Monday, December 31, 2007

Out With the Old...

and In With the New...

Kenny G.'s Auld Lang Syne --This One's for You, Mom!

Here we are..we've lasted another year! Each year, I'm beginning to feel a bit more triumphant at that, as though it should somehow be enough..yet I can't help feeling a stirring of excitement as the New Year presents an opportunity to....Do a Better Job of It!

This is the year that I will become perfectly organized, slim, exercised, healthy, go vegetarian, write that novel, (or at least those stories), post here every day, spend more quality time with my Mom, and with Children, my Grandchildren,my friends..paint(well-stencil) that mural at the end of the more attention to what's going on in the world and to take more positive action where I can.... Uhhh-huhh....

Maybe I'd better pick just One! I think I will try my best to maintain a positive attitude and to bring that positiveness into everything that I think and do and into listening to the ideas and viewing the actions of others. There!

Here are some examples of people who didn't have a positive attitude and ended up looking a bit foolish....

"Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances."
-- Dr. Lee DeForest, "Father of Radio & Grandfather of Television.

" "The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives."
- - Admiral William Leahy , US Atomic Bomb Project

"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom."
-- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
-- Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers ." -- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." -- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

"But what is it good for?" -- Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

"640K ought to be enough for anybody."
-- Bill Gates, 1981

This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us," -- Western Union internal memo, 1876.

"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"
-- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible,"
-- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper," -- Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With The Wind."

"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make,"
-- Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies.

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out,"
-- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible," -- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this,"
- - Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads .

"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy," -- Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." - - Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University , 1929.

"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value," -- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre , France .

"Everything that can be invented has been invented,"
-- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899.

"The super computer is technologically impossible. It would take all of the water that flows over Niagara Falls to cool the heat generated by the number of vacuum tubes required." -- Professor of Electrical Engineering, New York University

"I don't know what use any one could find for a machine that would make copies of documents. It certainly couldn't be a feasible business by itself." -- the head of IBM, refusing to back the idea, forcing the inventor to found Xerox.

"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction."
-- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse , 1872

"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon," -- Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873. And last but not least...

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." -- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

A Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year to All!

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Different Dog's Tale

I've been wanting to tell the story of Samantha, my Basset Hound for quite awhile, but it may one that completely stretches your credibility.. Although I'm afraid you'll think mine a smaller even than Pooh-brain, or worse me an ex-sniffer of hallucinogenics, I'm driven to tell this tale.

I was about twenty-three, mother of two young children, and working full time. It was no time to get a puppy, but I had always wanted a Basset and the add said they were reasonably priced, so we drove out to a beautiful area past Granite Dells to find that the pups were sold and gone except for one little female with one white eye. We could have her for half-price, and so Samantha came to take over our household.

We've had lots experience with dogs, and most of them have been well behaved, but Samantha, while eventually housebroken, refused to try to please us in any way. When she came in heat, male dogs gathered around the perimeter of the fence when she was outside. I gave her some chlorophyll tablets ( a difficult task in itself..a tablet in some hamburger seemed to go down the hatch then, much, much later, when she thought I wasn't looking..phttt..out it shot) and low and behold, the male dogs quit coming around. Sam, hormones in gear, missed her would be lovers and when I let her out for a few minutes sat in the middle of the yard calling "woo..oof..wooo...wooo...oofff...," in the best imitation May West voice that you can imagine.

The second heat got her with pups. Remember this was a time when people weren't so aware of how important it is to spay female dogs, so it didn't occur to us at the time. The thing is, Samantha hated being a mother. She had her little crate of pups and when they started squirming and mewling with hunger she would sadly approach the box. Step, stop..big sigh, step..stop..big sigh until eventually she reached it, climbed in and dutifully nursed her pups.

That was the preface, if you're still with me..this is the story.

We were living in lovely, heavily wooded Groom Creek about six miles from Prescott and about a thousand feet higher in elevation. We had found homes for all but one of the pups. He was about half grown and followed his mother everywhere. It was early in December when the pup disappeared. There was snow on the ground, so we all booted up and searched through our subdivision of mostly empty summer homes and through the woods beyond. Coyotes had gotten it, we finally concluded.

