Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's Raining, It's Pouring...time to hit the Pool!!

The Rain Kachina has come to bless our day.  No bike riding for me.  Maybe swimming?  It's been a long time since I've made it up to the Woodrow Wilson Aquatic Center in Tenleytown.  There's an aquatic center right here in Takoma, but I don't go there for two reasons:  They won't let me use my snorkel, and the shallow (less than 5' deep) lanes are almost always occupied by water aerobics classes.

XE has to confess that she has never been a good swimmer--if indeed she could swim at all.  For many years, despite journeys to the family lake cottage every summer weekend from the time she was 9 or 10, she couldn't swim.  She was terrified to go too deep for her to stand with her head above water.  A good friend urged the age-50 XE to get a snorkel so she could breathe and relax (XE subsequently learned the two go together in swimming).  XE then grew out of her long characteristic of being a sinker, even when she tried to float.

Wilson has changed their lane configuration, from always being long (50 meters), to half long and half short (25 yards)--to the satisfaction of what my swimming buddy calls "the nonathletes and rich housewives of Chevy Chase." Here's the DPR's report of the "survey" they conducted last year on this issue:
Of the 1,185 District residents who participated in the unscientific online survey, 66 respondents voted for the pool to be 25 yards at all times, 818 voted for 50 meters at all times and 166 thought it should be split equally with some days 25 yards and other days at 50 meters. 82 people said it should be split, but mostly 25 yards and 53 people thought it should be split, but mostly 50 meter. The ANC’s voted unanimously to have the pool configured in a 50-50 split.
This is democracy?  Here's the tally:

FOR 25 yards at all times                   N=  66                      
FOR 50 meters at all times                 N=818
FOR a SPLIT--25 yards/50 meters     N=166
   [Mostly 25 yards    N= 82]
   [Mostly 50 meters  N= 53]

Seems like some votes count way more than others:  871 swimmers (or 74% of those surveyed) wanted 50 meter lanes all (818) or most (53) of the time.

But whose happiness & satisfaction did the ANC decide, by unanimous vote, should be honored by the lane arrangement?  148 swimmers (or 12.5% of those surveyed) who wanted 25 yards all (66) or most (82) of the time.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Clouds over the Metro Parking Lot




My photographer friend Linda announced t'other day that she wanted to go out to take pictures of the clouds, which that day reminded her of the "clouds over the Everglades."

There are no Everglades by my place--no gators, no tall birds--although the big Metro parking lot seems to have an underground spring that keeps cracking the pavement on the down slope in one place.  It's always at least damp there, no matter how often the grounds crew patches it.

We did have lovely clouds last night, though.  I snapped this picture with my BlackBerry camera on the way home.  Not 10 minutes after I got in the door, the first crack of thunder sounded, and it grew very dark as more big thunderheads moved in.  There  wasn't even time for me to put away my groceries and go outside for more photos before the clouds burst, and we had a real downpour.

I love clouds, and the Metro parking lot seems to be a little "weather central," where all kinds of fronts and clouds converge.  Maybe it's just that this is the only 5-8 acre space close by without buildings or trees.  Any trees crowd around the edges.

P.S.  About the dogwood tree....I bought a tree book that arrived two days ago.  It wasn't the compendium I thought it would be, but it did enlighten me about the dogwood "flowers."  The four white "petals" are really bracts--special leaves, not flower petals at all.  The actual flower is the little round thing in the middle.  The white bracts make a convenient, well-marked landing spot for insects looking for pollen in the flower itself.  Never to old to learn something new!  Notice how well the rain soaked everything last night.  There are still drops of water on the leaves.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

P.S. There's More!


As she says in the video in yesterday's post, Peggy Reichard does love hand-building ceramic boat shapes,* and she does love to work with fabric, and she does love to take photographs. Occasionally she puts it all together.    

This photo shows just one of the banners from Peggy's 2003 show, the inspiration for which came out of her visit to Hanoi.  She printed one large digital image of a Vietnamese boat on each of the long silk banners.  Then she attached smaller photos of local people and scenes, also printed on the same kind of silk, to each long banner.  She also created the small ceramic boats that sat on pedestals among the banners.

I can't find photos of the first of Peggy's ceramic pieces that I saw.  She made these while she was studying for her Masters degree in Philadelphia.  They were small ceramic cups or shallow pieces partially filled with beautiful tinted glass.  It looked like the cups still held a bit of water or that she'd left them out in the rain and the drops and puddles had became permanent.  They were at once simple and astonishing.

