---Alice Abrams

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Manic Monday - Spice

All of us have some sort of spices tucked away in our kitchen. Some may be more common than others, depending upon the degree of the homeowner's abilities! Others may not be well known except by name, such as Frankincense and Myrrh (and not used in cooking...). These, along with gold, are mentioned in the Bible, as gifts presented to the Christ child by the Magi (Three Wise Men). So here is just a brief bit o' bits about Frankincense and Myrrh.

Spices and herbs have played a dramatic role in the development of Western civilization. Spices today are plentiful and are used mostly as flavorings. However, in ancient and medieval times, they were rare and precious products, used for medicine, perfume, incense, and flavoring.

Myrrh was used as an embalming ointment and was used, up until about the 15th century, as a penitential incense in funerals and cremations. The "holy oil" traditionally used by the Eastern Orthodox Church for performing the sacraments of chrismation and unction is traditionally scented with myrrh, and receiving either of these sacraments is commonly referred to as "receiving the Myrrh".Psalm 45 mentions myrrh as a kingly fragrance in a passage interpreted by some as referring to the future Messiah:

Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness
beyond your companions; your robes are all fragrant
with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
—Psalm 45:7-8

In the New Testament, myrrh was one of the gifts of the Magi to the infant Jesus according to Matthew, is cited in Mark as an intoxicant that was offered to Jesus during the crucifixion, and in John was one of the spices used to prepare Jesus' body for burial

Frankincense has been traded on the Arabian Peninsula and in North Africa for more than 5000 years. Frankincense was found in the tomb of the ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamen, who died in 1323 BC, i.e. about 3332 years ago.

Frankincense is tapped from the very scraggly but hardy Boswellia tree by scraping the bark and allowing the exuded resins to bleed out and harden. These hardened resins are called tears. There are numerous species and varieties of frankincense trees, each producing a slightly different type of resin. Differences in soil and climate create even more diversity of the resin, even within the same species
The Greek historian Herodotus was familiar with Frankincense and knew it was harvested from trees in southern Arabia. He reports, however, that the gum was dangerous to harvest because of poisonous snakes that lived in the trees. He goes on to describe the method used by the Arabians to get around this problem, that being the burning of the gum of the styrax tree whose smoke would drive the snakes away. The resin is also mentioned by Theophrastus and by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia.

The Egyptians ground the charred resin into a powder called kohl (the world's first eyeliner...) Kohl was used to make the distinctive black eyeliner seen on so many figures in Egyptian art. The aroma of frankincense is said to represent life and the Judaic, Christian and Islamic faiths have often used frankincense mixed with oils to anoint newborn infants and individuals considered to be moving into a new phase in their spiritual lives.

Mo knows all about the Egyptians!
Please visit him at Manic Monday

Friday, May 29, 2009

Goodnight, Jay...

It will be difficult saying "goodbye" tonight. As a youngster, I got to stay up with my mom and dad on Friday nights and watch Steve Allen, the precursor to Jack Paar. Then I went to bed with Johnny (Carson) oh so many nights!

Back in the "olden" days, we only had 5 TV channels and most of them went off the air around midnight. Then came the shot of the air force planes flying to to the poem of "High Flight,"'( a sonnet written by John Gillespie Magee, a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. He came to Britain, flew in a Spitfire squadron, and was killed at the age of nineteen on 11 December 1941 during a training flight from the airfield near Scopwick.)

"Oh I Have Slipped
The Surly Bonds of Earth...
Put Out My Hand
And Touched the Face of God"
Next came the all too familiar test pattern which stayed frozen on the screen until the station signed on again in the morning. For us night owls, it was either hit the hay or read. I usually read myself to sleep.

During the dark hours of my life, when I struggled with an alcoholic husband, staying up and waiting for him to come home, I watched TV. Some local channels (LA) started showing political commentators like Joe Payne and Louis Lomax. I guess that's where my love of political talk shows (TV & radio) began. Then, there was the drifting off to sleep with the test pattern...

I loved Johnny Carson and watching the Carson era end was literally heartbreaking, and I didn't see how some funny looking kid like Jay Leno could ever fill his shoes. That was the magical part of it. Jay never tried to be anyone but himself. With his goofy face and kind smile, he won me over. Johnny Carson was my favorite uncle but Jay is like a favorite cousin, one you could cut up with and no one would tell on the other.

I won't be switching to Letterman. I liked his earlier shows but he has become so bitter and his "humor" shows it. Although his show won awards, Jay got the audience and the love of his fans.
I don't know if I'll follow Conan or not. I used to watch him at the 12:30 a.m. slot years ago, but he got a little over the top for me. I'll give him another shot. I hate to end the Tonight Show legacy that began, for me, about fifty years ago...

