Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays :)

"As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is."

-Eric Sevareid

For your holiday viewing enjoyment...

From our house to yours...


-Carly, Alan, Dylan and Hendrix :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Welcome To Winter! And Hey, Look... An Eclipse!

"Love awoke one winter's night
And wander'd through the snowbound land,
And calling to beasts and birds
Bid them his message understand.

And from the forest all wild things
That crept or flew obeyed love's call,
And learned from him the golden words
Of brotherhood for one and all."

- Author Unknown

The lunar eclipse was beautiful, but the air was a little too cold for me. But I had to try, because after all, how often does a full lunar eclipse happen to fall on a winter solstice? Well, the last one was almost 400 years ago! Cold be damned... I just couldn't let the chance pass to photograph this event! My camera would never forgive me! It was cold, and it had been raining quite hard earlier in the evening, but right about the start of the eclipse the clouds receded and the sky became crystal clear! I ignored the pain in my hands and concentrated on the beauty in the sky above me. It was totally worth it, and I got a couple nice shots from my poor broken camera, so I am a happy girl. I just wish I could have photographed the entire event. Still, it kinda makes me smile to think that when I lie down tonight, it will still be going on just above my head. And to think, by one estimate I read yesterday, as many as a billion people around the world could possibly viewing it with me. Cool, very cool!

Welcome to Winter, December 21st, 2010!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekend Assignment #346 Holiday Shopper

"I like my money right where I can see it, hanging in my closet."

-Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) Sex And The City

Weekend Assignment #346: Holiday Shopper

Ack! The holiday shopping season is upon us! What is your shopping strategy for this time of year?Do you spread out your shopping over weeks and months, or try to get it all done at once? Do you mostly shop online or in person? How heavily, if at all, do you rely on gift cards, gift certificates or plain old fashioned cash and checks?

Extra Credit: Do you enjoy shopping Friday and after-Christmas sales?

-Karen Funk Blocher (Mavarin)

Holiday shopping... all I can say is... YES, YES, YES! But let me explain. Alan and I have a lot of traditions around the holidays. We begin the "Holiday Season" in September, as the first day of autumn starts our holiday season. We have lots of stuff going on, most of which includes some form of shopping. October has our wedding anniversary, the seasonal opening of Apple Hill, The turning of the leaves in Plumas County, Family Day, which is our own made up holiday, and of course, Halloween. If it is an election year, you can find us, at some point, buying campaign buttons to add to our collections. November is a bit more laid back, but then Thanksgiving quickly comes upon us, and with it comes... BEAUTIFUL... MAGNIFICENT... CHILLY... SPARKLY... EXCITING... BLACK FRIDAY! Not really a holiday, but celebrated in our house as if it were Christmas itself.

Shopping plays a role in all these events, but only to a small degree. We have little traditions when it comes to shopping that keeps it all fun, but doesn't take away from the meaning of the season. Take Apple Hill for instance. You could spend a fortune there, between all the different farms and specialty goods they have. YIKES! Alan and I have discovered the very best of the place, such as Rainbow Orchards and their AMAZING Apple Cider donuts. We go there for the donuts, and maybe some fresh apple cider, but keep our heads when it comes to buying all the crafts and goods. It's an amazing time of year, and if you don't keep your wits about you, it could get crazy.

Black Friday, which I believe is the "official" shopping start of the holiday season is a big deal in our house. We don't do much shopping that day, but we do people watch! We begin the day in Union Square, in San Francisco, and after enjoying a Mocha for Alan and a Hot Chocolate for me, we walk the square, then its down to Maiden Lane. It's gorgeous this time of year, from the decorations, to the wonderful street performers singing opera. It's a unique time to be in San Francisco, and something we don't miss, come rain or come shine. After we enjoy the square, we head home for Thanksgiving dinner... part 2... then it's up the hill into Tilden Park to the carousel, to enjoy the Christmas Fantasy in the Woods.

The Carousel has a dozen or so lighted Christmas trees, with amazingly beautiful Christmas ornaments for sale. All of them more than reasonable, and all of them sweet and sentimental. Alan and I always give each other an ornament from the carousel each year for Christmas. It's one of our main gifts. Our little tree is now covered in Christmas memories. All bought from the Tilden Carousel Christmas In The Woods. Each one of those ornaments remind us of the fun we have there, or the fun of watching a child laughing or a little old couple cuddle, while holiday music plays and lights twinkle. It's special. It's the only time I really enjoy holiday music. I always balk when some dismal person insists that the holidays have become too commercial. They are only as commercial as you allow them to be. You know? It's pretty much up to you how you want to feel about things! You can choose to walk around cynical, or you can start your own holiday traditions and take a walk in the light! It's up to you!

