Saturday, November 18, 2006

By Any Other Name...

"The war against hunger is truly mankind's war of liberation."

-John F. Kennedy

852 million people across the world are hungry. Worldwide, more that 1 billion people currently live below the international poverty level. Six million children under the age of 5 die every year as a result of hunger.In New Orleans, requests for food and shelter remain at 50% higher then before Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005. Of the 6.4 million Americans who requested emergency food from an America's Second Harvest Food Agency, 4.6 of them were seeking food assistance for the first time.

After reading statistics like those, I became more than a little perplexed that the Bush administration would even try to justify or defend a recent, Department of Agriculture, report which removed the word, HUNGER, and replaced it with the new terminology of "food insecure." The report finds that number of households in America last year, which had difficulty feeding themselves fell from 11.9% to 11%, and included families without enough to eat or families with parents who went without eating in order to feed their children. At that time they were classified as "food insecure with hunger," this year it is being called, "very low food security." You can call it what you want, but it is still, and always will be HUNGER.

"When they hear 'very low food security' it sounds like bureaucratic jargon. It doesn't sound like the people who can't get enough to eat."

-Deborah Leff, Public Welfare Foundation

I am lucky, I have plenty of food in my pantry. I will be sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner , later this week, with little worry about how I will be able to afford to put it on the table, but there will be folks who will be hungry, right here in Alameda County where I live. Probably right here in Berkeley. I have some bags of canned/non-perishable food ready to be dropped off at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, located in Oakland, but it won't be enough. It's obscene that our government can always find the money for war, but social issues, such as hunger, the homeless population, of which approximately 50% are veterans, education, healthcare, and the environment are always made to hold the lowest priority. It's wrong.

Please donate some canned/non-perishable food to your local shelters and food bank programs this holiday season. You can find your local donation center by visiting the web site of America's Second Harvest. While at their site, you can learn more about them and read up on the facts and figures for yourself. Educate yourself, you will be glad you did. John Scalzi wrote an amazing essay some years back, on what it is to be poor. As with all excellent writers, he writes from his own experiences with honesty. It is so worth the read, especially during this holiday season. You can find his essay here. Don't let the Bush administration change what we all know is true... HUNGER is HUNGER... not "food insecurity."

Being Poor by John Scalzi

America's Second Harvest

Alameda County Community Food Bank
P.O. Box 2599
7900 Edgewater Drive
Oakland, Ca 94614
Phone: 510-635-3773

"Please Help"
Berkeley, California
December 24, 2005
Late Afternoon

Friday, November 17, 2006

Steven's Feline Friday... Elvis Goes To The Doctor

"The cat is above all things, a dramatist."

-Margaret Benson

If it's Friday, it must be time for Feline Friday! Elvis had a big week, so I thought it might be fun to share about his adventures. The look on his face, is because he sees his cat carrier as we were getting it ready to transport him to see his friend, and doctor, "Dr. B." A whole year has gone by, I can hardly believe it. Time goes by fast with this character. He had an assignment this year, which was to try and drop a few more pounds. At one time he weighed over 25lbs, and that just isn't healthy for my boy. He is big boned, but still, he had a goal to reach and I am pleased to tell you he did! He is now at 23lbs, but there is more work to go. He is a good boy, and really understanding, so we have him on a special diet formula crunchy food by Purina, and we try not to indulge him with snacks. On Thanksgiving, he is always invited to share the table with us, and he minds his manners. He has his own plate, and we give him a taste of the white meat only, no bones. He never fusses... he just enjoys being included. Alan and I worked with him when he was a kitten, and he is a well behaved kitty. Can you tell how proud I am to be his mommy? LOL.

If you would like to play along, you can visit my good friend Steven's blog for all the details. Steven honors the kitties in our lives every Friday, because after all, cats RULE!

"Off To See Dr. B"
Berkeley, California
November 15, 2006
Late Afternoon

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #139: White Meat v. Dark Meat

"I hate turkeys. If you stand in the meat section at the grocery story long enough, you start to get mad at turkeys. There's turkey ham, turkey bacon, turkey bologna, turkey pastrami. Someone needs to tell turkey, man, just be yourself."

-Mitch Hedberg

Weekend Assignment #139: It's time for Thanksgiving dinner! Which do you prefer - white meat, or dark meat? Explain your answer. Because it seems that most people have a preference one way or the other and sometimes they can get testy about it.

For those of you who for some reason disdain the whole turkey scene, answering "neither" is acceptable, but you need to explain why and offer an alternative dish for consumption.

