Saturday, November 03, 2007

If "If's and But's" Were Candy And Nuts

If "if's and but's" were candy and nuts, wouldn't it be a Merry Christmas?"

-Don Meredith

I know, I know, it hasn't even been a week since Halloween came and went, and here I am, writing about... YIKES... Christmas! Well, what can I say? I haven't done even a little bit of shopping for the holiday, which is odd for me, because I usually start sometime around Valentine's Day. It's just that this has been an odd, busy, sometimes depressing year for me. The first of the year got off to a rocky start, and I was reeling from that when everything else started happening. I had a lot of situations occur that either hurt me, or caused me stress, and sometimes the rare event took place that actually caused me both! But things have begun to calm down now. I don't know, autumn tends to put me at ease. Or who knows, maybe I have started to heal a bit, but in truth, I wonder if I will heal completely one day from all of what 2007 was about, I wish there were fixed time lines for such things, but there just aren't, so, what's a girl to do? :)

Well, she celebrates! Thanksgiving is in just a few weeks, the evidence of which is that Lucky has 10 cans of Ocean Spray Cranberry sauce on sale for $10.00! I LOVE Cranberry Sauce. As soon as the Halloween decorations came down in the stores, the Christmas decorations have gone up! Alan and I have been clearing out our storage room, and making room up front for our Christmas tree, and I have been window shopping for menorahs for Hanukkah, although I am thinking of visiting a nearby glaze shop to make my own, It's something I think I might like to do for myself. This year we will be eating not just Kosher for the holiday, but diabetic friendly as well. Yum.

So, with all this happening, how can I not be thinking about Christmas! Yes, Christmas. I have a few ideas for what I want to put on my list to send to Santa. I mean, it's been a really difficult year, and I am still standing. I have been really diligent about taking my medicine, and checking my blood sugar and I am so sane now, that I actually graduated therapy! So, do you suppose I have made my case for asking Santa to bring me the Victoria's Secret Fantasy Bra and Accessories? I mean just look at it. A Bra, thong, barrette, garter and cuff bracelet that add up to a fabulous $4.5 million worth of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and yellow sapphires. Awwwww! Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but I can be pals with rubies too. :)

I made the offer last year, that if some super rich Internet Mogul would buy me the 2006 Fantasy Bra, I would model it here on Ellipsis. But, drat the luck, no super rich Internet Moguls apparently read my little blog. Like I said, drat the luck. I like wearing naughty little undergarments on Christmas Eve. It makes me feel all girly, and puts a bounce in my step. You know, being out shopping in my proper walking around clothes, with something shameful underneath, and no one knows but me. ;) And occasionally Alan, if he's a good boy. Tee Hee. It kind of takes the sting out of the curse of Christmas Eve. You remember that right? That's the one where a total stranger calls me a BITCH for no apparent reason. This will be year 19 I believe. :)

Oh well, there are one or two other items I could use, like a new vacuum and a crepe pan, but then there is that cute little animated penguin I saw at Costco. And the nifty backyard telescope for taking better pictures of the moon, and the meteor showers in August. Oh, I know, doesn't everyone need a talking decapitated Elvis head that sings? And oh my yes, that gorgeous 3 strand pearl necklace. Oh my... yes! Purrrrrrrr. Pearl is one of my birthstones, Alexanderite being the other one. I have the perfect little black dress to wear with it. :) SMILES, and SMILES. Of course a new IPOD would be good, as would some SIMS expansion packs.

Actually, it's all good. In truth, I am not a terribly materialistic girl, it only takes one time being robbed to cure one of that. In fact, not only do I not care that much about stuff, that I finally get what my parents meant, when I was a young girl and I would ask them what they wanted for Christmas. They would frustrate the heck out of me by replying, "Oh nothing really, I have all that I want." How could that be? Well, now I know. I have reached the age where I have almost all that I ever really wanted, so who needs one more thing to keep track of, unless it's diamonds... right? WINK! And as for the rest, you know, those unresolved feelings in my slightly damaged heart, well, "If "if's" and "but's" were candy and nuts, it would be a Merry Christmas."


Round Robin Challenge: "Other Settings"

"There is only you, and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are."

