Monday, February 26, 2018

We Are Who We Are

When one walks into our home, one could guess that we just moved in and lived in perpetual scattered messes. Well, it is not as bad as all that, but I look at it with dismayed eyes. We are messy, in a community where it seems that other people live organized lives.  

Oddly enough, my house was very tidy when my children were little.  Maybe it was that a toddler or crawler was wandering around, or that I was a stay-at home mom. But things morphed when they grew to be teenagers who left a trails or heaps of stuff.  Then they moved out. (see below what they became as adults) 
Now all the messes around are our own.

We both are eclectic people with our own talents and interests.

He is all math and science, a huge bridge fanatic. Around his recliner, one will find books on bridge, astronomy, science fiction, and investing. 

I am all color and art, with writing as my joy. Around my chair, there is no mess. But on the table, my computer is surrounded  by printouts, post-its, rough drafts being edited, and photos.

When one combines those two, there is and will always be a mess.

So if and when someone visits, we will close doors to our "creative" rooms, hoping that visitors will focus on art around and on the walls. Will go "ahhhh" at quilts commanding parts of their own walls.   Will smile at our collection of family photos. Will nod with appreciation at my laptop on the dining table, knowing that I am a writer, one who writes everyday.
Being as we are, I believe our messes will be understood and maybe even admired.

Well, not admired, but at least understood.

A quilt for my daughter

My sister made this for me.  She is so precious.

Anatole Krasnyansky
Are we alone in this?  Do you have a flare of your own, resulting in a mess? Oh, please say yes.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Swiss Always Take Perfection One Step Higher.

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. - Charles M. Schulz
Wisdom Indeed
Valentine paraphernalia hit the shelves when Christmas candy left.  It was magical to see red and green one day, then red and pink the next.  Plus there was just a hint of St. Patrick's day and some Cadbury's Easter eggs, hiding in two shelves. Oh, well.

We've been married for forty-five (that's 45) years, and the spark is still there.  Not the same as when we were young and lusty, but ours is still a deep love.

Chocolate is a winner, always has been and will always be. Maybe it is just me, but there you go.

Swizterland is by far the best chocolate in the whole wide world.  Maybe it is just me.... My daughter Mary escorted us to Chailler's Factory, one of the founders of the Swiss industry.

Take! Taste!  For free!  As many as you want!!! Seriously!

La chocolaterie-suisse

The history of how cocoa powder morphed into amazing editible heaven happened here in Switzerland.

Francois Louis Callier 1819
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To think that what we know as cocoa all started here long before Spain claimed the Aztec world.

If you are giving chocolate to your beloved, go for the gusto and buy really goood chocolate. You both will appreciate the quality and taste.  

***While we waited for our self-guided tour, we drank hot chocolate in the cafe.  It was so thick that we could almost use a spoon.  And it was so awesome that I consumed it quickly.  Five minutes later, my head exploded in a brain-busting migraine.  After throwing up, I huddled in a dark place.  Fortunately, I had emergency vicodin/narcotic, took some, and was back to my chipper self in minutes. 
Note to self: take it easy on amount eaten, especially the dark chocolate. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Soar on Wings

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I have written this first paragraph so many times, each time hoping it would improve eventually.  Every time it sounded like I knew a lot about eagles, etc. which I sure don't.  The paragraphs bored me to tears.  All I can really say with any degree of confidence is what I have observed myself.

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To watch eagles soaring and catching the thermals is best described as amazing.  Seeing those magnificent birds soaring high and gliding took my breath away.  Then, to gaze at them swoop down to the River, scoop up a fish, and disappear in the trees, well, you just cannot imagine.

When waterways in Canada and Great Lakes freeze over, eagles fly down to my stretch of the country to the Mississippi where the River flows freely and fish are swimming around. Eagles will eat live or dead fish,
doesn't matter.

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Russ Adams
These photos used were taken near The Marina at the Illinois side of Mississippi River, my home area.  Closest city for reference is Louisiana, MO, just down the River from Hannibal, Missouri (Mark Twain's birthplace). Bird watchers estimate there are 2,000 birds each year along the River in the zone from Alton, IL, to this area, Pike County.**

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R.A. Nature Photography

Groups of eagles are called a "kettle", at any given spot, and Birders find it difficult to count.  With all with their feathers fluffed out for warmth or riding the chunks of river ice, this sight stays in my own memory. No photos are ever needed.

Yet those who wait for the Lord 
Will gain strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Isaiah 40:31

**The photos were taken by a fellow student from high school, Russ Adams. Well done, Russ.