*She loves real boats, too.  She and her husband have been serious, dedicated sailors on the lakes in Michigan and now Chesapeake Bay.

I feel her work should show up in the National Women's Art Museum some day--hopefully soon!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Here's a Find.....

I was looking for an email from Peggy Reichard, one of my former teachers in the now defunct "adult education" art classes at Gallaudet.  (These may no longer be defunct, just called something else.)  In her last email, she gave me directions to the Torpedo Art Factory's Scope Gallery where her coop sells its creations.

That email also included a wonderful video of Peggy working with clay.  It was taken by Ken Kurlychek's wife, Amy Flannery.  Ken is another former Gallaudet coworker.

Anyway, Peggy specializes in hand-building ceramics, and this is a good example of the inventive, free-spirited work she encourages--and does herself.  It opens with some shots of Peggy's finished work, then it goes to Peggy demonstrating how she does this kind of thing.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

This really is me, Xtreme English


The Official Martha Stewart Blog - The Martha Blog


Well, I intended to share the Martha Blog's remarkable post on the Japanese tree peonies at Rockefeller State Park Preserve in New York State.  I'm not sure I got just this one post.  It looks to me as if I got the whole shebang:  the Official Martha Stewart Blog.  I'm afraid to look!  And I just did....the tree peony post is maybe three down on the list of recent posts on the right hand side. Whew!

In any case, the photos of the tree peonies in that one post are fabulous!  The Japanese people keep blessing us with their flowering trees. I'm thinking of the cherry trees here in DC as well as these gorgeous tree peonies. Enjoy!   I'm not advertising here....just blown away by the photos of the tree peonies!

Change of pace....




I've never heard this before.  So wonderful.....

(Thanks to Leslie Parsley)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Teeth

Teeth have been the bane of my existence from childhood.  Our family dentist in Fargo was "old school."  He not only did not use novocaine, he also lectured: Stop hollering! or Your teeth are like butter! or Tell your mother you need to drink milk and eat whole grain bread and fresh fruits & vegetables. When I'd tell Mom what he said, she'd get mad, too: Didn't you tell him that's what we eat here?  (She was right. I hated those whole wheat sandwiches with peanut butter & honey in my school lunch.  Nobody would trade sandwiches with me except once in a while Mary Eide would trade one of her white bread with butter & brown sugar sandwiches.) 

And the summer day in 1943 when I came down with polio, I had an appointment with the dentist.  His spotlight felt hotter than the sun that afternoon.  By the time I got home, I had a blinding headache, and Mom put me to bed.  When Dad came home for supper, he came in the bedroom to see how I was.  When I got up to go to the bathroom, my head felt heavy, like a pumpkin, and I staggered a bit.  Dad knew the symptoms of polio from reading the newspaper, so he called the doctor.  The doctor came out, and the next thing I knew, I was riding in an ambulance to the hospital. I got over the polio just fine, but I've never quite recovered from the dentist.

Alas, not only are my own Anglo-Irish teeth wretched, I lost my upper denture when I took it out one day two years ago when it was hurting me.  I couldn't find it later.  Either my friend's dog found it and chewed it to bits or I zipped it in the small pocket of my rain jacket and forgot it was there.  That's the rain jacket I later donated to Good Will.  Judging from their hysterics, I brightened Good Will's day a lot when I went back and asked if anyone had turned in my denture.  

I lost yet another tooth today.  It was one of the workhorses, too--it already had a root canal and a lovely crown.  I didn't know it was abcessed until my cheek puffed out last week.  It didn't hurt because the nerve was dead.   This new dentist is kind, skilled, and gentle--no pain, no strain.

I tend to get emotional when I lose a tooth for good.  Bye, little pal. But not this time.  I think I'll head for the bead store and buy another tooth for my necklace.  If you got it, flaunt it!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Nun Justice: Every Tuesday in May in the following places:

It's a shame, but I don't see any vigils planned for Bismarck, Fargo, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Minneapolis, or St. Paul:  I've lived in all of these places, and I KNOW they have an abundance of active progressive Catholics, including many of my former convent mates.  They do have one in Chicago (yaay!), New York City (yaay!), L.A. (yaay!), and even O-mee-haw, birthplace of famous blogger XE (yaay!)


