Saturday, December 2, 2006

Readworthy

                                          

 

                                               Father Forgets

                                        by W. Livingston Larned

 

Listen, son; I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

There are things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, "Goodbye, Daddy!" and I frowned, and said in reply, "Hold your shoulders back!"

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road, I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive - and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. "What is it you want?" I snapped.

You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding - this was my reward to your for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of  youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: "He is nothing but a boy - a little boy!"

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother's arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Self Portrait

 

         Have no fear of perfection- you'll never reach it.
           ~Salvador Dali

    

               

 

I am a work in progress. I am constantly evolving. I have ebbs and flows. I learn everyday. I appreciate each and every experience- good or bad.

 

 I am a perennial planted in rich soil. Even the worst of winters can not keep me from coming back in the spring and blooming profusely in the summer. 

 

I am me. I am Dee. 

Monday, September 18, 2006

  “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”

 ~Kahlil Gibran

 
 My son was going to a sleepover in Gulf Breeze this weekend. We started on the road early and got breakfasts at a McDonald's. We were almost done eating when he got up and talked to a guy at a table nearby. When he came back to our table I asked him what was going on. He said, "I've been watching that guy for the past few minutes eating catsup off the packets. I thought he might be hungry so I gave him some money."  
 
He also chases butterflies, dragonflies, bees and birds with a net to set them free from our pool enclosure. We have a dog who likes to go out and frolic in the yard so we keep our enclosure door open. The first time I saw him net a butterfly, I asked him what he was doing. He said," I noticed a few dead ones floating on the pool. I think it is because there's no food for them in this enclosure and they do not know how to fly out of it."
 
He will stop and ask if there's anything he could do to help if he sees a car stopped on the side of the road. He will change tires if needed. He will hand his cell phone to a stranded traveler to call a spouse, a friend or a tow truck.
   
He gets out of the car to escort stray animals off the street. He stops for crossing ducks, deers, turtles and other critters. He once found a kitten, carried it around and asked everybody if they want it until he found a lady who was willing to take it home. 
 
He can get insane but he is so humane. 
 
He is my buddy and my hubby.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Guilty Pleasure#5

 
"OK, so... so... sometimes I lie. I mean, I'm weird, man. About random stuff too. I don't even know why I do it. It's like... It's like a tick, I mean sometimes I hear myself say something and think, 'Wow, that wasn't even remotely true.' "
 
                                     ~Natalie Portman as Sam, Garden State

 

                            

 It was late August in Florida. The sun was warm on her skin. She was wearing a white cotton sundress and the huarache sandals she bought from the international market about a week ago.  By the electric pole’s shadow, she could tell that it was almost noon. She woke up this morning in her apartment which was approximately two hours away from where she was and drove without a destination in mind.

 

She grabbed her handbag to feel for an unsealed white envelop. It was not a regular one but bigger, wider, a made-for-card envelop. It wasaddressed and stamped. Inside the envelope was a postcard. A postcard she bought from a yard sale. The card caught her eye because it had a picture of a broken heart on it. It was very simple: a black background and a red broken heart with jagged edge where it was broken, probably a card that was bought but never sent. At that time, she did not know what she would do with it.

 

The card would serve a purpose today. It would set her free from the past.

 

Just a few minutes ago, she parked her car in a parking garage and set to walk around this quaint little town’s downtown area to look for a mailbox where she could drop the envelop.

