Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saturday Photo Hunt: Creative

"The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Antique kaleidoscope, mirrored viewing tube.
We usually use the word "creative" to describe a person or an act, such as writing or acting or composing; but it can also be attributed to an object, a "thing". This is the small antique kaleidoscope that Vicki sent me when she moved last year. It is gorgeous, with a triangular shaped tube and small mirrors on two sides... brass.

Translucent barrel with colorful rock crystals.
At one end, a little keyhole eyepiece and at the other a simple translucent barrel spins on a brass spindle. Inside the barrel are rocks; small, colorful crystals of different shapes and sizes that rattle as the barrel is spun by hand. Simple and elegant in design... but what beautiful patterns it makes in the light!

Patterns, complex and fleeting Posted by Picasa
Each one different, fleeting... changing with each microscopic movement of the spinner; it creates infinite art.

Of course, someone had to invent the first kaleidoscope and others have created variations and shapes and sizes and mediums; so, a little human creativity was involved too... thank goodness! And thank you, Vicki.... with this lovely piece, I can create my own art.... even if I can't draw or paint!

The theme for Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt this week is "creative". You can go here to "Grab the Scavenger Hunt code" and here to join the blogroll. This really cute logo is available there as well. The link to other participants is in my blogroll on the sidebar.

(end of post)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wide-bodied Willow

Miss Willow, trying to relax..."GO AWAY!" Posted by Picasa
"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." ~ Unknown
The cats know something is going on; boxes have appeared everywhere and their quiet living room is rapidly filling up with huge boxes full of stuff for the garage sale. The dining room has been turned topsy-turvy and the grandpa has been using this smelly stuff to refinish part of the hutch and a heat lamp and lots of newspapers on the floor. Poor Willow has to get under the table to spread out and lounge on her back... and the table is almost out to the front door!

All the extra tension and suspense has been hard... six, usually well-mannered kitties who come from all areas of the house when called with a simple "shoo-shoo time", now run and hide. This started on July 4th, perhaps they were totally spooked by the bangs and cracks of the firecrackers and the cherry bombs that people were setting off in the neighborhood. Now they are all afraid to go to their sunroom sleeping area and it is a hunt for the last stragglers every night!

Even Willow, with her laid back attitude has been affected although you would not know it from this pose. She has an alternate strategy... instead of hiding under a chair or behind the sofa or in a garage sale box... she goes into Maggie's covered litter box in the laundry room, not to do her business, but simply to sit and stare out the opening with that defiant look on her face that says, "I dare you to come get me."

Hopefully they will all behave when they get to the new place. One thing is for sure... they will have plenty of space to spread out and relax in the sunbeams!

Miss Willow is caught posing this week for Cats on Tuesday, hosted by gattina and shows her tummy for Tummy Tuesday over at catstuff.

(end of post)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Saturday Photo Hunt On Sunday: Tiny

A tiny daredevil. (Click pictures to enlarge)
"Up and at'em it's Atom Ant.

He's strength, he's might,
He's speed, he's fight.
He's Atom Ant, that tiny ant, and his atomic power.

Has what it takes and always makes
The vilest villain cower.
He's rough, he's tough,
And bad guys yell enough.
When he is up and at'em.
Atom Ant."
~ Unknown
Balanced precariously on the edge of the cliff.... OK, so it is just the edge of a yellow flower. Still, doesn't this tiny fellow look brave?

Breakfast! ... or perhaps lunch?
"At five o'clock in the morning the sun came up.
A friendly ladybug flew in from the left. It saw a leaf with many aphids on it, and decided to have them for breakfast.
But just then a grouchy ladybug flew in from the right.
~ Eric Carle, "The Grouchy Ladybug"
The Grouchy Ladybug was always one of Nyssa's favorite books and never failed to produce peals of laughter when the whale slapped the silly ladybug back to land where she finally came to her senses. This was a fortuitous picture, I was trying to capture the ladybug and accidentally photographed her pale green breakfast as well (aphid on the left). Looks like a bit of bravado on the part of the aphid, doesn't it?

