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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wildflowers in Winter - A Winter Image

This is week two in Elizabeth Joy's plan to rise above the winter blues and to plant the blogosphere with wild flowers. I'm just getting my post in under the wire. Whew.

Today, during my lunch break, I took these pictures of Teasel. They grow along the edge of the creek that comes out of the mountains and cuts through the middle of town.

Many of you crafty people will recognize it as a popular addition to winter centerpieces and decor. I prefer to see teasel decorating the snowy walk, and providing a place for small birds to perch or hide.

The snow was melting today. Yesterday it provided fluffy white caps and coats on the frozen plants around the region.

I love teasel in any season.

To join in the fun, make tracks over to the Wildflowers in Winter wonderland. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Gazebo

The Round Robin Photo Challenge is a great place to view wonderful photographs of specific subjects. This will be my first participation. The weather was horrid all week and I just DID NOT have an opportunity to improve upon my first attempt.

The subject is Landmarks in our home town.

This is the Gazebo, a locally famous landmark, at the park a few blocks from my home. There is still a horrid mess from the windstorm that blew threw several weeks ago. In fact, I found out after I took this picture that the park is currently off limits to visitors because the limbs and weak trees still threatening to topple. Hundreds fell during the storm. But there are many wonderful trees left to appreciate and protect.

There are 58 acres that include picnic areas, two duck ponds, and an aviary. The park had it's beginnings in 1901 - and the Gazebo was built in 1910.

If you wish to participate or just enjoy the photographs of those who are, click right here!

The Games Women Play

A Five Minute Video for my IRL friends.... who were so intent in their play that they thought I was taking snapshots. SURPRISE!!

In the end, the prize isn't in the box. The prize is in the fun, the fellowship, the laughter.

L's Shower from pamela on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

If all your friends jumped off a cliff......

If I Had A Band - Thanks "all my friends" for the idea. Go to......

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

2. http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

3. http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4. Use your graphics program of choice to throw them together, and post the result. (M*cr*soft Picture It, because I haven't figured Ph*t*shop out yet)

Click. Hello?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fun Monday, The Anniversary Model

Happy 1st Anniversary to FUN MONDAY. One year ago a single photo request from Vicki in Oklahoma and Peter in Willowtree, NSW Australia, inspired what has become to many a weekly necessity. There have been a multitude of subjects that share a common denominator: FUN.

Last weeks host passed the duties forward to the original Mistress of Ceremonies: Catch The Light.

Vicki wants us to look back to January 22, 2007 at that first post, My View From...

But, wait! There is more. If you look now each can throw in his/her first blogging post for no extra charge. Mine was June 11, 2006 and had an inspirational title: My Dusty First Hello!

In case your curiosity is still not satiated, I have uploaded two pictures from last night. These are photos taken with my new Christmas present. The one on the right is my very first night shot.
( I promise I'll get better at it.)

A warm welcome at my front door to all those participating in Fun Monday - and an enthusiastic invitation to the rest of you who aren't. Check out the list in the sidebar at Catch The Light and HAVE FUN!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Wildflowers in Winter -

My friend Elizabeth Joy at Wildflower Morning, is inviting bloggers to join with her in an event that is sure to cheer up anyone with the winter blues.

She says: Every winter I find myself longing for spring. I just love the warming rays of sun and the wildflowers that start to open. It is my favorite time of year. Wildflowers bring me so much joy. So, I propose some wildflower fun this winter to take us into the first days of spring. I will have a different theme each week through the middle of March. Join right in by making a post on your blog fitting the theme.

This week, January 16-22, we will post our favorite wild flower picture from springs past.

I began using a camera in June of 2006 - the same time I started blogging. Prior to that the hubby was our camera man.

We had a small digital camera that was easy to use and carry. One day I dropped it on the concrete. Had I known how much I would enjoy the new camera, I would have dropped the old one much sooner.

When I read EJ's lovely idea, I decided to check back through my files to see if there were any pictures of wild flowers.

Success! I found my favorite photographs - because they were my ONLY photographs. This batch of photos is from May 27, 2007, a trip into the Blue Mountains.

She is right. I feel better already!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

But, Does it Rhyme?

Robin's Poetic License continues this month with the style of Terza Rima.

The topic of Superbowl and snacks sounds innocuous -- but attempting to combine those two with the iambic pentameter (whatever that is) of Terza Rimo kept me up past midnight with my eyes crossed.

My mom, (how I miss her) could rhyme an entire letter written to her sons away at college. I wish she was here to help me with this stickler! Without further complaints....

Ode to the Super Bowl of Snacks

Its party time –our chosen team– Let’s all cheer.

