Friday, January 30, 2009

Halo on Owasso Lake

Cold Minnesota skies the past week--sub-zero temps and ice crystals in the air plus bright sunshine will almost guarantee a 'sun dog' early in the morning. Sundogs are as captivating as their visiting summer cousin, the rainbow. An odd photo below--and it must have looked even odder when I stopped by the side of the road to take this view of the exhaust chimney at a local elementary school. The air was frigid and the sky amazingly blue except for the pink from the sunrise. The whole equation became a mini sunrise within a puffy cloud of steam.

SkyWatch is an amazingly successful weekly meme where over 300 amateur photographers from around the globe post 'their sky' each Friday. Stop by and join in the fun.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Phantoms & Shadows

You said, ‘She’s got the map of Japan all over her face.’
But when I looked up at her I only saw skin.

My welted, wet face reminded you of a big, fat Indian squaw.
I thought we were Italians.

Shineola, blue gums, Sambo?
They’re only shoe polish, Halloween teeth and pancakes to me.

Like watermelon seeds, you spit out ‘Those kraut bastards!’
cleverly confusing your wife’s blond hair and blue eyes
with the sauerkraut barrel.

Filthy gypsies, no-good Greeks, yellow Chinks:
Your mother taught you that people are mean.
In embracing her, even to the grave,
You set this legacy spinning into the next generation’s fragile orbit.

If you could see how hard I’ve tried to dispel these lies,
your ideas like an unopened gift left behind
Would you be proud of me?

You can rest now in the gathered satin of your apathy
knowing I have slowly untangled the knots that were once given to you.
But at what price?
After the past campaign, my living in south Chicago for fourteen years, and finally in seeing history being made at last week's inauguration, I have jotted down these few thoughts. Presumably the are submitted to Sunday Scribblings--late again--but more importantly as a note to my daughters and future members of our family: I didn't get here overnight!

[collage photos from Bannock County archives
of Asians in Idaho in the 20th century,
when my dad was growing up]

Friday, January 23, 2009

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate,
the not-quite,
the not-yet,
the not-at-all.
Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.
Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.” Ayn Rand

[photo by Yves Perton]

p.s. I post this mostly for me because I have another week to wear the splint on my hand and we are expecting another freeze starting this weekend--both events are definitely tolerable, when I consider the alternatives. The photo above was taken during our subzero weather a week before last. Amazing natural art on the apartment front door. . .

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

this one is mine

The color that makes me happiest in the world is that perfect combo of blue and green that becomes turquoise -- today's color chosen for True Colours Thursday-- so I am happy indeed!

My love affair with this hue developed about the time I graduated from chunky lead pencils and printing to cursive [Palmer Method--remember that?] and ink pens. I'm dating myself here: my inexpensive pen of choice in those early days was a Lindy ballpoint in the color Peacock Blue. Later came a more, umm, refined aesthetic sense and the lure of bottled ink in the same color using a fountain pen. Imagine my delight at the invention of cartridges in the same color. After all, this was the 20th Century and if we could put a man on the moon, Schaeffer could devise a cleaner, more plastic form of ink flow. Smitten I was with that color until the days of clicking your Bic and the more streamlined options of blue, black and red which seemed like fallout from the Cold War we were engaged in.

Fast forward to the present and my eye is consistently drawn to some shade of turquoise shown in the collage of everyday artifacts of my world. At Christmastime when I was rummaging through all those decorations I found one small box that rattled when I shook it. Inside was dear old Pashka-dog's collar and matching leash in all their worn turquoise glory.

Click on the True Colours icon above to see more bloggers' turquoise joy -- and maybe join in the fun.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

[nearly]Wordless Wednesday

"Let it be told to the future world . . . that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive . . . that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it." Thomas Paine

. . .In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,

any thing can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp. . .