Having a really bad hair day!
"This globe is a fleet of a hundred airy balloons, each one of which bears a seed which it is destined to drop far from the parent source." ~ John Burroughs
This looks like my hair looks in the morning... or at least until yesterday when I finally took some time and had it cut and pampered (translated.... got the gray out). Other captions I thought appropriate for these tiny seeds were.... "Einstein of the plant world" and "Did you stick your finger in that electric socket again, Jimmy?". Actually, this is not a dandelion but rather the head of a thistle with two stragglers on top.

Fractured Fairy Tale: Little Red Riding Ant and the Big Bad Fly Posted by Picasa
"God in his wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why."
~ Ogden Nash
Tiny flowers on our bush with a tiny fly......and an even tinier ant... but, oh my, Mr. Fly.... "What BIG RED eyes you have!"..... "The better to see you with my lunch.... uh, er..... dear!" Do flies eat ants?

So there are my teeny tiny samples for this week's photo hunt. I had some great ones for "shadows" but just ran out of steam from all the box moving. As it is, I am completely late this week as well... perhaps it will even out soon.

The theme for Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt this week is "tiny". You can go here to "Grab the Scavenger Hunt code" and here to join the blogroll. This really cute logo is available there as well. The link to other participants is in my blogroll on the sidebar.

(end of post)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

BF and AF (Before and After Furniture)

Living Room.......BEFORE!
"I saw a sign: "Rest Area 25 Miles". That's pretty big. Some people must be really tired." ~ Steven Wright (1955 - )
I really haven't fallen off the planet... of course, you couldn't actually fall off the planet because of gravity and escape velocity and all those scientific things... but, you know what I mean. I had my Saturday pictures ready to post but my furniture was released from its storage prison and delivered and three young fellows kept asking, "Where?" and soon there were crates of pictures and boxes everywhere... even though there were already boxes from the other storage unit and boxes leaving for the garage sale room and... well, it was just a mess. Then Nyssa came on Friday and I only had her young body for two days to help with all those boxes stacked to the top of the 10 X 23 foot storage unit. So we hauled and lifted and opened and debated and decided on what we were completely attached to and what we could do without.

Living room........AFTER!
Then there was the Jericho incident... I felt a bit like Joshua. All I did was pick up one teensy, tiny box and turned to walk out of the unit and suddenly an entire block of boxes just fell down....Nyssa said it was almost slow motion. Fortunately they were light so no damage done; but the "walls (of boxes) came a tumbling down".

So, this weekend, Nyssa and I spent the first night in the new house. I also spent Sunday and Monday night there... in the quiet with no internet, no computer, no television... just the radio intercom. We used the master shower that could hold four people and I used the master whirlpool tub while listening to an opera over the intercom in the dark with only the light from the street lamp outside to see by. It was very relaxing and helped my knee a lot. Of course I had to have the room dark... the huge window over the tub doesn't have a shade yet.

Entryway.......AFTER! Posted by Picasa
We cooked our first breakfast there with the gas stove and I didn't blow anything up... eggs, toast and sausage links. And we have a phone with a real phone number.... did you know that when you get a new phone service, you automatically start getting calls from the wireless people and the satellite TV people and mortgage people and on and on and on. I listed the number with the "NO CALL" service this evening.

So tonight I am once again at the parent's house. The dog has to go in for grooming and to have a mass removed from his skin so another early day! Then more moving and more boxes... never ending! By the way, these pictures are the before and after, though not complete by any means yet... later I will post the dining room. Mind you, my dining room set filled my dining room and was snug with the leaf in. Here I had to get them to put the leaf in so the table wouldn't look so "lost in space".

Back to the boxes!

(end of post)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Longing For A Winter's Day

Barren trees on a gray winter's morning.
(Click picture to enlarge)
Posted by Picasa
"The trees down the boulevard stand naked in thought,
Their abundant summery wordage silenced, caught
In the grim undertow; naked the trees confront
Implacable winter's long, cross-questioning brunt."
~ D. H. Lawrence, "Winter in the Boulevard", 1916
Winter trees, the dry Autumn leaves finally stripped by the winds of a 'Noreaster. The sun shines through gray haze and cold fog and the whipping winds crack the barren limbs together in a loud rhythmic symphony. The sight and sounds send a shiver down your spine.... while you are still inside, looking out. Yet, with 100 degree temperatures in the midst of summer... do we not sometimes long for those cold, barren days of winter?

