Wednesday, July 30, 2008

word-less Wednesday

B for ABC Wednesday

Photo of Shoshone-Bannock Indians from Fort Hall Indian Reservation, Idaho taken at the Fort Hall Drug Store, circa 1895. The numbers are:

1. Tom Edmo,
2. Charles Deepwater
3. Percy Edmo
4. Canaker (canker) Johnson
5. Johnnie Gibson (bottom rt.)
6. George Edmo (bottom center)
7. Chief Arimo (bottom left)
--the white man pictured is Cye Napper, druggist.

Part of my hometown of Pocatello sits on the Reservation. The Bannocks were considered akin to the Northern Paiute people. Later in my life I went to junior and senior high with a few of the following generations of these men.

See more B photos for ABC Wednesday here . You might even catch the bug!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday Scribblings on Monday

I know, its not Sunday anymore but I couldn't pass up this opportunity to write about the prompt offered this week at Sunday Scribblings. . .solace.
in particular, the solace of memories.

If events are a feast, then memories are just a snack
To nourish my soul.
I vow then to take solace in them. I promise
I’ll nibble carefully and leave some for tomorrow.

The feel of your smooth, small arms around my neck and the
Kiss stuck to my cheek from the peach you just swallowed.

My head sprouting curly wires where a mane once flowed
And in the mirror it is Aunt Carmela, patron saint of garlic,
Whose face–and hair—I see.

The wet spot on my shoulder I felt when you hugged me the last time
Unrestrained tears and saliva a maternal dead end sign.

Why did he wait so long to correct my earnest belief
that he had wanted to be a ‘magician’ when it was music he craved?
I would have been his assistant when I grew up.

Your stoic note to the tooth fairy explaining how your tooth went missing
Due to my absentmindedness.

My unproven theory of genetic affinity
Giving you the same warm maple syrup color to your eyes as mine.

Routinely I maneuver my boat
Around and between the archipelago of memories.
A movable feast,
They always welcome me back and offer renewal.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Camera Critters #16

I see this guy whenever I round the bend of the lake on my morning walk--he's usually flying by or flitting from tree to tree. Secretly I'd like to think he's happy I've come by again, but most likely I'm a bother. One day, though, he stopped on this boating sign and chirped loudly as only a Red Wing Blackbird can.
Check out the official Camera Critters site hosted by Misty Dawn for more critters--or join in the fun.

Take your pick!

We are smack dab in the middle summer up here in Minnesota; the days are hot and humid and the nights about twenty degrees less. By day I am now able to get in a longer walk (hooray for me and the 18 months it has taken me to get to 45 minutes from that first feeble waddle up the street!) but have to start earlier to avoid the heat and by night a late night swim at the pool in our complex helps. We ride the motorcycle in the evenings to cool off too; my favorite activity. We always see some wildlife along the lakes: deer, woodchucks, chipmunks and usually two pair of mute swans mixed with cormorants and ducks on Sucker Lake. This morning we stopped to watch nine visiting pelicans literally dredging up the fish along the edge of the mossy water. These guys are mostly wings and Jimmy Durante noses beaks with a face only a mother could love. . .or as Garrison Keillor would say, 'a face made for radio.'
In my travels, I've noted some great blogs and wanted to share the love.

__If you are a cat person, stop by Anne's Food. Every day she posts elegant and fun food info from Sweden, but one day on the weekend is devoted to her cats. Now she has two new kittens that really shouldn't be missed. Trust me!

__Visit ReaderWil from her interesting vantage point of being born in the Netherlands and spending some part of her life as a p.o.w. during World War II. Back home now she writes and takes photos of the world she travels and of l.i.f.e. Not to be missed!

__A trip back to kinder, gentler times at the Button Willow Chronicles, full of inspiring quotes, timely photos, lovely illustrations. Like taking the afternoon off for tea with friends.

__As her blog title implies, 37 Days : what would you be doing today if you only had 37 days to live? Not dreary stuff here, but a colorful, funny, collective of living with a capital L.

