Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Times are Tough

I knew it would come to this eventually.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Gratitude Monday - Changing Seasons

In the spring any weather can happen at any time for any reason.
On Saturday we had fluffy flakes of fun falling from the sky for most of the morning.

It brought birds to the peanut feeder. The difference was this time it brought starlings as well as woodpeckers. If you enlarge the photo you should see the starling on the feeder as the woodpecker waits on the tree.

The snow stopped in late morning. By noon the melt was on.
It poured off the roof and down the spout.

And ran down the street with joyous abandon.

It was messy and sloppy and fluffy all within a few hours.
It makes spring fun, and for that I am grateful.
I made a mistake when I put up the bird pic. It's just of a woodpecker on the feeder. Sorry.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Photo Finish Friday - The Sun Sets On Another Week

The sun sinks slowly into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile.

And so another week comes to a close.
What have you done to improve the world?
I've done nothing, but neither have I caused it any harm.
On the whole, that's pretty good.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The New Moon of Spring

Photo is the moon in first-quarter off the coast of Chile from the top of the Radiance of the Seas.

It's the new moon today and you know what that means. Dig out your chequebooks and bring on the abundance.
It's abundance cheque time. The new moon is at 12:06 p.m. EDT. That's 10:06 a.m. local time for me. Once you've sorted out when it is for you, you've got 24 hours to write a cheque to yourself signed by the Law of Abundance. You can take care of the signing yourself. The Universe is pretty cool that way.
If you're new to this here's what to do.
Get a cheque or draw a facsimilie.
Put your name in the pay to the order of line.
Write Paid In Full in the amount box.
Write it again in the amount line.
Leave the date blank.
On the signature line write The Law Of Abundance.
Leave the memo line blank or write Thank You. Either way is good.
Put it away and forget about it.
If you forget to do this within 24 hours, do not despair. Go ahead and write it as soon as you remember. It demonstrates intent and faith.
Abundance comes in many forms. Keep your mind open, and your heart, and see where it takes you.
Happy Abundance.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's Tax Time

This is how I feel about tax time.

It's that time of the year again.
I got my tax info all sorted out yesterday and bundled off to my accountant this morning.
In a few days the return will be completed and sent off to the government and my financial duties to my country will be done.
I have nothing else to add save I'm relieved. For now.
What about you? Is this your favorite time of year?

The photo was along a retaining wall in a little town at the end of the Reloncavii Fjord in Chile. I have no idea what it says or means, but I got a kick out of it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Gratitude Monday - Soon

Near Num-Ti-Jah Lodge along the Banff Parkway.

Spring is here and with it the promise of sunshine, green grass, and lazy summer days.
But it first brought us a spring snow storm that left us with several inches of fresh, fluffy snow.
Moisture is good, and I am certainly grateful for it, but I'd really rather have a proper summer soaker than more snow.
It is what we have, though, and there's nothing to be done about it except ride it out and know that summer, and scenes like this, will be back soon.
I'm grateful that I live so close to the mountains and that I have a car. I can go any time I please. I am also grateful that I have this photo and many others like it to look at on days when it is snowy and grey.
It seemed like time to put up a picture like this. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Photo Finish Friday - On the Rocks

Sea lions and cormorants share a rock island in Beagle Channel, Argentina.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Disapproving Penguin

Disapproving penguin disapproves.

These are the Rockhopper penguins we saw on the Falkland Islands. I love them dearly. The young ones are fuzzy and the full grown ones look like they belong in a Far Side (R) cartoon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trying vs. Being

Yay! Cheap roosters!
Some people try very hard to be witty, or noticed, or to draw attention to themselves or their business. Those who try too hard fail.
We know whoever put this sign up here in town knew exactly what he or she was doing. Well, except for the spelling part. While I'm all for cheap rooster night, the above incites more of a head-shake than a smile.

And then we have those for whom wit comes naturally.

I needed to have some fasting bloodwork done on Monday. That meant nothing to eat or drink after 8 p.m. Sunday. I asked my husband to put a note on the table for me as a reminder. I need someone riding shotgun for me when it comes keeping food and drink away.

He went one step further. He tied the fridge closed.

He's a natural.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gratitude Monday - Thank Moose Edition

We went out for a drive on Saturday. We originally went north to check out an eagle's nest atop a high voltage tower, but no one was home yet.
So we drove south to where we'd seen eagles in the past.
On the way we found these two moose sunning themselves.

By the time we realized what we'd seen and backed up they had gotten up from their rest and were heading back to the bush.

They kindly consented to pose for several photos. Then, with one last backward glance, they were on their merry way.

Thank you, moose, for being there.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Photo Finish Friday - Soothing Blue

A calming sight in Uruguay.

Rio de la Plata, Uruguay, looks wide enough to be the ocean.
It's an estuary and it forms part of the border between Uruguay and Argentina.
But mostly it's a warm and soothing sight and I was privileged to spend a few minutes along its sandy shore.
I hope you enjoy the photo and can spend a few moments of your hectic day, if you're having one, in quiet contemplation. If you let yourself relax and free your imagination you can hear the waves.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Porn, Moonshine, and Christ! Oh, My!

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the letter “X.”
Poor, abused, misunderstood X. All it asks of life is to be pronounced like a “Z” at the front of words.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking, X Ray. That’s eks-ray. Yes, and it’s also not a proper word.
Under the rules of the meme I am to tell you 10 things I love or at least like that begin with the letter X.
I asked for this. Most people don’t want X. The fools.

1 Xylophone – a musical instrument that is played by striking the bars. I had a toy one when I was young. I still have it. I have no talent for this sort of adventure, but it’s fun.