We had milk delivery and one day the milkman, after intrepidly chaining up the snowy driveway asked me if we'd lost a pup. Yes indeed, I replied.

"Ther's a lady over on Friendly Pines road who's really angry with you," he said laughing. "She has the puppy and she swears that when it was snowing, your dog came up on her porch and scratched on her door. When she heard the scratching, she opened the door, and your dog shoved the pup inside and ran away through the snow as fast as she could go. By the time it dawned on her what had happened, the dog was gone. She said the puppy seemed just as confused as she was!"

When we retrieved the pup, the woman swore the story was true, and I believed her because I have some other pretty unbelievable stories to tell about that dog. After that, we did wise up and have her spayed!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Indulgence Day!

Today, I'm reading....and...


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Aint' it Funny...

How Time Slips Away..

Thanks to everyone who expressed concern for me during the period I didn't post. I was down with a respiratory virus for several days, and when I got on my feet felt I had to focus on the business of Christmas. I sincerely apologize to anyone who was concerned for me.
I just felt I couldn't open the box..

With apologies to Forest Gump as well, I have to say that blogging is a lot like a box of chocolates. But, I have to differ with Forest in one aspect. You do know pretty much what you'll get.At least in one of your favorite big boxes, the kind that you know just by looking at one of those beauties nesting in it's own little paper cup pretty much what melt in your mouth treat you hold in your hand when you pick it up. You know the light chocolate with the little swirl has a fudgey center and the thin rectangle has crunchy toffee.

Here's the thing I've found, blogging is exactly like eating chocolates. It's addictive... it's impossible to read just one. I can happily lose track of time when catching up on my favorite blogger's lives, their pictures, their silly (or scary) stories, their interests, and their ideas. And I know pretty much what I'm going to get as I indulge in one after another....
So, when I got on my feet I I knuckled down and buckled down to the business of Christmas. I couldn't open the computer box, because I am admittedly addicted to my fellow bloggers and their stories. I'm so looking forward to December 26 when I plan to Binge!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I saw this on Granny Annie and couldn't stop thinking about it. For any of you who missed it on her site, Fools Rush In, enjoy!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Riding on Trains

In the 1940s it was all about train travel and that's the way my Mom and I made our way about the South west. We clambered up the steps of the hissing beast at Omaha with a white jacketed Conductor standing by to lend a hand if necessary. Mom would find our seats and we would settle ourselves for the journey. Soon, we'd hear the Conductor call out "All Aboooaard," and I experienced a little shiver of excitement as, with a great deal of clatter and hissing, the wheels started turning, slowly at first then gathering momentum until we were rocketing through the vast farmlands and prairies of the Midwest. I remember playing a game of what if..what if I lived there... in that white farm house under the shade of those big trees... what if that bay horse in the field was mine and I could ride it every day....what if I lived in that little house so close to the railroad track that I could wave to the train passing by every day..
We were usually in a Pullman car. That meant while we sat in the dining car at a table resplendent with white tablecloths and napkins, selecting from a full menu, the porter would be busy making our seats into sleeping berths.
Changed into our pajamas, we would crawl into the berths, snuggle down and sink into sleep in the swaying car as the clickity-clack of the wheels sang a rhythmic lullaby.
This is the Santa Fe Super Chief. We got to ride on this train to Albuquerque. New Mexico.
Do yuh hear that whistle down the line?
I figure that it's engine number forty nine,
She's the only one that'll sound that way.
On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.
See the ol' smoke risin' 'round the bend,
I reckon that she knows she's gonna meet a friend,
Folks around these parts get the time o' day
From the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.
Here she comes! Ooh, ooh, ooh,
Hey, Jim, yuh better git the rig!
Ooh, ooh, ooh,
She's got a list o' passengers that's pretty big
And they'll all want lifts to Brown's Hotel,'
Cause lots o' them been travelin' for quite a spell,
All the way from Philadelphiay,
the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.
From the 1946 Movie, The Harvey Girls with Judy Garland

This picture of a train crossing Canyon Diablo northeast of Superior, AZ is south of Prescott, so I'm sure we never traveled across it, but I was taken with the shot.