Vigil Locations
Anchorage, AK
Holy Family Cathedral
800 West 5th Ave.
Anchorage, AK
Tuesdays, May 8-29, 6-7pm
Contact: Blanche Crandall, akcran@yahoo.com
Austin, TX
St. Mary’s Cathedral
203 E 10th Street
Austin, Texas
Tuesdays 15-29, 11:30am-1pm (before/after the noon Mass)
Contact: Tom and Jeanie Egan 512.906.1268
tom4peace@austin.rr.com
Belleville, IL
St. Peter’s Cathedral
200 West Harrison Street
Belleville, IL
Saturday, May 19, 3:30pm (before the 4pm Mass)
Contact Anne Harter anneharter23@yahoo.com
Boston, MA
Cathedral of the Holy Cross
1400 Washington St.
Boston, MA
Tuesdays, May 8-29, 5:30pm
Contact: Jen Guterman, Jennifer_guterman@yahoo.com
Cincinnati, OH
Cathedral of St Peter in Chains
325 W 8th St at Plum St
Cincinnati OH
Tuesday May 15, 22, 29 at 4:45 to 6 PM (wear white shirts)
Contact Roxanne Hemmelgarn at roxanne204@netzero.net
937.435.8770
Chicago, IL
Holy Name Cathedral
735 N. State St.
Chicago, IL
With procession to Cardinal’s Residence on first Tuesday
Tuesdays, May 8-29, 8-9pm, Candlelight Vigil
Contact: Bob Heineman, 847.682.1056
Cleveland, OH
St Colman Catholic Church 
W. 65th and Lorain (inside the Church)
Wednesday, May 30th 7:00 pm
Contact: Margaret Gorbett
216-228-0869  info@futurechurch.org
Dallas, TX
Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe
2215 Ross Ave
Dallas, TX
Tuesday, May 15, 6pm
Contact Pat & Sandy Haigh pshaigh@juno.com, 214.808.2398
Hebron, CT
Church of the Holy Family
185 Church St.
Hebron, CT
Tuesdays, May 8-29, 6:30-7pm (followed by mass at 7pm)
Contact: Dottie Moon, mgm0526@sbcglobal.net, 860.228.5258
Lady Lake, FL
St. Timothy Church
1351 Paige Place
Lady Lake, FL
May 15, 9AM (following the 8:30AM Mass)
Contact: Kathy Fegan 352.750.3140
Lansing, MI
St. Mary’s Cathedral
219 Seymour St.
Lansing, MI
Tuesdays, May 8-29, 11:45am
Contact: Janet Glisson, 517.484.0443
Louisville, KY
Cathedral of the Assumption
433 S. 5th St.
Louisville, KY
Tuesdays, May 8-29, 5-6pm
Contact: Helen Deines, helendeines@insightbb.com, 502.468.0816
Los Angeles, CA
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
555 W. Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA
Tuesdays, starting May 15th-29th, 8pm
Contact: Rosa Manriquez, 323.369.4355, echobythelake@aol.com
Oakland, CA
Oakland Cathedral of Christ the Light
2121 Harrison St.
Oakland, CA
May 29th, 6-8pm
Contact: Christine Haider-Winnett, Christine.haider@gmail.com
Omaha, Nebraska
St. Cecelia Cathedral
701 N 40th Street
Omaha, NE
Tuesday, May 22 and 29, 5:30pm-6:30pm
Contact: Mary Ruth Stegman MaryRuth@cox.net 402.556.5142
New York, NY
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
14 East 51st Street
New York, New York
Tuesday, May 15, 22, 29 - 4:30-6:30pm
Contact: Margaret Meehan
212-539-0974 magorm513@gmail.com
Philadelphia, PA
Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul
18th Street at Race
Philadelphia, PA
Tuesday May 22, 4:30-6pm
Contact: Regina Bannan, sepawoc@sepawoc.org
Portland, OR
St. Mary’s Cathedral
1716 NW Davis St.
Portland, OR
Tuesdays, May 8-29, 7-8pm
Contact: Nancy Barrett-Dennehy, ndbdpdx@comcast.net
Providence, RI
Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul
30 Fenner Street
Providence, RI
Tuesday, May 22, 5:30-7pm
Contact: Kathy Pannozzi 401-521-3998 kduffy6@yahoo.com
San Francisco, CA
St. Mary’s Cathedral
1111 Gough (nr Geary)
San Francisco, CA
Tuesdays, May 8- 29,  5-6:30 pm
Contact: Roberta McLaughlin 415-265-4440 roberta@igc.org
San Juan, TX
Basilica of our Lady of San Juan del Valle
400 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd.
San Juan, TX
Tuesdays, May 8-29, 6-7pm
Contact: Al Dabrowski, al.dabrowski@gmail.com, 443.716.8720
Seattle, WA
St. James Cathedral
804 9th Ave.
Seattle, WA
Tuesdays, May 8-29, 7-8pm, Bring candles
Contact: Betty Hill, 360.357.6207
St. Louis, MO
Cathedral Basilica
4431 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis, MO
Tuesdays, May 8-29, 8-9pm, Bring candles
Contact: Jennifer Reyes Lay, can@catholicactionnetwork.org
Stockton, CA
Cathedral of the Annunciation
425 West Magnolia Street
Stockton, CA
Tuesday May 22 & 29, 7pm-8pm
Contact: Donnieau Snyder 209-505-4339
dr.donnieausnyder@gmail.com
Washington, DC
USCCB Office (meet by front sign)
3211 4th St. NE
Washington, DC
Tuesdays, May 8-29, 4-6pm
Contact: Kate Conmy, kconmy@womensordination.org, 202.675.100

