Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wildflowers in Winter - Part Three

For the week of January 30 to February 5, the assignment from Wildflower Morning is to share stories or poetry about wildflowers. My choice is a childhood favorite lyric of song from the Hansel and Gretel opera by Engelbert Humperdinck. In this song at the start of Act Two, Gretel is singing about the unusual wildflower, the Jack-in-the-Pulpit. I have not had the pleasure of actually seeing this unique flower with the descriptive name. My good friend, Gawilli, has one growing in her yard, and she blogged about her treasure here.

There Stands a Little Man

There stands a little man in the wood alone.
He wears a little mantle of velvet brown.
Say, who can the man there be,
Standing underneath the tree
With a mantle of velvet brown?
His hair is all of gold, and his cheeks are red.
He wears a little black cap upon his head
Say, who can the man there be,
Standing, oh so silently,
With a little black cap upon his head?
With a little black cap upon his head?

The photo of the Jack-in-the-Pulpit is from National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wilderflowers, Eastern Region, Revised Edition, published by Alfred Knopf:New York, 2001

Monday, January 28, 2008

Wildflowers in Winter - Part Two

For the week of January 23 to January 29, the assignment from Wildflower Morning is to show a winter image of a flower in your area. For more information, check my sidebar or visit the Wildflowers in Winter hostess , Elizabeth Joy of Wildflower Morning

This picture of the Dandelion and the green Ground Ivy leaves was taken on January 12, 2005. We had several inches of snow the next day.

I believe the flower in the following picture was some species of Aster that graced an old sandbox in our backyard this past autumn.

This specimen might be a remnant of a Motherwort plant, Leonurus cardiaca.

To join this winter festivity or simply view other winter blossoms, visit Wildflower Morning; she has a convenient list of participants.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fun Monday - Good Night, Sleep Tight

For this Fun Monday challenge, AOJ of The Lurchers is asking us what is on our nightstand.

1. Obviously, is a lamp. This is a relatively inexpensive lamp from Montgomery Ward's, which is out of business. This lamp used to turn on and off to the touch. That mechanism broke so Daddy D rewired the lamp to turn on and off with a traditional switch.

2. is a picture of our son, Luke, at an amusement park with Wile E. Coyote. I like the photograph, and Wile E. Coyote is a great companion for our cartoonist son.

3. is a lovely music globe that plays "You Are My Sunshine," a song that I sang to our babies. (Doesn't everyone?)

4. is a topical application that I use to alleviate those aches and pains of old age.

5. are lotions and creams to moisturize and soften the old drying skin.

6. Tissues

7. Reading material. This particular selection is the current book of study in our adult Sunday school class. The First Christmas by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan.

8. Television remote

9. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teachers was a gift from a teacher's retreat. I do not look at the book often, but the little tome is treasure trove of heartwarming, encouraging thoughts.

10. My glasses are the most important item on my nightstand. During the day, I always wear my glasses. If I get up during the night, I want to be able to see.

Want to look into other people's bedrooms? Oops, I mean...if you would like to see what other people keep on their nightstands, visit AOJ for the list of participants.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Round Robin Challenge: Landmarks

The Round Robin Challenge (pop over and sign up for this challenge or the next one. ) this time was suggested by Carly:

Again, let's take an opportunity to show off our hometowns. I live in the
Bay Area, so I have no real shortage of recognizable landmarks, so what I would
do is try to show those landmarks in an interesting lighting circumstance, such
as a sunset, or under special lighting conditions. But I want to see other
places, and the landmarks that make those places so special. A beautifully
designed building, an incredible bridge, or a monument of some sort, or maybe
even an unusual road sign. It's all good!

This is my first entry in the Round Robin Challenge. Although technically this is not my hometown, but the pictures are from the area that I have called home for the last forty some years. The three pictures displayed here are from the local Deep River Park. The park is the site of a historic mill, John Wood Mill.

The gazebo on the park grounds is the location of many weddings including the ceremony of our son, Luke and his bride, Bree, on May 12, 2006.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wildflowers in Winter

Wildflower Morning is proposing some wildflower fun this winter to take us into the first days of spring. She is suggesting the following to help pass time until the spring wildflowers actually appear.

I will have a different theme each week through the middle of March. Join right
in by making a post on your blog fitting the theme. You may copy the theme image
for Wildflowers in Winter onto your blog entry, and link back to this blog so
others will know where to look for more information. Then come back to my blog
and enter your information in the Mister Linky at the bottom of the page, so we
can all see your post. Late entries will be accepted up to March 12. My daughter
wants me to make sure and let you know that children can participate not only in
the children's art contest, but in all aspects of the Wildflowers in Winter
Theme, if they have the photographs or skill to do so, and thus be entered in
the drawing.