We did cross Johnson's canyon southwest of Williams, Arizona to get to Prescott were we disembarked at this train depot. This photo was taken around 1934, and we arrived in 1947, but it looked much the same and did until the railroad eliminated Prescott as a stop in the 1960s. The old depot still stands as part of a shopping center.

We walked a couple of blocks up Cortez Street to check in at the Head Hotel. This photo was taken a long time before we stayed there as a promotion for the hotel when it was new, but it didn't look much different in the forties, and doesn't look much different today.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

December 7, 2007

My Daughter-in-law called me this morning to tell me that my son would like to smoke a turkey for Christmas dinner and that she has some fancy sauce recipes she'd like to try, if it was all right with me!

I had to laugh because I awakened this morning from a dream that the family came for Christmas dinner, we all sat down around the table and then I noticed that I'd forgotten to cook any food. I'm sure it was my subconscious trying to tell me I'm falling behind in the Christmas preparations! How lovely to know that they will be bringing the main course, and how lovely that they want to do that!

On December 7, 1941 my Uncle, my Mom's brother and his wife and their baby daughter were living in Honolulu. My Uncle Irvin was a Doctor, a pathologist, and he and his family had been living there for at least two or three years when the bombing occurred. My Mom's sister, Doris, a school teacher, was also living there. Their home was on a hillside above the city and they watched in helpless disbelief as Japanese planes swooped in overhead to dive down and release their bombs, bringing death and destruction to the ships of the American fleet gathered in the harbor below.

During the war, I remember my Grandparents listening intently to the radio at night to get the latest update on the war, and I remember rising to my feet, as they rose to theirs, to stand proudly beside them in their own living room, hands over hearts, each time the National Anthem played on the radio. It's no wonder I'm such an old Patriot!

I remember too, my Grandmother fretting at my Grandfather for picking up hitchhikers and him saying it was the least he could do for the brave boys who were fighting for our country. He was proud of my Grandmother for being the person to coordinate supportive war efforts for the block they lived on, and referred to her with much affection as the Block Head.

Newspaper cartoons showed Japanese pilots zooming around in little planes with those leather helmets with ear flaps, goggles, and big smiles with lots of big white teeth showing. As a child, I had a reoccurring nightmare that squads of these planes were swooping down over the trees to bomb us in the front yard of my Grandparents home. My Grandmother and I were trying to run and hide, but couldn't seem to get away. The pilots all had those cartoon faces.

I found a National Geographic site with lots to offer anyone interested in the bombing of Pearl Harbor, including personal accounts.

Here's an amazing picture of the Statue of Liberty made by Arthur S.Mole and John D. Thomas using thousands of World War I Military personnel. You'll find more pictures made by them here.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Moose Baby

I got these photos via email this morning, and just had to share...

They were taken by Jim, of Jimmie and Debbie Auchinleck who live in Flatrock Newfoundland.

Jim had this to say:

In my whole live in Flatrock, I have never seen a new born baby moose. This one was not even a half a mile from my house. The mother picked a small quiet neighbor in Flatrock and had her baby in the front yard just off Deer Marsh Road ,at 5:30 am. Debbie and I (Jim) were out bike riding when we came upon the pair. The lady across the street from this house told us she saw it being born. We saw them at 5:30 PM. So the little one was 12 hours old. What an awesome place we live in,

I agree with is a wonderful world..we just have to keep our eyes open!

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Clarinetist

Oh dear! I'm getting behind in my posting. I know I've not perfected every day posting, but was trying for every other day. Now, I'm having so much fun going through old photos that I'm neglecting most other things! To make it worse, I'm trying to Organize them. That will take awhile, I'm afraid....And Christmas is coming..Christmas is coming....

I been meaning to post this. Here's Mom with her clarinet. She had trouble with breathing with the flute, too much air escaping somehow, so she and her teacher decided she would do better with the clarinet. She played it in high school so she was familiar with it and all breathing out air goes into the playing. She has been practicing diligently and having a lesson a week.