Submission for Photo Friday topic "barren". (end of post)

The Pancake Position

Miss Willow... trying to look thin...
(Click picture to enlarge)
Posted by Picasa
"Law of Cat Inertia:
A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force - such as the opening of cat food, or a nearby scurrying mouse." ~ Unknown
In a comfortable chair, in a comfortable position, in a comfortable room..... who would want to move? "Not I", said the overweight cat in her pancake position, "Now go away and leave me to revel in my repose." Being the obedient human that I am.... I did just that.

Miss Willow will take her "ewes not fat, ewes just fluffy" body on board Friday's Ark today at the Modulator, and she will definitely get out to the Carnival of the Cats on Sunday... they serve food.
(end of post)

Runners And Room-Size

The den, or "keeping room"....
"I will not play tug o' war.
I'd rather play hug o' war.
Where everyone hugs instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles, and everyone wins."
~ Shel Silverstein (American poet, 1930-1999)
The furniture came... six crates of it and only three pieces that I actually forgot I had. So not too bad. The North American Moving Company branch in Mississippi packed it and put it in storage. Then six months into our affiliation, the owner decided to retire and no one wanted to buy the business, so he closed it. Therefore I paid for them to bring the whole business here where Harrison's kept it in storage until they delivered it yesterday. Only a few dings, except for my old cherry dresser; the fellows showed me how another heavy piece had been packed on top of it with ONLY a piece of paper between them. A pad would have prevented the half-dollar size gouge in the top. Of course, since the company has been out of business for two years now, there is no recourse for damages. Perhaps it could be repaired, although this set has been through a lot of moves... it is the one I used as a child and teenager.

Mom asked if I took any pictures of the rooms that NOW have furniture.... but both yesterday and today I worked until the light was gone and forgot to take light bulbs for the lamps. I did find more of the cushions and bedding and lamps today.... lamp shades do not store well, they move fine but store poorly... yellowing badly. So back to Garden Ridge... Naomi asked where these rugs came from... Garden Ridge. I think they have stores in thirteen states, but Oklahoma and Texas are as far west as they go. The carpets are always changing and the highest price is $199. The one above is another 10 x 13 foot room size in the "keeping room". Another 5 x 8 foot rug will have to go in the walk area between this one and the wide kitchen counter.... maybe someday a few tall barstools there.

Regal runner....
I moved some of the smaller rugs and runners around since I took the pictures. This one is now in front of the front door... I love the colors, they look so rich and regal.

From hallway to entry.... fit for music. Posted by Picasa
This one was in the hallway but I found it fit nicely in the large entryway; the perfect size at around 4'6" x 6'8" for the space I selected for the piano. It is perfect there and now the grandfather clock is alongside. Tomorrow..... a visit from the Maytag man..... and more boxes and lifting and sifting... but... Nyssa comes to help!!!! YEAH!!!!

(end of post)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Garden Peace

Peace. Norfolk Botanical Garden. Posted by Picasa
"Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas." ~ Elizabeth Murray
Monet's garden could not have looked or felt more peaceful than the botanical garden here in Norfolk. The mating pair of bald eagles were nesting high in the trees with three eaglets in their giant nest. The roses had not yet bloomed and the butterfly garden was just beginning to come together, but by the meandering waterway and the little bridge it was green and soft and soothing and.... peaceful. I need to take a break and go back......soon.

Submission for Thursday Challenge topic "garden". (end of post)

On A Magic Carpet Ride

Round rug... in the eating area off the kitchen.
"Great is the power of habit. It teaches us to bear fatigue and to despise wounds and pain." ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC-43 BC)
This past weekend, Nyssa came to help me. I had gotten to a brick wall in the unloading of the storage unit. Boxes were stacked to the ceiling and seemed to go on forever... all were heavy. Together we made three loads and then she helped get some of the remaining top boxes down to a manageable level. Then she went through her Barbie boxes and picked four dolls to keep and the rest.... garage sale or if you please... moving sale!

So, more rugs.... it's what happens when the entire downstairs is hardwood floors! The one above is round, 91" in diameter. Another one of my "power shopper" finds.

Master bedroom sitting area.
The downstairs master bedroom will be my parent's room. It has a large sitting area with a bay window that backs on to the preserve. This rug is 9 x 12 feet. I think they are going to put an antique love seat and a chair here, perhaps a book case or a small desk along the longer wall.