I have several favorite wildflower pictures. But here are two of my favorites.

Hoary Puccoon grows on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan. I like the cheery yellow-gold flower and dark green leaves.

The unusual Goat's Rue grows at Hoosier Prairie, a national nature preserve in northwest Indiana.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fun Monday - First Anniversary

Vicki of Catching Light, this week's hostess and creator of the Fun Monday series, is asking participants to show a picture out their front door. Additionally, Vicki is requesting us to link to our first post.
Since this is winter in my hemisphere, the picture out my front door shows a frigid view. The picture taken at sunrise on Saturday morning, the temperature was -.6 Fahrenheit. In this view, you can see our dormant Spirea bushes, the service road in front of our home, the stream (drainage ditch), the main road, and a barren farmer's field across the road.

My first post, which some of you have read, comes from my first blog, "Spring of the White Robin." Since I have deleted the original blog, this is my first blog post.

All right, fine, so how was Spring of the White Robin born? Well, among
other things, I imagine myself as a great writer. Okay, so my writing is not
so great, but I have a great title. Strangely enough, there is such a bird
as a white robin. Maybe there is not an all white robin, but there are
robins with white feathers where other robins have red feathers, a robin
white breast so to speak. So in my fantasy world where I AM the great
writer, I write a tale for preteens about a young girl having grand
adventures and creating splendid inventions during the spring, in which our
heroine simultaneously discovers a pair of white robins. Of course, my novelette
is adored by young girls everywhere; and thus, I am an instant success.By now,
if you have read this far, you may be thinking, “Why in the world would a sixty
year old woman want to start a blog? The white robin story s*cks.” I have to
admit that Blogger has seduced me with the opportunity to post my picture. Even
though I am old and gray, I like this picture taken by my photographer son. And
the overalls are one of my favorite things to wear. Hence, this blogging began
as the desire to comment and as the vanity of having my picture along side my
profound, humorous, and more often than not boring comments.

To celebrate this first anniversary of Fun Monday, visit our Vicki, Fun Monday hostess and creator. She conveniently has a list of participants in her sidebar.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Fun Monday - Pet Project

Chaotic Lisa of Lisa's Chaos is asking us to tell her about our pets. Since we currently are not fortunate enough to have a household pet, I would like to tell you about the family dog of my childhood.

Before the age of five, I was afraid of dogs. I am not sure if my parents got this dog to help me overcome my fear or if they were helping out some friends by taking this dog of their hands. Our dog was about five when she moved into our home. Her name was Kenstay Black Princess. She was a pedigree Shetland sheep dog. Princess as she was called had been a show dog; however, when she came to live with us, her show dog days were over. Apparently, former owners had used gum to make her ears stand up straight. Another dog bit her ear ending the show days of the lovely Kenstay Black Princess.

Princess was the perfect dog for our family including a timid girl of five. Like me, Princess was easily frightened. She did not bark at visitors but preferred to hide under the bed when we had guests. Although Princess was mild-mannered, she did have several delights. She was spoiled and would beg food from the table. Our family of five was happy to oblige this sweet dog by giving her bits and pieces of our supper. She also enjoyed licking the last remnants of ice cream from an emptied container. Furthermore, Princess loved the snow; I can see her now bounding through snow almost as high as the little dog. Although Princess is long gone, she did live twenty years.

To learn about other pets, visit Lisa for the list of the first Fun Monday participants of 2008,

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Resolved for New Beginnings

The January picture from my National Parks and Monuments Calendar
Visiting a few blogs today, I noted some discussions about New Year's resolutions. Many of the blogs that I have read lean toward not making resolutions. Myself, I can see great value in making resolutions to turn over a leaf. Granted this new start does not necessarily have to begin at the dawn of a new year. One can, of course, resolve to make life changes whether large or small at any time. However, the beginning of a new year does give both psychological and chronological demarcation. A time that one can look back and say "I stopped smoking on January 1, 2008" or "I started saving twenty dollars a week in January of 2008."

The January picture of my new Garden Birds of North America calendar

A small joy that I have each year is putting up the new calendars, and actually I like to turn the page of a calendar a the start of each month. Not only do I enjoy the beautiful new pictures, but I like the idea of a new beginning. I like the thought of putting unhealthy habits to rest. Yes, resolutions can be quickly broken. But some problems not addressed are never resolved. If you smoke a cigarette after resolving to quit, you can still quit smoking. If you only save twenty dollars in January, maybe you can save sixty dollars in February. Resolutions allow us to make meaningful changes in our lives.

So, I wish for all of us a year of new beginnings.