Monday, February 28, 2011

Jane Russell Dies

Hollywood lost another legend and one of America's real beauties. 

I Have A Short Memory

I have a short memory which is why I forget
anniversaries and past Oscar shows.

First I completely forgot that on February 20, 2009 I started blogging for the first time and a couple of days after my initial blog I wrote the following about the Academy Awards show.

Monday, February 23, 2009

And the Oscar goes to...

... the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences! Wow, what a great show last night. And to think it took a tanking economy to have them get it right. I guess just spending tons of money doesn't necessary guarantee success. I loved the way former recipients honored each individual nominee, instead of just reading from a list. It was a class act. And who knew that Hugh Jackman was so talented, singing and dancing his way through hosting the show like a true professional. The dresses were beautiful and the acceptance speeches didn't drone on and on. Really a very enjoyable evening, I never changed channels once. Now back to real life. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Just earlier this morning I was grumbling a comment on another blog about how the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences never puts on a good show. Well I guess I know what I'll be having for breakfast this morning.  Apparently I really liked the show two years ago. The mind is a terrible thing to waste.

This past movie year I had only see three of the Best Picture Nominees. These days I rarely go to a movie theater, rather I wait until the DVD is available and watch it at home. I did however see Inception in the theater, liked it, but I don't think I left with the idea I had just see the Best Movie of the year. I did see on DVD The Kids Are All Right (which was all right) and Winter's Bone which I raved about at the time. It is a little independent movie that was shot here in Missouri and I was proud of the work done on it.

Back in November of 2010 The King's Speech group was on the Charlie Rose show and after hearing the discussion on the movie I had made up my mind the Colin Firth would get the Oscar and probably the movie would get the nod as well. I still haven't seen the movie yet but it is in my Netflix queue to be seen as soon as it's available.

I want to see Biutiful, foreign language with Javier Bardem. Foreign language films back here are almost impossible to find in a regular local theater and there really are a great number of good foreign films. Unless you speak the language of the film it can be a bit off-putting at first; to read or to watch? - that is the question. I have found that in many of the foreign language films they can actually be sparse on dialog making it quite easy to be caught totally up in the film. Sometimes for me so much so I forget the words at the bottom of the screen.

Let me just get it down in black and white my thoughts about last night's Oscar Show so I can retrace my steps when my memory turns to dust once again. It wasn't the best show, but I didn't turn the channel so I guess that is a plus. I just wish the show would put more emphasis on the 'craft' and less on the 'dress' - I  don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings but I really could care less "who you are wearing".

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Peace the Pause that Refreshes

Venerable Losan Samten in Reno/Tahoe area

Click above link for a short slide show of creating the Mandala

Baseball Fever - Spring Training Begins

Casey at the Bat

by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought if only Casey could but get a whack at that—
We’d put up even money now with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted some one on the stand;
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clinched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Flat Stanley Visits Wings of Hope

My special visitor, Flat Stanley, capped off his week's visit with a stop at Wings of Hope today. It was nice to have him come along and give me a hand today. Everyone enjoyed having him come to visit. He returns to California tomorrow and rejoins his friends at Mariners School. Thanks for coming to visit Flat Stanley, you were a great little guest.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Discovery Lift Off - The Final Mission

Discovery Lift Off - February 24, 2011

I still get goosebumps and a little watery-eyed when I watch a live NASA lift-off, it ranks second to hearing a good rendition of the National Anthem being played. Safe journey!

Yes, No - Maybe So...


Oh, and you can make it four and add Glenn Beck to the list as well.

They really have nothing of merit to say, yet they constantly open their months and get paid big bucks to do it to boot. Lately these three have decided (after reading memo to selves) that First Lady Michelle Obama is to be the "Target of The Month". Why? I dunno, because she is there I guess, certainly not because healthy eating and exercise is good for kids. Or because breastfeeding might have a positive effect on babies?

Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Michele Bachmann all open their fat mouths because they want attention and because people pay them lots of money. If I were King of The World, I would forbid Limbaugh to be on the air at all - if he wanted to say something he would have to carve it in stone in the caveman manner in which he behaves. I would ban Palin to the icy tundra to live out her days in an igloo - alone without Twitter or facebook. I'm not sure exactly what to do with Bachmann, maybe send her to Wonderland to pour tea for the Queen for the rest of her life.

