Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rain! Glorious rain!! Where are you,..

Wet….damp…drops…freshness…gray skies…water…rain…rain….

The Southwest is a tinder box of dry brown crispy vegetation.

Here are some photos of the last rain we had.  It was utterly wonderful.

Can you see the lines of rain??

The ferns were turning brown.

Click on photo to "embiggen".

Ignore the pool toys--grandkids, what can I say?

Joy, pure joy.

Are you watching the skies for rain clouds?

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Night Has a Thousand Eyes

Penny had been practicing with five other girls, hours and hours after school.  The contest is tomorrow...all the way to Jacksonville in a bus...we'll sing for a judge and everything! As she carried the slop bucket to the pig pen, Penny practiced her alto part all the way there and back. Tomorrow!

Penny was quiet after their presentation, "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes".  Her head was heavy and she put it down on a fellow alto's shoulder. I just need to close my eyes...
File:Sunset Solar Halo at Keys View of Joshua Tree National Park.jpg

"Penny?  You feel okay?" 

Then the talk turned to the drama club and going to see the movie "Romeo and Juliet".

  A movie!  I will see Romeo and Juliet after we finish!  I can't believe Dad let me see this... On the return bus from seeing the movie, Penny stretched out on a empty seat.  Her head...the pain!  My head!  Cold and hot, she was cold and hot at the same time.  When they arrived at school where parents waited, Penny remembered nothing.


At the hospital, her mother's face faded in and out of focus.  Mama, we did so well at the contest! head hurts, Mama..

The following day all the students were called to the auditorium where 
Principal Roberts announced a horrible truth.  

That Penny had died in the night, spinal meningitis.  Anyone who had been in close contact had to get examined with a prescription of antibiotic.  All the students were dismissed for the rest of the day.

My folks took me to Dr. Goodman for antibiotic, for I had been the second alto. I still see Penny's freckles, red blonde hair, and big smile as we sang that song.  She had been so thrilled when we won second place.  Sweet sweet girl, Penny, forever 13.


The night has a thousand eyes,
And the Day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
with the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of the whole life dies
When love is done.

Frances William Bourdillon

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Medicinal Value of Chocolate

It has been proven through much research that chocolate brownies are the anti-dote to just about any illness, physical or otherwise.  The chocolate has riboflavin which boost the system and generally makes the sick person feel better.

While this most likely be disputed, my daughters and I have tested this out many many times and found it to be true.

One time my oldest daughter (then mid-20s) came by to visit.  We both had miserable colds.  Sick as dogs, as my mother would say. 

We put on Chocolάt, opened a bottle of Champagne/bubbling wine.  Then we baked a large pan of deep chocolate brownies.  While we watched the movie, we drank wine and ate the brownies (not even bothering for them to cool) straight from the pan.

We laughed, we cried, blew noses, and coughed.  We talked about past painful events, apologized, laughed, hugged each other, and fell asleep on the couch.

Chocolate Brownies
When we awoke, we felt much better.

Brownies always work.

Note: Not everyone can eat brownies for a variety of dietary restrictions.  I hope this post does not offend, and I hope that everyone has a "feel-good" food to eat when sick.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wednesday Words: Man with a MIssion

The slamming cargo jolted Jim Phelps awake.  In moments, darkness enveloped him.

Damn! This is so classic.  That Mission: Impossible (also known as IMF) Force have screwed me over for the last time!  Apparently the IMF had always had no patience with the slightest infractions.  He refused to remember the shady deals he had made over the years FOR the IMF. 

He caught the rays of light cutting through a rusted metal hole from the corner at the top.  Opening a crate of Speedos , Jim formed a chain of the colorful swimwear and retrieved his “Grappling hook in minutes!” from his secret spy tool belt. Having won First Prize in Grappling Hook Throw at the annual "IMF Olympics", Jim was up and over like a flash.

Later, Jim Phelps perused the sea of cargo crates until he at last spotted his ever-faithful blue convertible with white leather interior.’

As he revved up the powerful engine, his white-blond hair gleamed in the sunlight. 

