Friday, February 16, 2007

Dancing In The Mist

"Dancing is the perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire."


Back in early December, I injured my shoulder. At first I thought it was a pulled muscle. It hurt, but it wasn't so painful that I couldn't finish decorating my Christmas tree, or put up decorations, or do my general household "need be's." Soon however, the painful area grew to the point that my back began to hurt, then the pain moved down my arm. Next came this strange sensation of a sort of spasm or maybe more like a slight trembling in my shoulder. Finally I went to see my physician, just before Christmas, who diagnosed me with a torn Rotator Cuff. YIKES!

Well, the doc gave me some super comforting pain medication, and told me to give it a month or so. Can do! Said I. And sure enough, I got better in just about a month, of course it didn't hurt that along the way I also caught a lovely cold, that lasted nearly the entire month of January. I got lots and lots of bed rest, and lo and behold, my shoulder felt better about the same time my head cleared and I stopped coughing. :) It's so nice when things come together.

That brings us to about a week ago, when I got a letter from my doctor saying that I needed to make an appointment for a follow up appointment. Tee Hee, I am all better, I thought to myself. Never think out loud to yourself! I am convinced that there are evil elves, or psychotic faeries or maybe a pugnacious garden gnome, just waiting to trip us up. And tripped up I have been. My shoulder has started hurting, for some unknown reason. Maybe I picked up one catnip mouse too many, or zigged when I should have zagged...who knows? Anyway, I am in pain tonight, and even sitting here typing this entry seems like more than I am able to handle, of course the pain killers haven't kicked in yet, so no worries, soon I will be feeling, well, in pain...but not to terribly worried about it.

What does all this have to do with a butterfly picture? Well, if you look really close you will see some mist falling on the butterfly. That is because the butterflies at last year's butterfly exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers would occasionally be misted down because of the sometimes, overwhelming heat of the exhibit. I happened to be in the exhibit during one of those misty moments, and I have to say, it was a little bit of heaven to be sure. As distracting as it was, I kept my focus on this gorgeous butterfly, and when the mist was over, she looked like this...

That was a great moment, as it always reminds me that the mist falls on all of us. A few minutes later, she shook off the water that had been weighing her down, and happily flew away. :) It's about hope I suppose, soon I will shake off this pain once again... and go about my flying from photo op to photo op, but until then... well... you know. Grrrrrrrrr. I am going to take a brief blog break, probably just through the weekend, so look for me early next week. I just need to take care of my shoulder, and maybe slow down a bit... you know? Till I come back, if you can, don't forget to check out the latest subject of our Round Robin Challenges. Our next challenge date will be Wednesday, February 21. I hope you will consider joining us. :)

Round Robin Photo Challenges

Conservatory Of Flowers
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
Summer, 2006

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Blossoms In Winter

"Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it."

-Johan Wolfgang Goethe

Alan and I had such a good time for Valentine's Day, we spent the day in San Francisco, at the Conservatory of Flowers. There were two exhibits in particular that we wanted to see. The first one was, "One: An Earth Installation," by artist, Stanley Gatti, which I will share with you in a few days, and the second display was the, "Chinese New Year Floral Display," of various types of spring blossoms and fruit, including mandarin oranges, quince, and pomelo.

The fruit and blossom display was held in the potted plant room, so along with the special blossoms, there were some of the usual sights I have seen there, such as the amazing hibiscus and azaleas plants, which is always beautiful, but yesterday, set against the stark white ceiling, were red Chinese lanterns, and yards of oriental silk fabric, which provided a dramatic effect to the exhibit. One absolutely stunning sight was a display of yellow, and deep purple colored orchids, that had the red fabric running like a ribbon just above the flowers.

The weather outside yesterday was lovely and warm, and it seemed everywhere I looked, there were folks walking along with flower bouquets or balloons, or even the occassional stuffed bear or gorilla. It all made for a really nice way to spend a day with someone you love. It was the perfect Valentine's Day... thanks Alan! :)

"The year is unfolding... like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within."