Here she and the girls practice together for their Thanksgiving performance. As you can see, Piglet and Roo are enthusiastic warblers, but Mu eventually opted out. She has many other talents, but since we quit singing B I N G O while traveling in the car, hasn't shown much interest in singing.

As I sort the pictures that represent milestones in my life and in the lives of my family members, many of whom are no longer living, I tell myself to appreciate now. While these are the pictures my children and grandchildren will be sorting in the days to come.. for me they represent the moments of my life, the time I spend with the people who mean the most to me..
You know, my computer has been acting up lately. I think I'll back up my pictures on disc before I do anything else!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lichen on Malapai

"Lichens are fungi that have discovered agriculture"
- lichenologist Trevor Goward.

I want to thank those who commented on my last post requesting more stories about my Mom and me and I've started looking through old pictures that help tell the tale..

Meanwhile, I hope you don't think this picture Eeyore took of several different kinds of lichen, on malapai rock is a cop out! You can click to get a closer look.

Lichen is amazing in that it's composed of fungi that live in cooperation with algae, bacteria or both. Since fungi is not capable of photosynthesis, the process of utilizing light to process food, it has formed a cooperative union with plants that do utilize photosynthesis, or a fungi lives with bacteria that can draw nitrogen from the air to make biologically useful compounds, or both.

If you want to know more about lichen, I found this wonderful site that tells all about them.. some are thought to be the oldest life forms on earth.. and the site also provides a fascinating picture gallery.
I've been calling some lichens moss for years! Who knew!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanks For The Memories

When I was a little girl, I had severe asthma. There was little hope of my getting better in Nebraska, so my Mom, a single, divorced parent, bravely took me to places that were supposed to have clean air. We would hop on a train and go to Colorado Springs, or Las Vegas, Albuquerque, or Prescott, Arizona. Mom would get a job and wait for me to start breathing. It didn't happen until Prescott.
My actual point here, is that it was just my young Mom and me in strange towns, knowing no one, but one thing was consistent, we loved the movies. And we especially loved the Bing Crosby Bob Hope road pictures, where they got up to their shenanigans in different, exotic geographical locations. We would go to the movies, see Bob Hope and then walk home in the quiet dark where the only light was pooled in circles under the street lamps . And we would sing..... songs like Buffalo Gals...gonna dance with the dolly with the hole in her stocking, while her toes keep a rockin'.....and her knees keep a knockin'...

When someone sent me this tribute to Bob Hope, I wanted to thank him for the memories so I decided to pass on the whole thing!
Who today, could possibly make American Troops feel appreciated like he

Tribute to a man who DID make a difference

May 29, 1903 - July 27, 2003

  • ON TURNING 70 "You still chase women, but only downhill".
  • ON TURNING 80 "That's the time of your life when even your birthday suit needs pressing."
  • ON TURNING 90 "You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake."
  • ON TURNING 100 " I don't feel old. In fact I don't feel anything until noon . Then it's time for my nap."
  • ON GIVING UP HIS EARLY CAREER, BOXING "I ruined my hands in the ring ... the referee kept stepping on them."
  • ON NEVER WINNING AN OSCAR "Welcome to the Academy Awards or, as it's called at my home, 'Passover'."
  • ON GOLF "Golf is my profession. Show business is just to pay the green fees."
  • ON PRESIDENTS " I have performed for 12 presidents and entertained only six."
  • ON WHY HE CHOSE SHOWBIZ FOR HIS CAREER " When I was born, the doctor said to my mother, 'Congratulations. You have an eight-pound ham'."
  • ON RECEIVING THE CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL "I feel very humble, but I think I have the strength of character to fight it."
  • ON HIS FAMILY'S EARLY POVERTY "Four of us slept in the one bed. When it got cold, mother threw on another brother."
  • ON HIS SIX BROTHERS "That's how I learned to dance. Waiting for the bathroom."
  • ON HIS EARLY FAILURES " I would not have had anything to eat if it wasn't for the stuff the audience threw at me." <>
  • ON GOING TO HEAVEN "I've done benefits for ALL religions. I'd hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality."