2 Xeriscape – dry, desert-like landscape. If you have a cactus garden, then you have a xeriscape.

3 Xerox – from xerography, a term coined for the procedure of making dry copies.

4 Xmas – This is pronounced eksmas and is formed from the Greek letter chi(X) the first letter of the Greek word for Christ.

5 XXX – before we had porn everywhere we had moonshine. Potent moonshine jugs in movies have three Xs on them to designate powerful juice inside. Porn needs no explanation, but it really should apologize. Three Xs also mean explosives inside.

6 Xanthan gum – used as a substitute for gluten in baking.

7 Xanadu – poetic name for China in the poem Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure- dome decree:…” Also a movie with Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton-John.

9 X – marks the spot on treasure maps.

10 X – the Roman numeral 10.

X is the most useful of all letters. You can sign your name with it, use it to mark a spot, and abbreviate words like cross or Christ.

It galls me no end when people who were raised in the English language, who can read it, who went to school in it, and who use the alphabet every day cannot get their minds around the simple concept of pronouncing X words correctly.
Perhaps the best way to bring it home is to paraphrase “The Happy Hooker” herself, Xaviera Hollander. In the front matter of her second book she offers an explanation of how to pronounce her name “…like Riviera with a Zah.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Blog Goes To “L”

Ten things I love or like that begin with the letter “L” from a meme I got from Reb.
She drew the letter for me.

1 Lute – long-necked musical instrument with strings somewhat akin to a guitar but pear-shaped. A luthier is person who makes such instruments.

2 Lustrum – a period of five years. Impress your friends by telling them a lustrum is one-quarter of a score. They will look at you funny.

3 Lapidary – this means working with rocks and stones, usually gemstones, to fix them up and make them pretty. I have a rock tumbler and I’ve collected and finished some lovely stones. It’s fun and most gratifying when a rock can be made to stay shiny.

4 Lapis lazuli – the national gemstone of Chile and a very pretty blue.

5 Lupine - of or like a wolf. I love wolves and it bothers me that they are largely despised. Dogs are descended from wolves. It’s also refers to the genus lupinus, a type of flower.

6 Lycanthropy – a disorder in which the sufferer believes he or she turns into a wolf under the full moon.

7 Ladle – I love the sound of this word. It has a very soothing feel over my tongue when I say it. A ladle is a big, deep spoon with a long handle. It’s used for dipping into big pots of soup or stew or chili, or anything else to be spooned out for eating.

8 Lagomorphs - critters in the bunny family including the pika.

9 Lynx – wild cat smaller than a cougar.

10 Loch – a lake. The most famous is the home of the Loch Ness Monster. Another famous one is Loch Lomond but you’ll never meet your true love there again.

This was so much fun I am going to do another one tomorrow. The Bag Lady drew the letter “X” for me.

Meanwhile, if you want to play may I suggest you pick a letter to do? I am way too lazy to draw a letter out of a hat for you.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Gratitude Monday - Christmas Is When You Make It

We celebrated Christmas this past weekend.
We drove to Edmonton to see our friends, the Webjeks. (The name is a compilation of their surnames, and a damned fine one.)
We’ve had Christmas together each year for several years now, more than a dozen.
We get to it when we can. It’s often well after Christmas proper. We’ve observed it later in March at least once, but we usually get to it during winter.
What matters is getting to spend the time with friends. The food, the gifts, activities, they’re all great, but the point is being together and spending time in one another’s company.
That is what matters. It is what makes it Christmas no matter what the date may be.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Photo Finish Friday - Haunting Blue

This is Skua Glacier in the Chilean fjords. Our cruise ship went in very close to it, closer apparently than any other cruise ship had gone.
The ice formations looked like living crystals creatures. I thought I'd ventured to a cold alien world of eerie, haunting beauty.
Please click to enlarge the photo for the full effect.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pine Block to Work of Art --The Finished Product

Before going any further my husband decided to get a professional opinion.

Here's the cougar mask ready to be varnished.

The finished product.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing the process from a block of wood to a mask. My husband spends 15 to 20 hours per project and does it for the sheer joy of working with the wood and creating. He is currently working on a bear.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pine Block to Work of Art --Part Two

He has a good general shape here. It's time to make some holes.
Please click the photos for a good look.

The dark areas are where he filled in the natural cracks in the wood using
glue and sawdust. Then he started to drill out the mouth.

The round hole is for measuring to determine how much to take out where so he has enough material for proper teeth.
Here the back is hollowed and dental work begins.

A good set of teeth.

Mike worked between one and two hours a day on it unless he was called to his day job.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pine Block to Work of Art--Part One

My husband likes to carve. He can take an ordinary block of wood and make it into something fiercely beautiful.
In December he sketched out a cougar on a block of pine.

Then he started to chip away all the parts that didn't look like a cougar.

Taking shape.

Coming along.

Progress made.

I hope you are enjoying this photo story.
More tomorrow.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gratitude Monday - The Sun Never Sets on Gratefulness

Sunset off the coast of Chile.

Some days its hard to know what to be grateful for. No, not because I can't think of anything. That's absurd. It's because the choices are virtually unlimited. I am here. I exist. If I get stuck for something to be thankful for I go with breathing. Everything after that is gravy.

All that said, I am currently grateful to whomever directed me to get my beta blocker prescription renewed by a local doctor last week. I had the option of waiting until today when it could have been done through my cardiologist. I needed only a few to tide me over until my teleheath appointment with him. That's an appointment conducted by camera as opposed to me going to his office. It is possible that I could have been finished with the beta blockers then and I was looking forward to it.
Instead I went to a doctor here who insisted, in the way of medical people, on checking me over. I am back in atrial fibrillation and that means back on anticoagulants.
I had every intention of waiting. I was about to tell my cardiologist's assistant so when someone or something tickled my psyche into saying I'd do it here.
I am grateful.