I miss you Sam!!

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

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Evening, Wisdom and Beauty


With begging and scrambling we find very little, but with being true to ourselves we find a great deal more.
- Rabindranath Tagore


Do not say, "It is morning," and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name.
- Rabindranath Tagore


When you finally allow yourself to trust joy and embrace it, you will find you dance with everything. Emanuel

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The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. E.E. Cummings

Shadow Shot Sunday!

Shadows from around the world! Different, interesting, beautiful and the most fun ever! Shadow Shot Sunday is hosted by Hey Harriet! Click on her name, sign up and become another shadow detective! It's fun, it's creative, it's something just a little different that you may not have thought of before!

A favorite plant, enjoying the morning sun and it has grown soooo much this year!

Our deck -- the railing and the wooden bench manage to make complementary shadows.

Colored shadows are always one of my favorites!

Shadows thicken and deepen over the summer and somehow the same trees look different than they did in the spring.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Evening, Wisdom and Beauty

Where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders.
Rabindranath Tagore

Most things break, including hearts. The lessons of life amount not to wisdom, but to scar tissue and callus.
Wallace Stegner

Life is not having been told that the man has just waxed the floor.
~Ogden Nash

With begging and scrambling we find very little, but with being true to ourselves we find a great deal more.
Rabindranath Tagore

An Inspiring Community

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As many of you know, I spent two days in Texas this week, celebrating a reunion with the remaining members of my family and it was a truly lovely two days! I even met one cousin that I had never even met! And what a delightful, lively, fun 83 year young lady she is! But after most of the other cousins had returned home, my cousin, Jane and her husband, Wes, took my cousin, Laura and I for a tour around the area where they live -- Katy, Texas.

One of the most remarkable places I've ever seen is a place called the Brookwood Community. It offers adults with functional disabilities a home in an educational and therapeutic environment. The self-contained campus provides programs with structure, security, and opportunities for true growth and fulfillment ... all promoting a well-deserved sense of self worth.

Mission-minded teachers and caregivers at Brookwood work alongside the Community's special citizens, providing a careful balance between independence and assistance. Their programs open new horizons and foster opportunities so their citizens can:

. Continue to learn and grow
. Develop meaningful, productive job skills and hold real jobs in the community's own business enterprises.
. Experience the pride of contributing to their own support as the grow socially, emotionally and spiritually for a richer, more fulfilling life.

Begun in the early 1980s with 475 acres near Houston, Texas , and a strong determination to improve life for adults who would not be able to live productively in an independent setting. Today, the community serves more that 125 people through residential and day/work programs.

In addition, organizations from across the nation and around the world come to Brookwood to collaborate and learn from their revolutionary programs.

Therapeutic, highly structure and supervised weekend and evening, activities include:
. aqua-therapy . inter-faith worship . sports and fitness . special events
. shopping . filed trips . life skills . hobbies

The sources of revenue come from tuition which is based on a sliding scale. If an applicant is unable to pay the full rate, third-party financial advisors perform an analysis to determine a fair fee based upon the family's income and assits. Eventy percent of the citizens of Brookwood receive financial aid to supplement their payments, which start at $1,800 a month.

Brookwood accepts no government funding of any kind. Therefore, the Community is largely self-supporting, relying on the generosity of the private sector to help build the facilities and maintain it's enterprises.

The Community's self-contained enterprises generate one third of Brookwood's operating budget.

Horticulture - The enterprises of Brookwood consist of, horticulture where Brookwood's functionally disabled adult citizens work alongside professional horticulturists to plant and cultivate many types of top-quality plants, filling 38 commercial greenhouses.

Crafts - In a studio environment, citizens produce, ceramic gift items, stone cast gift ware, cement garden pieces, candles, screen printed greeting cards.

The Cafe at Brookwood - Brookwood's chef, a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America prepares true gourmet meals, which Brookwood Citizens serve with all the dignity of a five-star restaurant. Private meeting rooms are available.

The entire site is spread over many acres providing lovely living spaces along with the restaurant, a gym, swimming pools etc. I was so impressed with the entire project, it's goals, it's opportunities for the disabled.

A Chuckle or Two for the Morning

A great friend of mine sent this to me yesterday and it was such fun I had to share the laughs! Great way to end the week!

Birds of a feather flock together . . .and then crap on your car.

A penny saved is a government oversight.

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

He who hesitates is probably right.

Did you ever notice: The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are XL.

If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.

If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.

There's always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it. For example, I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.

Did you ever notice: When you put the 2 words 'The' and 'IRS' together it spells 'Theirs.'

Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of Algebra.

You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young. Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

First you forget names, then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull up your zipper. It's worse when you forget to pull it down.

Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today, it's called golf.

Lord, Keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth . . . . . . . AMEN!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sky Watch Friday!

Sky Watch is hosted each week by Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise. It's a fun way to share the beauty of the skies above you with people all over the world. Click here to sign up and show us what you see when you lift your eyes!

From week to week, day to day, evening to evening the skies over Seattle change as if they are always trying to out do themselves in colors, in clouds, in breathtaking beauty. Here are a few examples. We're blessed to live near the harbor, on a hill so I have a fantastic view of it all!


