Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Motorcycle Mania

On the road again. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Even in the presence of others he was completely alone."
Robert M. Pirsig (b.1928) US novelist,
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
This is transportation for the brave, those who march to a different drummer. This is not your wimpy little scooter but a big powerful machine, yours to master. I dated a guy who had a motorcycle, I was married to a guy with a motorcycle and I worked with an old guy who had a scooter. I felt the most safe riding with the guy I dated, the most insecure with the guy I was married to and the poor sap I worked with ended up with a ruptured spleen, a hip replacement and a femur fractured into more than 30 pieces. But then he was riding a scooter.
"Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window." ~ Author Unknown
Submission for Thursday Challenge topic "transportation". (end of post)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Instruments Under Glass

Musical instruments under glass. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"People of talent resemble a musical instrument more closely than they do a musician. Without outside help, they produce not a single sound, but given even the slightest touch, and a magnificent tune emanates from them." ~ Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872), Austrian author. Notebooks and Diaries (1811-1816)
A display of musical instruments caught my eye, in an airport no less. It's amazing what you can stumble upon in your travels. Once, Nyssa and I decided to walk the underground passageway between terminals in Atlanta rather than taking the train. We had several hours before the flight to Austria and we saw a sign announcing an art exhibit ahead. Paintings and photographs lined the walls on either side and sculpture of wood, stone, and bronze were set in various sections. Padded benches afforded a place to rest and contemplate and the lighting was complementary to the pieces; I forgot we were under a bustling taxiway between the terminals. A few of the sculpted pieces bore signs that read "Please, touch!"; the smooth wood already caressed by the artist many times, felt cool and slick. I thought it magnificent.

And these instruments, guitar and two trumpets, had the same well-worn look of the much touched sculpture. Instruments that were well loved, long used and gloriously played to make beautiful music for thousands. If the sounds of jazz or romantic guitar had been serenading us under Atlanta that day; it would have been perfection.

Submission for Tuesday's Photos topic "musical instruments". (end of post)

Monday, May 29, 2006

One Cat Leads........ To Another

Another day, another birdwatching session. (Clover & Rhett)
(Click pictures for larger view)
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"One cat just leads to another." ~ Ernest Hemingway
And another and another. Of course, if one cat is watching birds then another will want to watch them as well, and so on and so on until the perch is full. Four cats fit on top of this cedar chest if they sit still and refrain from irritating each other by swishing tails in faces and stepping on each other's paws. This only applies to the Siamese however. If the "widebodies" get in on the sightseeing, room for two is the limit. As you can see below, they tend to "spread".

Nicky & Willow, the "widebodies" have their turn.

Submission for Moody Monday topic "another".
The birdwatchers will be casting off on Friday's Ark and may land on the Monday version of the Carnival of the Cats, hosted by Tacjammer this week. (end of post)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Small Things

Birdseye Speedwell, Veronica persica.
(Click picture for larger view)
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"A flowering weed;
Hearing its name,
I looked anew at it."
~ Teiji
It's cool in the back yard and near the fence mixed with the wild Spanish strawberries a little blue flower is growing wild. It's petals are closed in the early morning dampness, almost too small to notice.

As the sun warms the air, the small sky blue flower with dark stripes and white center, slowly opens. The name Birdseye Speedwell, how charming. Only a weed? No, these delicate blooms again remind me how much beauty is found in the often overlooked small things of life.

(end of post)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Oh Where Is My Hairbrush?

Morning glory, at the end of the day.
(Click picture for larger view)
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"The morning glory!
It has taken the well bucket,
I must seek elsewhere for water."
~ Chiyo-ni, 1703-1775
This morning glory has bloomed for the day and now, in the cooler evening it curls; the bloom closed tightly and color deepening to a darker shade of purple. My what a "hairy" little flower we have here, it could use a little mousse. These pictures were taken last summer at the end of the blooming season. I wonder if the vines will return again this year?

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


Infinity (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
~ William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence"
Lemniscate, the mathematical symbol for infinity was conceived by mathematician John Wallis in 1655, but not named until years later by Bernoulli. The name taken from the Latin word lemniscus, means "ribbon", and the symbol itself is patterned after the "Mobius strip"; a twisted strip of paper attached at the ends, forming an "endless" two dimensional surface.

