Sunday, June 29, 2008

One Single Impression: Doorways

This week's prompt for One Single Impression was "doorway." I'm not feeling well and I did these too quickly and impatiently. If I had better sense, I'd just wait and post them another day but I have my rules and I do OSI on Sunday so for better or worse, these are sort of badly framed and I don't like the colors and I think I had another one in my head that I have misplaced. If I remember it, I may add it later. So...

Doorway to dark side
OSI is now posted
Even though it sucks

Camera Critters: Angel Joy

Camera Critters

This is my first time joining in with Misty Dawn's Camera Critters. Sundays are usually reserved for One Single Impression - and I will probably post that in the morning - but Angel (aka the world's naughtiest kitty) has been exceptionally photogenic this week. She is always photogenic but she has outdone herself (at least to my doting eyes), so I thought I'd post some pictures of her.

This first one is a bit older than the rest. Most days since I got my new camera, I sit at the back door and watch for birds and critters to photograph. Angel thinks this is bizarre behavior and doesn't approve of anything which she doesn't get to participate in. Early on, she would walk around crying, jump up onto my back or into my arms (she still does that) or find her way onto the top of the refrigerator from where she would make her dismay at my behavior clear.

Over the course of a couple of months she has mellowed considerably about the process. Not completely - she still jumps into my lap and fusses on and off - but now she will often lie on the table next to me and only act up intermittently. As long as she gets a little attention from time to time, she seems to have made peace with my new strange activity. Some days I turn the camera on her. Some days she lets me do that.

Have a lovely day!
Check in at Camera Critters and see all the other wonderful critters who are out there.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 19

It's week 19 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: fabulous, aristocrat, tricycle, soft summer breeze, cat litter, silver-tongued devil, curtain rod, lilacs, Abraham Lincoln, garbage can And for the Mini Challenge: strangle-hold, revelation, dormancy, tripod, space cadet

Here's my ten-word offering for this week.

Oh, the magnificence of the words! Reading Walt Whitman’s poetry always made Amanda feel fabulous. Oh Captain, My Captain,” she explained to her son, is about the death of Abraham Lincoln. Sitting on the porch reading to Marcus, a soft summer breeze wafting the scent of lilacs, would have seemed more poetic without the tricycle, the garbage cans and the box of assorted curtain rods, clothes hangers, cat litter and other trash sitting out by the curb. Why couldn’t that silver-tongued devil who had charmed her all those years ago have been the aristocrat he had appeared to be to her naive teen-aged heart? It was so unfair. But even as this thought went through her head, she caught a glimpse of her young son's shining face and thought maybe she was pretty lucky after all.

And here's my mini challenge:

Despite the revelation that her cancer was in a state of dormancy, Lila still felt its strangle-hold on her spirit. Setting up her tripod and organizing her cameras for today’s shoot, she moved like a space cadet, her mind bouncing here and there as though she feared that accepting the good news might jinx it. Still, while her head grappled with accepting the good news, her body seemed to sense its reprieve and she gradually relaxed into her work. Then, slowly but surely, hope seeped into her spirit as well.

And the mega challenge:

Abraham Lincoln was a lilac Siamese cat, a feline aristocrat, and not-so silver-tongued devil who had very decided opinions about cat litter, fine cuisine, home d├ęcor – well, just about everything. He could hardly believe that a fabulous kitty like himself was now in the hands of the strange person who was currently manhandling him. One minute he had been dozing happily in the soft summer breeze on the veranda of the mansion and the next he was struggling against the strangle-hold of his current captor. Looking at the chaos around him – curtain rod at a rakish angle on the window, a rusty tricycle in the middle of the room, the reeking garbage can in the corner he expected his captor to be a real space cadet, but it seemed she was anything but. Trapped in the physical dormancy of his semi-drugged state, he watched as she efficiently set up the tripod and aimed a camera in his direction. “If you want Mr. Lincoln back in the White House,” she declared loudly, “You had better pay up… Here’s proof that I have him….” It was then the joyful revelation struck him. She was not planning to keep him. He was being held for ransom. Hope was restored. His beloved humans would never abandon him! Help would soon be on the way and he would be returned to his proper kingdom and total control.


This week's vanity wordzzle used the words: Thumbelina, morose, pooper scooper, saline solution, dyspepsia, aromatic, finesse, monumental.