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The next two shots were taken in Houston, Texas yesterday where I went to attend a family reunion. Of course I couldn't resist taking a few shots of the stormy skies as we drove around, seeing the sights.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Evening Words, Wisdom and Beauty


Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.
Kahlil Gibran


Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.
Kahlil Gibran


Rebellion without truth is like spring in a bleak, arid desert.
Kahlil Gibran

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To be able to look back upon ones life in satisfaction, is to live twice.
Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Evening, Wisdom and Beauty

God respects me when I work; but God loves me when I sing. ~
Rabindranath Tagore

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
- Desiderata

I think it annoys God if you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice.
Alice Walker From "The Color Purple"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Evening, Wisdom and Beauty

As many of you know, I will be out of town until Friday, but I have posted Evening Wisdom, Thoughts for each evening. Look forward to reading and commenting on your blogs as soon as I return.

Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.
Kahlil Gibran

Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.
Kahlil Gibran

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

falling leaves
hide the path
so quietly
~John Bailey, "Autumn," a haiku year, 2001, as posted on oldgreypoet.com

Looking Back - Part 15 - Childhood Summers in Hico

I will be out of town most of this week in order to attend a family reunion in Houston, Texas. When I first learned that the remaining cousins in my family were planning to get together this month, I felt somewhat sad that I wouldn't be able to join them, but it would just have been too expensive a trip for me to make at this time. When one of my cousins discovered I would be unable to come, she made airline reservations for me so that I could join them. Consequently, I won't be posting except the Evening Thoughts, which I have scheduled, until the end of the week when I return to Seattle and I won't be able to comment on your posts, but I'll try to make up for it when I return and I'll have photos to share.

The memories that have been stirred by the impending trip have been both happy and poignant.

Memories of my childhood, of summers in Hico, Texas.

In case you’re wondering, Hico is a very small town in Hamilton County, Texas. It was founded in 1856. According to early day reports, by 1907, more cotton was bought right off wagons on the main street than in any town in the world. But I digress, my grandparents lived in Hico for many, many years and as a child I spent much time there. There were some Christmases with the entire family of aunts and uncles and cousins. I always loved those holidays because my grandparent’s house had a fireplace! I knew for sure that Santa Claus couldn’t miss that and I was confident there would be even more presents that year.

My grandparents old house today and as it was many years ago when my father and his siblings were young.

But the most vivid memories are the summers that I spent there with my cousin, Jane Ann, who was a couple of years younger, but who shared the same love of paper dolls that I did. Now back then you didn’t buy paper dolls at a toy store, you cut them out of pattern books that you could find in the fabric section of what passed for department stores in those days.

Hico was a very small town and our grandparent’s big, old house was close enough for us to be able to walk to town. Within a day or two of our arrival, Jane Ann and I would walk downtown, first to the post office to visit with Thoma, a lovely lady who worked there and who took the mail from our grandparent’s mail box for us to carry home. She nearly always had a treat for us as well. Our main goal, however, was the store where we knew there might be an extra pattern book or two from the past month that one of the clerks would have kept under the counter just for the likes of us – our grandmother kept them informed of our visits. But before we carried the heavy pattern books home, we stopped by the local drug store to have an ice cream cone, it was always fun to climb up on the tall stools at the counter and watch the man who worked there load up the cones with, what we were sure was the best ice cream in the world. Then, with ice cream smeared faces, we would head for Mama’s house with the pattern book. And if we were lucky we might even be able to find a wallpaper sample book that we liked to use to make furniture for the paper dolls.

We would spend days, cutting out dozens of ladies and men and children from the pattern book. We always had large families – Jane Ann had an older brother, but I was an only child. I wanted lots of children in my paper family – I carried that desire on to my real family many years later.

We played for hours on the floor of the living room there in my grandparent’s house. Sometimes we argued over who was to get a particular paper doll and sometimes those arguments resulted in tears. I do remember one summer when I finally succeeded in getting a prized paper doll much to the disappointment of Jane Ann. Later that year when I learned that she had injured her arm, I felt so badly that I had my mother put the disputed paper doll in an envelope and send it to Jane Ann.

The memories of those summers still play out quite vividly in my mind. The sound of the crickets and the birds in the trees that surrounded the house and could be heard so clearly as we lay in our beds on the screened-in sleeping porch. That porch was where we all slept in the summer as there was no air conditioning at that time and, as always -- then and now, summers in Texas were HOT! I can clearly remember watching my Grandfather milking the cow in the evenings; running up and down along the fence to the small pasture playing with a young calf, poking grass through the wire for him to wrap his long tongue around.

Lovely memories, made even more dear since I was able to reconnect with, not only Jane Ann, but four of my cousins, their husbands and wife. They came from all over Texas to Dallas where I was visiting my oldest son, David. I hadn’t seen most of them in over thirty years and it was the most fun ever. We met at David’s new house – so new that there was no furniture to speak of and they all brought lawn chairs and we sat around his big empty den and laughed and remembered and ate pizza.

Celebrating memories at my son's house in Dallas.

As I said earlier these are very poignant memories for me these days because the husband of my cousin, Laura, died this past year of cancer and Jane Ann was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and Laura's brother John has also been diagnosed with cancer recently.

How blessed we all are to have the beautiful, happy -- and poignant memories to share and to look back upon.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Evening, Wisdom and Beauty

Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week. ~Joseph Addison

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

To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone. ~Reba McEntire

Suppose the world were only one of God's jokes, would you work any the less to make it a good joke instead of a bad one? ~George Bernard Shaw

A Chuckle for the Afternoon

Judge Judy to prostitute, 'So when did you realize you were raped?'

Prostitute, wiping away tears: 'When the check bounced.'

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