Extra Credit: Being Thanksgiving, note one thing you've been thankful for in 2006.

-John Scalzi

White turkey meat? Dark turkey meat? There was a day, not too long ago, when I would have passed on both choices for Thanksgiving. In fact, Alan and I rarely ate turkey at any time during the year, all because of a nasty bit of food poisoning we got on a lovely June day in 1987, while having a "Thanksgiving" meal at the home of my then boyfriend, "All American Guy." His mother was a wizzzzz in the kitchen. LOL. Come to find out, she poisoned all of his dates, so I didn't take it personally, but I have to tell you, I did learn a whole new respect for turkey after that!

A couple years ago, Alan and I decided to get over our mutual disdain for the turkey, and give it a try in an effort to have a proper Thanksgiving meal. It was the first time I had ever tried to make a turkey myself, so, I did some research, programmed the phone number to the Butterball Hotline into every phone in the house, got my nerve on, and roasted up a nice 12 lb. turkey that was, if I do say so myself, delicious. Particularly the white meat. Alan on the other hand, enjoyed the heck out of the dark meat. It's good that he and I have differences like that, no unnecessary food fights in front of Elvis, no telling him the drumsticks fell on the floor and then eating them when he isn't looking. Not that I would do that! LOL. Nope, he prefers dark meat and I prefer white meat, no fuss, no muss. :) As for Elvis, well his taste is simple... "It's all good!" :)

Note: I decided this year to program the number to the Butterball Hotline into the OnStar system in my car. One can never be too careful! :)

Extra Credit: I am thankful for so much, it's impossible to name just one thing, but to be honest, I think I am most thankful for my cat Elvis, who makes me laugh every day. He is my sunshine.

Butterball Hotline

"Gobble, Gobble, Gobble"
Berkeley, California
October, 2005

Thursday, November 16, 2006


"One's destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things."

-Henry Miller

Today is the one year anniversary of, Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly, on Blogger. It has been a great year over here. I have learned new things, and met some wonderful new people. I like it here. I feel that I have been at my creative best in the last 12 months. So, here are 12 photos from different times this past year, photos that challenged me in one way or another. Steven has also written an entry, with his reflections about the AOL Exodus of 2005. Stop by here to read his post.


"Spice Tree"
San Ramon, California
November 12, 2006

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Round Robin Challenge: In The Kitchen

"My recipe for dealing with anger, and frustration: set the kitchen timer for twenty minutes, cry, rant, and rave, and at the sound of the bell, simmer down and go about business as usual."

-Phyllis Diller

How cool is this challenge? Jessica, author of the journal, QuickSilver Dreams, has chosen, "In The Kitchen," as the topic of our challenge. I love it! With Thanksgiving just a couple weeks away, it will be a lot of fun to be able to see what everyone comes up with. :) I have to admit, I was planning on testing some recipes for the holidays. Mostly some baked goods and desserts, but my oven went out on me this past week, and it won't be replaced until early sometime next week. Ugg. For the meantime it is stovetop, microwave and Crockpot cooking, which is pretty good, but oh boy, was I ever ready for that Red Velvet cake, with cherry filling. Oh well, maybe in a couple weeks. For now, how about some photos of dinners past...

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Macaroni & Cheese

Corned Beef

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Summer Salad Fresh From The Garden

Hamburger From "Hamburger Day"

Stuffed Tomatoes & Fresh Avacados

Vegetable Lasagna w/Fresh Crookneck Squash and Zucchini

Be sure to visit each of the Round Robin Challenge Participants! :)

Linking List

Jessica... QuickSilver Dreams

Karen... Outpost Mavarin

Carly... Ellipsis... Suddenly Carly

Gattina... Keyhole Pictures

Kerrin... A New Day A New Photo

Danella... Deep Red Style

Suzanne R... New Suzanne R's Life

Julie... Julie's Web Journal

Janet... Fond Of Photography

Teena... It's All About Me!

Robin... R's Musings

Linda... Blah Blah Blog

Becky... Where Life Takes You


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Floaty Things

"When the tides of life turn against you and the current upsets your boat, don't waste those tears on what might have been, just lie on your back and float."


Your Monday Photo Shoot: Snap a photo of something that floats. It it's buoyant, it's in!

-John Scalzi

The quote above, offers some good advice! I snapped this photo about a month ago, while I was visiting the coastal town of Morro Bay, California. This little otter had the cutest feet! He was quite diligent about caring them, he cleaned them thoroughly, then laid back in the water and just floated with the tide. He was so much fun to watch, and doing so was more then a little relaxing. That otter didn't have a care in the world. Yep, I'd say he is buoyant! :)

"A Floaty Thing"
Morro Bay, California
October 12, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

Snow In November

"Time sometimes flies like a bird, sometimes crawls like a snail; but a man is happiest when he does not even notice whether it passes swiftly or slowly."

