Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'm Dreaming of a Mice Christmas

Magnolia Blossom (Maggie) in the prized spot beneath the tree.
(Click picture for larger view)
Posted by Picasa
"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children (and cats), they are all 30 feet tall." ~ Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas
Our tree isn't up yet. Perhaps tomorrow we will dig it out. Then once again the cats will have to vie for this coveted position. The inexpensive felt tree skirt holds a mysterious attraction for them. I got down on the floor beside the tree to get this shot and tried to figure this out. Under the tree the branches are low and the lights cast a moderate glow just above her head. She has her back to the tree holder, protected from an attack from the rear. She can look out and survey the comings and goings of the other critters as well as her humans. She can reach out a paw and set one of the plastic ornaments swinging. (All the plastic ones go on the bottom limbs for just this purpose.) From here she can see her dad make his move to the kitchen for a late night snack and she can streak out to pester him for a treat. It is almost like a well lit cave; all the security of being hidden but without the dark dampness. Here her royal highness can relax on her imaginary throne; well, at least until some other feline occupant of the house decides he or she wants a turn under the tree.

Maggie will be joining many other feline friends, along with the dogs and possibly even slugs, at Friday's Ark this week. On Sunday she will read stories and see pictures of her friends at the 89th Carnival of the Cats, this week hosted by When Cats Attack. Hmm. That is a scary thought at our abode.

(end of post)

'Tis the Season for Sweets

Sweet Candy (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M's and a chocolate cake. I feel better already." ~ Dave Barry, American Writer and Humorist
It's officially December; 'tis the Christmas season. So many traditions, special services, remembrances, candles, nativity, Advent, holly and ivy, the trimming of the tree, carols in the air, and of course the time for SWEETS! Chocolate covered cherries, buckeyes, fudge, chocolate covered pretzels, the Life Saver Christmas books, peppermints, and one of my dad's favorites, M & M's. Just writing about them; thinking about them puts pounds on those of us susceptible. It just wouldn't be Christmas without those yummy sweets, would it?

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

Experimental Rainbow

Experimental rainbow. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched." ~ Henry David Thoreau
The poets remind us that without tears, storms, clouds and rain, we cannot see a rainbow in the sky. On this hot, sunny day there was no rain or clouds in sight. I held the camera in one hand, the water hose in the other and moved around the yard until the angle of the sun produced this small rainbow in the mist.
Rainbows are a bit like opportunities. Sometimes they're a gift from the sky, and other times; well, you just have to make your own. ~ srp
Submission for LensDay topic "experimental".
Submission for Photo Friday topic "experimental". (end of post)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Young Consumer

Nyssa consumes her burger and fries. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"In order to know whether a human being is young or old, offer it food of different kinds at short intervals. If young, it will eat anything at any hour of the day or night." ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes (American Physician, Poet and Humorist. 1809-1894)
It was always best to just let Nyssa have her cut up hamburger with cheese and her fries with ketchup and stand back. Notice, she didn't want the bun, just the meat. That will amaze her now, as much as she likes the hot homemade rolls her grandmother makes especially for her. The ketchup was a challenge. She always had as much on her face and in her hair as she managed to get in her tummy. The same held true for other foods as well. Fortunately, kids don't shrink in water and stains come off faces, fingers and arms (occasionally necks and legs too) and out of hair with just a bit of soap.

Submitted for Photo Tuesday topic "consume". (end of post)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Colorful November's End

November Color (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
One mellow smile through the soft vapoury air,
Ere, o'er the frozen earth, the loud winds ran,
Or snows are sifted o'er the meadows bare.
One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,
And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,
And the blue Gentian flower, that, in the breeze,
Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.
Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
Shall murmur by the hedge that skim the way,
The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
And man delight to linger in thy ray.
Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.

~ William Cullen Bryant
Here it is, the end of November, already. It seems as if Halloween was just yesterday. Outside the temperature is mild, already 70 degrees (feels like 76) and the sun is shining in a brilliant blue sky. Are you sure it is November? Ah, yes. The field of pumpkins at the produce stand are gone, replaced by an ocean of Christmas trees. So here is one last picture of Autumn to color your day.