The only other shopping tradition we have, is to purchase an Advent calender on Black Friday. We usually get that in Union Square.With the exception of the Advent calender and the special ornaments, I don't schedule my shopping, but I do look for bargains for what I plan to buy. It just makes life simpler. I do love to go out and walk around the crazy shoppers, while feeling perfectly at ease with my shopping style. It's fun to feel like the sane one once in a while! ;)

Karen, I hope you don't mind if I make this WA a bit of a pictorial. I just think the pictures complete the story...

Union Square Christmas Tree...

Mocha and Hot Chocolate...

Maiden Lane...

Maiden Lane Performer...

Xanadu Gallery (Building Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright)

Tilden Park Christmas Tree...

Tilden Carousel...

A Really Lovely Ornament...

Extra Credit: Yep... but then you already read that didn't you! LOL :)

Happy Holidays Everyone!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010 :)

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to charity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

~ Melody Beattie

It's a beautiful Thanksgiving day here in California. Alan and I are together, and we are having a ball with out two little guys. I am making a big Thanksgiving feast today, but first Alan and I are going to cuddle up and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He has had to work every Thanksgiving for the last 8 years, but this year he decided to take the day off. Can you guess what I am most thankful for this year?

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know my oven died the day before yesterday! YIKES! There was some concern that the part that was needed to fix it wouldn't be available in time, but it did happen to come in and now it's back to it's old reliable self again, and Thanksgiving is indeed back on! Can you guess what I am thankful for this year?

Jennifer Grey won season 11 of Dancing With The Stars! I have been a big fan of hers for years! It was really nice to see a woman, about my age, win the competition. She is a talented lady, and I must say, I admire her for a lot of reasons. She is a good role model for ladies my age. Hey, don't look so surprised, it's true, even ladies my age look for role models. Can you guess what I am thankful for this year?

In November, Californians went the polls and turned California a lovely shade of BLUE. I like to call it CLEAR SKY BLUE. :) Can you guess what I am thankful for?

It took California a little longer this year, then it has in other years, to start showing it's autumn colors, but it kicked in just in time for Thanksgiving! It's really cold right now in the Bay Area, but it's GORGEOUS! The leaves are in bloom! LOL. Alan and I are going to go out, after lunch, and do some leaf picking. I have some projects all lined up for them, to keep me busy on rainy days. I am going to back an autumn leaf bed tray, and maybe some platters. I love autumn! Can you guess what I am thankful for?

If you would like to share what you are most thankful for, please feel free to share it with me in the comment thread. I would love to hear about what makes you happy!

Don't forget, The Monday Photo Shoot will be returning on Monday, January 3rd 2011! I will be looking forward to seeing all of your beautiful photography when resume the photo shoot project! I hope you will be able to join us! Be sure to check back here for holiday updates between now and New Years! Can you guess what I am thankful for?





Monday, November 22, 2010

Autumn Leaves Must Fall

Beautiful, messy, fragrant, delicious autumn. I can't get enough of it!

"I am rich today with autumn's gold
All that my covetous hands can hold;
Frost-painted leaves and goldenrod,
A goldfinch on a milkweed pod,
Huge golden pumpkins in a field
With heaps of corn from bounteous yield
Golden apples heavy on the trees
Rivaling those of Hesperides,
Golden rays of balmy sunshine spread
Over all like butter on warm bread;
And the harvest moon will the night unfold
The streams running full of molten gold.
Oh who could find a dearth of bliss
With autumn glory such as this!"

-Gladys Harp

As you begin your week...

If you are feeling stressed out this week, take a couple moments to stop and watch the leaves turn and fall silently to the earth. You will be surprised by how calming it can be. Let your mind wander, not on all you have to do, or all you haven't gotten done, but instead think about those you love, maybe even those you miss, and for once, let yourself feel all those feelings you would usually put aside. Let yourself feel, for as long as you need to. Breathe in, and breathe out the stress until you feel yourself relax. You deserve it. :) It works... trust me.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Jumping The Shark And Other Political Pursuits...

Unstrange Phenomena

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy."