Anyway, the vigils will be held every Tuesday in May.  Time is late afternoon in DC, but I haven't read times for the other places yet, although they are listed.  Check your area!

For tomorrow, the DC bunch is asking people to bring musical instruments so they can "raise their voices in prayer and song".  I don't have a musical instrument, and I'm feeling quite disinclined to sing any church songs.  Maybe I can borrow Yinka's boom box and play "In Heaven There Is No Beer!!"  (But on second thought, if there really IS a heaven, I'll betcha dollars to donuts, there WILL BE BEER!!)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

It's blooming!

Behold the last flowering tree in my DC neighborhood (actually my yard) to bloom!

This dogwood tree outside my building on the east side of the driveway has taken forever this year to
   a) bloom, and
   b) bloom long enough for the flowers to develop into their present creamy yellow. 

While the same kind of dogwood on the WEST side of the drive blossomed and then lost all its petals--this tree's blossoms stayed the same color as the leaves.  (Find the first blossom in the top photo to the left--taken at least 2-3 weeks ago.)

Last week after a good rain, it sped up its transformation.  (In the bottom photo to the left, some of the blossoms are not quite fully yellow.) 



Finally NOW you can SEE all the blossoms (or you could if you were standing on the roof), and they are beautiful!



 
Next step will be the fruit!!  Goddess only knows how long it will take for that to appear!  Each fruit will be cherry-colored but composite, like a raspberry, with a long stem.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Ten Most Disturbing Anti-Latino Practices Described By DOJ’s Lawsuit Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio

What gets me is this man is POPULAR in AZ!....

Ten Most Disturbing Anti-Latino Practices Described By DOJ’s Lawsuit Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Earlier today, the Department of Justice filed a formal legal complaint against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) alleging widespread constitutional violations and lawless mistreatment of Latinos. According to the complaint, Arpaio and his staff engaged in widespread, violent and demeaning mistreatment of Latino residents of Maricopa County, often targeting individuals [...]/

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious Are Not Alone....

This letter has gone out by email to friends of mine who are Roman Catholic sisters.  Here in DC this past week, there was a gathering in support of the LCWR in front of the RC Bishops' office building at C.U.  In preparation, the Bishops shrouded the sign at the front of their property and sent a workman out to make sure nobody propped any protest signs against it. They are nothing if not consistent.

An Open Letter to Catholic Religious Women

 May 1, 2012

 Dear Sisters,

 We write to you as sisters in faith who may not express our vocation in
the same particular community of faith, but who share much in common—as
believers, as advocates, and as peacemakers. We write in a spirit of
solidarity and as witnesses to the authenticity of your ministries,
particularly the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, in a time
when the integrity of your witness has been questioned by Catholic
leadership.

 While we are not all from the same particular Christian community, we,
as women, share a common story. The struggle over women's authority is
an age old question for Christians. Christian churches have long been
ambivalent about us. Women's roles have been embraced in private, not
public forums. Women leaders are affirmed as long as they are seen, but
not heard (at least not too much). For centuries, women have been seen
as prophets, dreamed new realities, but have been dismissed too often
and affirmed only when their visions didn't contradict the beliefs held
by those in positions of power. We are aware that even when churches
will ordain us to serve in positions of leadership, we are often not
trusted to identify the most urgent needs our congregations should
address or to design the shape of our own ministries.

 The plight of the powerless is familiar to the women of the church. We,
however, do not believe that authorities in any church should take away
women’s power to determine for ourselves a vision for our ministries and
vocations. Many, many women have raised similar questions as those
raised by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Is it God’s
design for there to be an exclusively male priesthood? Are not economic
justice and access to health care not only issues in greatest need of
being addressed in our society today, but also concerns at the core of
Catholic faith as well as the good news of the gospel message? What we
see in this struggle is not a lack of our sisters’ integrity and
authentic witness to Christian faith, but a struggle that has been too
familiar for all women of faith—a struggle over authority and who should
have the power to define true faith.