One: An Earth Installation
By Stanley Gatti - November 17 - April 15

Chinese New Year Floral Display
February 6 - March 4

NOTE: If you want a giggle, see this story here. It seems for the second year in a row, as many as 1,000 people have been gathering at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco to engage in a bit of lighthearted fun... a good old fashioned... pillow fight! The link to the above article is all about the 2006 gathering. :) Go have a look. :)

Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
February 14th, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

To All The Men I've Loved Before...

"Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love."

-Albert Einstein

It's such nonsense, but I have been thinking about all my past boyfriends the last couple days. With very few exceptions, I was lucky enough to remain friends with most of them, there are only a couple I no longer have contact with...which believe really just as well! One such Ex-File, was "Empty Vase Guy." I don't think I shared about him, when I was writing my EX-FILES series on my AOL journal Ellipsis. "Empty Vase Guy," was just that...shallow as they come, and when we broke up, it was a great day in the universe. We kinda stayed friends, as well were in the same circle of friends, and then one day that all changed. See, I was selling Avon at the time, to try and supplement my income, and occasionally he would help me out by buying something from one of my catalogs. His way of keeping in touch with me no doubt. Well, one promotion that just happened to fall a couple week's before Valentine's Day, offered a certificate for a free bouquet of roses, a $12.99 value, with the purchase of a very pretty cut glass vase from the catalog.

"Empty Vase Guy," loved a bargain! He ordered the vase and it arrived just in time for Valentine's Day. 6 months earlier we had broken up, and he immediately began dating "Dora," a lovely girl, who I liked very much. So much so, that I kind felt sorry for her that he was apparently the love of her life, kinda like the way I feel sorry for Laura Bush having George as the love of her life. Tee Hee. Anyway, I called "Empty Vase Guy" to tell him his vase had arrived. A few hours later, he came to my place to pick it up. I had it packaged and ready for him. As I handed him the bag, he reached inside of the package and pulled out the certificate for the free flowers, and then handed the bag with the vase back to me. "What's this I asked?" "Here," he said, "You keep the vase." I didn't know what to say." But "L" I think the idea is for you to redeem the certificate for the flowers, and then put them in the vase for your girlfriend. "No," said he, "I want you to have the vase, cause I know you had a hard time getting over me."


Two years later I sold it at a yard sale for $2.99! Tee Hee! :)

Here is a partial list of my great crushes over the years, in no particular order. Can you guess my top 5 from this list? Come on, give it a try...

Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman (The West Wing)

Shaggy (Scooby Doo)

Robert Wagner as Jonathon Hart (Hart To Hart)

John Ritter as Himself

Barney Rubble

Woody Allen as Himself

Richard Thomas as John-Boy Walton (The Waltons)

Bobby Sherman as Himself

Hubert Humphrey as Himself

Bruce Boxleitner as Lee Stetson (Scarecrow And Mrs. King)

Fred Grandy as Gopher Smith (The Love Boat)

George of the Jungle... Friend to you and Me!

Al Gore :)

David Duchovny as Himself

Harry Connick Jr. as Himself

Micky Himself ;)

Happy Valentine's Day!

"No, this trick won't work... how on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemisty and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?"

-Albert Einstein

"Kiss Me"
Berkeley, California
February 12, 2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: On The Phone

"If we discovered that we only had five minutes left to say all that we wanted to say, ever telephone booth would be occupied by people calling other people to stammer that they loved them."

-Christopher Morley

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Show off your phone (provided you have one). Lets put the spotlight on perhaps the quintessential technological doodad of the early 21st century.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Here she be... my cell phone. She is a Nokia 6102 Camera phone. She is basic, she doesn't have every one of the bells and whistles available, but she is fun and she gets the job done. I have some cute wallpapers of "Sex and the City," and classic art such as Monet's "Waterlilies." My current ring tone is the theme from Bewitched, but for the December holiday season, I had Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton singing, "Baby It's Cold Outside."

