---Alice Abrams

Friday, June 29, 2007

Photo Hunters - Sweet

I will admit to bias but I think Fur and Feathers are pretty sweet! These two had been asleep, side by side, but when I went to grab the camera, of course they woke up! It was a chilly day and I'd brought Spike out for some extra "huggies," and Katie was curled up on the blanket in the chair. Spike will look at her and say, "Hello, Bird!" They go nose-to-beak for some smooching, too. Now, I call that pretty doggone sweet!

Funnies for Frday

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - On Age and Aging

In light of last weeks anticipation of a milestone birthday and feeling blue in it's wake, I need to take the upper hand and plant myself firmly on the ground. I need to realize, as so many have reminded me, that age is relative and not a number. Great things await if only I leave myself open to opportunity.

1. Happiness is inward, and not outward, and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on who we are. ~Henry Van Dyke

2. Regrets are the natural property of gray hairs. ~Charles Dickens

3. I suppose real old age begins when one looks backward rather than forward. ~May Sarton

4. There is no cure for the common birthday. ~John Glenn

5. It is not how old you are, but how you are old.~ Marie Dressler

6. The older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune.~ English Proverb

7. Old age is like flying through a storm. Once you're aboard, there's nothing you can do.~ Golda Meir

8. The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it. ~Jean Paul

9. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. ~Douglas MacArthur

10. Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. ~Mark Twain

11. Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone. ~Jim Fiebig

12. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? ~Satchel Paige

13. Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many ~Anonymous

Meme complete this time!

Shaz, at Us Danes, tagged me for this meme, which I thought I'd already done. But after reading many of them, I realized I'd only copied the first few questions and not the rest. So, I'm going to complete the meme~!

Five Bad Habits:
Not pretty folks, but I don't go out often so I've gotten into the habit of not "fixing up." Poor darling hubman comes home to a bag lady most days.
Spend too much time on line.
Spend too much money on "stuff."
I am a horrible procrastinator!
My eating habits are awful...way too many carbs! Hardly any fruit/veggies...

Five Things You Like Doing:
Working in the yard with my plants/flowers (but not when it's 100 °!)
Spending quiet time with hubman and the "girls."
Spending time at the beach, even if for the day...

Five Things You Would Never Wear Again:
Never wore a bikini so let's go for two-piece bathing suit!
Hip-hugger anything!
Short skirts
High heels (and not because I don't want to: I can't!)
Teased hair-do (and I'm talking big teased hair!)

Five Favorite Toys
Digital camera
Staple gun
I want - an IPod
I hate my cell phone - still can't text message...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Painting by Rob Gonsalves...

Tuesday Happenings

I cannot begin to thank all of you for stopping by and leaving birthday greetings, but I sure as heck am gonna try:

My daughter took us all out to eat Sunday afternoon, so in honor of Sarge Charlie and his
"Meat and Three," I present to you the following:

Grilled Salmon

Shrimp stuffed with Crab

For Miss Bee, a delectible chocolate cake with raspberry sauce

And the piece de resistance, caramel pecan cheesecake!

For my birthday today (yesterday since I'm having a night owl attack!), I fixed fresh green beans with bacon, my special potato salad (red potatoes, eggs, chives and bacon) and country-style pork spareribs. The green beans and spareribs simmered slowly most of the afternoon and were absolutely worth the wait (if I do say so myself!).

I remember many an afternoon sitting with my grandmother "snapping" green beans. She came to California in a covered wagon and I sat and watched the first moon landing with her! Can you imagine? I wonder where I'll be at the next decade marker.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Manic Monday - Grace

The Charities, figures of Greek mythology known as "the Three Graces."

In Greek mythology, a Charis is one of several Charities (Greek: "Graces"), goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility. They ordinarily numbered three, from youngest to oldest:Aglaea (Beauty), Euphrosyne (Mirth), and Thalia (Good Cheer). In Roman mythology they were known as the Gratiae.