Bob Hope's humor poked gentle fun at himself. It didn't depend on meanly cutting down another person. Maybe that's why he will always be loved and respected by those who remember him.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Day After

We had a lovely day yesterday. We all cooked and then we all ATE. I imagine it was much the same at your homes. This year, the girls each contributed something to the meal so that was fun. Mu and Roo did some fancy dips to go with vegies or crackers and Piglet did a pumpkin cheesecake. The befores and after, and very tasty too!

E. took this picture of a fluffed up house finch in the mulberry tree, trying to catch a little morning sun while waiting his turn at the feeder.

Changes in the Wind, aka Buckskin Bessie, Last Minute Lyn, and Akasha Savage have all posted seven wild and wonderful things about themselves. Who knew?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A meme and Cable troubles

I tried to post yesterday, but right in the middle of my post the cable went out. I didn't notice this for awhile, so I happily went on typing. When I finally noticed that Blogger wasn't saving my post, I'd done quite a bit of it, and lost a lot of it. Well, I was annoyed and called Cable One to voice my disapproval. After navigating numerous recordings, I got a real cable guy.

"Mmmmm," he said,"there is an outage in Prescott, but you're address isn't part of it."

"It might be, " I said. "There's road construction just North of us. They may have cut a cable."

"No," I'm looking right at your modem and you aren't part of the outage. Please unplug your modem."

"Very well," I say reluctantly, "but I have to put the phone down. I'll be back."

"Eeyore, could you wheel out from your desk a bit? E's been absorbed in writing a letter. Absentmindedly, he wheels his chair back. I crawl under his desk, fish around in the dusty cords and cables, unplug the modem and crawl out again.

By now I'm panting and wheezing a bit from the dust. "OK, I say to the cable guy, unplugged."

"Alright," he says slowly and calmly in the tone reserved for very small children and/or blithering idiots, "you have two computers so you must have a router. Do you know where your router is? I need you to unplug your router."

I put down the phone, move E. again, crawl into the dim and dusty recess beneath E's desk and unplug the router. "OK, I wheeze into the phone, "unplugged.

"Please hold for one moment," he says still slow and calm, "I need to confer with my associate." I hold. He returns. "You're part of an outage," he says sweetly. "Your service will be restored as soon as possible. Have a nice day...and don't forget to plug your modem and router back in."

Thanks E, for plugging everything back in, bringing me coffee, and listening to my rant!

On to the the post I tried to do yesterday.

Mary Beth of Cats...Books...Life is Good has tagged me for seven things about me.

There are Rules:

1- Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2- Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
3- Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4 - Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

  1. I love to cook, and what I really love to cook are the comfort foods our Grandmothers prepared every day, but now we know aren't good for us. Pot roast with gravy and mashed potatoes, creamed vegetables with real cream and real butter, and pie..any kind of pie...well, you know! Of course, now E. and I are counting...carbs..sodium..fat..we count and measure it all. But Thanksgiving is coming....the time of the roasting of turkey is upon us....ahhh...the stuffing...the glowing ruby cranberry..the golden yam..the puffy homemade rolls, and the pies..the pies....but I digress..
  2. About five years ago, I discovered books on tape and CD. I listen to them as I go about the more mundane tasks in life, kitchen chores and cleaning. I pop in the tape or CD, stuff the buds in my ears and the player in that convenient place women have used to store things forever, and I'm off and running. Lately, I've been listening to Anthony Trollope. I've always meant to read Trollope, but just recently got around to it. His books are quaint and charming , a look at the social mores that made up British society in the 1800s....but I digress..