-Ernst Haas

Becky, author of the blog, "Where Life Takes You," came up with a great idea, she suggested we use a challenge to explore all the seldom, if ever, used settings on our cameras. All those cute little symbols for Landscape, and Sports, maybe even the Black and White mode. While I use all the settings pretty often, I take at least one photo everyday, it somehow felt a little more creative when I took the photos for this challenge. I felt like I put more of myself into this challenge, and my goodness, I certainly put my poor little camera through it's paces! LOL. Here is what the camera and I came up with...

The large photo above, is of a bumble bee in flight. That was my goal for most of this last summer. Well, summer came and went without my having met my goal. As luck would have it, I was able to capture the bumble in flight just a couple weeks ago, barely into autumn. I came close!



Black and White

Low Light


Portrait (Self-Portrait 2007)

Yep, that's me. Tee Hee. I used to laugh when folks would leave me comments about how they thought I was mysterious, because I never used to show my picture. See, not so mysterious. Hair, two eyes, a nose, a mouth. Nothing special, just me. :)

Thank-you Becky, I had a lot of fun with this challenge. :) This was a great idea! Be sure to drop by Becky's blog to see her entry, and then visit the other Robins to see what they came up with. We have some amazing photographers in the land, they always inspire me. :) Just follow the links below. And don't forget to come by the official Round Robin blog on Sunday, to learn what our next challenge will be. :). Hope to see you there!


Linking List

Becky - POSTED!
Where Life Takes You

Karen - POSTED!
Outpost Mâvarin

Nancy - POSTED!
Nancy Luvs Pix

Vicki - POSTED!

Suzanne R - POSTED!
New Suzanne R's Life

Steven - POSTED!

Carly - POSTED!

Friday, November 02, 2007

November Is National Diabetes Month

Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
indulge in cheerful conversations and amusements
Listen to music.

-A. Cornelius Celsus

If the above photo looks a little familiar, it is because I used it for an entry just a couple weeks ago. It was an entry about how much I enjoy cooking in autumn. This year has been especially enjoyable, as I search for recipes that are better suited to my new lifestyle change as a diabetic. I am learning so much about nutrition, and I am constantly surprised to find that a lot of what I thought it meant to be a diabetic has been false. Like the idea that I had to give up all the foods I enjoy. I don't have to give up much of anything, I am simply eating those foods with a slightly different perspective. Too much of a good thing, is never a good thing at all, and all things in moderation means less is usually the healthy way to approach life. It is working for me, I think I am doing pretty well most days, although I do still have those occasional days of frustration, when I just want to hop into bed, and pull the covers over my head, and give up. Thank goodness that doesn't happen all that often anymore. :)

Having diabetes is a challenge, but it is a manageable one. If you have diabetes, then you know exactly what I mean, if you don't, maybe you would consider doing a little research into what it means to be a diabetic. I read in my newsletter from, Diabetes Health Magazine, that nearly "21 million children and adults in the United States, have diabetes and anther 54 million people are at risk. Diabetes is the fifth deadliest disease in the nation, and may well be the most serious health problem facing America today." Now THAT is a frightening thought.

So, if you haven't consulted your doctor about the A1C test, would you consider doing so this month? Do you know if you are at risk for the disease? November 14th, is World Diabetes Day, which was a day created by the United Nations in 2006, when a resolution concerning diabetes was passed by the General Assembly. It's time to encourage each other in education and information about this disease. In it's earliest stages, there are no symptoms, which I find especially cruel. Sometimes folks have it for years, before it is discovered. Sigh. So I think you can understand why I consider a national health care system so important. It will certainly be one of my top five concerns when I make my choice for our next president. So, what do you say, will you take some time this month to educate yourself on diabetes? Come on... for me? I kind of like you, and want you to be reading me in good health, for a long, long time. You know? :)

"National Diabetes Month"
Woodside, California
Autumn, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What Constitutes A Hero?

"As you get older, it's harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary."

-Ernest Hemingway

Well, I am officially back from my 3 week vacation, and ready to tackle yet another issue that's been on my mind. What constitutes a hero? I ask this because of an article I read online yesterday in the New York Post. It seems there was a retired New York City detective, James Zadroga, who worked at ground zero, for over 400 hours to be exact, as a New Jersey ME. During that time, he was susceptible to inhaling all of the toxins that was associated with the collapse of the twin towers. Zadroga died in 2006, but the official medical examiner's report, which was released in early October, indicated that Zadroga's
death was a direct result of the misuse of prescription medication. Medication which had been apparently prescribed to him, because of the work he did at Ground Zero. So, according to the current New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, science has showed, "this was not a hero."

