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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Round Robin Challenge: Sparkle

"I dare you, who think life is humdrum, to become involved. I dare you who are weak to become strong; you who are dull to be sparkling; you who are slaves to be kings."

-William Danforth

Vicki, who authors the blog, "Maraca" submitted this challenge topic months ago, almost 6 months ago to be exact, and as soon as I saw it, I thought of this time of year, when everything seems to be sparkling. The frost on my plants in the early morning, the ornaments on the Christmas tree, even the fun little bubbles in a glass of apple cider, all bring a special sparkling light to things, but as the summer and the autumn moved on, I also saw some sparkle in some places I might have overlooked...

The sparkle of a jellyfish...


The sparkle on the wings of a honey bee...

The sparkle of a lovely Christmas tree ornament...

The sparkle of the car lights moving across the Golden Gate Bridge...

The sparkle of a beautiful fireworks display...

This was a fun, and beautiful challenge. Thank you Vicki, for the great idea! Be sure to pay a visit to Vicki's blog, and also to all the Robins who participated in this challenge, to see their interpretations of the challenge. Simply follow the links below. If you would like to join us, there is still time. Just visit the official Round Robin blog, and follow the directions. If you can't join us this time, then maybe we will see you for the next round in a couple weeks. Be sure to visit the Round Robin blog this Sunday, to find out the topic of our next challenge. :)


Linking List

1. Vicki... Maraca
POSTED!

2. Carly... Ellipsis
POSTED!

3. Karen... Outpost Mavarin
POSTED!

4. Steven... (sometimes) photoblog
POSTED!

5. Gattina... Keyhole Pictures
POSTED!

6. Julie... Julie's Web Journal
POSTED!

7. Teena... It's all about me!
POSTED!


-OndineMonet
"Sparks"
Berkeley, California
November 30, 2007
Evening

Friday, November 30, 2007

Long, Slow, Passionate Kisses

"Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of maturity; but it is also breadth, and depth and distance. What man can stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see the span of his world and the meaning of the rolling hills that reach to the far horizon?"

-Hal Borland

Last night, I thought it might be nice to try and capture a nice photograph of San Francisco, as seen from up here in the East Bay hills. All the buildings on the Embarcadero
are decorated for the holiday season, and it is absolutely gorgeous, however, it wasn't to be. That old San Francisco fog was determined to blot out the view of the city, so I decided instead to focus on one of the last sunsets of November. I aimed my camera toward the sun, and watched as it slowly and passionately kissed the sky goodnight. :) Kisses like that should always be slow... don't you think? :)

Then just a little while later...



-OndineMonet
"The Kiss Goodnight"
Berkeley, California
November 29, 2007
Early Evening

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One Word


"Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them; for those experiences have left an indelible impression, and we are ever and anon reminded of them."

-Ernst Haas

I found this little meme over at Liz's blog, They Call Me Anut Nub, and thought it looked like fun. I saw it again later at Phinney's blog, Always So Busy Inside My Head, so I decided to give it a try. Here's how it works...

You, my readers, leave me a ONE WORD comment, which you feel best describes me, in the comment thread for this entry. Then, if you so desire, post the ONE WORD meme in your own blog, and pass along the fun. Be sure to comeback here and leave me a link to your entry. It's just that easy. Will you play along? Come on, surely you can think of at least one word to describe me.

-OndineMonet
"One Word"
Cull Canyon Park
Castro Valley, California
November 27, 2007
Late Afternoon

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Perfect Autumnal Days

"it was one of those perfect autumnal days, which occur more frequently in memory than in life."

P.D. James

A November Ago (Haiku)
By Carly Gordon

My November Dream
Leaves Fall As Do Memories
Of Autumn And You.

Some autumn days play with my memories. It's soul stirring sometimes. The light you see in someone else's eyes can blind you, especially if the light is in November.

-OndineMonet
"Perfect Autumn Days"
Autumn 2007
Afternoon

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Round John Virgin, Margarine Child

"There is always music amongst the trees in the garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it."