 

She knew there was a bakery up ahead because she could smell the delicious heady scent of cinnamon buns and pungent aroma of fresh brewed coffee. She quickened her pace, passed by a used bookstore, made a mental note of checking if they have a copy of a book she wanted to reread, then spotted where the smell was coming from. It was a little glass fronted cafe, with inside and outside seating.  It had a contrived French atmosphere.  A couple of metal tuteurs- elaborate European trellises- draped in silk ivy look alike on equally elaborate urns, planked the entrance.  The daily offerings were written in French on a chalkboard above the long chest level glass display case filled with every imaginable cookies, cakes, and pastries which run the whole length of a wall facing the door. A short, low laminate topped counter held the espresso machine and a small cold beverage fridge. It covered the middle part of the right wall. The inside seating area was decorated with framed posters of Viktor Shvaiko’s Paris scenes. There were four sets of haphazardly scattered round tables and matching chairs covered with crisp red, white, and black checkered linen fabric. The outside sitting area consisted of four metal tables each with four chairs topped by umbrellas in French flag colors infront of the cafe.

 

She sat on a vacant table outside the cafe. A pimply teenage boy in blue polo shirt and khaki trousers appeared. She ordered an espresso and an almond cookie. While waiting for her order, she opened her handbag taking out the white envelop. She looked at the address on the envelop, peeked at the postcard inside then licked it shut.  She walked to a mailbox a few steps away from where she was sitting, looked all around her to see if someone was watching, then gingerly dropped the white envelop in it. Her heart felt lighter as she sat back to enjoy her coffee and cookie but she knew she would always feel guilty for what she did two years ago.

 

The envelop was addressed to PostSecret.  On the postcard inside, with the broken heart as a background were cut and pasted bold black words typed on white strips of paper.  The strips formed the phrase: He did not cheat on you. I lied. I am sorry but I cannot bring back the past and make it right for both of you."

 
 
*** This is a fictional story. I found the PostSecret website about a year ago when I clicked on a link off Susan's Favorite Sites sidebar. It quickly became one of my guilty pleasures because the siteis the perfect fodder for a  writer wannabe with a very active imagination. This year, on my birthday, my daughter gave me the published hardcover book. It is a great gift because I have since written about a dozen short stories based on made up characters I have woven from the postcards in that book. The one above is not my best piece but it is representative of my other PostSecret inspired short stories.
Special thanks goes to Sandi for critiquing my roughdraft. ***
   
"PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard."

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Oh-Me-Oh-My!

Whoa! Check this out!

"Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.

It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.

In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog as long as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small favors, I guess."

Go here to read the rest of the article:

Create an e-annoyance, go to jail | Perspectives | CNET News.com

Thursday, September 7, 2006

The Rorschach Test

  
"I always knew looking back on my tears would bring me laughter, but I never knew looking back on my laughter would make me cry. "
 
~Cat Stevens
 
 
 
              
 
Full Circle
by Dee
 
Distant voice
Estranged by choice
A space needed
To grow, to breathe
To define who you are
Find who I am
 
We are lost
In dreams of past
Times long gone
Grasping straws
Would and could
Never should
 
Go with the flow
Find your Tao
Till the day
We can unravel
What went askew
With less ado
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Many of my entries are meaningful to me.  A lot of them may read like the babblings of a madwoman to you. Babbling, I do. Madwoman? I can be. But a babbling madwoman?  I assure you that I am not multi-talented so I doubt I can pull that. 
 
I often feel that to write the details about my  entries will prove to be "too much information."  A lot of it is symbolic of my most intimate (non-biblical) thoughts.
 
This is an entry about the trials and tribulations of "raising adult children." I am a newbie in this area and I grapple with these issues constantly.
 
Mea culpa. I need to practice what I always preached: You're not letting them go. You're letting them grow.
    

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Oh, No! Not Again!

There's no rest for the wicked.
 
2004- Ivan
2005-Dennis
2006-Ernesto?
 
 
Heavens help us!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Ain't dis da truth?

This made me smile today. I stole the idea from Ms. Sugar's entry and  the outcome is not so far from the truth. How apropos!     

 

The University of Blogging

Presents to
Dee

An Honorary
Bachelor of
Ranting and Raving

Majoring in
Bad Poetry
Signed
Dr. GoQuiz.com
®

 

Monday, August 21, 2006

What?! Three Already?

Happy 3rd Anniversary!
 