I've got the Kleenex ready. I'll say "goodbye" to another late night friend...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Looking at the Sky on Friday

This is an old rusted lantern that's hanging on the front porch. The original photo didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, so I doctored it up a bit and used the spotlight effect to darken the edges. I like the way the clouds are scattered in little patches and that you can see the sky through the cutouts...

Please go visit our Arkansas Sweetheart at
Looking at the Sky on Friday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Global Nonsense

Everyday, there are more" idjits" making the news. For instance, US Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, said Tuesday the Obama administration wanted to paint roofs an energy-reflecting white to increase the average global albedo. WHAT? Albedo? Is that like Libido? See Here:
For other uses, see Albedo (disambiguation).

The albedo of an object is the extent to which it diffusely reflects light from the Sun. It is therefore a more specific form of the term reflectivity. Albedo is defined as the ratio of diffusely reflected to incident electromagnetic radiation. It is a unitless measure indicative of a surface's or body's diffuse reflectivity.

So, let's all paint our roofs white. And then, there's this:
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS PALMERSTON NORTH, New Zealand -- On a typical day, researchers in this college town coax hungry sheep into metal carts. They wheel the fluffy beasts into sealed chambers and feed them grass, then wait for them to burp. The exercise is part of a global effort to keep sheep, deer, cows and other livestock from belching methane when they eat and regurgitate grass. Methane is among the most potent greenhouse gases, and researchers now believe livestock industries are a major contributor to climate change, responsible for more greenhouse-gas emissions than cars are, according to the United Nations. But I thought "global warming" is all man's fault! Do we have to stop belching, too?

And last, but not least:

Chief Idjit, Henry Waxman - here's his fantastic idea:
Late Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee
passed the 900+ page Cap and Trade Carbon Tax bill by a vote of 33-25. "SERIOUS ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES" "Making the decision to regulate CO2 ... for the first time is likely to have serious economic consequences for regulated entities throughout the U.S. economy, including small businesses and small communities." "NO DEMONSTRATED HEALTH EFFECTS" In the absence of a strong statement of the standards being applied in this decision, there is a concern that EPA is making a finding based on (1) "harm" from substances that have no demonstrated direct health effects."

When asked a direction question regarding HIS bill, Waxman was unable to answer. He said that they were leaving the ins-and-outs of this bill up to the scientists. Once again, our politicians are trying to pass bills they HAVEN'T EVEN READ, even though their name is on it!!! And, of course, it's full of P.S. (Like B.S. only Pig S. because it's full of PORK!!!) When are they going to get it through their thick skulls???? They may have the bucks to pay 3-4 time higher energy bills. I sure has hell don't!!!!!!! And while they're busy playing around with pig farts and sheep burps, the "Dear Leader" of North Korea has broken a 53-year old treaty. The world could be blown to smithereens because we've let the U.N. sit on their fat butts and tell "Dear Leader" to play nice. Reminds me of Nero playing his "fiddle" while Rome burns....

Hang on people: We're in for a LONG ride!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Memory

(This photo was taken in Alaska, showing the sun shining through the fog.
I found it on the web but lost the name of the photographer. If I can locate it,
I will repost the photo with his name. This is a stunning photo and deserves credit.)

This is the memorial to our fallen heroes at Hillcrest Cemetery. We lost another hero last week:
Major Jason E. George, 38, was an Army Reservist assigned to the
252nd Combined Arms Battalion, Fayetteville, N.C.

Words always fail me on this date. We fly our flag and remember our men and women who serve and who have served, giving their lives for our country. May God bless them, their families, and our country.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Lighter Mood




Her Daddy is on a ship somewhere, serving his
country in the Navy...
Isn't she a cutie?

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm Really Angry!

I'm so angry I could spit bricks (yeah, I know that's not correct but I'd prefer not to do it the other way).

There's a certain MM on the blogs (I refuse to name or link) that loves to go crap on other people's blogs because he disagrees vehemently with them. I would dearly love to go and leave a comment letting this person know how I feel about him but then I would be descending to his level. So, the only outlet I have is MY space here to vent. If I don't agree with someone - 1. I don't go back to their blog, or - 2. Find a common ground and stick to that. There have been many occasions that I've disagreed with someone only to become very fond of them by really listening and agreeing to disagree.

There's such a lack of respect these days. It really hurts my heart to see a man who has served his country and deserves nothing but respect, get dumped on like that. NO, you do not have to agree with him! He has very strong opinions and, right or wrong, he IS entitled to them. For Pete's sake, (and this applies to everyone!) just because you disagree with someone, don't be a smart ass and leave derogatory comments or be insulting. There's NOTHING worse than a bully with a smart mouth and a hateful heart.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This is kind of a strange photo. It was raining lightly (Linda - those are rain drops, not orbs...) and near sunset. I've always liked our pine tree next to our neighbor's palms but my flash went off and highlighted the orange tree! So there's areal hodge-podge going on. As for the sky?
I like the colors!