Of course this "infinity" symbol is that of Eterna Gold. Any woman familiar with QVC knows all about this formula of gold with such strength and dent resistance that it is covered by a lifetime (infinite in some sense at least) guarantee for replacement by the company, Leach & Garner Gold. These are great pieces befitting such a company symbol.
"Characters of the great Apocalypse,
The types and symbols of Eternity,
Of first, and last, and midst, and without end."
~ William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850) English poet
"The Prelude, VI. 638 (cf. The Simplon Pass)"
Submission for PXITE topic "symbol". (end of post)

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Wandering Gnome Calls Home

I hope she gets a picture of these in the wild.
(Click picture for larger view)
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"When the emotions are strong one should paint bamboo; in a light mood one should paint the orchid." ~ Chueh Yin
The cell phone rang; on the other end and sounding like she was in the other room, was the "hiking" girl from the Hawaiian Volcano National Park. Yes, she is still alive even after swimming in the ocean, climbing to the top of Mauna Kea and playing with hot lava. Smelling a bit rank right now after the afternoon Kilauea Caldera Death March, tired but happy. Today at 14,000 feet she found snow on the ground and cloud cover below her feet obscuring the valleys below. So far she has taken over 150 pictures..... yes, I can live the excitement through my daughter. "And what have you been doing," she wanted to know.

Well. Her Civic has a new inspection sticker, new battery and oil change. It has been hand washed, hand waxed and the mats scrubbed and dried. All of this required me to dig through the wasteland (and I mean trash) that filled the car and vacuum a thick layer of sand, rocks and dust on the mats. Her laundry is done, her fridge clean and ready to go back to school and her bedding ready. When she gets back it may take days to get the clothes clean. Oh, I am soooooo looking forward to that job!

The pictures better be spectacular Nyssa. (end of post)

Home For Sale

For Sale (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Poor indeed is the garden in which birds find no homes." ~ Abram L. Urban
Item in the Daily Bird Gazette Classifieds:

Home for Sale

Single family unit dwelling, great starter home. Everything today is location, location, location; and what a wonderful location for raising a family! The wooden siding has been recently painted a lovely shade of light seafoam green and the cedar shingled roof is strong against the wind. The home is anchored atop a sturdy fencepost and is sheltered from north winds by a large brick wall. What a view from the entry way! In the distance, the bay shoreline; not too close for little ones but close enough for family day trips. This home is convenient to shopping with plenty of worms and insects for the taking as well as handy drive-thru take-out fare and more formal restaurants where families can mingle with friends as they dine. Berries are plentiful. Building supplies may be found throughout the year. Safety is of paramount importance and this home resides in a gated community without residents of the canine or feline persuasion. All in all a great home and you can't beat the price. It's free! You supply the nest and the missus. All utilities paid! First come, first serve!

Submission for PhotoFriday topic "home". (end of post)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Resting Sphinx

Rhett, a little pouty. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"They take, brooding, the noble attitudes
Of sphinxes stretched in deepest solitudes
That look to slumber in an endless dream."
~ Charles Baudelaire, "Cats"
Mr. Rhett is quiet today, serene and moving slowly through the house to the sunroom. The gray skies and billowy clouds look like rain, but the storms go around us again. Rhett seems content to stretch out on the floor, both front paws placed precisely in front, a sphinx. I think he is feeling blue because he hasn't heard from his lady friend, Miss Sophie, in a long time. Cat's don't like to be insecure, it's against their very nature. He may think she has moved on to other gentlemen friends and forgotten him. Don't worry Rhett, she won't forget you and you have all your friends aboard Friday's Ark and at the Carnival of the Cats. This week the carnival is hosted by Niobium. You'll have fun Rhett, really you will.

(end of post)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

From An Insect's Viewpoint

A cricket's view. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"It is apparent that no lifetime is long enough in which to explore the resources of a few square yards of ground." ~ Alice M. Coats
Have you ever wondered how an insect sees the world, besides the obvious compound eye effect? The grass slightly overgrown is a jungle, a pebble becomes a boulder, two dandelions as big as trees and a mound of earth becomes a high mountain. Rain drops coalesce into oceans and rivers of mud flow over the edges of the flowerbeds. The insect is surrounded by world of activity with worms, spiders and other insects; each busy gathering food, finding mates and hopefully avoiding those giant bipeds and the hairy monsters with four legs and a propensity to roll around on their backs; both ready to crush anything in their paths. And of course those prehistoric dinosaurs that hop and slither through the jungle snapping up friends right and left with darting sticky tongues. This puts a bad day into perspective doesn't it?