My grandmother had this statue in her living room and as a child, I was fascinated by it: most likely because they were "nekkid." Both of my parents appreciated the fine arts and I was exposed to it early in life. We had a statue of David in the yard sans fig leaf so the body as a work of art was presented to me in a no nonsense style. But my folks instilled in me a sense of modesty about my own person.

As far as the Graces, I've always felt that it was not erotic or sensual but pleasing in a sense of comfort and compassion. And me? I have no physical grace! I have always felt awkward, klutzy, if you will. I stumble and misstep frequently. I thought my first pair of bifocals was a death warrant! I do not have the form or grace of a dancer. But the grace I can count on is the grace of God. That is what has gotten me this far, through some of the darkest of my nights. I have faith that grace will see me through to the end. That is obviously the reason for my "blogging name."

In Life as in the dance; Grace glides on blistered feet...
---Alice Abrams

And to my dear, wonderful, precious friend Mo, for the kindness you extended to me on your site, in regards to my birthday Tuesday, I thank you! It's true, I haven't been very graceful in accepting my 60th but it will be what I choose to make of it! So thanks to Mo and all of you bloggers for cheering me up! I love you...

Manic Monday - Grace

Please scroll down past Rockin' Woman Award for Manic Monday today. I saved it as a draft, and of course it is further down the page and I cannot figure out how to move it forward!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Rocker Girl (Ol' Broad?)

My buddy Linda, at "Are We There Yet?" has given me this really neat award, Rockin' Girl!!! Now, it's true that I love classic rock music as well as classical music with some genres in between. And while this award does not specifically apply to one's taste in music, I must admit I'm a tad embarrassed by the post that Linda chose to represent the reason for the award!

I am a smart alec, always have been and probably always will be. As Sanni says, it must be my evil twin! Below, you will find what Linda had to say that prompted this award...thanks, Linda!

"Last but certainly not least I present the fifth badge to Gracie of Echoes of Grace because she's just amazing! In the heat of Bakersfield, California she and her Hubman recently moved to a new home so she's been busy settling in there but that didn't stop her from doing a fun meme where she told us that even though she's a church-going lady she knows all the words to anything by The Doobies as well as "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall"! How can that not rock?"

In further honor of my fellow "Rockin Girls," I am honoring the following:
1. Danielle B., a wife, mom, college professor and photographer. She has some of the same issues as I do and I always relate to her blog, BiPolar Diaries. She is an amazing photographer and I encourage you all to partake of her beautiful nature photographs! One of my favorites is her recent photos of a fishing trip, practically in her backyard, where they are joined by dolphin feeding! She is bravely fighting her way through life, with all it's mysteries, twists and surprises. Go visit and encourage! She is definitely a Rockin' Girl!
2. Then there's Loving Annie...She has come through a very difficult time in her life which could have defeated her. But not our Annie! She has come through this period with her head held high and much the wiser. In doing so, she has made us come to love her dearly and imparted her newly-found wisdom to us as well. This selfless lady volunteers her time in an emergency room which is certainly a way to see outside yourself! Please visit Annie, our latest Rockin' Girl!
3. Ruth, of a "Million Stories in the Naked City," is someone I do not know well. She is a friend of our Claire, our English red-headed imp! Ruth has suffered a tragic loss this spring but she hasn't lost sight of others. She lost her soulmate, her husband Mick. But she continues to share her thoughts on her blogs and certainly is a fine gardener. Visit Ruth and let her know how big your hearts are! She is certain a Rockin' Girl!
4. Shaz, at "Us Danes," has become a favorite of mine. I love visiting her big family with all it's excitement and their love of dogs! There is always something going on and she has a delightful way of sharing stories of this wonderful household! A mom of six with a great dane and another dog certainly qualifies as a Rockin' Girl!
5. Linda, of "This and That," is going through a rough time of it right now. But her spirit is strong and I know she'll persevere! Let her know we all look out for one another and let her know you'll be thinking about her in the days ahead and pop in and say "hi!" She recently found that which was lost and is delighted to show her daughter her baby photos, which she had never seen before! Linda is one of our Rockin' Girls!
Ladies, I salute you! Please copy your banner, add it to your sidebar and honor five more women who you feel deserve it! Have fun...
Love, ♥♥♥

Photo Hunt - Shiny

The light coming through the window made the blue glass shiny; the roses are from my garden.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Fantastic Things About Turning Sixty!