The other bedrooms are upstairs... did I tell you that there are 16 steps on the back staircase. The front one is curved so probably more there. A typical day brings a loaded down van making the trek from Virginia Beach to Chesapeake. Then the unloading of the van.... use the legs... use the legs. The sorting of the boxes into things like "kitchen" (who knew one could have so many cookbooks and small appliances and still not cook much), Nyssa's room, Nyssa's stuffed animals, Nyssa's Beanies, Nyssa's books..... Oh, then there are a couple of Roxanne's books, or den books. All these boxes have to be gone through. Yes, I went through them when I moved but time passes and things that seemed important three years ago, seem absurd now.

Master bedroom rug (main area). Love the sage green.
This is the 10 x 13 rug for the main area of the master. Someone please tell my mom that these two rugs do not have to match. Both have browns and beige and sage and other colors. I think a sage comforter will be very soothing in here.

Close-up of the master bedroom rug. Posted by Picasa
Anyway, after the sorting of the boxes... sort of like the "sorting hat" in Harry Potter, although the hat is more accurate than the label of the boxes. That would be a problem with the one who packed them... me. It isn't always what it says and there are some boxes that were recycled from the move from Oklahoma to Mississippi some 15 years earlier. That is always interesting. So we (at least with Nyssa it was "we" for two days) go through them and make a pile for garage sale, a pile to store for Nyssa's grad school, a pile just to store and try and put the rest away. Since my furniture is coming tomorrow... perhaps this last part will get easier. Today I made 15 trips up those 16 steps with boxes of Christmas decorations, and loaded them into the walk-in attic. I am tired. Every muscle I have aches and now, my aches have aches. Advil is my friend.

By the way, please tell me... what do you do with those little pieces of things that look important and essential, but you can't remember which appliance they go with or what they do?

My furniture is coming from the movers storage... I paid the ransom. They will get it to the rooms and put the pieces together... except the washer, dryer and grandfather clock. Joy. Oh, yes.... we have a phone number... I can't remember what it is but we have one. However, while the house is wired for internet with a smart box and such... Verizon apparently does not provide DSL service in this part of Chesapeake yet. EXCUSE ME!!!!??????

Tomorrow night, I sleep with the fishes... or at least the Canadian geese that seem to be everywhere out there.

(end of post)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cats on Tuesday

"As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows, cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind." ~ Cleveland Amory
Miss Chloe: "I think I'll take a nap now. This cat tree level is empty and the sun is just right! Oh, no! I hear the lady coming and she has that black thing with the bright blinking red light on it and she caught me with my head hanging down; not quite ready for that snooze.... What's that?"

"You want me to roll over? Why? Oh. (Perhaps I should just ignore her, but then she'd probably just come over here and roll me over herself.... ) Meow! Don't you have enough pictures of me? Why don't you go bother that monster Willow, or better yet, the barking thing? Oh, all right!"

"There, is that better.... guess so, that black thing is clicking and flashing and the red light is really annoying! This is really cutting into my nap time... I am on a tight schedule here, soon it will be snacking time and I really can't miss my beauty sleep or my snacks! I think she is going for my tummy! How degrading! The one day I decide to sun my tummy and she snaps the picture for that Tummy Tuesday thing."

"Ok now, I have been patient and let you snap away and rolled over on request and looked into the camera, even with the flashy red thing so now.... enough is enough! You really need to shut that thing off or go bother someone else..........

"I've really got to snuggle down and get into my nap.... I am so.... behind........... schedule..... zzzzzzzzzz."

Miss Chloe graciously poses this week for Cats on Tuesday, hosted by gattina and shows her tummy for Tummy Tuesday over at catstuff. (end of post)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Joyful Exuberance

The unbridled joy of childnood. Posted by Picasa
"We need the enthusiasm of the young. We need their 'joie de vivre'. In it is reflected something of the original joy God had in creating man." ~ Pope John Paul II
The prompt for Moody Monday this week is "ebullient", meaning "full of joyful, unrestrained high spirits and zestfully enthusiastic". Anyone with a small child experiences this on a daily basis; everything is new, each experience is a "first time" and joy is plentiful. Life is easy and simple pleasures of a Happy Meal and the chance to romp in the plastic balls brings smiles and contagious laughter. Of course this was taken when the world was friendlier, before twisted people began to drop open needles and syringes in the play area. Today I would think twice before letting Nyssa near one... but then, though only eighteen years ago, the world was a safer place. I wonder if she remembers this day?