Glitzy pre-game, mid-field coin toss, the fans roar

Pass the meatballs, cheese & crackers, and the beer

Special Team returns the Kick Off – and a score!

Fill your plate with finger food from the buffet

End zone chanting – is that the pizza at the door?

The back fumbles! Coach throws red flag, now the replay

Instead enjoy a million dollar ad sensation

Overturned, the offence huddles, or do they pray?

Ice cream and brownies, double coverage, I- formation

The defense holds the ball is inches from the goal.

Fourth and one now grips the hearts of half the nation

Our team loses – blame the bad calls – officials stole!

And thus it ends another game of Super Bowl.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fun Monday, Caught in a Web(site)

Ann, For The Long Run, is today's FUN MONDAY HOST. What she asked:

I want to hear about a web site and not just about any old web site. I want to hear about a web site that's changed your life. A web site that you can't live without. A web site whose inventor you'd like to see win a McArthur Genius Grant.

Maybe you want to sing the praises of a dating web site for helping you meet your spouse. Maybe the only thing getting you through the dark days of winter is an Internet comic. No story is too big, no story is too small - I want to hear it all on Monday.

* * * *

This was NOT an easy Fun Monday assignment. There are so many ways one could take this subject. I'll try not to become garrulous.

A web site that has changed my life?

This has to be my own blog. It demands my time and energy. Writing and taking photographs made me more observant and caused me to look deeper into the world around me. That includes probing my own responses and feelings about things.

Nope - can't live without my blog. At least, as of this writing, I feel that way. (My eldest daughter, Karmyn( Dreaming What If's...) can be blamed for introducing me to this addiction.

Because of it, I have many new friends. I still cling to my very first blogging acquaintances.
Peek at the list on the right side bar (My First Dustmites and Dust Reads.) I read and enjoy many others, but, I haven't updated my blogroll. Many of those people started their blogs about the same time I did. I believe that beginner blogging buddies (say that three times) find each other and swarm like bees. Eventually some resign their blogs and I can't bring myself to delete their abandoned link.

As for Who should win a McArthur Genius Grant? I would have nominated them all. Really! However, one blogger who has truly mastered the craft is Pioneer Woman. When we met (in cyberspace over at Once Upon a Blog, who has morphed into A Dingo), she was just feeling her way like the rest of us.

She has since won a coveted blogging award and turned her blog into a career. On days she has a photo naming contest she receives thousands of comments.

A Dating web site? I don't think so. Contrary to what my grandchildren think, I did go through that phase in my life. There were no computers, there were no cellphones, and if you wanted to listen to music - well there were LP's and Stereo's that took up the whole side of the room.

We wrote letters on paper with pens and had phones attached to the wall! (Does anybody remember Party Lines?)

I appreciate reading the news at my convenience. The weather web sites are great (but their forecasts still undependable) . Some of them are even Out of This Word!!

Who can't be enticed by web sites such as You Tube. The extent to which intimacies and experiences are shared around the globe aren't all positive. But, this and many other entertaining sites get you through the dark days of winter.

I have been reluctant to add the more recent gadgets to my life (Facebook as an example). The world is moving too fast.

Be sure to Click here to catch up with the other F/M participants.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Todays Headlines

There must be a full moon. I don't remember when I've seen so many weird headlines.

81-Year-Old Aussie Nabbed Selling Weed

(AP) SYDNEY, Australia - An 81-year-old woman was arrested and charged with growing and selling marijuana in eastern Australia, police said Tuesday.

Is anyone else a little doobie-us about a sweet little old lady doing something like that?

Town Seeks Ban On Silly String

Town council in Huntington, New York is getting serious about Silly String. The issue: a claim that the plastic goo mars the finish on the Long Island community's fire trucks.

These firemen need a pool table.

These guys have got to be hustlers...

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Two Czechs stuck in a billiard table while searching for a ball had to call the fire squad and were freed only when rescuers took the table apart, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Then again - maybe not (see previous comment.)

Oregon Town Abuzz over Mayor's MySpace Lingerie Shot

(AP) ARLINGTON, Ore. — Some residents of this small town wish their mayor felt like she had something to hide.

Mayor Carmen Kontur-Gronquist created a stir with her MySpace page, where at one time anyone could see photos of her on one of the town's fire engines, clad only in a black bra and panties.

But, was she marring the finish? (refer to silly string)

Man accused of stealing hunting knives hidden in waistband trips, stabs sel

(AP) GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A man who hid hunting knives in his pants to try to steal them from a western Michigan store tripped while fleeing and stabbed himself in the abdomen, police say.

No matter how you slice it, this guy ain't too sharp.