-Minnie Aumonier

It's that time again. It can't be escaped. Everywhere you go, there it is... Christmas music. Personally, I hate, hate, hate most Christmas songs, and avoid them like the plague, but there are some people, such as Alan, who love listening to holiday music. This has been a point of contention with us over the years, to the point that during one Christmas season, I refused to ride in his car with him, if he insisted that we listen to the Ho, Ho, Ho's or the Jolly, Jolly, Jollies. LOL.

I have mellowed in my position on this over the years, and have made the effort... for him... to find at least a few holiday songs that I can live with. You do that kind of thing for those you love. In truth, it took a bit of doing, but I did find some songs which I actually enjoy now, such as the Peanuts song, "Christmas Time Is Here." It's such a gentle little tune, how could that not put me in the holiday spirit?

My reasons for disliking this type of music are very personal ones, but I have made an effort in recent years to change how I think about things. I am much more at peace now, then I have been in a long time. I find myself enjoying the holiday season, as opposed to dreading all the festivities. I suppose some of my change came as a result of maturity, and my will to do away with unfounded fears, such as my overwhelming fear of mall Santa's. Talk about an unreasonable fear, heck, I married a former mall Santa! LOL.

One of the ways I found to beat the holiday happiness dread, was finding out that I wasn't alone when I actually heard the lyrics to Christmas songs wrong. Everyone has done that, right? Mondegreens are one of those silly things that we all share, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite ones. I have collected these here and there across the net, I hope they bring you a smile. :)

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night;
All is calm, all is bright.
Round John Virgin, margarine child
Holy Imbecile, tender and mild.
Sleep in heavenly peas, peas;
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Oh! You better watch out
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I'm telling you why;
Santa Claus is coming to town!

He's making a list
Of chicken and rice
Gonna find out who's naughty or nice;
Santa Claus is coming to town!

The kids in girl and boy land
Will have a jubilee.
They're going to build a toilet town
All around the Christmas tree.

Oh! You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I'm telling you why;
Santa Claus is coming to town.

Frosty The Snowman

Frosty the Snowman
Was a jolly happy soul
With a canecob pipe and a bloody nose
And two eyes made out of coal.

Frosty the Snowman
Is a ferret elf I say;
He was made of snow, but the children know
How he came to life one day.

The Christmas Song

Jeff's nuts roasting on an open fire
Check for snipping at your nose
You'll tide carols being sung by the fire
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey, handsome Mr. Soul
Help to make the season bright;
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

Good King Wencesias

Good King Wences's car back out
On the feet of heathens.
When the snow lay round about.
Deep and crisp and even.

Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel,
When poor man came in sight
Gathering wine and gruel.

Good king wants his applesauce
At the feast this evening.
When the snow lay round about,
Deep and crisp and even.

Have A Holly Jolly Christmas

Have a holly, jolly Christmas
It's the best time of the year
Well, I don't know if there'll be snow,
But have a cup of cheese.

Tee Hee. There you have it. Do you have a favorite Mondegreen? How about a special holiday Mondegreen? If so, feel free to share it in the comment thread for this entry, but remember, Ellipsis is a PG-13 blog... so be nice. :)

-OndineMonet
"Holiday Music"
Berkeley, California
November 24, 2007
Evening

Monday, November 26, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Light Effects

"Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished."

-Michael Strassfeld

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Show us light in a surprising way. Long exposures, interesting reflections, the play between light and shadow - anything that calls attention to the light itself. This is very open-ended, so I'm curious to see what you all will come up with.

-John Scalzi

One of my goals for this coming winter, is to take an object, such as one of my roses, and photograph it in different winter light opportunities, such as just after sunrise, and just before sundown, or maybe even do a time lapse series. I haven't quite decided which as of yet. For now however, I have these photos that are actually from my archive. I hope it's ok with John that I opted to use an older photo as opposed to going out and capturing something new. I thought these would be perfect with the theme. The two sky photos,were the result of ice crystals in the clouds. Both are winter shots. The leaves were both done on the same day, last autumn. I thought the shadow play was particularly striking. I like looking at light, and following it around with the camera. Stay tuned, I have some definite goals in mind for following light with my photography. :)




-OndineMonet
"Ice Light"
2005

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend 2007

"Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse."