  3. Sometimes I think I'm losing my sight, but then I clean my glasses and the world brightens up again.
  4. When the movie Dirty Dancing came out in 1987 I was too scornful of the title to watch it. Four years later, one of my son's girlfriends persuaded me to watch it with her. I got hooked on that movie and watched it so often it became a family joke. One Mother's Day my children and grandchildren were all here. Someone announced there was a peculiar man at the door demanding to see me. I thought it was someone pedaling religion, irritably yanked the door open, and there stood a six foot, cardboard Patrick Swayze....
  5. I got my first job at age sixteen. If I count on my fingers, all the different jobs I've had and places I've worked I come up with twenty-eight. I wish it were a round thirty and sometimes think I should try two more jobs before I die. I always wanted to be a disc jockey, but never got to do that one, and it doesn't look likely now...would selling on eBay count as a new job?
  6. When I was about twenty-five, I took a correspondence course in fiction writing. In filling out the forms, I listed Winnie the Pooh as my favorite book. Then I stewed, worrying that the Famous Authors who would be grading my work would think me foolish. It's still my favorite book and at my age, seventy next July, I feel no need to apologize.
  7. I love old things(there are things older than me, well Mom for one), things with character and history....old kitchen tools, old furniture, old houses. When I sold Real Estate, I was always intrigued by the quaint old homes with their nooks and crannies and charming built-ins, and much less impressed with the enormous carbon footprint homes springing up on the hills overlooking town. Of course, the big homes equaled the big commissions....

Now to tag seven unsuspecting bloggers:

Changes in the Wind


The Old Sourdough

Akasha Savage

Last Minute Lyn



Do this only if you want to, I won't be hurt if you choose not to participate:)

Oh, and never-ever let anybody put you in a corner!

Friday, November 16, 2007

On the Road With Granny J.

Last week E. and I took a little jaunt with Granny J. and her brother Bill who was visiting from Perth Australia. As we were driving through Chino Valley headed North, GJ pointed out a photo-op and we wheeled into an old farm yard that has been converted to a rental company. An old building sported an adornment of rusting farm implements and other antique tools. GJ took a number of pictures.
I took this one.
I also took this one because this old saddle could be the same one I used on my old horse when I was a teen and he was my primary transportation in this same old farming community. See how deep the seat is, so the rider had a safe seat when riding hell bent for leather over treacherous ground one (or no) hand on the reins and one busy swinging a rope. Mine was old when I got it in 1953 and it was the most comfortable all day ride ever made. I've tried newer saddles since, and for me, they just don't measure up.

Our little trip took us into shaggy-bark juniper country. This juniper has a red and white, aromatic wood that burns slowly releasing a lovely fragrance. For years this tree was locally known as cedar. It makes great fence posts that don't rot out in the ground as pine does.
Eeyore and Bill leapt nimbly (well almost anyway) over the rugged malapai rock to stand on the point overlooking the confluence where Granite Creek flows into the Verde River. Granite Creek flows through Prescott and makes it's way Northward to meet the Verde at this point. The Verde meanders in a Southeasterly direction eventually flowing into the Salt River.
It was a little hazy that day, especially when looking back toward Prescott, because of smoke from a forest fire, the August fire, that was still smoldering to the South of town. You can click to see that this country feels vast and unsettled even now. Cottonwoods and new Juniper growth trace the path of the creek as it wends it's way down to the river.
When I find myself in this country the where wind whispers it's ancient song in my ear, I am caught in time. It could be 100 years ago, even 1000 years ago and the view down the canyon would be much the same. Or, maybe it's not the wind , but Puck whispering in my ear to remind me what fools we mortals be as we carry out our self-important mechanization upon the surface of the enduring earth.
Mary Beth of Cats....Books....Life is Good has tagged me for a meme, seven things about me. Thanks for thinking of me, Mary Beth. I'm thinking and it'll be my next post...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Living With the Animals

A friend sent me this picture of deer taking advantage of the shade of a trampoline and it made me think of the Alaskan bear cub photos that circulated about a year ago.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Day 2007

Here are a few things you can do to support our Veterans as well as our young men and women who are serving our country today.
The Veterans Business Directory features businesses run by Veterans. Check it out. You may find a service or product you can use there.
Move America Forward is an organization started by blue and gold star parents of soldiers serving our country in Afghanistan and Iraq. They send care packages, cards and letters to the troops. They are currently putting together Christmas Packages for the soldiers.
Let's say thanks will let you send a card to a soldier . You pick from an array of designs
drawn by children all over the United States, add a message of your choice and click-submit it to Kinkos. They print it and send it off. I send one each morning as part of my daily routine.
It takes about a minute. That's 365 cards a year.
If one of my cards brings a bit of cheer to one soldier it's well worth 365 minutes a year
If you're an old patriot like me, you might like to listen to Johnny Cash's Ragged Old Flag.
For a beautiful tribute to Veterans who have given their lives in service to their Country, go to Circle of the Year where Rowan has posted some wonderful poems including
For the Fallen by Robert Binyon.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Who is this bird?