Sorry Vicki, no slugs here! And go see Judy, she's Michele's Site of the Day. (end of post)

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Blank face or "Mindless Mime".
(Click picture for larger view [if you dare])
Posted by Picasa

I really couldn't decide whether I wanted this to be a much more serious post than the setting of the picture truly reflects or if it should be blatantly funny. So I found three different quotes: one serious, one moderately profound if you think about it long enough, and the third just plain funny (and because I thought this face stuff made her look like a mime).
"Perhaps our eyes are merely a blank film which is taken from us after our deaths to be developed elsewhere and screened as our life story in some infernal cinema or dispatched as microfilm into the sidereal void." ~ Jean Baudrillard (b. 1929)
"The mind is like a TV set - when it goes blank, it's a good idea to turn off the sound." ~ unknown
"Last night I played a blank tape at full blast. The mime next door went nuts." ~ Steven Wright (b.1955) Canadian comedian
Nyssa was almost 13 in this picture; her hair was in it's shortest state ever. For some reason she put a masque on her face that turned white when dry. This face does not suggest she is annoyed, angry, happy, surprised, sad, or concentrating; her eyes, face and thus her mind simply look blank. I ended up using this picture as part of her birthday party invitation.

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

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Strawberry Dreams

Strawberry (Macro shot) (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Doubtless God could have made a better berry (than the strawberry), but doubtless God never did" ~ William Allen Butler
My favorite fresh berry; this year they were very large and very sweet. Strawberry pie, strawberry shortcake, strawberries in oatmeal and on cereal. OK. I'm hungry and sad. Unless you live in California, the strawberries are all gone along with the watermelon and cantaloupe. Guess I'll just have to wait until May.

Submission for MacroDay topic "fruit". (end of post)


Max and his favorite pastime. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Happiness is a warm puppy." ~ Charles Schulz
Max is a happy dog. He smiles, loves a good walk, his toys, his doghouse and eating figs. His happiest most relaxed times, however, are when he sleeps. When we first found him, sleep was a time of nightmares often with horrible crying and howling. Now only the sounds of sirens upset him. I often wonder what terrible things he had to endure in his life before and how long he had to fend for himself on the streets.

Here he was sound asleep on his little hammock with a warm breeze blowing. His favorite toy is by his side and his tummy is full. This is happiness for a little dog.

Submission for PXITE topic "happiness".
Max will also be visiting the Carnival of the Dogs to see his other canine friends. It is hosted by Mickey's Musings, as always. (end of post)

An Experiment Gone Wrong

Before. (1992) (Click pictures for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and she says she's doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911." ~ Erma Bombeck
In the fall of 1992, Nyssa was in the first grade. First grade is wonderful; the little girls are all a twitter with sleepovers and parties at skating rings and McDonalds. They are still little open books, eager to learn and try things on their own. Unfortunately this may lead to problems.

The week prior to "the incident" as it seems best to call it, Nyssa had school pictures taken. (Thank God for small miracles) Each year we went to Stewart's Photography for a portrait and this was scheduled the following Saturday. This way the Christmas presents for the grandparents would be ready on time. This weekend she had a birthday party to attend on Sunday afternoon and my plan was to go to church, lunch and then the party.

Nyssa's hair has a lot of curl in it and when curled on soft, spongy, twisty curlers it would keep that curl all day. She had long bangs that could be worn straight or curled but we didn't usually put them on rollers. Everything was in place, she was in bed on time and so was I.

However, sometime that Saturday night something I ate caught up with me. Nausea and diarrhea, the two things I hate the most. I was up most of the night and when 6:00 AM came I was wiped out and decided it would be best to get some sleep and eat dry toast and tea. I didn't wake up until around 10:00 AM. Nyssa was already up. She knew how to get cereal in a bowl and put milk on it. She felt fine.

Something you have to know about me for this to make sense; I am almost blind without my glasses, nothing is clear. I saw her in her night shirt, her hair still in the spongy curlers with the bandana wrap in place. I really didn't notice anything except there was this nagging thought that kept saying, "Something looks different." I felt better so I got up, showered and dressed. Nyssa was upstairs playing in her room when I called for her to get her clothes on for the party. She dressed and came down for me to do her hair.

When she walked through the door, I finally SAW what was different. (Had my glasses on by this time) HER BANGS WERE GONE! NOT JUST SHORT! REALLY GONE! Then she had to ask me "What's wrong?" As my temperature and blood pressure shot up I slowly asked " Where...did....they...go?" She brightly answered, "I cut them, with the scissors." "Why... did... you... do.... that?" "I wanted to see what it looked like."

At this, I lost it. I quickly took her hair out of the curlers and positioned her in front of the bathroom mirror. She could tell I was angry and started rethinking her reason for doing the scissor chop. There is no big brother or sister to blame it on and the cats just are not that dexterous. Her long ringlets were almost to her waist and the BANGS; actually what was left could only be called remnants at best. She had grabbed ALL of her bangs in her left hand, held them straight up and putting the blades of the scissors flush with her scalp she made one cut; just one and they all came off in her hand. I found them in the trash. For a space about 3.5 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep her hair ranged from 1/4 inch long in the front to 1/2 inch long at the back and nothing even.