And so it goes. . .here's to a happy weekend, happy blogging, happy shooting and happy summer!

Friday, July 25, 2008

you've been invited

to see more family photos from our trip to Lake Superior's North Shore and Gooseberry Falls. Enjoy!
note: to turn off the music, mouse over 'slide' in upper left hand corner then click on the speaker icon

Thursday, July 24, 2008

SkyWatch Friday: Duluth or bust!

On a recent trip north towards Duluth, we spent time soaking in this dreamy view of the north shore of Lake Superior from Gooseberry Falls. The hazy horizon blended with the water for peaceful ethereal view and an abundance of blue.
For more sky views, visit SkyWatch Friday.

Remembering my favorite things makes me blue.

Ever since I was little and was dressed in blue more often than not I thought that the color blue belonged to me. Then came pre-adolescence when I wanted to paint my bedroom blue that my dad informed me blue was for boys and I endured a pink room for a long time. Today I can say with assurance that blue, with its many variations, is one of my favorite things.

There is no blue without yellow and without orange.
Vincent Van Gogh

Mrs. Beauregarde: [after Violet has turned into a blueberry] I can't have a blueberry for a daughter. How is she supposed to compete?
Veruca Salt: You could put her in a county fair. [from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory]

Thanks to Blue at Behind Kyanite's Door for her Favorite Things Thursday. To join in or see more favorite things, go here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Camera Critters aim high.

Realizing, of course, that the sky wasn't quite so blue, I loved watching this adult and young raven on the very top of the tree. Ravens are one of my favorite birds and this time of year with their activity level high, raising the fledgling, protecting the nest from hawks and eating roadkill, all makes for an entertaining time for those of us with feet planted firmly on the ground.

To see more Camera Critters, or join in the fun, see Misty Dawn. . .and Happy Monday too!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday's Flowers along the roadside

Wild Carrot, Bishop's Lace or Queen Anne's any other name would be as lovely to my eyes.

SkyWatch Friday

You must not blame me if I do talk to the clouds.
Henry David Thoreau
My entry for SkyWatch this week isn't stellar photography by any means but I thought the cloud action was interesting. Note the cloud breathing creature? These are some heavy clouds over Walnut Grove, Minnesota taken a few weeks back.

Skywatch Friday has a new home and a new format hosted by three intrepid photographers, Tom, Sandy and Imac. Join in the fun.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Got pain?

It is my undisclosed--until now--habit to nab the 'living' section of the newspaper if I find it laying around in waiting rooms or coffee shops. That's so I can do the crossword and read the daily funnies while disposing of it in the recycling bin and I figure finders keepers. . .

So, today's heist was really yesterday's St. Paul Pioneer Press with another guilty pleasure besides the above, a column called 'Help me, Harlan!' written by Harlan Cohen, a male Dear Abby only more hip. (No, one does not have to be hip to read it , O.K.?!) Anyway, a guy writes in about how he's unable to get over a crush he's had on the same girl forever. He had met her in a comedy troupe, (which is somehow sad on its own in light of what it does to him), falls for her, confesses his feelings, doesn't get to first base, drops out for a semester from school and still isn't over her--enter Harlan. He offers this advice:
'Dear Tragedy or Comedy:
Did you hear Tiger Woods has reportedly been playing golf with nagging knee pain for the past 10 or 12 years? And yet he has been able to win tournament after tournament with this nagging pain. See, it is possible to live with an uncomfortable pain and still win a major. Likewise, it is possible to have a painful crush and still win big.
You just have to play through the pain.'