OK, so now I have revealed my ugly side - my bad.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mideast + Oil Prices + U.S. Gasoline Comsumption


Today I bought gas, something I do about once a month - a little over eleven gallons - I paid a record (I think) high of $3.099 / gal. Now admittedly I don't drive much, but I do wonder about those that do drive a lot. I wonder how high the price of gasoline would have to go before Americans would alter their 'hop-in-the-car-for-everything' life-style. Would it be $12 a gallon or $25 a gallon? Who knows?

But I am pretty sure that we will never address alternative fuel sources or expanded mass transportation systems until the price reaches out-of-this-world proportions. We go to war for oil, die for oil, muck up our environment for oil and let oil determine our foreign policy. When will we realize the fact that it's a losing situation.

Every few decades we have a wake-up call but it never lasts long. It takes years to develop and implement new energy policies but we always work in crisis mode and then when the crisis is over plans are scuttled until the next crisis comes along.

Current unrest in the middle east has our stock market all a twitter as the price for crude oil rises. The oil business is BIG BUSINESS, it literally DRIVES everything we do and sadly I feel right now we are RUNNING ON EMPTY.

Breaking "GOOD" News

A True Gentleman 

I heard this story today and just had to report on it because it is a wonderful example of character and gratitude.
This is Nicholas Rallo, one of our 6th graders who has been at CDS since he was a toddler. I'm told that as he leaves classes every day, Nicholas says "thank you" to his teachers. It's a gesture that I can tell means a lot to the dedicated professionals at our school. Bravo Nicko! You are a class act.

~ ~ ~ 

We all think our own kids are pretty great, but when you read something like this about one of 'your own' it makes you so very proud. Good job, Nicko - don't ever change. The world needs more people like you in it.

On Looking Up

Pleiades Star Cluster - 
Credit & Copyright :Phillip L. Jones

On Looking Up by Chance at the Constellations

by Robert Frost

You'll wait a long, long time for anything much 
To happen in heaven beyond the floats of cloud 
And the Northern Lights that run like tingling nerves.
The sun and moon get crossed, but they never touch, 
Nor strike out fire from each other nor crash out loud.
The planets seem to interfere in their curves
But nothing ever happens, no harm is done. 
We may as well go patiently on with our life, 
And look elsewhere than to stars and moon and sun
For the shocks and changes we need to keep us sane. 
It is true the longest drought will end in rain, 
The longest peace in China will end in strife. 
Still it wouldn't reward the watcher to stay awake 
In hopes of seeing the calm of heaven break 
On his particular time and personal sight.
That calm seems certainly safe to last to-night.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Work In Progress

Sgt. John Guess

 A Soldier's Story ~

November 25, 1918

      A cold wind blew outside; you could hear it whistle through the cracks in the walls. She pulled the shawl tighter around her shoulders it was her only shield protecting her from the awful news. The fire crackled and spit in anger as she poked at it, seemingly mimicking her own raging emotions.

      In her lap lay the telegram that arrived earlier in the day from Adjutant General Harris. She had read the simple twenty-one words over and over and over again. With each reading she prayed the letters would rework themselves and form new words on the page. Words filled with hope that she would once again be able to feel the touch of her first-born child and son.

      But no matter how many times she reread the telegram, the words remained the same, “Deeply regret to inform you that it is officially reported that Sergt John Guess Jr infantry died of septicemia November seventh.”
      She closed her eyes and let the tears stream un-blotted down her face, remembering John’s last visit home less than a year ago. . .

~ to be continued...

Monday, February 21, 2011

For President's Day: Maya Angelou - On The Pulse of Morning

On The Pulse of Morning

Famous Speech by Maya Angelou
January 19, 1993 at the Inauguration of President Clinton