“Do yuh want dis Pepsi heah?” the waitress asked in her thick Brooklyn accent. “Dyspepsia?” Disoriented, Marge looked up from her reading. “Whose got dyspepsia?” It was not surprising that her mind went to such things because Thumbelina, her sweet diminutive 15 year-old Siamese cat had just been diagnosed with kidney failure and Marge was immersed in research. She was at that moment reading a pamphlet from the holistic pet supply store describing natural and alternative treatments for kidney disease in cats. Marge was desperately looking for hope wherever she could find it. The idea that Thumbelina could die was overwhelming, monumental, impossible. It could not be permitted. She would not let it happen. From the vet she had learned how to give infusions of saline solution. Thumbelina’s small wiry body squirmed fretfully under her hand each night, but she had already developed a bit of finesse at grabbing her quickly and sliding the needle gently under the skin while this good and faithful friend bitterly decried such callousness. But the treatments helped, and true to her nature, Thumbelina was a forgiving spirit. Following each treatment she would stalk off and lick her wounds and then come quietly back for a hug and a special treat. It was just not possible that God would take her. “Well?” the waitress asked, irritated. “Oh, the Pepsi. Yes. Yes. Fine,” she said, and went back to her reading. This was interesting. Aroma therapy. Couldn’t hurt. The book listed a series of aromatic fragrances and herbs which she could burn or boil or use in various ways. She would buy them all. She would burn and rub and do whatever. As she finished her soda, she felt slightly more hopeful, less bitter and morose. She rose to leave, almost forgetting the bag of purchases from the pet store – a new pooper-scooper, some special herbal treats, and, best of all, a great new toy. Looking at the toy, she told herself again that she and Thumbelina would get through this. They just had to.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: handy, operation, gratitude, parallel bars, the color purple, manic depressive, Puget Sound, fragmentary, perpetual motion, secretive

And for the Mini Challenge: sympathetic, filet of sole, mysterious stranger, elephantine, music

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.


I'm a Staaah....

Oh, the joy, the honor!!! Oh the responsibility.... Aggggghhhhh!

I have been twice honored in the past 24 hours. Not one, but two beautiful awards from two wonderful people. An embarrassment of riches!

First the amazing, brilliant, witty, superlative writer Dianne at Forks off the Moment has bestowed yet another generous award on me. This one is called the Arte Y Pico award and - as you can see - is as elegant as it's name. It's got rules with it, though. I hate rules, but...

1) Pick five (5) blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog.

My five choices for the Arte Y Pico Award are as follows:

Stacey Huston at A Focus in the Wild. Stacey writes poetically about her exquisite photographs of wildlife. I love the music collection on her site too. Always a joy to visit. Like a trip into the wilderness with a musical accompaniment.

Anna Carson at Anna Carson Photography. Anna is a gifted photographer and her wonderful color projects have introduced me to some of my favorite people in the blogosphere, a world of beautiful photos - her own and others, and last, but not least - a new way of looking at the world through my camera lens. I've participated in Projects Green and Blue and am eagerly anticipating the next color challenge that is coming up in July.

Jay Simser at Bailey's Buddy. Jay is a regular participant in my Saturday Wordzzle Challenge, adding his own special twist to the process every week. I am awed by the prolific variety of his posts. I don't know how he finds the time to share so many posts on such a wide range of topics and still do all the things he does in his life.

Jay at The Cynical Bastard. Jay is the best kind of cynic - witty, but - I'm sorry Jay - as big hearted as they come. He's another regular at wordzzles. He is currently doing a series featuring Darth Vader in Las Vegas. It's brilliant and I can't wait for this week's installment.

San at A Life with a View. I'm relatively new to San's blog, but I find it delightfully creative. Make sure you take a tour of her gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It's just beautiful.

Carletta at Round the Bend. Carletta's photography is lovely and she has been a kind and loyal blog-friend to me. Last week she took her readers on her travels through West Virginia in a series of wonderful posts with pictures and cool history and geography lessons.

OK... that takes care of the Arte Y Pico Award. My gratitude to each of you for being out there. My gratitude to Dianne for the award and for the greater reward of her friendship, outrageous praise and continuing encouragement.

Now on to the second! award granted to me. (How cool am I?) San at A Life with a View generously gave me this beautiful Special Scribe Award. It doesn't seem to have any rules. Yippee! I'm going to pass it on to three people.