Good advice, I thought, for most kinds of pain in our life but pain does take some getting used to. Sometimes a shiny, silver bullet to clench between your teeth helps. I think Harlan would agree that some pain is just too painful and its criminal to minimize anyone's pain be it physical or emotional.
But, I found this thought helpful today for me, right where I am. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Two lumps of sugar and pass the cream if you will

Another Thursday dawns and that means playing Blue's Favourite Things Thursday--when I search through the cobwebs of my mind for those illusive dreams and things that make me happy. This week its a collection of small pitchers/creamers like these:

which I pick up randomly at thrift stores, yard sales and occasionally a real antique shop if the price is within my 'pitcher' budget. I've collected these in the 1-1/2 years I've lived in the Twin Cities. However, safely packed away in storage is a box full of over 30 years of collecting. Someday they'll be rescued from bubble wrap and properly displayed.

After many years of no contact with my mother and father -- long story -- after we were reacquainted, when I showed my mom my burgeoning collection she, being who she was, ran out and bought me not only a pitcher but the accompanying sugar bowl, coffee pot, demitasse cups and saucers in a gold rimmed, porcelain flower pattern, made in Bavaria! Being of Bavarian extraction, she had a remarkable eye for beautiful porcelain combined with a champagne appetite on a beer salary. She was thoroughly convinced her love of beautiful things was her German-ness.

I have pewter, Irish pottery, English glass and cranberry glass pitchers from Massachusetts plus recycled gems from yard sales in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and Chicago--just about everywhere I've lived. Gifted pitchers are the best because it means I'm well known by the giver. I've noticed too that I usually wind up selecting my favorite colors without fully intending to.

Most recently the porcelain pitcher with pink roses on the far right below was purchased at a garage sale from an older lady who was liquidating. She said it was her favorite and she'd given it many uses. I got it for a song.

Yup, when I turned it over, the bottom was marked. . . Bavaria.

Visit Blue to see more favourite things of hers and her friends or you might even want to play along.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

ABC Wednesday from A to Z

The last letter of the English alphabet, Z brings us to the close of this round of ABC Wednesday, the brainchild of Mrs Nesbitt. It is also a tough letter for amateur photos to use but I do have some miniature zinnias growing on my 'slab' garden. . . and I would be sadly remiss if I didn't include this photo in honor of my favorite part of a hockey game, Zamboni-time. . . .after all, I am noniZamboni.
“There are three things in life that people like to stare at: a flowing stream, a crackling fire and a Zamboni clearing the ice.”-- Charlie Brown

Monday, July 14, 2008

Small miracles--daily

I just couldn't wait to share these photos! Dave told me he had seen a doe and her twin fawns cross in front of his motorcycle on the way to work one morning. They were headed into the wooded area where I walk and today I practically stepped on one of the fawns--still with spots, no less. I know that some folks have deer visitors who can be a nuisance but I have never been lucky enough to see them up close so this absolutely made my day!

Monday Unconscious Mutterings #285

Along with my mini-Rorschach ink blot test above, here's how my brain works on Monday:
I say. . .
you think. . .
  1. Intimated :: people tell me things
  2. Brush :: tumbleweeds
  3. Masquerade :: ball
  4. Procedure :: tedious
  5. Tattoos :: oh so painful
  6. Square :: nerd
  7. Tuck :: Friar
  8. Boyfriend :: pillow
  9. Badass :: Patti Smith
  10. Thousand :: acres
  11. Thanks :: to LunaNiƱa for Unconscious Mutterings today.

The examined life is no picnic. ---Robert Fulghum

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Eat your greens!

I couldn't believe what I was seeing one day as I walked around Island Lake. Something was moving swiftly across the water and it looked like a dandelion plant. I knew they were a hardy weed, but. . . .at closer inspection I saw a head attached to it with a small leathery tail bringing up the rear. This little muskrat had totally unearthed the plant, roots and all, and was transporting it across the lake to Chez Slimy Shore to dine. I felt really lucky to have witnessed this ambitious and clever fellow--a creature who truly works for its supper.

To see more animal photos, visit Misty Dawn at Camera Critters. After you see all the variety you'll want to join in too.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday's Flowers revisited.

I stopped to ask permission to traipse around in someone's yard to get a shot of these beauties. The lady of the house was more than gracious; her reply, 'Why not?!' We both agreed that this is an unusual color departure from orange poppies.