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

Blue on Blue

Blue on blue. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive." ~ Eleonora Duse (1858 - 1924) Italian actress
Attitude is everything! Life deals us the joker quite often; a losing hand. Our attitude determines if we just survive the circumstances or if we thrive in spite of them. Every one gets "the blues", everyone has a right to be blue; well, except for my cat Mr. Rhett who has no earthly reason to mope, but he is. Actually, he does have a reason; he misses Miss Sophie and Miss M and Nyssa and I think he even misses his new friend Stavros. But, I digress.

I wanted some color today, so I chose this picture. Blue flowers on the background of a blue sky; a title appeared in my head, "Blue on Blue". Then Rhett started moping, his head hanging off the bed, and yes, there is a tear in his eye and I thought of that sad, sad, teenage angst breakup song:
"Blue on blue heartache on heartache
Blue on blue now that we are through
Blue on blue heartache on heartache
And I find I can't get over losing you
~ Bobby Vinton
There's another lovely song to stick in my head joining Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer and Down By The Bay Where The Watermelon Grow. (don't ask) Wait! This is supposed to be an uplifting post but it is now spiraling downward into the abyss! So?

I study the picture again, not just glance at it, but really study it. The delicate petals so perfect, blooms pointing their heads toward the warm sun, the pale shades of blue on the deep blue background of the sky and just a touch of green. No, this could never weigh the spirit down. I agree with Eleonora Duse... Rejoice!

PS: On the daughter's Hawaii camping Geology trip. Today is day four without a shower. Their mission today is listed as Kilauea Caldera Death March. Doesn't that sound lovely?
(end of post)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fire Hydrants: One

Fire hydrant in Colonial Williamsburg. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Talking is a hydrant in the yard and writing is a faucet upstairs in the house. Opening the first takes all the pressure off the second." ~ Robert Frost
Well! I have now wasted at least a couple of hours trying to find out the manufacturing company associated with the fire hydrant in Colonial Williamsburg. No luck yet. Who knew there were so many companies? Who knew they each make a unique shape and size? I thought perhaps it was a reproduction but I doubt there were iron fire hydrants as early as colonial times. I have learned a few things so I suppose my time wasn't completely wasted. The correct designation of the top of the hydrant is the "bonnet" and they can be one tiered or two tiered or other. This one is one tiered. It seems to have been painted red at one time, but now has a green color similar to a copper patina. Another thing I've learned is that there are a lot of people out there who collect fire hydrants or take pictures of them. Who knew? The Birdsill Holly Society Pool of pictures has over 4,000; some artsy, some thought provoking (yes, really) and some just downright strange. The other "Everything you ever wanted to know about fire hydrants but were loathe to ask" site is

So much for my original concept of posting a series of fire hydrants.
(end of post)

Monday, May 22, 2006

On The Big Island

Orchid (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"When speech comes from a quiet heart, it has the strength of the orchid, and the fragrance of rock." ~ Stephen Mitchell, Four Watercolors by Tao-chi
Nyssa arrived safely in the land of exotic flowers after a very long day of traveling. She called at 2:30 AM our time and let me know she had arrived. No more phone calls today, so there must not have been any major disasters with the duffel bag or finding the girls to share a room for the first night. Tonight it's Margo's Corner and then west to check out the Mauna Loa flows. This is a Geology trip after all. Sleeping on the ground or in a tent. Cooking out of doors, stews most days. No baths, for ten days. She will have the time of her life. I love camping, or rather I did. My idea of Hawaii is resort comfort with a digital camera and an endless ability to recharge the battery.

After hanging up, I thought of several questions I should have asked, but didn't. I never have functioned that well in the middle of the night. Do they meet passengers from the mainland with leis or is this just a misconception perpetuated by Hollywood movies? Do any of the highest points get cold enough to have snowcaps? Do the orchids grow wild there? How's the weather? How much does it rain? I guess I'll have to wait a week for answers. Well, except for the last two. I checked the local weather on the big island.... this morning, drizzle.

(end of post)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Lobster Claw Connection

Lobster claw connection. (Macro shot)
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"One must always maintain one's connection to the past and yet ceaselessly pull away from it. To remain in touch with the past requires a love of memory. To remain in touch with the past requires a constant imaginative effort." ~ Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist.
The lobster claw connection keeps a gold necklace secure. I had a lot of ideas for this MacroDay topic; electric plugs, camera connections, a rusty screw and tin hinge, spark plug cap, the little computer symbol telling me I'm connected to the internet; all well and good, but I chose the lobster claw. Let's just say "it's a girl thing."