I decided that if she wanted to see how it looked short, then maybe we should cut it all off and go for the really short bob. At this point she changed her mind about having short hair and started screaming. Nyssa seemed to think I could put the bangs back. TOO LATE! I gathered the rest of her flowing locks and cut off six inches, but got my anger under control before doing any more severe whacking.

What do we do now? There is a birthday party in an hour and Nyssa looks like Ronald McDonald the clown. She didn't want to go. I made her. I brushed the curl out as much as I could and pulled it all back in a ponytail. Then we wet the bangs and slicked them back with gel as best we could. No matter what you do, 1/4 inch hair will only stand straight up.

This was it. This was how she had to wear her hair to school every day until they grew out. Slicked back ponytail. It would get worse before it got better and required many trimmings by the beautician to keep them growing even. For a time she looked a lot like little Jeremiah E. whose hair would only go in a spiked do. I cancelled the portrait. On Sunday she had to wear a hat, every Sunday for eight months. At church Nyssa became known as the pretty little girl with the hats. We still curled the rest of the hair, but we slicked the bangs and stuck them under the hat. She couldn't take it off in Sunday School or Bozo the Clown would appear. At Christmas, Stewarts always did portraits with Santa. This year I made a Precious Moments granny night gown with a puffy granny hide the lack of suitable bangs.

Nyssa made it through the crisis. She had to endure stares and giggles of her peers for quite a while but I know this only helped her learn several important lessons. One: Sometimes choices you make have bad consequences that you cannot get out of with results that last a long time; Two: Mom does not like these kind of surprises; and Three: The next time I try to cut my hair, Mom WILL have it cut very, very, very, very short!

The results of Nyssa's experiment gone wrong were still prominent in November of that year, two months after the original shearing. And below that is Stewart's picture with Santa; the bangs well hidden. (See below)

Two months after.

Christmas. Photo by Stewart's Photography

Friday, November 25, 2005

November Dandelion

Yellow (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"It gives one a sudden start in going down a barren, stony street, to see upon a narrow strip of grass, just within the iron fence, the radiant dandelion, shining in the grass, like a spark dropped from the sun" ~ Henry Ward Beecher
The air is cold, the wind is blowing in from the north and we've already had one frost. Imagine my surprise to see a single dandelion lift its yellow head from the grass, surrounded by brown and red leaves that are now curled and dried. I wonder if it will manage to go to seed before the lawn has its last mowing for the winter. It certainly is a brave little flower.

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

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hot or Cold

Hot (Click pictures for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"The real measure of a day's heat is the length of a sleeping cat." ~ Charles J. Brady
Chloe demonstrates her ability to become a "cat thermometer". Above, she is in the warm sunroom (85 degrees), sleeping long and lean. Below, she is curled tightly in her favorite spot, my bed; outside it is cold and blustery (40 degrees). She tucks her nose, paws and tail in tightly to keep them warm.

Cold Posted by Picasa

Chloe will be testing the temperature at Friday's Ark this week, and be sure to see all the kitties at Carnival of the Cats hosted this weekend by IMAO. (end of post)

Psalms 100

Give Thanks Posted by Picasa
Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Today, we remember ALL our blessings and the Lord God who continues to make them possible. Have a blessed day!

(end of post)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Sounds of a Summer Night

Summer nights on Atlantic Avenue. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Drum sound rises on the air, its throb, my heart. A voice inside the beat says, I know you're tired, but come. This is the way." ~ Mevlana Rumi (1207-1273)
The languid, lazy, hot and humid nights along the ocean are gone; this week replaced with cold north winds and dreary rain. Not so in July. Then the Atlantic Avenue oceanfront teemed with small music groups, street performers and their audiences in folding chairs lined up along the sidewalks. Here the drummer of jazz band with guitar, sax and keyboard warms up. An open guitar case sits beside the lead and passing tourists and locals stop to listen and reward. Some pause on their way to other venues; perhaps a minute or two, while some seen here are settled in for the evenings sounds of jazz.

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

Fairytale Orange, In Miniature

Miniature pumpkins (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"There is no blue without yellow and without orange."
~ Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
"Everyone knows that yellow, orange, and red suggest ideas of joy and plenty." ~ Eugene Delacroix
Miniature pumpkins are not very practical for making pies, but beautiful for decorations. The bright orange skin brings sunshine to the dreary, wet and windy November days. Orange, yellow and brown; the colors of Thanksgiving.