I thought her generous and hearty response to me was worth taking to heart in life as well.
Why not, indeed?
That we find a crystal or a poppy beautiful means that we are less alone, that we are more deeply inserted into existence than the course of a single life would lead us to believe. John Berger

SkyWatch Minnesota

I took this photo from the car window on a trip to southwestern Minnesota farmland. This is near Walnut Grove--of Little House on the Prairie fame--and very typical of the large sky and flat landscape where farmers grow feed corn, soy beans and alfalfa. Storms followed us all day and sent menacing clouds like these to tempt us to turn back.
For my views of the wide blue yonder for Skywatch, or to join in the fun, go to Wigger's World and ask for Tom.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I *usually* know what I like!

Anonymous (Flemish School), Boy Looking through a Casement, ca. 1550-60.
On into the third week of Favorite Things Thursday, I add my love of art--art history to be exact. Looking at art makes me happy, even if I don't particularly care for what I'm seeing, because I have a general idea of what it takes to make art. I enjoy the challenge of trying to decipher what the artist was recording about the time he or she was living, the pop culture and philosophy embedded in a particular decade or century. Also, it is intriguing to me to study and think about what made that artist tick, what her story was or what he could pass on to me about life. And I have the luxury of making many choices of what appeals to me, since I have a problem making up my mind most any other time.
Georgia O'Keefe, Radiator Building at Night, New York, 1927

Wassily Kandinsky, Circles in Circle, 1923

The study of art history is vast and fascinating at every turn from the yellow ochre cave paintings of prehistory to the incredible but inevitable discovery of linear perspective in Italy in the 13th century. I especially like the 19th and 20th century for its departure from tradition, an expression of inner feelings and the bold use of color. Stables (Stallungen), Franz Marc 1913

Birthday Party, Marc Chagall

Self Portrait Pablo Picasso, charcoal on paper
and so many more.

Thanks to Blue for hosting her meme, Favorite Things Thursday so I get the chance to think on what makes my life uniquely mine. Stop by her site and see more favorite things from her friends.

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul,
and paints his own nature into his pictures.
Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

' negotiate the inscrutibility of life'

July brings more reading pleasure my way. . .too hot to do much else except swim and read. Not a bad combo. So, I've picked up The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri, put it down, checked it out from the library and finally bought my own copy at a yard sale. As in, it has followed me, not the other way around. I can now say it is like eating a homemade Sunday dinner with pie instead of a hamburger from the $1 menu. Here's all you need to know:

'Vishnu, the odd-job man in a Bombay apartment block, lies dying on the staircase landing. Around him the lives of the apartment dwellers unfold...'

These two sentences seemingly kept me from reading the novel. It predicted a story almost too sad even for me who can read the most depressing stuff with the big girls, but. . .now halfway into this wonderfully written novel of Bombay (by a native), I can't stop--except to show you an interesting take on 'faith' from one of the characters who lives upstairs from Vishnu.

please click on each page for a closeup of the text

Seems he has spent years trying to do the right thing at the same time being open to similarities between the world's religions. He is nonplussed by his wife's supposedly simple, unintellectual belief--a flaw. Then he thinks the flaw might be with him. Interesting take on faith at the purest level.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

'Ah the pity youth is wasted on the young.'

Y is ABC Wednesday's letter of the week-- impressing on me the youth or young among us. . .
a vigilant and petulant mother Wood Duck and her 12 (I counted them!) young ducklings

or young Wisconsin dairy calves, adorably inquisitive,

soon-to-be young turtles when this lady get finished laying her eggs. I caught her resting from the digging process--note the symmetry of the design on her shell as well as her footprints behind her. Amazing daylong--certainly exhausting--procedure.

And finally a young daughter of a mother running a race on the 4th of July (when she saw her mom pass by she had a sobbing meltdown because she wanted to go along!)
Many more Y photos are waiting for your visit to Mrs Nesbitt or to join in the fun!