Tomorrow let’s just see if the CIA has any job openings...

He drove off into the sunset, a man on a mission…a mission only he and his team could appreciate.

Note: Mission Impossible was a risk for Desilu Productions.  It paid off.

Delores at Under the Porchlight has again stymied us all with her six word choices.  SPEEDO?!!  ooooo...  Please check her site out, easily by clicking on the vanishing train tracks.  There you will discover other writers and what they did with SPEEDO.  Delores has also provided a list of rhyming words, which I avoided.  Delores is one talented lady.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

War of the Words, again

Confusion reigns/reins

Words are train-cars.  One leads to another.  

Then it blossoms into some other word that confuses the heck out of Third Graders already caught in the web of the Anglo-Saxon confusion.


there is always the homophone dilemma of many other words:

lone/loan; rough/ruff, some/sum. gym/Jim... 

Just some entertainment if you'd like...

Enough of this.  

Can you add to this crazy theme of confusing words?

Can you stare/stair at the bear/bare and spit in its face?

Give it a chance; add to another word train wreck. 

I know I have written a similar post a few years ago, but hey/hay! It is August, it is hot/haute.  There/their are/our to/too many, so/sew many blogs to read/reed, and so little time/thyme.  

This one is for you, Gary!

Monday, August 18, 2014

The COOL cars

While my own experience with cars is limited to home to school/store to home, I have spent time recently with my grandson, the car thief.  While his vocabulary is that of a two-year old (which he is), he has clear vision on the types of cars.  There are three:  little cars, big cars, and cool cars.  He is quite serious when he says "COOL cars."

It makes perfect sense, this division of cars.
Here are some “cool cars”.

I tried to remember what this is....

Now, given that these are “cool cars”, there are many cars that used to be the "Kings of Cool Fast Cars".  Sadly, they have broadened their line.
Maserati Kubang SUV
Not your father's Mazerati
2014 Porsche Cayenne Diesel 4dr SUV Badge

Large Accommodating Doors
The Lincoln SUV that soccer moms love
Jaguar's new roar
 Ferrari SUV Rendered Yet Again
Zoooooom! Ferrari!
The Dukes of Hazard and Magnum P.I. must weep at the devolution of the cool fast cars.

P.S.  The Mustang is still the Mustang.  You can see them at this site.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Noble Lineage

Michelangelo's Creation of David in the Sistine Chapel
The single touch

After spending/wasting a good part of the afternoon, the truth has emerged.  GENI© has wandered through the family line of my mother’s grand-mother, Sarah Ann.  Twisting and turning, I followed only the male line for ease of surnames, there it was:

I am related to God Almighty!  God Almighty is my 93rd Great-Grandmother!

Sarah Ann introduced some great genes into the humble family line, as her husband Elish’s information dead-ends when he was orphaned with his brother in Ohio. 

Her ancestors came from England = from Wales= from being the King of the Druids Wales = from Italy = from land of the Hebrews.  The researcher(s) made some phenomenal leaps to some conclusions that announced Adam had a daughter (!) who started the whole march of lineage.

While I could be rejoicing here, there are few things I know already.

I am a Child of God without following a bloodline; the only bloodline I follow is Christ’s blood. And I also know that the jump from Sarah Anna involves some crazy speculation.  God Almighty is not my 93rd grandmother.

I will take the part about:

Brân “Fendigaid” (the Blessed) ap Llur Lieddiarth, Saint, Brenin of Silures

Or, Cerwyd ap Crydon, King of the Druids and Cornwall

Or, Tros, King of Troy.

P.S. My mother always told me that “Grammy” Sarah Ann had been kidnapped and raised by Gypsies and had the gift of second sight.  People came to her to read tea leaves.  Also, I wonder what tracing through the matriarchal lines would show me?

And, Queen Elizabeth 1 is my second cousin 14 times removed!  