-Mahatma Gandhi

Okay, I know, Santa will probably put me on his naughty list for this, and if so I will take my lumps but the thing is... IT'S JUST SO FUNNY... It REALLY, REALLY IS! To hear FOX NEWS go on and on about how critics everywhere have panned Sarah Palin's new reality show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska" made me a little giddy. As they openly mocked her, I not only enjoyed it for a moment or two, it made my whole day! I smiled for hours! But please, let me explain. I don't approve of folks bullying each other. I don't care for name calling, or talking behind someones back, because I know how it feels to have someone treat you like you are dumb or irrelevant. So please understand, it's not that I condone this treatment of Sarah Palin. The reason why I smiled all day was because everyone, including Sarah Palin, was given the opportunity to learn what FOX NEWS really thinks of her. You see, when you have the full information you can begin to make intelligent decisions. Like who you want to associate with. Who you want representing your ideas and ideals, and you also get the chance to learn who your friends really are.

What Sarah Palin will do with the information isn't really clear. I couldn't find a link to her response to the mocking. I thought I heard that she called them "lamestream" media as well, but I could be wrong. If you know a link to what her response is feel free to leave it in the comment thread. All this is interesting to me because, like most humans, I have had to let myself learn some lessons in life, some of which were quite painful. I have a couple scars from those lessons, but I thank GOD for them everyday because I am a smarter, more confident person for it. I don't know about Sarah, and the lessons she has let herself learn, but this week alone, both Sarah and her daughter Bristol have had a chance to not just learn, but to grow and unfortunately, both seemed to have made a decision to pass on the chance.

Deep down, Bristol Palin has to know that she hasn't really earned a spot in next week's finale of Dancing With The Stars. It has been confirmed that a number of conservative websites have been bragging about manipulating the rules and voting for Bristol in blocks. On one site I read a comment from a man who was bragging about voting for Bristol over 900 times! If that's true, ABC should know the truth, and if it has registered an inordinate amount of votes for Bristol, then it should make it known and act accordingly. Bristol had a real chance this week to show what she is about, and instead of addressing those claims, and appealing to her followers to vote fairly, she denied the claims of cheating, and then she, and her sister Willow engaged in homophobic comments on Facebook aimed at a commenter who didn't think much of her mother's new reality show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska." The behavior of Bristol and Willow is a clear indication of how these two girls have been raised. It gives the world an honest glimpse into what their values really are. Not just by how the girls behave but by how their parents respond to their actions.

Bristol has said she deserved the DWTS mirror ball trophy because she has come a long way, and she has I agree. She has also said that she deserves it because she is "relatable" to average people because she isn't "one of those Hollywood types." Bristol, dear, the show is called DANCING WITH THE STARS, hon, you, by definition, are NOT A STAR, so in reality, no pun intended, you don't qualify. But ABC made a decision to include you, and now everyone has to deal with what it meant to allow someone, who doesn't fit the definition of STAR, to compete. I feel like all those teabaggers, who decided to manipulate things on her behalf are the cruelest ones of all. By cheating, the teabaggers have robbed this young woman of the chance to grow as a person. The bigger message here is that hard work and talent really doesn't matter, as long as you have someone to help you buck the rules.

I used to enjoy Dancing With The Stars. I enjoy the artistry of dance. I love the ballet, and I love to bust a move myself once in a while. That usually amounts to me dancing around the house as I do my chores, it's not something I would take to the national stage to do. LOL. But I love watching DWTS to see all the different dances and enjoy the music. It always brings back dear memories of cuddling with my Elvis as I watched it. Elvis loved music, and he loved to cuddle, so that's what we would do on Monday nights, while Alan worked overtime. As soon as the theme song played, Elvis would settle into my arms and we would enjoy the show together. He actually watched the TV right along with me. He is gone now, and my two new fellas sit with me the same as he did, which is nice, but there was something about watching it with Elvis that I miss terribly. Now, add in the controversy from this season, and I don't know if could ever feel the same about the show. If Bristol Palin wins DWTS next week, because of politics, I think it will definitely be official, DWTS will have JUMPED THE SHARK! And, I fear, if Sarah Palin does make it to the White House one day, America will have JUMPED THE SHARK as well.

By the way, can someone explain to me how Sarah Palin can bash reality shows, and those who compete on them, and then sign a deal for one of her own, and praise Bristol for joining one? How does that work again?

Hey, just askin'.