As for the background? The Word Museum by Jeffrey Kacirk or "The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten." It is filled with delightful words no longer in use but common in the past. Words such as "feff" (a bad smell), "unky" (lonesome) and "mimp" (to make believe). I even found a word I once used in a high school English paper. In a moment of compositional inspiration I wrote with a flourish: "Thomas Hardy's heroine endure overwhelming hardships, yet they continue to strive against them knowing that somehow, somewhere, somewhen; their perseverance will be rewarded." My teacher took exception with that word and left a sarcastic little note beside it. Guess what, Mr. Kessler? Somewhen is a real word and it means exactly what I thought it did! HA!

So this is my interpretation of the MacroDay topic "connection", my connection with the past. An old piece of jewelry and forgotten words. (end of post)

Garden Green

Soleirolia soleirolii (Baby's Tears, Angel's Tears)
(Click picture for larger view)
Posted by Picasa
"A garden is the mirror of a mind. It is a place of life, a mystery of green moving to the pulse of the year, and pressing on and pausing the whole to its own inherent rhythms." ~ Henry Beston 1935, Herbs and the Earth
I spent the afternoon in a garden by the bay. Although people were milling around the patio, talking and laughing, I felt as if I were alone; meandering through the flowerbeds along the slate paths to hidden spots. Here a small bench; a tree swing in another. Colors of the rainbow dot the landscape in flowers of all sizes and shapes; their canvas a background of green in the grass, ferns, vines, trees, and ivy. In this world I felt serene, comforted, cool; happy in my solitude. A good day.

Submission for SeeItSunday topic "green". (end of post)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Politically Correct People?

People at a football game. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating; people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing." ~ Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 7 (1891)
I think there are several people here who know absolutely everything there is to know about football and a few who know absolutely nothing, and frankly don't care. The girl under the umbrella qualifies as one in the latter category; those standing and cheering fall into the first. The guy with the cell phone to his ear is a mystery. He may be trying to find someone lost in the masses, or he could be giving an absent football fanatic a play by play description. They may not know much or care much about football, but they have school spirit! Can anyone guess the school colors?

Aside: The team name is "The Tribe." The mascot is a bear with a crown, maybe reference to King William. (It used to be a green blob of some sort but changed this year.) In a couple of the W & M logos there appear two "feathers"; no tommy hawk, no Indian headdress, no one pictured in Native American dress, JUST TWO FEATHERS. Now, the word has come down. Absurdity reigns. William & Mary will have to remove the TWO FEATHERS from their logo because it is OFFENSIVE to Native Americans. Unbelievable! They could be just plain old turkey feathers! We better see some changes in the Atlanta Braves and the Florida State Seminoles as well!!!!

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

Friday, May 19, 2006

Winter Sweater

Winter sweater, handmade by my mom. (Macro shot)
(Click picture for larger view)
Posted by Picasa
"Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, from: Letters and Biographical Sketches, 1883
A wool winter sweater in shades of blue mixed with warm golds, and rust red; lovingly hand knit by my mom and so warm that it can protect against the coldest of winter winds. Knitting has become her passion although her hands are stiff and painful from arthritis; seeing a pattern appear or a sock take form or a sweater emerge from a ball of yarn is miraculous to her. As for me, I've tried but with knitting I am all thumbs.

Submission for Macroday topic "clothes". (end of post)

The Road Home

The Road Home. Following Nyssa from William and Mary.
(Click picture for larger view)
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"Wisdom is to finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The road home, following Nyssa, remembering. Last year, the road home was long, twelve hours worth with walkie talkies, pit stops, books on CD, music, food stops, and very tired endings. This year, just an hour's drive, much better.

I have driven this road many times now, from here to Williamsburg. I have also taken this road to Sewanee, Tennessee and on to Mississippi. My favorite time to drive this road, or any for that matter, is very early in the morning; probably most would actually call it night time. At 1AM the tunnel under the bay is empty. Yes, a few workmen are at the entrance but there are no cars ahead of me and none behind. Just me. I drive down the middle. Why not? When I-64W leaves Newport News the road narrows to two lanes each direction and the pines thicken and crowd closer to the highway, their arching boughs meeting midway overhead. My headlights bounce off the branches and I get that quiet, other world feeling; it's cold or at least cool and I feel a peaceful solitude on the highway. I'm in a cozy cocoon between the trees and the road; not able to see too far ahead or behind; not able to distinguish shapes or colors or objects in the dense woods to either side. Yes, there is the occasional car; but at this time of early morning, before dawn, the semi-trucks are parked at rest stops and on the shoulders of the entrance and exit ramps; the drivers asleep in the cabs, the red and yellow lights glowing all in a row.