Submission for Lensday topic "orange". (end of post)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Violent Sky

A violent lightening storm in Virginia Beach. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"The more violent the storm the sooner it is over." ~ Seneca
The thunder,
Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage,
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
To bellow through the vast and boundless deep.
~ John Milton, Paradise Lost (bk. I, l. 174)
My best lightening picture to date; this was a remarkable light and sound show, the prelude to torrents of rain and moderate wind. Perhaps someday with a better camera I may capture better evidence of nature's at times violent power.

Submission for Photo Tuesday topic "violent". (end of post)

Thanksgiving Part 2: The Indians (Well, Sort Of)

Little Indians: Nyssa (L) and Lauren C. (R). Posted by Picasa
"True thanksgiving means that we need to thank God for what He has done for us, and not to tell Him what we have done for Him." ~ George R. Hendrick
Immanuel school held a large Fall Festival to replace Halloween in 1991. Game booths, candied apples, cookies, balloon animals, crafts and face painting were some of the features. This first festival was held inside the gym of the "blue building"; in later years we moved outdoors to the football field and the event became a big Saturday family event. The events were expanded to include pony rides, small train ride, hay rides, chili cookoffs, and barbecue, in addition to the different class game booths.

Nyssa and her friend Lauren C. made their versions of an Indian headdress and had their faces painted to match both the theme and the outfits. The polka dot hair ribbons and the ladybugs add quite the touch, don't you think? Sometimes I miss those days; then again, sometimes I don't.

(end of post)

Thanksgiving Part 1: The Pilgrims

Nyssa, A First Grade Pilgrim (1992) Posted by Picasa
"I awoke this morning with a devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new. Shall I not call God the Beautiful, who daily showeth himself to me in his gifts?" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
The first grade classes at Immanuel had a special Thanksgiving lunch each year right before the holiday. Some were to dress as Pilgrims and others as Indians. Nyssa wanted to be a Pilgrim; and a fine Pilgrim girl she made.

If you click on the pictures (enlarge) you might notice something interesting about her hair. She has that enviable hair that will fall in ringlets on its own, hold curl all day if curled overnight and keep a straight sleek look when flat-ironed. But in these something is missing! Where are those curly long bangs? What is that peeking out from her white Pilgrim hat? This is another post unto itself.....

But we will just have to save that for later. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

(end of post)

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Matter of Taste

Nyssa & Eva. Strange high school ritual? (2003) Posted by Picasa
"The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another." ~ Quentin Crisp
I didn't take this picture. Thank goodness. The setting is the girls dorm at the Mississippi math and science school. I suspect that either Margaret or Tiffany snapped this shot. It is a "what were they thinking?" type of shot; this must be a significant ritual of some sort. I don't remember ever doing this though. All I can hope is that they didn't wear them to class; but if Nyssa wore flannel pajamas to class (with a sweatshirt over them), then who knows. She doesn't look the least bit embarrassed!
"To an adolescent, there is nothing in the world more embarrassing than a parent." ~ Dave Barry
Right! No parent here. I shouldn't wonder at all. This is the child that routinely climbed the tree in my office parking lot and sat there among the branches, talking to the birds and reading. A nurse from the doctor's office next door called to let me know she was up there. She is the seven year old who had her tonsils out at 7 AM one summer morning, then slept the afternoon on my office couch only to go home and talk on the phone for two hours to her little friend. The next day she wondered why her throat hurt after singing "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" as loud as she could for three hours. Never mind the tonsillectomy; my throat would have hurt after all that singing.

I try not to look at this and think, "Where did I go wrong?" Fashion isn't one of her biggest concerns. Occasionally I see flashes of hope but usually these are short lived. Maybe someday, someone will send in this picture to "What Not To Wear"; just maybe they might take her on.
"A child develops individuality long before he discovers taste" ~ Erma Bombeck
(end of post)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Domestic Chores

Mr. Rhett, Domestic Cat. (Click picture for larger view)
"Housework, if you do it right, will kill you. My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint." ~ Erma Bombeck
Mr. Rhett demonstrates his method for ironing; "I sit on the shirt until my body heat flattens the wrinkles. Of course, this takes some time and various maneuvers and the results aren't great. And when I'm done my staff still have to use the sticky roller to get my hair off. I don't know why they do this; don't they know that no outfit is complete without a little cat hair? Hey! Don't get huffy with me! After all, I didn't get paid for this, I volunteered my services so what do you expect! Now, go away so I can play with my mouse."