Michelle at Full Soul Ahead
. I discovered Michelle's site during autism month through Linda at These are the Days (see below). Michelle writes about autism and life with honesty and wisdom that enriches the reade

Linda (Snoopmurph) at These are the Days. Linda is my niece Cindy's good friend. It was her encouragement - for good or ill - that got me to re-start this blog. Linda writes on a wide range of topics with an love, humor and a tender eloquence that reflects her beautiful, loving and generous soul. I'm proud to be her adopted aunt and glad that my niece and her children have such a good and wise friend.

Sandy Carlson at a Writing in Faith. Sandy Carlson is one of the people who keeps One Single Impression going and that alone should get her an award, but... I wanted to give her this award not only for her own wonderful blogs, but because I swear she is everywhere. She not only posts prolifically, but I find her comments everywhere I go and they are always thoughtful and incisive. I think that's pretty cool.

and last, but not least...

Dianne at Forks off the Moment. I know she just have me an award, but that's not why I'm giving this to her. Dianne is such a remarkable writer. She is eloquent, passionate, kind, funny, generous, creative... She was one of the first people I met in the blogosphere and her kindness and encouragement kept me going early on.... and still does. She impacts so many people, both with the wit and insight of her posts, but with her generous and unfailing encouragement.

WHEW!!! Now I have to go tell all these nice people that I have given them awards. Wow. Awards are wonderful, but they are exhausting.

Thank you Dianne and San for your generous gifts to me. Thank you to all the people I've passed these awards onto just for being the people that you are.

(My apologies for the weird changes in type face and size. I'm not sure why that has happened. I tried to fix it and it seemed to get worse, so I'm just leaving it as is....)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Skywatch Friday

Week two for me of Skywatch Friday. I make up in quantity what I lack in variety, I guess. Sky Watch Friday is hosted by Tom at Welcome to Wigger's World. Drop by and you will find hundreds of links to beautiful sky scenes from around the world.

Poem of the Week: The Dream

You can click on the image for a larger version.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Chatty Wordless Wednesday:
Birds, Bugs, a Flower and a Spider Web

It's been a very busy week in my back yard. "We" are still recovering from the tree tragedy (lightning strike) which took down half of one of my pine trees. The up side of all the angst and mess and concern for the remaining half of my tree is that its remains seem to have created a bird's paradise of sorts. Plus I think there are a bunch of nests with hatched babies because there seems to be a lot of activity and flying back and forth.

For some reason no matter how hard, I try, these little guys usually come out blurry. Finally got one who is in focus. Isn't he cute? These guys toy with me. They hop around on my porch but they don't sit still for a second so by the time I have refocused they are gone. I think it's a plot to drive me the rest of the way over the edge.

Mr. Cardinal insists on hanging out just out of reach of getting a really clear picture so I have dozens and dozens of sort of blurry ones. The little woman (see below) was kind enough to pose a bit closer.

Even Mr. Woodchuck came by for a quick visit but decided not to linger.

This bug photo isn't very aesthetically pleasing but I've never seen a bug like that before. He was huge and he/she/it sat on my porch for quite a while. I thought he was kind of interesting. He looks like he might be injured towards his rump.

Again, this isn't a very well framed photo, but I just thought the spider web was interesting. There were three or four of them spread out on the lawn one morning earlier this week. Haven't seen them since.

I just thought his was kind of funny. Think of it as me running away because I once again posted too many not very good photos .... and was very wordy when I was supposed to be being wordless...

Just a reminder that there's still time to enter The National Wildlife Federation's Annual Photo contest. It's still open for entries until July 1st. It's out of my league, but so many of you are so talented...

Ruby Tuesday and Tragic Tree Tale Continued

Maryt/The Teach over at Work of the Poet has something called Ruby Tuesday which features red. I hope nobody minds if I combine Ruby Tuesday with an update on the tragedy of Mother Nature's fit of pique last weekend. One of my beautiful pine trees was struck by lightning and pretty much split in half. I was very lucky that it fell relatively benignly across my back yard, didn't catch fire and did no harm to anyone or anything other than one of my other bushes. I'm praying very hard that the remaining half will survive. It's getting reiki at least twice a day and lots of fervent wishing on my part. Removing it would cost the equivalent of of about 1/11th of my total yearly stipend, so financially it would be a disaster, but if it dies I'll have to take it down as it would become a threat to my neighbor's pool and work shed. Above and beyond all that, though, I love that tree and I hope very much that it will survive.