                
 
AOL Journals (and its bloggers) survived the terrible twos and now in the sassy know-it-all third year. 
 
I would like to thank all my J- Land friends for all the love, hugs, support, postcards, e-mails, memories, emotions, jokes, and other intangibles you shared with me.
 
You guys are the best !!!
 

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fact or Fiction? You Decide.

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
~e e cummings

                         

                                                                                 Guaranteed to make you smile. Especially since it’s a true story.  
       

On July 20, 1969, as commander of the Apollo 11 lunar module, Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon. His first words after stepping on the moon, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” were televised to earth and heard by millions. But just before he reentered the lander, he made the enigmatic remark, “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.”

          

Many people at NASA thought it was acasual remark concerning some rival Soviet cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky either in the Russian or American space programs.

         

Over the years, many people questioned Armstrong as to what the “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky” statement meant but Armstrong just smiled.

       
On July 5, 1995, in Tampa Bay, Florida, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26-year-old question to Armstrong. This time, he finally responded. Mr. Gorsky had died, so Neil Armstrong felt he could answer the question. 

 

In 1938, when he was a kid in a small Midwest town, he was playing baseball with friend in the backyard. His friend hit the ball, which landed in his neighbor’s yard by the bedroom windows. His neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky. As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky. “Sex! You want sex? You’ll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!”

 

Friday, August 11, 2006

To Josie

"Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear."
 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Ophelia Framed Art Print by John William Waterhouse
 
                   Ophelia- John Waterhouse
 
 
To Josie
        (By Dee)
 
Noble gestures unsung
Silent desperation
Veiled with a smile
 
Noble intent gone awry
Strength drained
Heart withered and dry
 
Sleepless nights
Nary a dry eye
Cannot bring back time
 
Move on, my child
Up ahead, he is waiting
In shiny armor plating

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Timeless Wisdom

 
"Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life."
 ~Immanuel Kant
 
       Soft Watch At Moment of First Explosion, 1954 Art Print by Salvador Dali
       
                    Soft Watch At Moment of First Explosion, Salvador Dali, 1954

Remember the song below? Well, it is really not a song, rather, it is a speech written by Chicago Tribune columnist, Mary Schmich, in 1997. It was set to music by Baz Luhrmann, read by Australian voice actor Lee Perry, and was released on the 1998 album Something For Everybody by EMI Records. Urban legend has it that it was the 1999 Massachusetts Institute of Technology's commencement speech given by famed author Kurt Vonnegut.
 
Its uncanny similarity to my favorite poem,  Desiderata , made me love this song/speech.  Both contain timeless wisdom.
 
 

Everybody's Free
(to wear sunscreen)

 

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97.

Wear Sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some ideal Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy.

 Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

 Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year- olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.

Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody's else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't' be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before itmakes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths. Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

Monday, August 7, 2006

Bye, Pikachu!

                       

We chose you.  Goodbye. You will be missed.  We love you more than you will ever know.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

It's That Time Again!

I am afraid it is hurricane season again in the Sunshine State and we are carefully tracking every tropical storm and tropical depression so we can get out of the way if any of them turn into hurricanes.

After getting an Ivan/ Dennis double whammy, we are much,  much wiser.  We're not staying this time to take the pounding. We will be packing and taking mini vacation somewhere where we will not have anxiety about the wind velocity and flooding possibility.  

We're hoping Someone up there is going to spare us this year but we still need to be hypervigilant  until the hurricane season is over.   

 Fresh from the Weather Channel:                           

                                

"On its current path, Chris is tracking just north of the Virgin Islands and will also pass just north of Puerto Rico tonight and during the early morning hours. Radar out of San Juan, Puerto Rico is showing the outer bands of Chris sweeping through the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. These squalls will be accompanied with bouts of heavy rain and gusty winds. Total rainfall amounts of 2 to locally 5 inches is possible for the islands.