Oh yes, Rhett is really a BIG help!!!
"The phrase "domestic cat" is an oxymoron." ~ George F. Will (American editor and news commentator b.1941)
Submission for Moody Monday topic "domestic".
If Rhett gets his ironing done on time he will be joining the other animals at Friday's Ark and the "domesticated" felines at Carnival of the Cats, hosted this week by IMAO.(end of post)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Flannel Sheets

Flannel sheets. (Macro shot) (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself. " ~ Ruth Stout
Winter nights were made for warm snuggles and warmer hearts. ~ Anonymous
The cold air hit Virginia Beach this week; a freeze killed the begonias growing in our flower beds and the leaves of the fig tree finally curled and started to shrivel as its life sap quit flowing. Wind chills are down into the twenties and even with his curly coat of hair, Max keeps more to his doghouse, heated comfortably by a lightbulb and insulated walls. The sun's path swings lower in the sky; and in response shadows are long by three in the afternoon.

This is the time of year when the flannel sheets come out. There is nothing better than snuggling down between flannel sheets, soft blankets and piles of pillows. Add a window open slightly to let in the frigid air and a glass of water on the bedside table, its contents cooled by the winter wind; and this is the very best sleeping weather. Alas, there is but one problem; who wants to emerge from that warm cocoon to face the cold floors next morning?

Brrrr! Submission for Macroday topic "winter". (end of post)

Fig Leaves

Fig leaves. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world any more. There is always something to make you wonder, in the shape of a leaf, the trembling of a tree."
~ Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)
It's cold out and the leaves here in Virginia Beach have finally burst into flames of yellow and red. Our poor little maple in the front has already lost all of its leaves with the last cold front. The fig tree hangs on a bit longer.

Even the fig leaves turn a pale yellow or brown and eventually fall, but not yet. The last of the fruit has been gathered, and those small figs left will go to the squirrels and the birds. Of course, this picture was taken earlier, when the leaves were still supple, the figs ripening and a warmer sun shining.

Submission for PXITE topic "leaf". (end of post)

Friday, November 18, 2005


Colonial Williamsburg. An old gnarled imperfect tree.
(Click picture for larger view)
Posted by Picasa
"If you look closely at a tree you'll notice it's knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully." ~ Matthew Fox
Part of this old tree grows straight and strong; but right next to the ground is a large branch that long ago became twisted and finally died, its hollow center decayed. Perhaps lightening split the tree and this branch, toppled and leaning, still maintained a lifeline to the mother tree; drawing for a while on the water and nutrients in the soil. Eventually, it must have outgrown it's tenuous root supply and with the work of disease and insects, began to die. In death the misshaped branch is wide and beautiful; character etched into the grooves and hollowed out core. Over the last hundred years it has been home and shelter for squirrels, mice and other small creatures and though imperfect when compared to the tall straight trees beside it; it's beauty is unmistakable.

Such it is with individuals. Beauty is more than a shapely body or blemish-free skin. Beauty is strength of character, depth of conviction and honor in our actions; and beauty such as this can be seen and appreciated in spite of the outer imperfections.

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

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Willow and "The Leg"

(Please note: Be sure to click on "read more" to see all pictures)

Willow and "the leg" (Click pictures for larger view)
Posted by Picasa
The thing about cats,
As you may find,
Is that no one knows
What they have in mind.
~ John Ciardi
Cat lovers understand that cats are as individual as people; each having their own quirky behaviors. Willows brother Nicky has already demonstrated his strange sleeping behaviors. Recently, while going through my cat picture gallery, I noticed an unusual and repetitive behavior in Willow that had not come to my attention before.

While most cats tend to tuck everything under, (even Nicky unless he is sleeping on his back) Willow throws one of her back legs out; sometimes the right and sometimes the left. Why?

Does she always clean that back leg before taking a nap, leaving it conveniently stretched out to dry?

Does it act as her major cooling apparatus while she cozies up in a sheepskin throw?

Does she need her leg to be prepared for a quick get away or does the leg elongate her body so that her width is less noticeable?

Perhaps it's second nature now, from years of trying to fit into the "too small" sleep bowl. "No Willow, no matter how small you try to make yourself, you just don't fit!"

Hopefully Willow and her leg will fit in Friday's Ark this week. She will also try to "squeeze in" over at the Carnival of the Cats, hosted this Sunday by Scribblings. See you there! (end of post)