I miss my Elvis every single day. And after next week, I will be missing Dancing With The Stars as well.



Saturday, November 06, 2010

Liars And Rumors Of Liars

"Who lies for you, will lie against you."

~Bosnian Proverb

I wish I could understand why FOX news is still on the air? They lie, about something, on a daily basis. They talk down to their viewers and they hurt people. I don't understand why anyone would tune into their nonsense! I don't think many republicans read my obviously liberal/democrat/hippie/pinko/commie/progressive blog, so I assume that I am preaching to the choir here, but I am asking, because I really want to know why the average everyday republican would tune into a network, or vote for a congresswoman, such as Michele Bachmann, that routinely makes you look like fools for believing their ridiculous lies? How can republicans have any respect for these people? THEY ARE LIARS! AND THEY MAKE THEIR CONSTITUENTS LOOK STUPID FOR BELIEVING THEM! Michele Bachmann is currently running for a top position within the GOP leadership, is this really who the average republican wants representing them? While Bachmann has been met with coolness, from her own party, regarding that leadership post, she was just reelected last week to serve the people of Minnesota for another 2 years! Sheesh! If you are a republican, and you have even half a conscience... CALL THEM ON THEIR LIES!

Tell me something, the last time someone made you look stupid, did you immediately want to vote them into office? Hey, just saying!


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Welcome Back Governor Brown! :)

And Welcome Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom!

My dad would have been so happy to have seen Jerry Brown win tonight. He supported him 30 years ago, and he would have been supporting him this time as well! I really wish he could have been here to see this victory. Although, somehow, I can feel him here with me, smiling, because California is going to be GOLDEN again!

PS He was also a big supporter of Barbara Boxer... her win would have sent him over the moon! I am smiling for both of us, and Alan is downright giddy! Ours is a happy place tonight.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010


"Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote."

-William E. Simon



Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween From Dylan And Hendrix

"Witch and ghost make merry on this last of dear October’s days."

~Author Unknown

Halloween is our favorite holiday, and we all get into the spirit! Dylan is a Hot Dog, and Hendrix is a Court Jester. Alan is considering a Werewolf costume, while I am going as "NOT A WITCH!" I have a lovely black dress and some pearls and a witch's hat! Yes, that's right, I am going as Christine O'Donnell for Halloween! LOL!


From For Ellipsis


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Be Gone Witch!

"Tis now the very witching time of night, when churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out contagion to this world."

-William Shakespeare

Now I ask you... If you were a cauldron stirring, incantation chanting, children eating, Satan worshiping, broom flying, witch... would you admit to it, or would you tell folks, as much as possible, that you weren't? Tricky! Oh and one more thing, would you dress in all black while you were denying it? Personally, if it was me, I would STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Elmo Gets Lucky! Go Elmo! Go Elmo!

"I wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?"

-Jerry Seinfeld

Ok, yes, technically I am still on vacation, but I did say I would be posting from time to time. You see, when I heard that this video had been pulled from Sesame Street, I just had to put my two cents in. The way I see it, its all very simple... let's start a Sesame Street for adults! We can call it The Real Muppets Of Adult Land! We can feature "Oscar The Grouchy Republican" and "Elmo the Hippy Democrat" and we can show all the their Muppet friends getting drunk and throwing orgies and maybe even show a few engaging in... dare I say it? Nah, use your imaginations. Finally there will be a place for poor Katy Perry and her lovely music video. Sheesh! That was easy... right?


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome To Autumn 2010

"Through the crisp, swirling launch of our recall
Memories smile at yesterday's replay
September guides us gently into Fall
When woods begin to hear chill Winter's call

-M. Jo Taylor, Autumn Poems


It's The Last Few Hours Of Summer, So Party!

"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."

~Anton Chekhov

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Living By Example

"Sweep first before your own door, before you sweep the doorstep of your neighbors."

-Swedish Proverb

Last Thursday evening, September 9th, at a about 6:24 PM, a 30-inch natural gas pipeline ruptured under a quiet neighborhood in San Bruno, California, and resulted in an explosion which destroyed 37 homes, and damaged, to different degrees, 8 additional homes.The blast killed 7 people (at last count) and injured 53, some of them seriously. A mother and daughter died that night. A young college student watched his girlfriend die in the fire that consumed his home, and others had to literally run for their lives despite their injuries. During the evenings news coverage, there were stories of folks driving their burned neighbors to the hospital, and tending to those who couldn't save themselves on their own. The community at large came out in force to provide blankets, and clothing, and simple necessities for their now injured and displaced neighbors. As frightening and depressing as it was to watch the events unfold, there was also such a strong sense of community, and neighbor being there for neighbor, that one couldn't help but feel encouraged about the human race.