Queen Elizabeth I
The formal painting of Elizabeth 1, now hanging in Hatfield House

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wednesday Words: Storms

Windy Winter HD wallpaper
Boreal wind swept across the frozen lake as the icy tempest withdrew.
Watching a crescent moon rising behind the rocky shore, Sven breathed raggedly.  “Well, that was a hell of a thing…”  

His husky, Morgan, growled in agreement. So much for summer.

Every Wednesday, Delores from Under the Porch Light provides Wednesday Word participants with six interesting words.  Then we all set our brains afire, trying to work around this challenge.  The words are bold and underlined above.  Click on the lonely train tracks above to access her site!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

When Poppies Weep

Susan E. Kane, July 5, 2014, taken while walking to the tram station, Bern, Switzerland.

Monday, August 11, 2014

To Enter the Gates of Peace

Headstones in Hebrew..transcribed and accessible at this site.
When the sun rose that day, the body of a badly beaten man lay sprawled on the banks of the Mississippi near the small town of Ritfield, Missouri.  Although the only thing of value that remained was his suit and that his face had been battered beyond recognition, every Ritfield resident knew this man and liked him.

Since the site was by the barge landing, most assumed that some rough men crept in and took Levi, expecting a great fortune. That was enough effort given for finding the guilty.

Levi Rosenfeld (this name was chosen randomly and does not relate to anyone, living or dead)  was an upstanding member of the community, dedicated to helping others, and supporting and caring for any who needed help.  “A good man, God Bless ‘em!”

Levi Rosenfeld was a Jewish man in a small Christian town, and presumed to be wealthy, since he was a jeweler who traveled the River to St. Louis to trade.  His wife, Ruth, was the opposite of her Levi; she was vicious and flaunted her own wealth.  When people spoke her name, they crossed themselves.

The rest of the Jewish community continued quietly to work, pay bills, worship in a distant synagogue some sixty miles away.  That they were Jewish was known by all and accepted.  “Stay in their own place, I’ll give ‘em that."

Levi Rosenfeld was buried in a Jewish Cemetery some distance from town, in a partially hidden copse of oak trees.

It was a quiet closing for a good man.

Is this a true story?  Yes and no.

Please go to this site.

This is a Jewish Cemetery in Missouri, across the Mississippi River from our farm land in Illinois.  We had driven by it for years before realizing what it was.  

Friday, August 8, 2014

The War of the Words

woman screaming
Source: Check this one out!

In 1951, a new word came into being and later was added to the dictionary:  Eek, which means “an expression of surprise”.  Why this word was worthy to be added makes no sense, no sense at all.

But what about this one: Eke?

Is it real?  What the heck does it mean?  Was it a 1951 wonder?

Actually, this is an ancient word.  From around 900 AD, “eke” came into being from a combination of languages. 

Germanic and Norse contributed auka.  Latin added the word augēr.  Old English mixed those into ēacian.  Finally Middle English created eek.

All the words in their different languages mean “to manage to support oneself, but barely.”  It also means “to enlarge, to increase, and to stretch resources.”

As long as humans have existed, all have been trying to eke out a living.  They were trying to stretch what they had just a little bit farther.  If they had not done so, surviving became a serious issue.

Eek wisely became EKE.  After all, who had ever heard of EEK?

Oddly enough, I have been trying to eke all my life, and I never knew it.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Day the Lights Went Out

The Bern Museum for Communication.
Visiting Museums can go two directions: horribly dull or wonderful and stimulating.  I have been to both, so this is an area in which I feel qualified.

In Bern, Switzerland, there are many fine museums, including one based on Albert Einstein and his time in Bern.  The one we chose that day, since a two-year old was with us, was the Communication Museum.

This photo of Museum fur Kommunikation is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What made it wonderful was that Benjamin walked along with me, sometimes holding my hand, but always staying with me.  The wheels on the stagecoach were a big hit. And there were so many displays for little guys like him to touch and manipulate.

This photo of Museum fur Kommunikation is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Then we came to a room which posted that the film presentation was out of order.

Oh, well.  This will give the little guy some room to walk around…so I released his hand in the room designed to hold about 50 people.  He was so happy in the dim light.