Tropical storm warnings remain posted for Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. A hurricane watch has been posted for the Turks and Caicos along with the southeastern Bahamas. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible during the next 36 hours.

Residents of the Bahamas and south Florida should monitor the progress of Chris closely. As the projected path suggests, please be aware that it is quite possible that Chris may be nearing the Straits of Florida some time this weekend and may impact northern Cuba to the Florida Keys with heavy rain and squalls".

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Orange Tree, Very Pretty

                            

This is an orange tree we bought when we moved in our new house three months ago. At that time it was full of  fragrant white flowers and now it has golf ball sized fruits.
 
*****************************************************************************************
 
Read the Wikipedia article below and tell me how you feel about this ancient food production method.  
 
Force-feeding of animals

Force-feeding is also known as gavage, from a French word meaning "to gorge". This term specifically refers to force-feeding of geese and young cattle in order to fatten their livers in the production of foie gras and veal respectively. Gavage can also refer to the practice of administering liquids (such as medicines) to laboratory animals via a tube or syringe.

Force-feeding of birds is practiced mostly on geese or male Mulard ducks, a Muscovy/Pekin hybrid. Preparation for gavage usually begins 4-5 months before slaughter. For geese, after an initial free-range period and treatment to assist in esophagus dilation (eating grass, for example), the force-feeding commences. Gavage is performed 2—4 times a day for 2-5 weeks, depending on the size of the fowl, using a funnel attached to a slim metal or plastic feeding tube inserted into the bird'sthroat to deposit the food into the storage area in the esophagus. A grain mash, usually maize mixed with fats and vitamin supplements, is the feed of choice. Waterfowl are suited to the tube method due to a nonexistant gag-reflex and extremely flexible esophagi, so unlike other fowl such as chickens, gavage may be practiced with minimal discomfort for the bird. These migratory waterfowl are also ideal for gavage because of their natural ability to gain large amounts of weight in short periods of time before cold seasons. For this reason, gavage is usually a "finishing" stage before the bird is set for slaughter, for if left to its own devices after finishing, the bird will quickly return to its normal weight. The result of this practice is an severely enlarged, especially fatty liver, when if especially exaggerated is the liver disease hepatic lipidosis. The liver may swell up to 12 times its normal size (up to three pounds). While the livers are the coveted portions of these birds, the unctuous flesh of fattened geese and ducks as well as their feathers find a market. Due to protests from animal-rights groups against the method of obtaining these enlarged livers, gavage is outlawed in United Kingdom, Germany, the Czech Republic, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and Israel, as well as in some, but not all, USA states. The USA's most recent ban on foie gras was in Chicago, Illinois.

 

  

 
 
 
 

Friday, July 28, 2006

Postcards Exchange

                                  

Greetings from the home of the Blue Angels, the Navy's elite flying team!!!
 
I bought my cards yesterday and all I have to do is affix the stamps and mail them out.
 
For anybody who is saying, "What you talking about, Willis?"  There is a postcard exchange going on in the blogsphere. Basically what it is that an exchange of addreseses so postcards from each participants' state or hometown can be mailed.
 
I know it is an exercise in trusting strangers. I am OK with that because I trust people until they kick me in the behind.
 
So those of you who are brave enough to send me your addy, you will get a postcard from the Emerald Coast. Our beaches are known for their white sugar sand. The sand looks like snow in a distance.
 
I Dare You!!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New Orleans/ Biloxi Revisited

      

 

I was trying to download multiple pics  to no avail (again!!!). So I summoned my inner Zen to corral the aggressive energy directed towards my AOL software. (Breathe, ohm, breathe).
 
The pic above is one of the many we have taken during our mini-vacation in New Orleans, LA and Biloxi, MS sometime in May this year. It took my son sometime to forward them to me. (I used his camera to take the pics because I forgot mine). 
 