So, tell me, when you think of what a hero is, what comes to mind? Is a hero someone who puts the safety of others above their own well being? Is it the sports figure who has an unbeatable record of play, and still tests negative for performance enhancing drugs? Is every soldier in the military a hero, even if they have been suspected of wrongdoing? Is a hero the guy who jumps to the aide of a stranger who has just fallen from a subway platform, to shield that stranger from an oncoming train? Is it a father, who runs into a neighbor's house that is on fire, to save the family inside, while not stopping to think of his own mortality?

If you have been reading Ellipsis for a while, you probably know that my father did just that. One August night, in 1968, my father and his carpool friends, turned the corner onto our street, to see our neighbors house fully engulfed in flames. I will never forget dad running in and out, carrying the unconscious bodies of my friends and their mother. I was sure dad was going to die... but instead he, and his buddies, saved their lives. Dad was a lot of things. He could be and was quite abusive, both mentally and physically, but on that night he was very simply one of four heroes. Let me tell you, it's a complex thing to consider when I think of dad, and all that he was in my life. All the bad stuff between us has long since been dealt with and forgotten by me, but I continue to have nightmares about that night, and the sight of him running into that house.

I expect that most heroes have complex lives. As far as I know, most heroes are also human beings. Humans make mistakes, sometimes big ones, but mistakes all the same. So, if most heroes are humans, what exactly do we look for in the ideal of a hero? Do they have a certain way they must have lived their entire lives, or face losing their hero worship? Do they have to die while aiding another, to truly be called a hero? Can they have a flawed past, and should their future be up to judgement? Is it possible that the word hero actually has very little meaning? Or does it really mean everything? Can it be like how I have come think of my father, a deeply flawed human being, who also knew when and where to do the right thing?

Sometimes I wonder, when some previously held hero falls from grace, what we had really expected of them to begin with. We put pressure on athletes to out preform the next guy, and then gasp in horror when it is discovered that they have cheated to reach their goals. We seem to have a hero for everything from sports figures to teachers, to military personal to pop stars. Anytime we want to feel better about being America we hold another person up to the light we create for them, and then look away when their humanity becomes inconvenient. I happen to think Mayor Bloomberg was wrong in his assessment of James Zadroga, because no matter what else happened in his life, there is 400 hours of selflessness that he gave to New York City, that simply cannot be denied.

Opinions, opinions. Who do you consider to be heroes? Do you have a personal hero in your life? Tell me what you think.

"Yellow Ribbon Trees"
Carson City, Nevada
October 24th, 2007
Late Morning

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween and Steven's Feline Friday

"Backward turn, turn backward. Oh Time in your flight, make me a child again just for tonight."

-Elizabeth Akers Allen

Happy Halloween!

Look, it's Elvis as Woodstock! And his favorite buddy, Ross the Moose as a Value Meal! Oooooh Spooky. :) This is also my entry for this week's edition of Feline Friday. If you haven't played before, you really should. You can find out all the information on how to play by visiting my friend Steven's blog. See the link below.

From our house to yours, have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Feline Friday (sometimes) photoblog

Happy Halloween
Berkeley, California
October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Haunted Refrigerator Night... 2007!

"A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man awoke in the night."

-J.M. Barrie

Something odd happens each October 30th to the towns of Houston Texas, and Berkeley, California. See, on that night, time, and space move aside for the spirits of Halloween. And as quick as you can say "Haunted Refrigerator Night," a magical portal is opened... in my fridge in Berkeley, and Steven's fridge in Houston, and out into the dark, autumn night, go the frolicking, footloose, and fancy free spirits of Halloween! Bwahahahahahahahahaha!

As an example, just a little while ago, I was sitting by the fire, with Elvis on my lap, and a mug of sugar-free hot chocolate in my hand, when I heard a strange giggling, gurgling sound coming from the kitchen. "What could that be?" I thought to myself. Alan wasn't home... gulp... it was just... gulp... Elvis and I. Slowly, I got up and walked into the kitchen. The strange sound only got louder and louder as I approached the refrigerator. Crunch, crunch... squish. Squish! Squish?