 Women in the churches have dedicated their lives to serving the needs
of people in the world for centuries. Today, our Catholic sisters live
in community and serve the church thoughtfully and creatively through
countless acts of love, hospitality, and social advocacy. Our Catholic
sisters are often strong advocates for people living in poverty, people
who are in prison, people who lack access to affordable health care,
people who are unable to access clean water, people who are sick, and
people who have been victimized by the violence of others. Their service
and advocacy is similar to that of so many of us who because of own
experiences as women find it critical to place the needs of people who
are impoverished, cast asi
de, and powerless at the focal point of our
own ministries.
 We have all been challenged by the wisdom of learned Catholic sisters
who are scholars teaching in college, university, seminary, and church
classrooms. Our sisters have taught us to engage our imaginations about
the Christian tradition which we share. We are particularly thankful for
the wisdom of Sister Elizabeth Johnson and Sister Joan Chittister. Our
sisters have often carried the stories of many, many women and the
wounds of the disenfranchised in their prayers and into their writing.

 Religious women have long recognized the need to care for the whole
human person. There are many faithful sisters who help us to remember
the humanity of people who are shut away in prison or deemed
untouchable. There are many faithful sisters who refuse to accept the
legitimacy of an economic system that allows the few to become
fabulously wealthy while the many remain submerged in perpetual want and
poverty. Some of the names of our sisters who have become known for
their advocacy are easily recognized—Sister Helen Prejean, Sister
Jeannine Gramick, and Mother Teresa come to mind. We are also well aware
that the names of many of our sisters in faith and members of Catholic
communities of religious women are not etched in our memories. And, yet
our sisters live authentic lives of faith and witness to our common
belief that God is still creating a vision for a new heaven and a new
earth.

 Where would any of our churches be without women leaders? Where would
the Catholic Church be without women's religious communities? How will
the social witness of the larger church on issues of poverty and
economic justice be hindered by not honoring the authority of these
women of faith?

 We join hands with you, our sisters. We are grateful for your
willingness to take risks to engage in advocacy and peacemaking. We
stand with you in solidarity and will continue to walk with you as
witnesses to our common struggles and our common faith on this journey.

 In the peace and steadfast love of Christ,

 Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns of the Presbyterian Church USA
(ACWC)
The Ad Hoc Group on Racism, Sexism, and Classism (RSAC)
Anglican Women’s Empowerment
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Auburn Theological Seminary, New York, New York
Baptist Women in Ministry
Blessed John XXIII Faith Community, Barrington, Illinois
Catherine of Siena Virtual College
Church Women United
The Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, Brandeis University
Jeff Street Baptist Community at Liberty, Louisville, Kentucky
Lutheran Women in Theological and Religious Studies
Metropolitan Community Church, San Francisco, California
The Namaste Community of East Bay of San Francisco
New Visions Faith Community, Mt. Prospect, Illinois
Pacific, Asian, and North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry
Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), Inc.
Southeastern Pennsylvania Women's Ordination Conference
Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community in Sussex County New Jersey
Sophia in Trinity: A Roman Catholic Community of Celebrants, San
Francisco, California
Starr King School for the Ministry, Berkeley, California
Woman Spirit Ireland
Women’s Center at Louisville Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
Women of the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, PC(USA)
Women Faculty of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas
Women of Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois
Women Faculty of the Department of Religion, Dominican University of
California
Women Faculty of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary,
Louisville, Kentucky
Women Faculty of Meadville Lombard Theological School (Unitarian
Universalist) Chicago, Illinois.
Women Faculty at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, Virginia
Women Faculty at Vanderbilt Divinity School, Nashville, Tennessee
Women of the Social Ethics Network of the PCUSA
Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)
Women Theologians (Protestant and Roman Catholic) from the "Workgroup
for Constructive Theology"

 Many endorse this letter. The endorsements of the communities, groups, and
organizations were gathered through women’s networks and by women’s
groups and organizations over a period of about five days.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

"Are You My Mother?"