1. I'm still alive!

2. ?

3. ?

4. ?

5. ?

6. ?

7. ?

8. ?

9. ?

10. ?

11. ?

12. ?

13. ?

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, June 18, 2007

Meme Fun!

A new friend, Laura, tagged me with this one:
(I highly recommend "The Quotidian Mysteries" for anyone looking for a very intriguing blog!)

1. What were you doing ten years ago?

I have trouble remembering what I was doing ten minutes ago, but I can honestly say, I was getting ready to avoid my 50th birthday, er, celebrate. My kids pulled off a wonderful surprise party and my youngest and her husband treated us to a weekend in Santa Barbara.

2. What were you doing one year ago?

We listed our house for sale the first week in July so the month of June was spent preparing our home! We had a garage sale, boxed up "stuff," and all of the general things one does to prepare for the sale of a house!

3. List five snacks you enjoy.

It would be easier listing five snacks I don't enjoy! I guess my favorites are cinnamon graham crackers, kettle chips, anything with cheese or chocolate in, on or around it, and bananas (have to throw in a fruit).

4. List five songs you know all lyrics to:

This one is really hard because I started singing in choir in 6th grade; was in choir all through high school; sang in an octet as an adult, besides all the thousands of hours listening to CD's and the radio over a lifetime!

Favorites: Amazing Grace (surprise!); Be Thou My Vision; 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall (just kidding!); just about anything by the Doobies (Toulouse Street); Battle Hymn of the Republic;
The Lord's Prayer

5. List five things you'd do if you were a millionaire:

Okay, you've figured out that I'm a "Church Lady," so the obvious to me is a chunk of change to my church or missions or where I'm led to give; next, I'd pay off my children's mortgages (one needs a house!); we'd all take a "gynormous" trip to the Hawaiian islands and invest in a condo on the Princeville golf course; buy a home in Colorado, Oregon or Montana by water; help some dear friends that are in financial straits. (If this is limited to strictly $1,000,000, it would only buy a 4 bedroom tract house in Orange Co., CA!)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Manic Monday - Heat

This is what your mouth will look like inside after you eat some of these....
Of all the sources of heat and all the possibilities, the one that bugs me most is the summer weather! I hate summer and it's vile heat!!! Okay, enough of that hobby horse. So, I choose one of nature's most unique sources of heat and discomfort, the heat emanating from hot peppers!

They can be mild, piquant, stimulating and downright death-defying! I remember a sweet little ol' lady at church who canned some of the hottest killer salsa! We all had a good laugh when the brattiest little boy in the congregation insisted he could handle it. He was told by all that there was no way he was up for this stuff (which I think was pay-back from all the adults who had had it with his brattiness...and were just being passive-regressive!). Being properly egged on, he proceeded to engage in a healthy chip load of the demonic juice and spent the next hour regretting his boastfulness!!! My husband, who was a connoisseur of hot delights, couldn't handle this stuff.

About 30 years ago, I had lunch with a friend at a new Asian restaurant, specializing in Szechuan cuisine with which I was unfamiliar. When my meal arrived it looked wonderful so I dug in with gusto, not suspecting that I was about to render my tongue completely useless for 24 hours!
Good grief! What I thought was just a piece of ordinary vegetable, happened to come from the devil's very own garden - the antithesis of the fruit of good and evil.