-Henry Van Dyke

It was a good weekend. I am happy, which is a good thing. Alan and I had a nice, easy going holiday, then spent the next day together enjoying the crowds and the sun, and just being together. :) But let's start with the holiday, before I tell you about the rest. Sound good?

Alan had to work on Thanksgiving, so it was just Elvis and I most of the day. He and I laid in bed until time for the Macy's Parade to come on the TV. He always curls up in my lap when I watch the parade, and this year was no exception. That makes for a good day, but this year I was a little busier then usual. See, I decided to take on making an 18lb. turkey for dinner. LOL. Now most folks make ones much bigger then that, but see, I have been fighting this overwhelming fear of turkey. What if I didn't spice it just right? What if I didn't cook it long enough? What if I cooked it too long? LOL. Well, come to find out, as with all my fears, it was simply a matter of researching the fear, until it wasn't so scary anymore.

Thank GOD for the Butterball hot line. LOL. I made the turkey, and if I do say so myself, it came out fabulous. LOL. Juicy, tender, and oh so succulent. Yikes, now I am just bragging. LOL. But seriously, it just felt good to have the whole meal come out right... you know? In past years we either went with a ham, or ordered in a catered dinner, but this year it just felt good to make dinner. We had all the usual side dishes, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean bake, cranberry sauce, and dinner rolls. For dessert, we had sugar-free pumpkin pie. It was a good meal.

Friday, it was off to Union Square, in San Francisco. It was so much fun over there, we had a lot of fun just walking the square and window shopping. We also took a walk down Maiden Lane, which is just off the square, to see the Xanadu Gallery. The building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and was a prototype for the Guggenheim museum. It's a beautiful, fascinating design, square shaped on the outside, but inside it contains a long, wide circular stairway. It's amazing. The design of the building is a work of art in itself, but once inside there is all the stunning International art to appreciate. A true feast for the eyes.

After we took a few photographs of the building, we continued down the lane. As we walked we could hear a street performer singing Ava Maria. He had a wonderful, forceful operatic voice that set just the right mood. Maiden Lane is one of the prettiest streets in the city anytime of year, but when you are already in a good mood, and you are seeing inspiration everywhere, it is especially enjoyable. The music, the smell of the food from the gourmet shops, the fabulous weather, architecture of the city, and the company I was in, made it all a little bit magical, but then I tend to find the magic in the most simple of places sometimes. I can be kind of silly that way sometimes.

After we got home on Friday, we took a short nap, then it was off to the Holiday Festival in the Woods. I will show off some additional photos of that next week sometime. It was as gorgeous as it was last year, with the Merry-Go-Round all decorated for the Christmas season, and the decorated trees from around the world. :) It was lovely.The rest of the weekend has been very quiet, I have been in the mood to do some baking, so I am made some cupcakes and muffins for the neighbors, and this afternoon I am making some Chocolate Mint Brownies for Alan. I might have one if my blood glucose numbers are ok. I am still living as a if I am a diabetic, at least for the next year or so. Heck, I may just live this way forever, because I feel great and I know I owe it all to being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

2007 has been a strange year. It was filled with friends who moved away, and medical concerns, but it has also been filled with friends who have comeback into my life, and wonderful surprises such as my being able to reverse my diabetes condition, which just might mean that it will never return. I have gone through some things this year that I had no idea how to face, and yet somehow, I did. I guess when sad or chaotic things are happening in our lives, we find that inner strength to get back up and keep going, I am not sure where it is in me, but if nothing else, 2007 has shown me it's there. I will just have to take it on faith, that I can also depend on me. I have faith in me. :)

So, here it is... the weekend in pictures. Enjoy.


-OndineMonet
Thanksgiving Weekend
Berkeley, San Francisco, California
November 22, through November 25th, 2007