Monday, March 30, 2009

Yellow Lily

The photo of Ee's hyacinth disappeared from below, so I'll post this one of last summer's Lily, also from his meadow. I love Lilies, but for some sad reason they always bring to my mind that Walt Whitman line that goes something like (loose translation here) who knows from what lovely lip hath this Lily sprung. I did make a feeble attempt to find it online, but couldn't. Maybe someone else knows?
Anyway, it seems a morbid way to look at a Lily, but I believe it's meant to celebrate the circle and replenishment of life. And as my perennial plants began to show green shoots above the brown earth, I began to really believe in Spring's proof of life!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Hyacinth

A pretty little hyacinth peeks through the pine needles in Ee's meadow.

After much soul searching, I've started yet another blog!
Last month, I started Prescott Past in order to share Ee's collection of old Prescott post cards.

Now I'm starting a blog called Speaking out in Freedom where I'll contain my Political rants. I posted for the first time to tell of my Grandson's experience in meeting two young Marines who had had an encounter with some college kids on spring break.

This blog will stay the same old....

Monday, March 23, 2009


This is my Mon at age two. She looks appropriately serious here, and I imagine that affording a studio portrait was a pretty serious matter to her parents. My Grandfather was just embarking, or about to embark on his Veterinary practice and there were two little boys to care for as well as the two girls. I know that they barely scraped by at this point in their lives and that my Grandmother sewed every stitch the children wore including the boys suits. Usually the material she used was from the cast off clothing of other family members, and it's not hard to imagine that these cute look-a-like dresses were stitched from someone's cast off petticoats!
Here, the sisters at two and four, look as though they're tired of posing for the camera. Doris has a pretty constrained smile! Don't you love that bow!
Once, when these little girls were both in their eighties, I heard them is an rather heated debate that harked back to one biting the head off the other's celluloid doll when they were children. "Well, you dared me!" proclained the offender.
I hope you have a lovely Spring Day!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The First Day of Spring!

The day when the sun is in perfect line with the equator. According to the news this morning, it is today although March 21 is usually the date of the Vernal Equnox, but this year it's the 20th. It can't be too soon for me!
It's been spring break for the girls so we stopped by Watters Garden Center the other day. Roo looks it over deciding where to zoom in.

This lady, with her charming way of dressing always enhances the Watters experience.

Inside, colored glass caught Mu's eye.

I liked this umbrella that makes a sunflower when unfurled....

Pretty and pink gets Roo's attetion every time.........

This round kitty was pretty cute.

All these strange creatures are watering cans made from metal

Piglet! Quit playing in the fountain!
After prowling through all the plants, shrubs and trees as well as everything the gift shop had to offer, the girls zeroed in on the best of all.....lotions and potions for softer, more fragrant skin..
Ee and I got some seed trays and some sterile seed starting mix. Dull stuff after all that was on offer. We noticed though, that the high end garden sculpture usually displayed in abundance, was nowhere to be seen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patricks Day!

I thought this clip art girl all dressed in green would make a good St. Paddy's Day statement, but she looks rather sad doesn't she?
Ah well, I'm of good cheer and I hope you are too, and soon to be filled to the brim with corned beef and cabbage or green beer or whatever suits your fancy!
It's a sunny day here at the One Acre Wood, and the trees are thinking seriously about the wearin' of the green! Spring is in the air!

Friday, March 13, 2009

9000 Earmarks

I've been trying to learn a bit more about the convoluted workings of Congress, and here is a basic: each project or "earmark" goes through the process of authorization and appropriation. I found an informative site here, on Congressional Line.

authorization - A statutory provision that obligates funding for a program or agency. An authorization may be effective for one year, a fixed number of years, or an indefinite period. An authorization may be for a definite amount of money or for "such sums as may be necessary." The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization and then appropriation.

appropriation - The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization and then appropriation. Legislation status tables and information about the appropriations process are available on the Appropriations page.

On March 10, 2009, John McCain had this to say to the President and to his fellow Congressmen:

"In 1991 there was a total of 537 earmarks for the entire appropriations process. This evil has grown, and it has grown, and it has grown-to the point where we now have 9000 earmarks. All we are asking is to authorize. We have talked a lot about the individual earmarks. But the fact is, they are not authorized. I heard one of my colleagues today on this side of the aisle say, "Well the authorizing committees are too busy."
Really? Really?
So all we are asking is to go back to what this body had done and the Congress had done for a couple of hundred years: that is authorize the projects."

Let's make it clear that we don't approve of earmarks from either party and that we especially dislike Congressional committee members being "too busy" to follow proper procedures.

I've already written John McCain to thank him for his stance.
Today, I'm writing to Nancy Pelosi to tell her we Americans aren't deaf, dumb, and blind. She needs to get her house in order. We need to let her know that it is not really her house! It is ours, and we are watching her!

Senator John McCain
241 Russell
Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
235 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Thursday, March 12, 2009

All Bound up in Government

This is the way I picture our poor beleaguered Country. Regrettably, the working American taxpayer is being wrapped in an ever tightening web of
an increasingly demanding Government. Seemingly gone are the days when most of our elected representatives felt they worked for us or even represented us.

I have been wondering what I can do. Well, for the price of some paper, envelopes and stamps, I can write letters to let my Congressmen and my President know that I'm paying attention. I know I can easily send them emails, but I'm going to write real letters. Mainly, I'm going to let them know I'm paying attention, that I'm not the stupid sheep they think I am!