I tried to keep my composure and not scream bloody murder. I know, being raised on Mexican food, that drinking liquid is the wrong thing to do when your mouth is literally on fire, but I was afraid to put anymore food into my mouth until I was able to isolate exactly what it was that had perpetrated this horror on it! So, I slowly sipped my ice tea and wondered if I'd ever be able to speak again. I left in a state of shock, not knowing what hit me.

I never did find out what those nasty little sons of bi...oops! I mean, peppers, were, but if we ever need a tool by which to make terrorists divulge their deepest, darkest secrets, I suggest we ship the CIA (or whomever) a boatload of these babies!!!
The Scoville Scale
A scale developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912, to
measure the heat level in chillies. It was first a
subjective taste test, but since, it has been
refined by the use of HPLC, the unit is named in
honour of its inventor.
The test officially measures the pungency level of a
given pepper. There are other methods, but the
Scoville Scale remains the most widely used and
respected. The greater the number of Scoville units,
the hotter the pepper. Of course, being a natural
product, the heat can vary from pepper to pepper,
so this scale is just a guide.

The original Scoville test asked a panel of tasters
to state when an increasingly dilute solution of the
pepper no longer burned the mouth. Roughly one part
per million of chilli 'heat' rates as 1.5 Scoville
Bell, Sweet Italian 0
New Mexico 500-1000
Ancho, Poblano 1000-1500
Jalapeno, Chipolte 2500-10,000
Serrano 5000-23,000
Cayenne, Piquin 30,000-50,000
Habenero 80,000-300,000
(*The hottest recorded was a Habenero)
Pure Capsaicin measures 16,000,000 Scoville units!

So, to celebrate Manic Monday, here are some photos of the gorgeous Capsaicin-soaked veggies and what to indulge in after injesting them! Please visit Morgen and join in!

Happy Father's Day

A big fat Happy Father's Day greeting to all you great dads who stop by on occasion. Thanks for all of the time you spend loving your kids and their moms...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

My Dad...

1919 - 1969He was taken too soon, this man - my dad..I only knew him through the eyes of a child,
a young mother; I never got the chance to know him with the heart of an adult.
But watching him, learning from him through those child's eyes I learned lessons never
taught in books. He taught me kindness, compassion, to love creatures, great and small;
to shun conceit and love of self but to walk softly and put others first as he did.
I miss him every day - a pain that catches in my very being, almost making it physical.
He loved my mother more than anything and made certain that my brother and I knew it.
He served his country in the F.B.I., lamenting that his service was only spent in finding and sobering up AWOL sailors and soldiers. He detested it...and made his way in private enterprise until his untimely death. My mother continued in his steps until her death in 1992. Their love story was the stuff that every one hopes their marriage can be built upon; mutual faith, love, trust and committment. Real and devoted.
Dad, this is my 38th year without having that Hallmark moment with you...but I'm positive
that you are aware of my love for you and the thanks in my heart for your steadfast love and care.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I'm Right and That's That...!!!

BOOK EXCERPT - "Right You Are, and That's That"
By Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

Neuroscientists have recently shown that biases in thinking are built into the very way the brain processes information - all brains, regardless of their owner's political affiliation. In a study of people who were being monitored by magnetic resonance imaging while they were trying to process dissonant or consonant information about George Bush or John Kerry, researchers found that the reasoning areas of the brain virtually shut down when participants were confronted with dissonant information, and the emotion circuits of the brain lit up happily when consonance was restored. Researchers also showed that reading information that goes against your point of view can make you all the more convinced you are right. So there is a neurological basis for the observation that once our minds are made up, it is hard to change them.

I found this to be fascinating information! So does this mean liberalism is a mental disorder??? (Just joking!)

Every Body Talks About It...

The Weather - The old phrase goes "Everybody talks about it but nobody does anything about it..."

We had a huge amount of water in our river (not above) a couple of years ago and the city fathers have been able to keep it rolling through the city during the summer. This year is different. We didn't have a successful snowpack in the Sierras so the water is at a low level. Also, since the Southern California and Central California water boards fight constantly over the fate of the water, on a low year it can mean the difference between a lawn or not! What's worse is that the poor farmers and ranchers have crops and livestock to worry about.