The French Quarter in New Orleans was business as usual and seem to have withstood Katrina's fury. The downtown area was bustling with tourists and hundreds of people partied at night on Bourbon Street. The familiar smells of Cafe du Monde's exhilarating coffee and sweet yeasty beignets and Chez Pierre's spicy gumbo and briny blackened seafood still permeate the air.   The taste of the food was even better than I remember. I devoured a whole bag of warm and buttery kettle corn while shopping at the French Market. I ate my fill of oh-so-tasty-I-could-cry cajun food. The Garden district was intact save for a few homes that look like they were being renovated. The drive around the Garden district made me happy because the ancient stately homes were there and the cozy little neighborhood bistros were doing brisk business.     
 
The surrounding areas, especially those subdivisions near the levee, were a different story. I cried the whole time we were viewing the affected neighborhoods because I can not seem to look at the devastation without feeling bad for the owners of the destroyed homes.  I could not stop thinking of how they must have felt to come back to a ruined home and how scary it must have been to lose your home, your job, your community and some loved ones.
 
Biloxi, MS and the surrounding vicinities did not fare well either. It was heartbreaking to drive through familiar places and find that landmarks were swept in the ocean. I loved the little Welcome Center in the middle of all the high rise casinos but it was not there anymore. I loved looking at the southern grand dames of homes: the massive Tudor with a well tended lawn, the haughty Victorian with its intricate gingerbread details, the proud Federal with sculpted trees... I could go on forever describing these magnificent homes because there's no architecture like the decadent old architecture. I remember one with flying buttresses too. Most of these homes are gone forever. How I wished I took pictures of each and one of them so I can show my grandchildren how beautiful Biloxi used to be.
 
My heart breaks for the Louisiana and Mississippi people. Our trip to those areas made me realize that even though the media stopped reporting about the Katrina victims because there are more recent natural disasters around the US and the world, these people's sufferings are far from over. 
 
Please count your blessings and remember the Katrina victims if you have the time or funds to spare.          

Friday, July 21, 2006

Flora sans Fauna

                    

 

                    

This is a brugmansia plant and its flower up close. Its also called angel's trumpet bush.  By September, it will be about seven feet tall with fragrant flowers measuring between a foot and a half to two and a half feet.

I have several in different colors and some have double petaled flowers.

The functionality of my AOL software is still shaky that is why I have not updated in a while.

I am planning on making my rounds today as I have 293 new entry alerts.

Tata for now.    

Friday, June 30, 2006

Cornucopia

               

  Take thy plastic spade,
                  It is thy pencil; take thy seeds, thy plants,
                  They are thy colours.

               
William Mason, The English Garden, 1782

 

 

                   

 

This journal will not let me load multiple pictures again.

I just want to share pics of my garden's bounty but I can only load one.

I am picking the veggies and flowers everyday and sharing them with my neighbors.  

I am continually adding more plants to my yard and I am hoping that it will look like a lush tropical garden in a year or so. 

I am still looking for a slow growing bamboo plant.  Other varieties of bamboos can be very invasive so I am cautious about just getting one from the home improvement store.  Our local nursery is suppose to get some compact ones in two weeks.

I am also crazy about brugmansias. So far I have white, yellow, and peach colored ones. I recently acquired a variegated one that is suppose to have pink blooms. It is a cutting so I am yet to see its flowers.

Well, It's time for beddy-bye.  Goodnight, my friends!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Flower Power!

                        I'd let the pics do the talking in this entry.                 

                 

                   

                 

                

              

             

            

           

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Veggies!!!

These are my tomatoes. They are potted because Florida has a bad nematode problem. After a few years of sticking tomatoes in the ground and watching them struggle, I got wiser.

               

                 

These are the other veggies in my garden.

             

             

              

It's been slow but with a lot of tinkering, I can now load multiple pics and use some of the buttons on my Journal. That's what I call progress.

More plants pics to come...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Mon Jardin Merveilleux Part Deux

                              

As promised, here is the pic of the pineapple plant I mentioned in my last entry.  It is potted and is outside at this time. Yes, pineapples are tropical plants so they will not thrive outside if the temperature is below fifty degrees.