Man spots his wife during visit to brothel

WARSAW, Poland - A Polish man got the shock of his life when he visited a brothel and spotted his wife among the establishment's employees. ‘I was dumbfounded. I thought I was dreaming,’ he tells Polish newspaper.

Men. I bet she'd warned him not to bother her at work.

Men wheel out corpse in bid to cash check

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two New York men wheeled the corpse of their friend around the sidewalks of midtown Manhattan in an office chair in a failed attempt to cash his $355 Social Security check, police said.

Then the exit pollsters asked him who he'd voted for.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Fun Monday - Meet The Pets

Lisa (Lisa's Chaos) is the host of Today's Fun. She has invited us to share pictures or stories of our pets. Over the past twenty months I have shared several of these which you can rerun by clicking on my PETS label in the lower right of my Blog page.

For this assignment I have chosen to share the story and a few pictures of my very first dog. I truly loved that old mongrel.


I wasn’t much more than a toddler when Bobby came into our lives.

A neighbor and friend, Nelda, crawled under an abandoned house on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation to rescue him and his litter mates. She’d seen a dog lying dead on the highway and was certain it was the mother.

I don’t recall his arrival at our house – it is lost in the mist and mystery of childhood memories. In my mind and heart, he was just always part of my life.

Bobby’s tail was docked and his fur was brilliant shades of brown, darker around the ears and neck. The fur around his throat was thick and soft. I could grab it with my fingers or burrow my face into the warmth. It was especially comforting to a little girls tear.

Bobby was the great protector and the great pretender. He barked at every car that drove up the hill to our house. His ferocious demeanor kept strangers inside their cars. They didn’t know he never attacked or that his teeth were just for show.

Even Nelda, the one who saved him, was subject to his snarl and his puffed up mane and bristled back. She would laugh at his angry last stand on the porch. But, she would be wary enough to wait by her car until one of us came out to lead him aside.

His favorite job was guarding us all night when we slept outside under the stars. In the summer we loved throwing our sleeping backs up on the hill behind the lilac bushes. That dog would bark and growl at everything - including the wind rustling through the leaves. I don’t know how we got any sleep. If one of us had the misfortune of a midnight toilet run, there was 100% chance that Bobby would threaten us on our return. We, of course, knew that once we spoke the password (“Shut up you mangy mutt, it’s just me!”) he would stand down. He took pride in his mission.

He tagged along when I played in the pastures or the woods. Sometimes he would disappear into the bushes with his nose to the ground. But the chase was generally short when he knew that he was supposed to be on his self-imposed watch.

Bobby ignored the cats, except to sniff their behinds when they used him for a rubbing post.

He loved to chase the Shetland ponies that my Uncle kept in a neighboring field. One finally nailed him with a well-placed kick to his hip that sent him yelping and rolling through the marshy grass.

There was hardly money for sick kids, so a veterinarian visit was never considered. Usually my dad would put an injured animal out of his misery rather than let one suffer. Perhaps my dad had a soft spot for Bobby, or my mom interceded. Whatever the case, the dog was allowed to convalesce. He put up with our nursing efforts for several weeks and eventually was up on three legs. Sadly, the kicked leg remained pulled up and useless the remainder of his life.

Yet, he was soon back in the fields on three legs chasing and catching cottontail rabbits.

Bobby must have been a nuisance to one of our neighbors. The first time I was aware of this was when he came home one morning with a bullet in his nub of a tail. It wasn’t life threatening.

When I was about 8, he came home with a serious neck wound. The bullet must have grazed an artery and cause profuse bleeding. I’m sure my inconsolable tears convinced my mom to finally take the animal to the veterinarian.

Bobby survived.

He wasn’t the kind of dog to jump all over you and kiss your face with his tongue. He saved his passion for barking and growling and showing his prowess.

But, when school was in session, he watched me leave the yard each morning and came out in the afternoon to note my return and sniff my lunch pail for any leftovers.

He failed to come home one morning. I was the one who went searching and found him dead in the drainage ditch. It appeared that he’d been struck by a car. It was my earliest lesson in grief.

Bobby was a wonderful dog and my first dog, As such, he is the one pet against which every once since has been measured.

Bobby with Pam (center) sister Trish and brother Mike

Bobby waiting on the hill

Bobby with Pam(right) sisters Trish, Sandra, brother Nick

Bobby being harassed by heifer

Click HERE to find out who else is showing off their pets today.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

A Wicked Wind This Way Cometh

Friday, a furious wind rushed in over the Blues. The dust that it carried made driving precarious. When it settled there was no electricity and no trail home through the debris.
Many of you know how much I loved those trees.....

Our electricity returned after almost 12 hours. There are still many neighbors without.

I am so thankful for our dedicated power and phone service people. God Bless Them!

What a way to begin a new year.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008