedophilia against Jackson, the details of which would make your hair stand on end was settled for a reported $25 million. He beat another case in court.

The Michael-mania that has erupted since Jackson’s death – not just an appreciation of his music, but a giddy celebration of his life, is just another spasm of the culture opting for fantasy over reality. We don’t want to look under the rock that was Jackson’s real life.

As with so many other things, we just don’t want to know.

Monday, July 6, 2009

That's My World -- Oregon Coast

That's My World is a marvelous meme hosted by Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise, every Tuesday and it is such a great opportunity to share the lovely things in all of our worlds with each other. Click here to sign up and join the fun!

Last week I shared the Washington Coast with you and this week I'm sharing the Oregon Coast. I have lived in Oregon and Washington for the past seventeen years and it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful areas I've ever seen, particularly the coasts. So, like I told you last week, I've only taken up photography over the past six months, so for now I've had to depend on Google for the pictures to share with you. And, also, like last week, these photos need no words for you to enjoy the beauty.

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