Here is a before/after shot. You can click on it to see a larger version.

This is the scar from the lightning strike....

I'm very lucky that one of my neighbors is cleaning it up for me. He works for a lumber yard so he borrowed the boss's saw. He didn't ask for any money but I gave him a little bit and will try to give him more over the course of the summer. It's a HUGE job. This is only about 1/3rd of the trunk portion after he sawed it into pieces. The branches alone - with a few pieces of log - filled two pick-up trucks.

The Town of Hancock is great in many ways. If you call them, they will drop a pick-up truck like this one and leave it overnight to be filled up. So far we (well Shawn, my neighbor) has filled up two trucks and he and I both estimate that it will take three more at least.

Notice that the truck has these big red lights... part of my Ruby Tuesday offering this week.

One up side of the tree tragedy is that birds seem to be drawn to the corpse. My yard has had a pair of cardinals and a host of other birds who are now hanging out in great numbers by the chopped up trunk and branches. I wish they would come a little closer... or that my camera had a 15x zoom instead of ten... Still, I'm enjoying watching them and getting even these sort of fuzzy pictures of them. Besides being beautiful, Mr. Cardinal here is part two of my Ruby Tuesday offering.

Have a lovely Tuesday.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Alphabet Backwards: "J" is for ?????

Well, it's the dreaded Alphabet Backwards day and today's letter is J. What a wonderful range of possiblities J offers - Joy, judgement, jelly fish, jamboree, jambalaya, juvenile, Jesus, June, July, Jasmine...

Jumpin Jehosephats! What should I write about? I was going to write about impeachment again (aka justice), but since next week is the letter "I," readers have lucked out on having to read through another tirade.

I'd do a tribute to George Carlin and his Jokes, but my friend Dianne has already done a wonderful job of that.

I'd write about jogging but since I can barely walk across a room, that would just be insincere an silly. Then there's jealousy, but that's not something I really experience. Envy sometimes - you know - the I'm glad you have that but I'd like it too kind of thing. I thought about writing about jaguars (the big cats, not the car), a magnificent and endangered species that I'm particularly fond of... I've had dreams in which I turn into a jaguar, which I thought was pretty cool. But I don't really have a lot to say on the subject that you can't read at the Defenders of Wildlife site.

I'm adding this late. I was reminded by Jay Simser at Bailey's Buddy that he's a Jay, so I thought I'd add a link... and as long as I'm acknowledging Jays, there's also the other Jay, at Cynical Bastard. They are both wonderful and are great wordzzlers to boot.

So I'm going to do a total cheat today and say that "J" is for JUST DON'T WANT TO DO THIS. How's that for cheating?

Maybe it's this beautiful June weather. It's a gorgeous day here today. Makes me feel joyful at the beauty. I'd call it Spring fever but it's officially summer now. Whatever the reason, I'm copping out on writing something meaningful and still crossing the letter J off my list. Just like that.

My apologies. I wanted to post couple of George Carlin clips, but they aren't very polite, so I decided instead to post some pictures of Jamaica. I visited Jamaica many, many years ago and loved the beauty of the country and the kindness of the people. So here's a little beauty for your day. The second video is Jamaican Bob Marley singing about War.

And so I creep quietly away from "J" late in the afternoon on a Monday in June. Wishing you Jokes, Justice, Joy and Jolly times.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

One Single Impression: Melody

This week's prompt for One Single Impression was "melody." Only managed to do 5-7-5 once. Just couldn't get away from six syllables for the last line for some reason... not that it matters that much in the end, but I do love the game of trying to keep to the count and still have some music/meaning to the words.

When I used to sing
Voice lifted by melody
That was joy indeed

The comfort of song
Wrapped in arms of melody
My heart takes solace

Melody is mine
I love to let my voice rise
Invoking harmony

It’s like touching God
To sing full voice – melody
But harmony is love

Much as I love the melody of song
I love too the music of words
Rhythm and cadence
Flowing sound
Telling as much as
The words themselves
Words have energy,
The same sentence
Spoken with a different heart
Vibrates with a different feel
Written or spoken
Words carry the spirit of the speaker
Truth has its own music
Resonant and clear
Melodic to the soul