-Ivan Turgenev

When I heard on the news that the Sierra had gotten it's first snows of the year, this past weekend, I thought I might have missed out on the chance to photograph my favorite bird... the Snowy Egret. I was beginning to think that it simply wouldn't be my year, as every time I went to a spot specifically to photograph them, they were nowhere to be found. I tried all along the coast, from Santa Barbara to Bodega Bay, and even slightly inland along the wetlands. No luck. I didn't see a single Egret. I was kinda blue about it, then while on my way to Nevada last month, I saw one, in of all places, the freeway median, just south of Sacramento. Go figure! That is the strangest place to see a water bird. LOL. And naturally I didn't have the camera ready, so I assumed that there had went my last chance for the season... until yesterday.

I went to the AT&T Business park, in San Ramon, to photograph the geese and the awesome autumn scenery. It is a lovely place, with a small manmade pond and every kind of tree you could think of and a nice assortment of ducks and geese. Lots and lots of color. To my delight, there was one Snowy Egret among them. What a beautiful bird. I was able to get pretty close without spooking it. I have never seen an Egret at that park before, so I think it might have just been a case of being at the right place at the right time, but I may go back next weekend to see if it might still be visiting. :) Of course seeing one that far inland, also makes me want to venture up to Marin County, along the coastline, in hopes that the population might have decided to stay a little longer. :)

Yellow Slippers

Snowy Egret
San Ramon, California
November 12, 2006
Late Afternoon

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Between Sunset And Full Night

Click on the photo to see the enlarged version.

"The flower that you hold in your hands, was born today, and is already as old as you are."

-Antonio Porchia,Voces , 1943

Last Tuesday I woke up to find this "Real Simple Daily Thought" in my in-box...

"Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think." -Chinese Proverb

At first I was taken aback. I mean, how often is a quote of the day that pointed? "Jeepers, will I die today?" I thought to myself. Maybe it meant that I just really need to make the most of the gorgeous colors of autumn. You know, photograph all those leaves, before they are gone for another year. Strange how walking among autumn leave makes me feel alive, considering they are representative of the twilight of the year. "Twilight," I love that word. Yes, autumn is twilight, if summer is high noon. I suppose winter would be midnight, and as for spring, well I know very well that spring represents the year's dawning. I remember one especially warm spring sunrise, several years ago, when my whole bedroom was filled with the spicy scent of some mini-carnations that I had planted under the bedroom window. The sheer lace panels on the windows were billowing across the sill, slowly, and the windchimes were clinking together, it was a beautiful way to wake up. Ghostly, and yet sensual when presented all together.

I love this season. I am getting ready for Thanksgiving. I have my cookware all ready to make a feast. Alan is in charge of cooking the turkey, so he has decided to make it on the rotisserie, so the rest of the kitchen will be mine. I am making a nice Cranberry/Pecan stuffing, a Pumpkin Pie or two, and probably a Vegetable Pie. Hopefully, we will have a nice light lunch, right after the Macy's Parade, of maybe Vichyssoise and a Waldorf Salad, or maybe Stuffed Tomatoes, served on Pumpkin Pasta. We'll see. :) I know Elvis will be right there to lend a paw. LOL. He has always enjoyed sitting on the step stool, which allows him to sit just high enough, to be able to watch me cook. For some reason, watching what I cook fascinates him. :) He is a great cat.

Hopefully, I will get up to Sacramento later next week to do some photography. It is a gorgeous town, especially the downtown area and Old Sacramento. They will be putting up the holiday decorations soon. Lots of history to be seen around town.When I was in Carson City last month, I took a lot of photos of the capitol building and the amazing trees that surround it. The above photo was taken very early in the morning, it was about 31 degrees, and I didn't even have socks on! Silly me. I lasted only a few minutes out in the cold, but I just had to get some photos. The colors were too vibrant and the air to clear and fresh to not get out in it for a bit. Yes, my bones and joints thanked me later... with emphasis... so what? LOL. That's what pain medicine is for... right? All I know is that when I was walking through those leaves, I felt warm inside. :) I have been doing some sketches for the painting. I hope to have it done by the late spring. We'll see. :)

So what about that ominous message that came in my email? Well, here's a thought...

"Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end."


Carson City Capitol Building
Carson City, Nevada
October 26, 2006
Early Morning

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