Visit American Idol's Queen and happy fan,
Crazy Working Mom

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Manic Monday - Shadow

When I took art classes, my teacher kept saying, "Light and shadow, light and shadow..." A painting without drama is flat and lackluster. The same can be said for life. We shine in the light, but we also experience shadow. It is going through the shadow that allows us to appreciate walking in the light.

Please visit Mo at Manic Monday...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Photo Hunters - Painted

These are a couple of things I painted. I haven't painted in quite a while, but looking at Miss Bee's beautiful lake, has made my painting fingers itch...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Looking at the Sky on Friday

This is Lake Ming, just about five miles away. It's known for the speed boat races - obviously not because of the lush hillside! I know there's just a sliver of sky and as the summer progresses, the air is going to get foul and the sky will be gray. If I'm lucky, I may get some Thunderheads banked over the foothills.
We're definitely NOT know for our air quality. So, it looks like we're gonna have to make a few trips over to the beach so I can snag me some sky shots!
(It's supposed to be 101 degrees Sunday, which is really early in the season. Hopefully, we'll come down a few notches before the heat sets in for good.)

Now, y'all skeedaddle over to Crazy Working Mom for
"Looking at the Sky on Friday!"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Manic Monday - Swing

Hubman would be out on the greens everyday, if he could. I have never played golf, nor do I ever intend to. I am one of the world's most impatient people and I know if I got stuck in a sandtrap, I'd probably pitch the club as far as I could!


Saturday, May 09, 2009

Another Inferno!


This is the famous pair of copper dolphins at the
Stern's wharf, home to famous restaurants.

This is the the "Jesusita" fire, creeping down the hillside toward the town of Santa Barbara.
Molten aluminum has flowed from the wheels of a burned-out car, in front of a home destroyed after the Jesusita fire swept through Santa Barbara, Calif., Thursday, May 7, 2009.
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Towering Palm Trees explode as flames jump across state highway 154 early Friday morning May 8, 2009, in Santa Barbara, Calif., bringing the fire dangerously close to heavily populated areas. A wildfire raging along coastal mountain slopes burned more homes Friday as it expanded in two directions along a five-mile front, and mandatory evacuation orders grew to encompass some 30,500 people, authorities said. Thousands more were urged to be ready to move on a moment's notice.

Over 30,000 people have been evacuated, with more evacuations expected at any time.
They have a "sundowner" wind effect which happens when the warm air meets the cooler ocean air and creates wind overnight. The winds hamper the firefighters, Santa Barbara has had extremely high temps, in the high 90's and low 100's. It's usually 75-85 degrees.

Santa Barbara is rich in Californian history. The fire is threatening the mission and a lot of other historical sites. A lot of dignitaries own homes in this area, and I know, they understand the risk they're taking because these fires are also part of Santa Barbara's history.

My daughters and I visited Santa Barbara just a year ago, staying in a hotel just across from the famous pier. It is one of my favorite places to go for a short trip. We drove up in the hills and saw so many very beautiful estates. It's heartbreaking... It's also home to one of the largest polo clubs. All of those horses stabled there have to be relocated, along with all of the family pets.

Please pray for the folks of Santa Barbara and the 2500 firefighters that are laying their lives on the line....

Friday, May 08, 2009

Photo Hunters - In Memory

This is the reflecting pool at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Individually, each chair represents a person that was killed on that day.
The little chairs are for the babies that were in the day care center.

This is the arch you pass through at the entrance to the park.

The people that designed this did a wonderful job of incorporating the sorrow
and sadness but filling it with hope, as well.

I've stood and looked down over the U.S.S. Arizona, in Pearl Harbor, where you
can still see oil bubbling to the top of the water.

Collectively, people need a place to come, to reflect, and heal: A place
of memory, In Memory of all of those whose lives were lost.


Mr. De Mille???

"I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille!"
This woman so reminds me of Gloria Swanson in the movie "Sunset Boulevard!" Or is it Bette Davis in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" The mask is cracking...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Looking at the Sky on Friday

Before the idiots put the 12 ft. block wall behind us, this was our view. (I must confess that I did some "doctoring," and, if I've used this photo before - please forgive me! I'm getting senile...)

Be certain to give our Hostess a shout-out!
Crazy Working Mom - Looking at the Sky on Friday

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Manic Monday - Pines

I love the pines....
ImageChef Word Mosaic -
But my heart pines...
~~~ for the palms~~~

Please stop in and visit Mo, at
Manic Monday!