I have said it before, and I will take this opportunity to say it again, in this day and age... post 911... cell phones are a necessity. Like with anything else, there is a right and wrong way to use them. I try to be aware of folks around me, therefore I turn it off when appropriate, such as in restaurants and theaters. Every time I hear news stories, like the one I heard tonight about the shooting at the mall in Utah earlier this evening, I am glad I have me cell phone. I would want to be able to communicate with Alan, should we ever find ourselves in that position.

And OK, I will admit it, I enjoy the fun aspects of having a cell phone, such as being able to Text Message with my pal H. P. . Due to his weird, hectic schedule, sometimes that is the only we can connect and keep up with each other. We live in a hectic, fast paced world, sometimes we do what we must to maintain those connections that are most important to us. Alan and I are able to call each other several times a day, just to say "I Love You" or "Hi." We are just funny that way, but it is good to know we are never too far out of touch with each other. OK, rant over. :)

"Telephone, n. An invention of the devil, which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance."

-Ambrose Bierce

Gunman kills 5 in Utah Shopping Mall

My Phone
Berkeley, California
October 5th, 2006

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Nightmare Before Valentine's Day

"Love is something eternal; the aspect may change but not the essence."

-Vincent Van Gogh

Is this story romantic or what? Imagine spending eternity wrapped in the arms of your lover. Eternal compassion and comfort. No fear, no pain, no seperation. Only time. A future certain, and a past forgotten. I mean that the couple in the above photo, is the perfect illustration of what it is like to find your soul mate. They have been together between 5,000 and 6,000 years, and I bet they saw forever the first moment their eyes met. I can only imagine what it must have been like for archaeologist, Elena Menotti, when her team uncovered the couple, earlier this month, near the town of Mantova, located in northern Italy. Forgive me, sometimes I get all caught up in the romantic notions of life, but you have to remember, I come by it honestly. I am a Cancer after all, and nothing inspires me more, than the thought of there actually being a love, that even time will stop for.

"Lovers" By Danny Hahlbohm

Forever (Haiku)
By OndineMonet

Hold Me To Your Soul
And We Will See Forever
In Each Other's Eyes

Now In Italian...

Per sempre (Haiku)
By OndineMonet

Tenerlo alla vostra anima
E verdremo per sempre
In occhi di ciascunno

Google Language Tools Translator


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Carly's Stuffed Bell Peppers

"Food is our common ground, a universal experience."

-James Beard

It's been raining the last couple days, so I have been housebound... and a little bored. But it's not all that bad, because one of the things I enjoy the most about winter, and long weekends when it's raining, is spending time developing new recipes, or maybe even revisiting recipes I haven't made for a while. This weekend I made Stuffed Bell Peppers. This batch was a new take on an old recipe. Instead of using just plain tomato sauce, I tried using a tomato cream sauce, that had the added kick of sun-dried tomatoes. I think it turned out well. :) Here is the recipe, if you try it, let me know how it comes out.

Carly's Stuffed Bell Peppers

6-8 medium sized green, red and/or yellow bell peppers
2 lbs. ground beef
6-8 marinated sun-dried tomatoes
2 cups cooked plain white rice (cooked to pkg directions)
2 sm. cans tomato sauce
1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbs dried chopped onion
1sp. garlic powder


Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a heavy skillet, cook ground beef, seasoned with garlic powder, until no longer pink. Drain and set aside. Cook rice in medium sized pot, according to package directions. When rice is ready, transfer to a large mixing bowl and add in cheese, chopped onion, Parmesan cheese, and tomato sauce. Blend mixture well. Remove the sun-dried tomatoes and drain on a paper towel. Wash, and slice open bell peppers, saving the tops to the side. Fill each pepper with meat/cheese mixture. Put one, drained, sun-dried tomato on the top of each bell pepper, after it's filled, and press down gently. Replace the bell pepper tops, and place in a medium to large baking dish, allowing room around each pepper. Pour Classico sauce around each pepper, and drizzle some on top. Cook in 375 oven for 45-60 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!

Note: If you can purchase red, green and red peppers, it tastes the same, and it makes a nice presentation. :)

Berkeley, California
February 9, 2007