Elizabeth Alexander

Monday, January 19, 2009

All the sweetness

[please enlarge for better glimpse]

Today I'm dreaming of the delicious fragrance of sweet peas--which, along with the heady aroma of honeysuckle vines, I wish came distilled in a spray bottle for winter wear. These photos are from my first two seasons in our apartment when I actually had success growing these lovely flowers, believed to have first been spotted in Sicily by Franciscan monk named Francisco Cupani . The pink & blues were called Erica's Choice and I've forgotten the red's except for their perfect blue-red hues.

Here are sweet peas, on tiptoe for a flight
With wings of gentle flush o'er delicate white
And taper fingers clutching at all things,
To bind them all about with tiny rings.
John Keats

Visit Today's Flowers for more virtual bouquets.
Happy Monday!

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

don't look now!

Some days its better to maintain a low profile. Bean waxes philosophical while viewing her world from one of her favorite hiding places, the humble box. [note her puffy 'chops', a warning sign to all unsuspecting passersby!]

See more silly animals at Misty Dawn's MeMe Camera Critters--clinically proven to start your week out in the best possible way!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

enter post @ own risk

I have reached the two week point with my 'boxer's break' the name given to the location of the fracture I have. Note small photo of delicious manicure gifted to me by Erica two days before my antics. I am now ensconced in a smaller splint for a week or so. The good news is its removable to shower so I have the luxury of washing my hair. . .and, yes, our Christmas tree is still up!

From the ridiculous to the sublime mundane, Bean wonders how different her live(s) might have been if she hadn't landed in the lap of luxury.


and finally, to reinforce the borrowed quote above, read on.

I'm reading my e-mail and this pops up from Erica (in D.C.):

i just saw george clooney going into a restaurant in dupont circle

Today she elaborates:

And by the way, George Clooney is magnetically attractive, he literally shines in the dark.

So, being one-handed these days, I'm not above the notion of shamelessly vicarious living. Can you blame me?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Surely its a sunny day, somewhere

Got sunshine? Mid-January and one hand splinted I am craving green, but not just any green will do. I'm missing the tender green of spring. I took these photos near the end of summer along a shady wooded area where I love to walk because the sun was *beaming* in on these ferns who were perfectly content to prosper without much Vitamin D. . .perhaps there's a message for me there. . .
This is my offering for Today's Flowers, a virtual flower shop meme with photos of beauty from all over the world. Visit Luiz and Denise today, and remember:
Life is just a chance to grow a soul. A. Powell Davies

Saturday, January 10, 2009

dining al fresco

I had to stop for these two young turkeys (note the spiky do on the guy on the right) to cross in front of my car on their way to another yard for a snack. They were seen munching in urban Minneapolis in a residential area near a busy 4-lane street.
One never knows who you might run into on the road!
See more candid shots of furry and feathered creatures at Misty Dawn's MeMe Camera Critters.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Seasonal skies watched

Call this summer 20086666

but this is winter6666

winter, 2009 on very frozen Owasso Lake near where we live, taken this week with sub-zero temperatures and diamond flecks of ice in the air. One thing remains the same: the quest for the biggest fish story. Enlarging the photo (ctrl +) will show the brave fishermen parking their vehicles next to the huts on the frozen lake.

I'm grateful to Klaus, Wren, Sandy, Ivar, Fishing Guy and Louise who manage SkyWatch Friday each week so we have all the fun!

Happy fishing!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

While I touch the sky...

Most of the time purple isn't a color I wear. However its rich hue dazzles my eyes when I see purple in nature, or in a heavy velvet drapery or the iridescent gleam on the feathers of a swallow.

I think it pisses God off when you walk by the colour purple in a field and don't notice it. [from The Color Purple by Alice Walker]

Purple is soothing to the eye and just by looking at stalks of lavendar, purple Concord grapes, iris blooms, shiny eggplants or Italian plums, a whole 'nother world of sensory delights--and memories!--unfolds.

Purple is another wonderful choice by Blue for her Thursday MeMe, True Colours. Visit her for more purple photos--and join in the fun. Oh, and one more purple as we leave the sublime and enter the world of memories. . .