You can look up your Governmental Representatives, including your Governor and members of your State Legislature here. Project Vote Smart makes it easy to review the voting records and read the speeches of your Representatives. They provide contact information so we can write or email our Representatives telling them how we feel about their performances.

This was not my vision for my retirement years, but now I can't help feeling , if we can't exert some checks and balances in Congress now, we will deserve what we get. The trouble is our Grandchildren and their children and their children will suffer from our negligence and disinterest.

How about wounded Vets paying for their own medical care? Unbelievable? Maybe, but you might want to read this.

Repeat after me, a letter a day to keep the socialists away, Yes I Can!

Gotta I'm writing a thank-you letter to John McCain (Rep.AZ) for his speech standing up against earmarks in this spending bill.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Exercise in Frustration!

I just read This:

After a special meeting of the democratic Steering and Policy Committee ...Mark Zandi, a key economic advisor to congressional Democrats has said, "I think another stimulus package is a reasonable assumption because of the way things are going."

What does he mean "because of the way things are going" anyway! From bad to worse it seems to me, so what is his reasoning here?

And: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), standing with members of her leadership team by Zandi's side, said she agreed another stimulus bill is being considered.

Read the article here.

It's time to do whatever we can to stop this government run amok!

I'm going to email this article to everyone in my address book, and I hope you will too. We have to start somewhere, and united in indgnation is as good a place as any.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Aerial Combat Over Lake Tapps

Yesterday, I received this email titled: Aerial Combat Over Lake Tapps.
The photos were taken by a professional photographer who sent them out as email with a wonderful commentary. I've googled the title to see if he published them and could only find a site that had copied his email.
I wish I could give him credit here for both photos and words. It's just too great not to share!

Update: Thanks to a commenter, I have the name of this photographer/author: Thank you Gary Wheeler!!

Update # 2: Thanks to another commenter, a prologue from the original email
"I was walking along the shore of Lake Tapps on Monday, and noticed a a little more than 1/4-mile away (as measured later by GoogleEarth). I saw a Bald Eagle circling and repeatedly diving on what I thought must be a school of fish. Soon he was joined by another Eagle and they began to fight each other for the prey. Territorial Eagle fights do happen,but I've never seen one, nor have I seen any good photos...

All these pics were taken hand-held with my Panasonic FZ-28 at 18X zoomwhich is 486mm. All pics were taken on Intelligent Automatic which is justpoint-and-shoot. I had previously selected okay up to ISO@0 and it was abright day, which is as good way to force the shutter speed to 1/500 sec. to1/1000 sec. for all the shots even though the camera performed everything automatically.

Most of the images were cropped to a small fraction of their original sizewhich effectively multiplies that Optical Focal Length of 486mm by the ratioof: original image width ÷ cropped image width. The action was over1/4-mile away, and I ended up with effective Focal Lengths of well over 1,000mm for half the pics shown here, so they are not up to my normalstandards of image quality. Nevertheless, they are exciting and tell quite a story...Enjoy, Gary

The fellow sitting on the tailgate of his pickup truck never realized what he was missing.
The little duck watches as the eagle speeds straight at him at about 40 mph.

With perfect timing the duck always dove and escaped with a mighty splash! Then he'd pop to the surface as soon as the Eagle flew past. This was repeated over and over for several minutes. I worried the poor duck would tire and that would be the last of him.

A second eagle joined the attack! The duck kept diving "just in time," so the eagles began to dive into the water after him!

After several minutes the Eagles got frustrated and began to attack each other. They soon began to dive vertically, level out, and attack head-on in an old fashioned game of high speed "Chicken," Sometimes they'd back away from each other at the last possible second. Other times they'd climb vertically and tear into each other while falling back toward the water. (The duck catches his breath at the right side of the picture.)

A terrible miscalculation! The luckiest shot of my life catches the 100 mph collision between two Bald Eagles.

One Eagle stayed aloft and flew away, but the other lies motionless in a crumpled heap. The lucky duck survived to live another day.

It's sad to watch an Eagle drown. He wriggled, flopped and struggled mostly under water. He finally got his head above water and with great difficulty managed to get airborne. To my astonishment, he flew straight toward me, and it was the most wretched and unstable bird flight I've ever seen!

He had a good six foot wingspread and looked mighty angry. I was concerned that I might become his next victim. The bedraggled Eagle circled me once then it lit atop a nearby fir tree.

My half hour wait was rewarded by this marvelous sight. He flew away, almost as good as new. May America recover as well."
Again, thank you to the unknown photographer/journalist who produced this work. If you see this and object to this publication or better, want to add your name for credit just leave a comment or email for me!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Oh, the March Wind Doth Blow!

March "came in like a lamb" here in Northern Arizona, so I imagine it will "go out like a lion". If the old adage is true, we can expect some wild winds toward the end of the month. I just hope they won't have the strength of the wind that pushed over these two trucks and swept them toward Nevada's Walker Lake, close to the town of Hawthorne.
My oldest son John, happened to be driving the white truck in the foreground when the wind imps struck He said one minute he was cruising down the road and the next he was lying on his side in a truck that was lying on it's side. John got out of his truck and running back to the red truck, found a Hispanic couple along with a young child all in a state of confusion, but not seriously injured. He got their truck engine turned off and hustled them out and away from the trucks, and made the call to report the freak accident. And it was in March....a couple of years ago.