I don't think anyone stopped to ask "what's your religion" that night. There was no asking of political affiliation or race. It was neighbor, helping neighbor, in a time of devastation. I expect that when faced with a similar circumstance, most folks wouldn't stop to ask those questions, when responding to such a need, but if that's true in times like that, then why should those questions ever come up? Would you walk over your neighbors body and keep on going if... oh say... your neighbor was a Muslim? Or a Catholic? Or a Jew? Or Black? Or White? Or Oriental? Would you take a moment to ask political affiliation before saving a burn victim? Would you donate food or clothing or blood, only if you could be reassured that what you donated only went to a certain group of people? People you approve of? Of course not! As Americans we have been raised to be there for our neighbors, especially in times of need. We have been raised to treat all people the way we want to be treated. Right?

Okay, if that's true... so why are we allowing ourselves to be lead around by fear and ignorance? If we wouldn't stop to ask those all important questions of race or political affiliation or religious ideals, then why do we put so much of our energies into it when there isn't a disaster to bring us together? Do we always need a disaster to tap into tolerance and acceptance? America is at it's most divided since 9/11, yet it seems to me that in the days and weeks after that horrible day, we all pulled together pretty well. We were a country grieving, but now, thanks to a few people using 9/11 for personal gain, we are a country divided yet again. Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck threw quite a hootenanny yesterday in Anchorage, Alaska. As Sarah Palin put it on her Facebook page...

“ I can think of no better way to commemorate 9/11 than to gather with patriots who will ‘never forget. Tickets are available at'"

According to Politico, tickets were priced between $65.00 and $115.00 each.

I know Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are in it for the money, but did they really have to make money off 9/11?

Just asking.

If they really wanted to spend the day with "patriots" couldn't they have waived their speaking fee? Better yet, maybe they could have visited some of the first responders of 9/11 who are facing serious health conditions, and medical bills, because of the dust and smoke at Ground Zero?

A lot can be learned from tragedies such as what happened in San Bruno the other night, and 9/11. We were there for each other, in the days and weeks after we were struck by Al-Qaeda. We were thinking straight. We knew in our hearts who the real enemies were. Our enemy was Bin Laden and his band of extremists... not the religion of Islam.

Now where are we?

Allowing a few loudmouth republicans make us rethink our values as Americans.

Make NO mistake. Republicans are using fear and ignorance to scare us into submission for political and monetary gain. The midterm elections are only a couple months off. Pride is leading their every move, their every word.

It's sick. It's wrong. It's about as UN-AMERICAN as it gets!

Thank you people of San Bruno, for restoring my faith in humanity again. Humans who do the right thing. Humans who treat others the way they want to be treated. The folks who came out to help their neighbors in their time of need, showed no less then unconditional love, and isn't that the rarest thing to find?

Who's example would you rather follow?

Hey, just asking?


NOTE: The above photo is the smoke from the San Bruno fire, as seen from the East Bay hills.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Remembrance Of David And Lynn Angell

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

~Kahlil Gibran

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, David Angell and his wife Lynn, were killed when their flight, American Airlines Flight 11, struck the north tower of the World Trade Center. I have written about the Angells, on the anniversary of 9/11, since 2004, and was honored to be a part of the 2996 Project, which honored those who were lost in the terrorist attacks of that day. I never knew the Angells, but they still managed to touch my life as I learned about them as people, and realized the many laughs I had found through the brilliance of David Angell's talent. My life is better because of the talent and joy David Angell shared with the world. Lynn Angell touched the lives of many through her charity Hillsides Home For Children. They were extraordinary people.

Thank you so much David & Lynn Angell.


David Angell (Wikipedia)

David Angell (IMDB)

9/11: Remembering David Angell (Huffington Post)
By Ken Levine

Hillsides Home for Children

RRC: Fenced In

"A fence lasts three years, a dog lasts three fences, a horse lasts three dogs, and a man lasts three horses."