The pot behind has the Plumeria plant.

Ellie, e-mail me your address and I'll send you the pineapple plants. Yes, I would love to have some ginger plants. I have the Kalihi and Butterfly varieties.  

 

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Mon Jardin Merveilleux

              

These are the flowers of the Plumeria I recieved as a Christmas gift about five years ago. I lived in Hawaii for a few years and Plumeria flowers give me flashbacks of the idyllic island life I used to lead.

I recently went to New Orleans and found a vendor selling some cuttings. I bought four cuttings marked red, pink, white and pure yellow (flowers). I've spotted leaves sprouting on the cuttings but I know it will take at least a couple of years for them to flower.

I also have a pineapple plant with a fruit and lots of little plants I took as suckers from the mature ones. I'll post a pic of it in my next entry since my journal will not let me load multiple pics right now. If  you want some pineapple plants and you're not afraid to e-mail me your address, I'll send you some through the mail. It takes about two to three years before they bear fruit and the fruit takes about a year and a half to grow to full size and ripen. These plants require a lot of patience. LOL.

I have a cutting garden of flowers where I planted sunflowers, zinnias, gardenias, black eyes susans, pink/white coneflowers and shasta daisies. I am enjoying the fruits of my labor right now. I have vases around my house full of flowers from my garden.

Hmm... Do I need to mention that I have beans, tomatoes, okras, zucchinis, peppers and eggplants coming out of my ears?

I always enjoyed gardening. It is a form of meditation for me. There is something calming and uplifting about tilling the land and caring for plants.

 

     

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Drat!

Hi there! Just testing this blog's functionality. It seems to come and go. The GUIs are very touchy. They'll work then stop working after the first paragraph.

 I just got done manually extracting pesky data from my registry and still looking for things to tweak so I can get down to the business of blogging again. 

Here are some pics of my garden. I am crossing my fingers that the file transfer will work. 

 Hmmmm...  I guess it is still messed up. 

 

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I'M BACK!!!

Woohoo! Once and for all, my blog finally lets me in!

I did not die. I was just having a lot of problems with my old AOL software. Most of the add-an-entry GUIs are still not functional but at least I can finally comment on blogs and write something on mine.

More tinkling of the software and I might be able to put pics, colors, and fancy fonts on this baby.

Just babbling...

 

Friday, March 10, 2006

Vote for Skylar!

Remember the courageous and passionate young lady in my past entry who entered a local fashion designer contest ala Project Runway?  Below is her prom gown entry. I think it is fresh and funky! Please vote for her if you could at:  Life | The Pensacola News Journal

 

                                              

The Impossible Dream

(Man of La Mancha Soundtrack) 

To dream ... the impossible dream ...
To fight ... the unbeatable foe ...
To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ...
To run ... where the brave dare not go ...
To right ... the unrightable wrong ...
To love ... pure and chaste from afar ...
To try ... when your arms are too weary ...
To reach ... the unreachable star ...

This is my quest, to follow that star ...
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far ...
To fight for the right, without question or pause ...
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause ...

And I know if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest,
That my heart will lie, will lie peaceful and calm,
when I'm laid to my rest ...
And the world will be better for this:
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach ... the unreachable star ...


 

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Unconditional Love

"You were created to be completely loved and to be completely lovable for your whole life."
Deepak Chopra
 
                           
                                                                                             Klimt- Mother & Child
 
 
THE GIVING TREE

Once there was a giving tree who loved a little boy.
And everyday the boy would come to play
Swinging from the branches, sleeping in the shade
Laughing all the summer’s hours away.
And so they love,
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

But soon the boy grew older and one day he came and said,
"Can you give me some money, tree, to buy something I’ve found?"
"I have no money," said the tree, "Just apples, twigs and leaves."
"But you can take my apples, boy, and sell them in the town."
And so he did and
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