The light got dimmer, and dimmer until it was total black.  Oh, God!  Help me!

This was taken a few months ago, but the laughter is still the same.

That is when I heard the giggles, squeals, and happy shrieks.  Something brushed by me, giggling.  Then the dim light came on, and I saw the little guy way in front, and he froze. Once the light went out, he took off again, gleefully running in the pitch dark.

It felt like I was in shallow ocean water with a very big fish/shark brushing by me.

Mommy came looking for us just when the light came on, and Benjamin was close at hand.  “Let’s go, buddy.”  He took her hand, leaving me in the dim light as it turned black.  

Photo of Child Eater Fountain (Kindlifresserbrunnen)
Source: One reason no child should run around...the child eater

Monday, August 4, 2014

Falling is an Art

Waterfall 5: it's a waterfall in the bears habitat in Emmen Zoo
Please go to this site!
Waterfalls: Tangle Falls, a series of short waterfalls in the Rocky Mountains, Canada.
Source: Kevin Tuck at
God has a way of creating magnificent falls.  These on the left (photographed by Ruben Tiben and Kevin Tuck beside that) are only some of very memorable falls.
the word falls has so many meanings: the one above and now the one below.

Over the years, I have made some spectacular falls, all due to tripping over some unseen object.  Some ended badly with a broken something or other and/or finding myself drifting back to consciousness. 

But this time…it was great, because my granddaughters were there to see it.

My granddaughters and had spent about 45 minutes (by my reckoning) and about 15 by theirs swimming. Not paying attention as I dried off, I stubbed my toe on an uneven piece of concrete and went flying.

At least that is what the girls told me. Flying, Grandma, Flying!!

In reality, I went down hard on my right knee, and remembered to roll not sprawl. So there I was lying on my back, holding up some decking that has been standing at that corner for about 5 years. 

The girls were screaming OH-GRANDMA-ARE-YOU-OKAY?  They really didn't want the moment to end, but finally went to get my husband.
This looks like my knee at present.

They squealed as grandpa hosed me off, and as the blood streamed down my leg.  They skipped along side me as we made for the bathroom.

THEN they took turns pouring hydrogen peroxide on my knee.  Oh, the bubbles!  How they loved when my scrape bubbled, while I gritted my teeth.

Interest dropped off went it came to bandaging and stuff.

Waterfall: A waterfall.
As falls go, I did quite well on this one.  But these below are far more impressive.


And then.... this fall is just around the corner.

My mother's hometown

Friday, August 1, 2014

Wednesday Words: Miss Norton

Miss Norton was a top-notch teacher with a stellar reputation.  Some students thought she had a pair of eyes in the back of her head, since she could nail the offender.  But this one?

Almost crazed by this unknown kid, Miss Norton was always blindsided by this unknown marksman.  And this sharpshooter was no imbecile: He KNEW when to spit a wad of paper at her.

Metaphor for football
But Miss Norton was no imbecile either.  She knew the direction and side of the room.  She knew the students in that row.  And she had seen the children on the playground.  And she had one kid picked out.

Getting a stack of black construction paper, she dipped one in India black indelible ink (non-toxic) to hand out to the kid she thought was lobbing spit wads at her. She wore a white blouse on the black construction paper day.

She turned her back to write on the board, and sure enough, she felt the wet glob.

Pulling the loose blouse to see the wad, sure enough, there was the indelible ink mark.

All the class snickered and laughed.  Only one had ink stained teeth, the one sniper.  Hah! Gotcha!

I could not figure out to delete or remove the dance movie trailer.  Just close your eyes, okay?

I had two boys who were the sharpshooters in my class.  I caught them both.
Also, The Christmas Story clip with Miss Shields above really has nothing at all to do with anything, but I love the movie and particularly Miss Shields.  She and Miss Norton would have been best friends.

Every Wednesday, Delores from Under the Porch Light provides Wednesday Word participants with six interesting words.  Then we all set our brains afire, trying to work around this challenge.  The words are bold and underlined above.  Click on the lonely train tracks above to access her site!