-German Proverb

RRC: Fenced In
Suggested by Linda, author of the blog, Mommy's Treasures

I know, I know... I am supposed to be on vacation, but, see, I love this theme, so I just couldn't resist! I took two of these photos, while on a trip to Plumas County, California, last year. It is an amazingly beautiful place in the autumn, so much so that we are planning another trip there this year! Anyway, the top photo is from my Plumas County archive, and hasn't been posted before. The church photo was taken in Virginia City, Nevada, but the other two are also from my trip to Plumas. Enjoy!

Now, be sure to pay a visit to all the participating Robins! You can find the list of participant's on the official Round Robin Challenge blog.


Monday, September 06, 2010

Gone Fishing... Kinda... Sorta

A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you've been taking. ~Earl Wilson

Okie Doke, officially I am outta here! Well... kinda... I am going to participate in the RRC coming up next Saturday. I just couldn't resist! LOL. Like I said in a previous entry, I will be around. Hey, while I am on vacation I will be doing a lot of photography, and I will probably be eager to share it with you, so be sure to check back here from time to time! If you can't, no worries, I am going to create a special gallery that you can view when I get back!

Now, on with the business at hand...

Linking List for EMPS#105: Nostalgia 08/30/2010


1. Freda

2. Greg

3. Jama

4. Karen

Beginning tomorrow, Karen is starting a new Monday meme called, "Karen's Quest and Question!" As I understand it, it will be a photo meme, but with the added twist of a question to go along with the photo! Be sure to drop her place each Monday to see what's up!


Just one more thing. We are about to enter into autumn, my favorite time of year, so you know I will be snapping away, in fact I already have some big plans! Recently, while researching my next BIG photo jaunt, I came across a fascinating article in the February 2007 edition of Vanity Fair magazine about the power of photography, and how an image can affect the viewer. THIS IS REQUIRED READING! LOL. Just kidding, but please, when you get the chance, read the article. Even if you don't really have a change of seasons, you will still enjoy this article. IT IS A MUST READ!

Autumn, And The Plot Against Me (Vanity Fair, Feb, 2007)
By Nick Tosches

See you back here on Monday, January 3rd, 2011 for EMPS#106: ? (To Be Announced)


Saturday, September 04, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Dylan And Hendrix

"It takes a long time to grow young."

-Pablo Picasso

Alan and I were going to celebrate the boys birthday on Thursday. Everything was planned, but good old Murphy's Law intervened and Alan had to work overtime. Sigh. The party would have to be delayed a day. No worries. So, we celebrated the boys special day a day later then we had planned, as it turns out, their birthday fell on Friday anyway! I had written the day down wrong in my datebook. LOL. Sometimes things happen for a reason I suppose. We had a great time. Chicken Alfredo Pizza, and Black Forest cake for dessert! Next it was time for the birthday pinata! 2 dozen new mice and some yummy cat treats! Not too bad for a 2nd birthday... right? It's hard to believe that my little guys are now 24 in cat years! They're still my little babies!

They grow up quick!


And then it was time for bed...

Happy Birthday Boys!


Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Music In My Head...

"A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence."

~Leopold Stokowski

I have had this song in my head all day. Why fight a good thing? :) This song is one of my Top 5 all time favorites!

How about you? What songs would be in your top 5?


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Weekend Assignment #333: Writing On The Wall

"Is there life before death?"

-Unknown Graffiti Artist

Weekend Assignment #333: Writing on the Wall

I apologize for the blurry picture, but there is a good reason it is the way it it. You see, I had to capture this particular image while driving on HWY 13! If you don't live in the Bay Area, you probably don't realize how harrowing that can be. Hwy 13, aka the Warren Freeway runs along the hills between East Oakland and Berkeley. Hwy 13 becomes Ashby avenue, and if you don't make any turns at all, you will eventually find your way to the Berkeley Marina or that approximate general area. This particular story takes place at the HWY 13/HWY 24 junction, and while it wasn't the safest place that someone could have chosen to play out this drama, it sure brought me a lot of amusement as it unfolded. First came the above message. Within a week it had been removed by the whoever it is that cleans up graffiti, but a couple days after that, the gray cover paint had been replaced with the second message...

This message was again covered in gray paint, but the artist had one final message for those who would dare stifle his message...