But soon again the boy came back and he said to the tree,
"I’m now a man and I must have a house that’s all my home."
"I can’t give you a house" he said, "The forest is my house."
"But you may cut my branches off and build yourself a home"
And so he did.
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

And time went by and the boy came back with sadness in his eyes.
"My life has turned so cold," he says, "and I need sunny days."
"I’ve nothing but my trunk," he says, "But you can cut it down
And build yourself a boat and sail away."
And so he did and
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

And after years the boy came back, both of them were old.
"I really cannot help you if you ask for another gift."
"I’m nothing but an old stump now. I’m sorry but I’ve nothing more to give"
"I do not need very much now, just a quiet place to rest,"
The boy, he whispered, with a weary smile.
"Well", said the tree, "An old stump is still good for that."
"Come, boy", he said, "Sit down, sit down and rest a while."
And so he did and
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

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Sunday, March 5, 2006

Just Blabbing Away

Bummer. Hubby and I were suppose to rock at the Aerosmith's and Cheap Trick's concert last night but it was cancelled. It was a conspiracy to deprive old geezers of a rocking good time. Oh well...  

                                    

                                          

Yay Factor. The posters are out for the Huckleberry Finn's performing arts show .   My son is in it and I am helping out with props painting and design.

                                     

Rising Star. Watch out for this young lady. She is my son's friend and his band's new bassist. She is the youngest entrant of Project Prom, a local clothing designer contest patterned after Bravo's Project Runway. Read more about her here http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060221/LIFE/602210307/1004

                                    

                 Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Loveliest Sad Poem Ever!

                                                                                               Gustav Klimt- The Kiss

"For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation."                                                                                  -Rainer Maria Rilke

Veinte poemas de amor y una
canción desesperada
 

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.

Escribir, por ejemplo: "La noche está estrellada,
y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos".

El viento de la noche gira en el cielo y canta.

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Yo la quise, y a veces ella también me quiso.

En las noches como ésta la tuve entre mis brazos.
La besé tantas veces bajo el cielo infinito.

Ella me quiso, a veces yo también la quería.
Cómo no haber amado sus grandes ojos fijos.

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Pensar que no la tengo. Sentir que la he perdido.

Oir la noche inmensa, más inmensa sin ella.
Y el verso cae al alma como al pasto el rocío.

Qué importa que mi amor no pudiera guardarla.
La noche está estrellada y ella no está conmigo.

Eso es todo. A lo lejos alguien canta. A lo lejos.
Mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Como para acercarla mi mirada la busca.
Mi corazón la busca, y ella no está conmigo.

La misma noche que hace blanquear los mismos árboles.
Nosotros, los de entonces, ya no somos los mismos.

Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero cuánto la quise.
Mi voz buscaba el viento para tocar su oído.

De otro. Será de otro. Como antes de mis besos.
Su voz, su cuerpo claro. Sus ojos infinitos.

Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero tal vez la quiero.
Es tan corto el amor, y es tan largo el olvido.

Porque en noches como ésta la tuve entre mis brazos,
mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Aunque éste sea el último dolor que ella me causa,
y éstos sean los últimos versos que yo le escribo. 

(English Translation)

Twenty Love Poems and a
Song of Despair

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write for example, 'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to a pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

   

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Anniversary Tribute

                      

“Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.”                    ~Denis Diderot

 

 

He came from a humble beginning. He was born and raised in the blue-collar city of Flint, Michigan. His father was a General Motors worker and his mother, a stay home mom. He had an older brother and an older sister. He was the youngest of the brood. They lived in a subdivision in a cookie cutter bungalow of the 1960’s.

 

 He remembers a lot of the good times he had as a child. Halloween is his favorite holiday. He often reminisces about the days when he would trick or treat in his neighborhood and his family went all out decorating the home like a haunted house. He smiles when he thinks about the summer days he spent swimming in the creek at his grandparents’ property in Tawas, Michigan and swimming in their above ground pool in their backyard. He has that amazing glow when he recounts stories about his youthful adventures with his childhood friends.   