As I slowly opened the refrigerator door, the crunching sound stopped. It was as quiet as a graveyard, on a weekday night, at midnight, with cloud cover and fog, and a full moon overhead I'll tell you. With all the courage I could find, I peeked inside, ever so slowly, and what did I see? Well, I saw the grinning, ghoulish face of the PUMPKIN THAT ATE ALL THE FOOD IN ALL THE GRIZZLY PEAK REFRIGERATORS IN THE BERKELEY HILLS! (Insert Screaming SOUND Effect Here). YIKESSSSSS! I had heard that he was just a legend here in the hills, but now I know... HE'S REAL!!!! I believe, I BELIEVE!!

Tee Hee. Welcome to the 4th Edition of Steven's and my little tradition of "Haunted Refrigerator Night!" I look forward to our photo traditions each year, but this one is my favorite. I bet you just know, I start planning for Halloween each November 1st! LOL. It's true. :) But while I plan and plan for the holiday itself, you just never know what will come flying out of my fridge on Haunted Refrigerator Night. Tee Hee. Thank you Steven, for the Halloween fun, and encouraging my creativity. See you next October 30th!

Always, Carly :)

Be sure to drop by Steven's blog, (sometimes) photoblog, to see the haunted happenings in Houston. :)

Here is a link to last year's Haunted Refrigerator Night entry. Happy Haunting!

"Ghoulish Grinning Pumpkin"
Pumpkin Carved By Alan
My Refrigerator
October 30th, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Final Flowers

"Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men and for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning."

-Lydia M. Child

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, because winter is coming, and there aren't that many rosebuds then. With that in mind, this week's Photo Shoot.

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Last call for shots of live flowers! This is it for 2007, because after that for lots of places in the US, live flowers will be done for the year (unless, of course, they're inside your house. But never mind that).

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Just yesterday, I was out and about in Half Moon Bay, and Golden Gate Park, enjoying the last of this year's flower gardens. The Dahlia garden in GGP is usually in bloom from the middle of July until the last of October, so it is right on schedule, but it still makes me sad to see it's demise. I was hoping we might have a warm autumn, maybe even an indian summer, but it is not to be, it is cold and rainy here this week, and there might be a few more warm days, but from what the weatherman says... the cold is definitely winning this year.

Like the dahlia's in GGP, the roses in Half Moon Bay are struggling as well. I stopped in at Pastorino's Pumpkin Patch yesterday, to have one more walk through before Halloween, and to enjoy their amazing roses. I found such vibrant colors, and the scent of the roses was simply amazing. I hated to leave. My camera got quite a workout, as did I. When I got home I was exhausted, so I took a short nap which lasted 12 hours! Aren't naps in autumn delicious? :)

"Last Call"
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
Pastorino's Pumpkin Patch
Half Moon Bay
October 29, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Woooo Woooo

"If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good."

-Dr. Seuss

Alan and I decided to have some fun yesterday. It was a gorgeous, warm, autumn day, so we thought it might be fun to take a ride on the Steam Trains in Tilden Park, in the hills above Berkeley.The Redwood Valley Train and it's conductor take you on a 12 minute ride through beautiful Tilden Park. The air was quite fragrant with the scent of redwood, pine, eucalyptus and the various other trees and plants that bloom in autumn. I think I enjoy the the redwoods the most. The trees are stunningly beautiful, especially when the sun is shining down through them, casting a warm, golden glow on everything.

It was fun to see so many families enjoying themselves, and having a good time together. It's so weird, Alan and I both grew up in the East Bay, and yet we are still discovering wonderful places of fun, and joy, that we had never heard of. I have to thank my good friend H. P. for recommending the Steam Trains. Thanks darlin... you were right, it was a hoot! Tilden Park is a genuine treasure, and has become one of our very favorite haunts. In just about a month it will be time for Christmas In The Woods, held in Tilden, at the Merry-Go-Round. I can hardly wait! :)

"Steam Trains"
Tilden Park
Berkeley, California
October 28th, 2007