I LOVED watching this bit of artistic drama play out! It's something I will never forget. I needed that original message, and the humor that followed. As it played out over those weeks, I found myself contemplating what the author meant, and who the author might be. To cover his uplifting message seemed almost wrong somehow, but art is subjective... right? And we humans so tend to pick and choose our evils! Case in point... In the days after 9/11 a large American flag mural was painted on a retaining wall which faces HWY 680 near San Jose. The retaining wall is owned by the State of California, therefore Caltrans eventually painted over it. Well, the ensuing public outcry was deafening. HOW DARE CALTRANS PAINT OVER THE FLAG! It's sacred after all! IT'S THE FLAG! Well, no, it was graffiti, but eventually the screamers got their way and the graffiti artist was allowed to put the their flag back.

Too bad the simple message of FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS had no value what so ever.

Maybe if there had been an American Flag to accompany it.

Who knows?

It seems to me that if the motorists along 680 really wanted a flag near that retaining wall, they could have removed the flag mural/graffiti, and installed an actual flag!

Strange the way people think.

In any case, I will always be grateful to the HWY 13 graffiti artist who tried to give the world a message of hope and did so with proper punctuation I might add!


If you haven't played this week's Weekend Assignment, there is still time. You can find out all about it by clicking here.


HWY 13

Governor Sorry About Flag Caltrans Painted Over (SF Gate)

A moment of AWWWWWWW!

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."


I love cats. There, I said it! Someday, I will be the crazy old cat lady with 31 cats! I am really looking forward to that day!

I found this cute little graphic at Paw Nation. What kind of kitty would be right for you?

I want them all!

By the way, tomorrow is Dylan and Hendrix's 2nd birthday! Be sure to come by on Friday to see photos from their party! Yes, of course there's going to be a party! Silly!

:) -Carly

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Flag Etiquette... LEARN IT!

"I prefer a man who will burn the flag, and then wrap himself in the Constitution to a man who will burn the Constitution and then wrap himself in the flag."

-Craig Washington

PET PEEVE... It's the flag of our country, it should NEVER be used as apparel! Just once I wish that when Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin would open one of their Hootenanny's with a little bit of FLAG ETIQUETTE!

Since 9/11 it has become popular to see American flag clothing, and pillows and even stuffed bears, and none of it is allowed under official FLAG ETIQUETTE rules!

Oh but Carly, I want to show my patriotism by wearing my new nifty FLAG coat, hat and bandanna, besides, everyone is doing it!

The fact that flag apparel is popular, doesn't make it right! In fact, by wearing the flag you are doing about as unpatriotic thing as you could possibly do. The flag is not decoration. It is a living symbol of the country you live in, and should be considered as such.

It's not always fun or convenient to do the right thing... is it?

If we are going to relax the rules of respect for the American Flag, the living symbol of our country, then where does it stop?

Just once, I would like to see Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin address that!

Flag Rules And Regulations

The Flag Of The United States Of America

United States Flag Code


Monday, August 30, 2010

Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #105: Nostalgia

"Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson. You find the present tense, but the past perfect."

-Owens Lee Pomeroy

EMPS #105: Nostalgia NOW CLOSED!
Let's take a look back in time this week folks! Show me the old fashioned and nostalgic! Old stoves, old refrigerators. If you have an avocado green tank water heater, it will do nicely for this challenge! I want to see the truly old. The older the better! I want to see not just old but truly NOSTALGIC!

Extra Credit: Share what your item means to you! How was it in it's hey day? Was the item passed on to you be a previous generation, or did you purchase it because of it's NOSTALGIC quality? Tell us everything!

This Monday Photo Shoot assignment closes next Sunday evening at 9:00 PM ET. Please submit your entries by that time by uploading your photo to your blog, journal or website, and then comeback here with the link that goes back to your entry. The link you leave must be to an entry which is specific to this week's assignment. A general link to your site will not work, and HYPERLINKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED. Also, please include a link in your entry to this photos shoot assignment so that other folks can find us and participate with us. The more the merrier... right? ;)

Linking List for EMPS #104: Photographer's Choice 08/23/10

1. Freda

2. Greg

3. Jama

4. Jr, Cline

5. Karen

I will post the list of this week's participants right here, next week, in my "Gone Fishing" entry.

Okay folks, as you know this is our last Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot of the year! I will be back on Monday, January 3rd, 2011! Be good while I am away. I will be checking on things here and there, and dropping by with a greeting for you during the holidays, so don't forget to check in here once in a while... ok? Okie doke... See you back here on Monday, January 3rd, 2011!

-Carly :)

Don't forget, if you miss me, you can always find me on TWITTER or drop me an email at...