Later, I watch the sunrise in the mountains of western Virginia. The hint of light in the eastern sky, then the color; at first navy, then lighter violet and on to blue and pink and finally, the bright yellow of the sun appears above the peak of the mountain. It's a different sunrise altogether than that at the beach, slower, more subtle; and the world awakes. So does the road, as truckers resume their routes and more cars appear going here and there. With the dawn my fairytale world is gone, the road is just another highway and I am no longer peacefully alone.

Submission for PhotoFriday topic "the road". (end of post)

I Sleep..... I Wake......

Nicky loves to sleep on his back. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"I sleep...
I wake.....
How wide
The bed with none beside."
~ Kaga no Chiyo
I have come to realize that in 80% of my cat photos, the subjects are either going to sleep, asleep, pretending to sleep or just waking up. In another 15%, the cats are staring at the camera, staring off at invisible objects, contemplating or carefully striking a pose. Only rarely are they caught in action; action for our cats is either nonexistent or short spurts of furious romping, galloping, spinning, jumping or falling that as yet haven't been caught on film. Hopefully some day these bits of hysteria will coincide with a ready camera and a fast trigger finger. Until then, Nicky will entertain daily with his contortion act on his favorite stage.... Mom's bed. Here he really was trying to blend in with his background, hoping I would go away and leave him in peace.

Nicky will be visiting Friday's Ark today and the Carnival of the Cats on Sunday. This week the Carnival is hosted by IMAO. See you there! (end of post)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Covered passageway at William & Mary.
(Click picture for larger view)
Posted by Picasa
"You walk through a series of arches, so to speak, and then, presently, at the end of a corridor, a door opens and you see backward through time, and you feel the flow of time, and realize you are only part of a great nameless procession."
~ John Huston (American Film Director, 1906-1987)
John Huston wasn't speaking of an actual arched passageway, but this same feeling of seeing "backward through time" is here, in this place. A simple passageway, a covered arched walkway between dorms; a look into the past. For over 300 years students have walked these grounds, studied lessons, marched through the Wren building to enter as freshmen and then back through again to leave as graduates. Some will become movers of business, some astronauts, some physicians, or lawyers or presidents and senators. Some will teach or write or paint or compose beautiful music. Some will even be actors or have their own talk show. But time does not stop; we also see a time to come as many more will walk this long corridor and step through the door into the unknown future. Here, the past, present and future are united as one.

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


Atlantic Avenue. Stop sign. (Click picture for larger view)
"One time a cop pulled me over for running a stop sign. He said, "Didn't you see the stop sign?" I said, "Yeah, but I don't believe everything I read." ~ Steven Wright
A clear day with nary a cloud in the sky; cold, winter, no one on the beach but sea gulls hoping for a bit of bread and those die hard folks who run and inline skate on the boardwalk every morning. Not much traffic on Atlantic Avenue this morning, but you had better honor these signs; the beach police will pop up when you least expect them.

Submission for LensDay topic "sign". (end of post)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Moon In The Pines

Moon in the pines. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"See yonder fire! It is the moon
Slow rising o'er the eastern hill.
It glimmers on the forest tips,
And through the dewy foliage drips
In little rivulets of light,
And makes the heart in love with night."
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Christus--The Golden Legend"
I don't remember if I've posted this before, but it is one of my favorite shots of the moon. It was dusk and the moon was rising in the east over the pines; not a full moon but bright. Every time I look at this photo the words of a little nursery rhyme jump into my head:
The Man in the Moon looked out of the moon,
Looked out of the moon and said,
"'Tis time that, now I'm getting up,
All children are in bed."
~ Author Unknown
Submission for Tuesday's Photos topic "moon". (end of post)

Monday, May 15, 2006

I'm Just Here For The Rug

Moving Out Posted by Picasa
"Having children is like having a bowling alley installed in your brain." ~ Alan Bleasdale
The girl is back, at least for a week before the summer blur begins. I drove up to help bring her stuff home for the nineteen days before the summer session. Maybe it was a sustained senior moment, but I had convinced myself that I was going to get the rug and the bicycle, which I knew wouldn't fit in her Civic. Last fall the van was full, but her room was so small, I brought at least a third of it back here. The pins in my brain were obviously scrambled.