Weather is the irony of all ironies. It's pouring in New York.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wordless Wednesday



Monday, June 11, 2007

Eight Random Facts About Myself - Meme

I was tagged last week by Linda, at "Are We There Yet," for another meme and the object of this one is to blog “8 Random Facts About Myself”. The rules are as follows:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.

2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
Are you ready for a flight into boredom? Here we go

1. I am a night owl . I grew up watching the old Steve Allen show, then Jack Paar. I have a real hard time getting to bed before midnight!

2. I absolutely love anything to do with ferns, forests and lofty glens - they're cool and quiet; must have running water...a stream, river, brook.
3. I am captivated with dolphins! They fascinate me - especially after we were lucky enough to encounter a wild "pod" (?) of them while snorkeling in Maui. I had always been intrigued by their intelligence, paired with their playfulness. This was just the icing on the cake!
4. I love to eat! I am an addict!!! I get just as excited over my triple-decker BLT with avocado and swiss cheese as I do Lobster Thermador or Newburg! Gourmet or down-home! It's all good! And it goes right to my big, fat butt...I now weigh 150 and fight to keep my weight at this level. My all time high was 269. By posting these numbers for the world to see, perhaps I will be more diligent in my endeavors!

5. I have a parrot, a Nanday Conure, named Spanky. He came with that name. I probably would've named him Brutus or Atilla. I bought him from a man whose wife hated him and they kept him outside in the backyard in a dirty cage.
He is mean and cranky. He will bite me just for the fun of it. He will be sitting with me, cuddling, giving me kisses, and all of a sudden! Oops! There goes a chunk of my cheek! He really has gotten better - I think he was going through the teenaged-years and was acting out. And the reason I still have this vicious creature, you ask? I'm a sucker. No one would take him. He'd be relegated to a poor home or a breeding program some where and I've loved and cared for him. Who'd want him? My hubman has already told me, that if anything happens to me, the bird is toast! Hubman can't get near him so his fate is cast. My kids can't stand him, the bird had better hope he predeceases me!

6. I love critters of most kinds, especially dogs, cats and birds. I even like frogs! I have quite a collection of non-living frogs, most of them are realistic in appearance. I think most snakes are beautiful but I can't stand tarantulas! Everyone has a phobia and these hairy arachnids are mine. The hair on my arms is standing at full attention...eeeeeek! The photos of those spiders in Afghanistan nearly drove me to drink! I'd want an Abrams tank if I ever saw one of those guys.

7. I'm a conservative, politically and religiously. But I am not soft in the head! I didn't park my brain at the door and appreciate people of different values and beliefs than mine. My faith was not arrived at easily - I'm a Calvinist (Lutheran, Reformed, Presbyterian) and they actually encourage thinking! I'm not into the church-growth movements or the mega-churches. Often times too much theology is sacrificed for practicality. Not for me, thanks...and I don't watch TV preachers! Especially of the Benny Hinn variety.

8. This came up somewhere else today - one of my all-time favorite comedies is "Blazing Saddles." Mel Brooks had the cajones (pardon me) to bring up several social issues in one movie and make it impossible not to laugh at your own prejudices! We had some young black friends staying with us during Easter week. They went to the video store with my kids and step-kids to pick out a couple of movies. Guess what they came back with! I just about died!!! They assured me they had heard about it and were okay with it...Against my better judgement, we watched it together. We have never all laughed so hard and so long in our lives! That was 20+years ago. Today, it seems as if every group is looking for an apology at some sort of real or imagined insult. It's too bad we can't all laugh at ourselves once again. It's a lot healthier! I am going to "tag" eight people I don't know very well. They are certainly under NO pressure whatsoever to participate - I just thought it would be fun to throw this to someone I don't really know in the hopes that I will!
Here are the lucky folks!