 

He also remembers the time when his parents divorced when he was twelve. How his world came  crashing down when he came home from school and his mother was not there. He searched for his mother and found her at an Aunt’s home and was told to go home to his father because his mother did not have the resources to raise him. His heart still breaks when he recalls the humiliation and anger he felt when he saw intact families going about their business in their neighborhood when his was torn apart.

 

He recollects his high school days. These days were blurry and full of angst. He did not want to be there. He just wanted to get it over and done with so he can take a factory job. He did not think he was a college material. He was resigned to living a blue-collar existence.  Men in his city were proud and hardworking: they made decent amount of money to buy homes and keep their families fed. That was all he aspired for.

 

Fast forward to what he had accomplished and who he became. He traveled all over the world. He got a college degree. He wears suit to work.  He loves what he does for a living. He has an intact family of his own. He has been married for twenty something years. He sends his children to the best schools he could afford and dreams of seeing them lead happy and productive lives in the future. He plans on taking courses to get a graduate degree.  He is dreaming of retiring in style on acreages with a creek and a cottage like his grandparents had. 

 

He does everything with enthusiasm or not at all.  His passion sets him on fire to achieve.  He attributes much of his success to his wife. Truth to be known, his glory is all his. He is who he is because he is a passionate man.     

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Funny Stuff

  What do elementary age children say about Moms?  

Why did God make mothers?
 1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
 2. Mostly to clean the house.
 3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.


 How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.


  What ingredients are mothers made of?
 1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in
 the world and one dab of mean.
 2. They had to get their start from men's bones.Then they mostly use string, I think.

 Why did God give you your mother and not some other Mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your Mom?
1. My Mom has always been my Mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.    

What did Mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chore?

Why did your Mom marry your Dad?
1. My Dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.  

 Who's the boss at your house ?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because Dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than Dad.


  What's the difference between Moms and Dads?
1. Moms work at work & work at home. Dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but Moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.


 What does your Mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.


 What would it take to make your Mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

 If you could change one thing about your Mom, what
 would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
 2. I'd make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
 3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on her back.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Look, our swimming pool is not a water-filled-truck-bed!!!

The house deal seems to be going too slow. Our new closing date is April 14th. The appraiser is yet to come because the seller has not replaced the pool liner and cleaned the hot tub as promised. The loan officer suggested that the pool and hot tub be put in working condition before the appraiser's visit to maximize the home's value. Hopefully, the seller will take care of  it this week. 

                                   

My son's band played at the local cafe last Friday. It was their first show. A week before the show, the drummer and the bassist decided to resign. My son and the remaining member found two guys to replace them but they did not have time to get together to practice. They mostly teleconferenced for a couple of days before the show. The night of the show, they were all nervous, one of the guys' instrument was not tuned,  the rhythm guitarist had to play drums, one of their amp was reverberating, and some of those in the audience want hardcore music. Poor kids! The first three songs were not so good but they did a decent job toward the end. My son was embarassed but we told him that there will be another time for him to redeem himself as a good musician. He was surprised because the manager of the cafe paid them. They were not expecting to be paid. They were doing it to gain stage experience and learn the intricacies of live shows. He said the manager said that they had enough paying audience in the show that he had the money to pay them. We told him to keep the money and frame it. It's his first earnings as a musician!  The cafe manager also invited them to come back for another show so they are  practicing with two new members to get ready for their next live performance.      

My heart goes to some of our fellow bloggers. Some had been having health/personal problems and others have lost loved ones. I want to respect their privacy so I will not drop names but I want to ask everybody to please say aprayer ( light a candle or do whatever you are comfortable with) to alleviate their pains and sufferings.   

 

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Humble Abode

This is the pic of the house that we are buying. It is not ours yet   but we're almost there. It needs landscaping and some remodeling but it has a great layout and a very quiet location.