As I turned the corner of her hallway I saw black garbage bags, pedestal fans, dehumidifier, stacked boxes, plastic containers, plastic crates, laundry basket, bookshelf, refrigerator, microwave, suitcases, and a huge bag for actual trash. Surely this isn't all hers. OH! BUT IT WAS! The trips up and down the stairs began. Did I mention she lived on the second floor and the lone elevator probably broke fifteen years ago? The rug? Well, until other crates and boxes were moved, we couldn't get to the rug. My thoughts of "rug and bicycle" quickly turned to "why didn't I take these middle seats out of the van" and "how did this stuff fit in that small room and how is it going to fit in the van?"

Even with the fabulous help of her roommate and friends, the steps up and down seemed endless to my exercise deprived legs. We did get everything in her car and the van, but keeping a little space to see out the back was a real trick. No extra room fees, although I thought that final room check concept a little ridiculous. The dorm she inhabited (I use this term loosely) is being closed probably to be renovated and turned into something else. Before becoming the Dillard Complex dorms these were part of the state mental hospital so I think it would be safe to say that as of this morning, May 15th, all the INMATES in Hughes and Munsford Halls have been "sprung".

Now the STUFF is here. Now we sort. Now the piles start. Four piles: Storage for fall, Storage not to go back in fall, Summer session, Hawaii trip. STUFF EVERYWHERE!!

Submission for Moody Monday topic "boring". The picture is boring, the experience was not. (end of post)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Muffins For Mothers

Gift card for Mothers. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa

Today Mom took "Muffins for Mothers" to Dad's senior adult Sunday School class. Each lady chose two muffins to take home and were instructed to keep them for themselves. Needless to say they were delighted and the men were downcast. Mom made three different kinds of muffins: blueberry, zucchini and chocolate chip-raspberry. My small contribution was the gift card attached to each bag. Mom wrote the little poem and I made the tags using some of my flower pictures.

It doesn't take a lot to tickle these lovely people. Nyssa loves to attend Grandpa's class because "they are so funny and cute and you just want to hug them all." By-the-way, don't feel too sorry for the fellows. Yes, they were left out today, but their special day is coming and plans are already in the works for "Doughnuts for Dad."

Hope everyone received much love, joy and peace today; and that wonderful old memories were retold for the younger generation and new memories were made for the future. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!

PS: If my brother reads this.... CALL YOUR MOM!!!! He sometimes forgets over there in Austria and Germany.

(end of post)

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Zula Brown: My grandmother with her (then) 8 month old granddaughter, Nyssa.
(Click picture for larger view)
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"Holding a great-grandchild makes getting old worthwhile." ~ Evelyn Rikkers
This was my grandmother holding Nyssa, her first and only great-grandchild. She was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease even then, though we didn't suspect it at the time. She was becoming a child again herself; and so made a wonderful playmate for Nyssa. Though in her 80's, she gardened and at least for a while, was able to run around the back yard pushing the wheelbarrow with Nyssa sitting in the middle, hanging on to the sides and squealing with glee. They had tea parties with dolls and stuffed animals, both sitting on the floor in the corner of the library. Nyssa and Grandma blew bubbles together and read stories of kitties and princesses.

Nyssa's great-grandma made her a handpieced quilt with an intricate pattern, using cloth squares from the left-over material I had. Most of the cloth was extra from the different dresses I made her. It is a prized possession. I too have a quilt she made from pieces of my little dresses. I feel so fortunate that they had the time to really get to know each other before the Alzheimer's and a stroke made communication almost impossible. Even during those last years, when she forgot who Mom was and who I was; her eyes would still light up whenever Nyssa came into the room.

It was a Saturday when we said goodbye that last time. We were leaving for the airport to travel back to Mississippi. Grandma had been sitting at the kitchen table when she suddenly became lucid and talked of her childhood for about three minutes. We captured it on video. As suddenly as it came, the clarity left and that grey veil returned, the sparkle in her eye dulled and she was as before. Thankfully, that final illness was short, her suffering minimal and after only twenty-four hours, she was gone. Dad called us Monday morning to let us know she was ill and again a few hours later to let us know she was gone. Now she is with my grandpa and again her mind is clear and her step light; she is whole again. I expect to see her again someday and I know by then she will have tilled and planted enough flowers to increase Heaven's beauty fourfold, at least.

Zula Brown was a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was loved by all who knew her and we miss her still.
"It took me a long time to get used to the reality that my grandmother had passed away. Wherever I was, in the house, in the garden, out on the fields, her face always appeared so clearly to me. " ~ Huynh Quang Nhuong
Submission for PXITE topic "Mother". (end of post)