I was scrunched into the yellow and brown leaves of the Mulberry tree, looking as inconspicuous as a pooh shaped woman can look, as I tried to catch a picture of the Acorn Woodpecker at the feeder. It was the wrong time of day and the wrong light, but there I was in the still warm ,late afternoon when I heard a loud, rather joyful sounding bird call. Calling repeatedly in a sort of sharp bark, this cunning bird moved right in on the feeder.

It started eating seed, then suddenly alert, noticed me huddled into the tree with my camera pointed toward it. Instead of flying off as other birds do, it hopped over to regard me with interest.

See the feathers on it's head? Is that a crest or can all finches raise those head feathers?

It walked along the edge of the feeder before hopping in to feed again, never showing the slightest fear. I've been lying in wait for it, but have never seen or heard it again.

It's larger than a house finch. A Cassin's finch maybe? It has rosy-beige coloring.

This relative of the Hollyhock and Hibiscus, commonly called Miniature Hollyhock loves the cool weather and is about the only thing blooming here now.

It's a small flower, but makes the most of it's color.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Sheep Dog's Tale

This little lady is Sharlot Hall who arrived in Prescott Arizona in a covered wagon
in 1882 when she was twelve years old. This picture is courtesy of .the Sharlot Hall Museum.
Sharlot was a ranch woman who set upon herself the task of recording Arizona history in both prose and verse. She was instrumental in bringing about Arizona's statehood, as Congress had thought it expedient to make one big state of the Arizona and New Mexico territories, calling it New Mexico. Sharlot wrote an epic poem about her beloved Arizona that was distributed to each member of Congress and that was thought by many to convince the Congressmen to grant Arizona it's own identity.
I'm a great fan of Sharlot's and I'll be posting more about her from time to time. Right now I'm going to pass on a story from her book Cactus and Pine copyright Sharlot Hall in 1924. It's a little story and I think Sharlot would be happy to have you read it.
Many years ago a herd of sheep was feeding its way down from the region around the San Francisco peaks by way of the Verde Valley to the desert for the winter. The shepherd sickened and died alone with his sheep.
For some weeks thereafter, a shepherd dog very wild and thin, came once in a while to a ranch house on Clear Creek and snatched a little food set out by the woman of the ranch and hurried away. At last he was found to be herding the sheep and guarding the dead body of his master. He had taken the sheep in a small circle to feed and water, but had always returned to bed them where he could watch his master's body.
I've always been touched by this story of the faithful dog continuing his work of caring for the sheep. He must have been bewildered by his non-responsive master, sad and lonely and hungry, yet he continued to do his job.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Albino Peacock

A friend emailed these pictures, and since they were from Flicker, I thought I'd share..

We still have our peacock, although I have found the owner. He has several other peafowl, and mainly seems annoyed with this one since he is perfectly free to take himself the two and a half blocks home to his lovely wife anytime he chooses. He's been calling for her to join him here. We'll see what happens..

Meanwhile, I took myself into the rather murky, late afternoon, yesterday to take some pictures, took about twenty, and am not happy with any save a cunning, unidentified bird at the feeder. Later on for that one....

If you want to see some terrific animal pictures take a trip to Olivia's where she's done an interesting post on the Frankfurt Zoo and gives us a tantalizing glimpse into her new novel. Her first mystery was published only in German, but this one may be available in to us in English.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Day After

I just read The Old Sourdough's Oct. 31 post and wish I'd read it yesterday! I pulled my post to add this link as her advise is good for all year!!!!!!