Best, and most complicated, book I've read since Ulysses.  I don't know if I will survive having read it.  Congratulations, Alison!  You've given me so much to think about.  Sweet jebus!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies

OK, some of us--well maybe most of us--have seen "Dykes to Watch Out For" in our GLBT or local freebie weekly.  VERY funny.  Alison Bechdel, creator of DTWOF, has a new book coming out soon if not already:  Are You My Mother?  I was browsing around my list of blogs I love this very early morning, and I checked in with
Feminéma

and she has this wonderful comment on Bechdel and her new book.  She also slips in this:  The Bechdel Test for women in  movies.  Ever suspect that movies are really mostly for and about guys?  What was your first clue?  This might give you a hint....


Sunday, May 06, 2012

At the Arboretum....(several more photos 5/7)

The National Arboretum is hosting the Potomac Bonsai Festival this weekend (May 4-6), and my friend & former coworker Linda and I went over there and took a bunch of photos. Regrettably, I did not record the age of the various bonsai here; but they do not call it "age," anyway. It's called "time in training."  One of the bonsai in the Chinese house has been in training for 105 years!!!

Water lilies in the pond


Roses by the driveway

Reflection

Iris by the pond

Koi blowing bubbles


Bonsai by the entrance

Entrance
e
Japanese style: niche for bonsai in the home

Azalea bonsai in bloom

Chinese style:  Scholar's study--where Chinese keep bonsai at home

Chinese--naturally occurring stone
embedded with flower-shaped crystal

Japanese--naturally occurring multicolored stone
embedded with flower-shaped crystals

Azalea bonsai with pet

Japanese black pine bonsai

This one was named "Windswept"

Various uses & containers

This bonsai is training along driftwood

Baby quince?  Bonsai do bear fruit!

Trident maple

Some kind of blue berries in a plant outside the bonsai house

Pine tree outside the bonsai house

Window inside looking out

Linda standing in the gate

Japanese red maple seeds.

This bonsai is a tableau...note the group chatting under the trees

Many bonsai are trained around rocks

Here's the gang in the garden

Man fishing in the tableau

Here's everybody in the tableau
Trident maple training over a rock

Another Japanese black pine

And yet another Japanese black pine

Trident maples in a landscape arrangement

Big Sego palm inside

My favorite...This is one of the "pets"--a little
strawberry plant with wee berries!

Display of various festival
entries from local artists

Friday, May 04, 2012

In Case You Want to Know....

MIT and Kahn Academy are offering free science videos for kids on OPEN CULTURE.  Here's a nifty one: the Physics of Unicycling.



You're not going to get me to try this, especially in the SNOW!  But it's fun to watch the MIT students as they cycle...and fall off  :)


Thursday, May 03, 2012

Hustle over to Digby's Hullaballoo

One of the most wonderful aspects of my having a blog is that I have quick access to wonderful other blogs.  It's hard to beat what Digby's Hullaballoo has on offer in the past week.

I especially like David Atkins's post today (Thursday, May 3, 2012): "Thoughts on people power and freedom."  The last paragraph says it all:

People can protest night and day as successfully or unsuccessfully as they wish. But unless secular liberals are willing to organize and seize the reins of power, it won't matter. A society organized by conservatives will remain unjust forever, whether it be dominated by plutocrats, theocrats or both. 

Then there is yesterday's "Thoughts on Bodily Fluids" posted by Digby herself.
Thanks, Digby!  Your blog rocks!! 

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Old woman, old woman...

This morning I got the photo of Lauren Bacall in a forward that said (approximately) we should think twice now about the movie stars we thought were so beautiful when we and they were younger.  "Take a good look now," etc. 

I dunno, but two of the most beautiful women I know celebrated their 90th birthdays not long ago.  Lida is almost 91 now, and Gert, my sister-in-law, still plays golf!

There was a nasty crack about Ms. Bacall's appearance in the forward, too. It said all the meanness she has been known for shows in her face.  That comment was made by a show business person (male) who is said to know.  But Leslie Parsley is having none of it.  She said she's "always liked Bacall.  She is very very liberal."  Me, too, Leslie, and I think Bacall looks stunning.  LP also said that few women would be as brave as Bacall to have that kind of photo taken, too:  b&w and closeup??  Shudder! 

Just for the hey of it (and anything to distract me from editing), I took an unsmiling closeup of myself here at my dining/working table this morning.  Bacall and the others combed their hair and did makeup.  I rarely comb my hair and NEVER wear makeup.  Just can't be arsed to do that.  But I maintain that old is not ugly.  It's just different and rich and wonderful.


Lida Moser, age 90!


Gertrude Elizabeth Mary Peters Dwyer, age 90!

Lauren Bacall (only 87)
 XtremeEnglish (only 75)