Submission for Moody Monday topic "ebullient". (end of post)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Make It Fake!

Fake diamonds still sparkle....
(Click pictures to see larger view)
"My husband gave me a necklace. It's fake. I requested fake. Maybe I'm paranoid, but in this day and age, I don't want something around my neck that's worth more than my head." ~ Rita Rudner
Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but they break the bank and these days we are aware that many of the world's diamonds come with a high price in human suffering. Enter Diamonique, the highest quality lab made diamonds... fake, yes... but still sparkling with rainbows of color in the light and when set in gold or silver or platinum... very hard to tell from the original. It lets those of us who could never afford "bling" like this, to sample the good life. Besides, you don't have to tell them it isn't real... unless they ask.

Fake fur still keeps you warm....
"If you have passion for what you do, the company you keep, the life you live, it will be reflected in whatever you create. Passion is like that; it springs out, jumps, unpredictable and unplanned, into everything we touch. If it doesn't, others know. Passion can't be faked and it can't be manufactured. Which is why it is so priceless." ~ Unknown
Belle (Snoopy's sister) is cozy and warm in her fur coat... yes, fake fur. (No dogs or cats or other animals were hurt in providing the material.) This was definitely a chore to make.... but well worth the effort.... Nyssa had a great time and gave a great show to kids trick or treating at our house. Who wouldn't be a bit shocked to see a large white beagle with black floppy ears and a pink dress, sitting on the porch in a rocking chair with her back to the sidewalk? She wasn't scary though... the little ones wanted to shake her paw and some just silently stared.... at the fake dog with the fake fur.

But I don't know how many people the fake crocodile will scare!
Norfolk Botanical Gardens.
Posted by Picasa
"To fake it is to stand guard over emptiness." ~ Arthur Herzog
In the middle of the Botanical Gardens here in Norfolk, there is a playground for kids with a life size Indian t-pee, a bridge, swings, slides and all the usual play equipment. Centrally there is this long pond and standing guard, floating with the occasional live duck and water lily are ..... crocodiles! No! Not really, but the first time you see them you do stop and take notice! These are fake crocodile heads that float with the wind from one side of the pond to the other. I have no clue as to why they are there... the ducks didn't seem fooled... neither did the kids. A few parents were initially shocked then relieved. A nice conversation piece if nothing else.

The theme for Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt this week is "fake". You can go here to "Grab the Scavenger Hunt code" and here to join the blogroll. This really cute logo is available there as well. The link to other participants is in my blogroll on the sidebar.

(end of post)

He Who Is Not Busy Buzzing...

Busy bumble bee... flits from flower to flower...
(Click picture to enlarge)
Posted by Picasa
"A bee is never as busy as it seems; it's just that it can't buzz any slower." ~ Kin Hubbard
Tell that to the bumble bee at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, who was so loaded with pollen, he couldn't fly. Shake a little loose, don't take on so much.... take a day to relax.. guess I should take my own advice. Busy, busy, busy... places to go, people to see and a never ending flow of boxes to move and unload! Busy as a bee!

Submission to PhotoFriday for topic "busy". (end of post)

Having A Barrel Of Fun!

(Click on the cat tail ... picture ... to enlarge.)
"I love cats. I love their grace and their elegance. I love their independence and their arrogance, and the way they lie and look at you, summing you up, surely to your detriment, with that unnerving, unwinking, appraising stare." ~ Joyce Stranger
Someone is too big for the barrel in the cat tree. See that big, long bush tail hanging down.... they better watch out, five other kitties might like to have some fun with that thing. Who is it?

Miss Willow, of course... looking sweet and innocent but with fire behind those eyes. No wonder the other cats haven't messed with her tail. No one touches that tail with a paw or a claw and lives to tell about it!

Miss Willow isn't too happy about the picture of her "tail end" but she did put her stamp of approval on the head portrait! So it's off to Friday's Ark with all the other animals at the Modulator and then party time at the Carnival of the Cats, hosted this week by Mind of Mog in memory of Krissie.

(end of post)