Our Halloween was disappointing, because our street, once brim full of goulies and ghosties, was totally deserted last night. I had a bowl of candy ready, including something new that got me all excited..Body Parts Candy! Yes, eyes, fingers, feet, and teeth each in its own little wrap....perfect. This is the first Halloween I can remember that my children and grandchildren didn't launch their trick or treat excursions from an early Halloween supper here. So I was pretty bummed when I had no takers for the body parts that nestled so innocently among the M & Ms and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Then there was a a loud knock at the door, and who should we see but our neighbors who were not begging for treats, but delivering Halloween plates of spicy, warm from the oven, pumpkin cookies!

Under that tousled hair and makeup are our neighbors, the artists Roger Asay and Rebecca Davis. Granny J of Walking Prescott showed you their flagstone sculpture in her post of the Yavapai College Sculpture garden, mentioning how intriguing she found it, how many photos she had taken, and how hard it was to choose which to use for her post.
Roger and Rebecca are the heart of our neighborhood, hosting parties and potlucks that bring us together to keep us true neighbors rather than just a number of people who happen to live on the same street. They, of all the people I know, have the key to celebrating the moments of life!
Thanks you two, and the cookies are delish! I just had two for breakfast!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

On October Thirty One.....

When the sun goes to rest,
That's the night of Halloween ,
When fun is at it's best....
Hope you have....

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Black Bear Story

I leaped (read crept here, I haven't actually leaped in years) out of bed in high good humor this morning, a minor miracle as I've been sunk in the slough of despond for a couple of days. The girls have all gone home. After a week of sweet voices, communal cooking and cookie baking, deep bedtime conversations, excursions to the zoo and museums, teasing about boys, primping before mirrors, giggling into the small hours of the night, etc. the old house is quiet, very, very quiet ..baahhh..

The good news is that both my son and daughter-in-law both got their elk so the freezer will be full.
A friend called me last night and she had this story to tell:

Her sister Anne lives at Lake Tahoe, a beautiful mountain community that spans the border of California and Nevada. A couple of nights ago, Ann was alone in the house when she heard noises downstairs. She crept down to see a black bear at the refrigerator. He had both the refrigerator and freezer doors open and was happily eating everything he could find.

Panicked, she called 911 and was told that game and fish would have to be advised before officers would be dispatched to assist her. Eventually, she heard approaching sirens. So did the bear. Fully Alerted, he beat a hasty retreat and was not to be found anywhere outside.
They found that he'd forced the kitchen door for entry. The officers pointed out a bank of windows in the kitchen that look out on a forested area and aren't curtained. They told her that the black bears in Tahoe know about refrigerators, and if they can look through a window and see one, they come on in to investigate the contents. They helped her secure the broken door, and she cleaned up before returning to bed.
A few hours later, she was again awakened by noises emanating from the kitchen. Creeping down, she saw the same bear. This time, he was going through the cupboards eating away and happily washing his meal down with juice, honey and syrup. Another phone call.. This time the officers came right over, stealthily omitting sirens. As soon as the vehicles drove in, the bear left. Again, he was not to be found.
Apparently, the bears in Tahoe have found an easy way to prepare for winter! People in Tahoe have formed a bear league to help people live in harmony with the bears, and one of the things residents need to do is make sure the crawl space under their homes is secured as bears have demonstrated that crawl space makes a fine winter den. Talk about tippy-toeing around all winter! Shhhh don't wake the bear!
If you go hiking or camping, it's wise to know what to do to avoid confrontation with bears. I found lots of online advice.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A walk in the Park

I had thought to post some little something more often while the girls are here, but as at chronicling everyday life, I've proven a failure. I did remember the camera when we took our lunch to Granite Street Park. The girls took the pictures.

Old Cottonwood trees like these grow along rivers and streams throughout Arizona, but the worsening Southwestern drought is causing the death of many of these shallow rooted trees. Although I am not in favor of lawns here because it takes a great deal of water to keep that grass green, I am glad to see these old trees flourishing where they have traditionally grown. When rainfall was heavy, the creek once flooded into this area providing water for these trees. Now, I'm sure that deprived of the water that keeps the grass green, they would die out.

Some girls like to be photographed and some don't!

A few specimen trees are planted among the native Cottonwoods.