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Mark the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
Any broad alarm of their of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.
But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no hiding place down here.
You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.
Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.
The rock cries out to us today, you may stand up on me,
But do not hide your face.
Across the wall of the world,
A river sings a beautiful song,
It says come rest here by my side.
Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.
Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.
Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more.
Come clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I
And the tree and rock were one.
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow
And when you yet knew you still knew nothing.
The river sang and sings on.
There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing river and the wise rock.
So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew,
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek,
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the teacher.
They all hear the speaking of the tree.
They hear the first and last of every tree
Speaks to humankind Today come to me, here beside the river.
Plant yourself  beside the river.
Each of you, descendant of some passed on
Traveler, has been paid for.
You, who gave me my first name,
You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca,
You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me,
Then forced on bloody feet,
Left me to the employment of other seekers--
Desperate for gain, starving for gold.
You, the Turk, the Arab, the Swede, the German,the Eskimo, the Scot...
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru,
Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.
Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am that tree planted by the river,
Which will not be moved.
I, the rock, I the river, I the tree
I am yours--your passages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage,
Need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
This day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts.
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.
The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me,
The rock, the river, the tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.
Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes,
Into your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wind-powered car sets record

Two German inventors have created an electric vehicle that recharges the battery through a wind turbine carried in the car. To test the vehicle, the duo recently completed a 3,100-mile trek across Australia. 

Now if it only ran on "hot air" we could market this baby in Washington DC and all the State Legislatures across the nation. 


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tibet - A story that needs retelling

In the SHADOW of the BUDDHA
by Matteo Pistono

I am currently reading In the SHADOW of the BUDDHA and I highly recommend this book. The struggles of Tibet are not talked about enough nor the issues that  the Tibetans have been enduring at the hands of the government of China. This not a religious book but it does give insight into the Buddhist religion from a historic perspective. It is not a political book but it does explain the politics which have stripped a people of their basic human rights.

The XIII Dalai Lama, who is the spiritual and political ruler of Tibet, has been in exile in northern India since 1959. He took refuge there at the pleading of his people when his very life was endangered from the onslaught of the soldiers of the People's Liberation Army. Over these past years many monks have been arrested and imprisoned and yes, tortured. The human rights abuses that the Tibetan people endure are many.

Through all the years of struggle the Dalai Lama remains hopeful that his country will one day regain it's freedom from the Chinese government. This past week  the Dalai Lama spoke to a group of students at Mumbai University and  commented, “In China, it is the same one party system, the same totalitarian regime but compare it to 30 years ago, there has been a lot of change. These are signs of change, the world is changing.” He is a peaceful person who believes that violence is  never a constructive way to solve any problem.

I admire him for his beliefs and his peaceful perch. I struggle, not with the dream of peace, only with my own ability to fully be able to embrace body and soul this concept one hundred percent of the time. It angers me time and time again when our government, and in essence, 'we the people', continue to engage in profitable business relationships with countries that continue to support and commit human rights abuses on people.

The more that we as Americans educate ourselves about issues going on in the world, perhaps then we can enlighten our own leaders and help to create a better world for all.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Snooki versus Sarah


"We love you America!"

Sometimes I wonder about what really drives Americans. We have so much stuff and so many choices it's hard to imagine what would rile up Americans to a protest level. Probably a nation-wide power outage on Super Bowl night might be one cause-celebre.

Two television shows that I have never seen are "Jersey Shore" and "Sarah Palin's Alaska", E!News reports that the grand finale for Palin's Alaska garnered 2.5 million viewers (not a series high) while Snooki's adventures in Seaside Heights can claim 8.4 million viewers in the season three premiere. Wow! Actually both figures blow my mind when I think there are that many people driveling away their time with such nonsense.

Between the two women I would rather see Snooki run for President, from watching her on Letterman's show recently she seems to have a pretty good idea of how destructive her party behavior can be. To quote her, "I really shouldn't drink at 9:00 am, it not a good idea to drink in the morning." I am still waiting to hear Sarah make a comment on her own destructive behavior.

So as we wait while Sarah decides if she will be offering her name for service? WTF - again in her own words: Palin said. “I’m not saying it’s going to be me offering my name up in the name of service." Why can't this woman just speak normal? I swear I listen and her words just don't make sense to me.

TODAY - February 17, 2011

Topless Tulips

February 17 is the 48th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 317 days remaining until the end of the year. Which means roughly 310 shopping days until Xmas.

* Been busy working today so that's about all I have. But know I am thinking about all of you. I promise something more earth shattering than shopping days later.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Stan Musial Medal of Freedom Winner

Stan Musial - Stan The Man

Stan Musial, at age ninety, received the Medal of Freedom award from President Obama on Tuesday, February 15, 2011. The President called the recipients, "the best of who we are and we we aspire to be." Certainly in Musial's case he was the best in his world of baseball.

As a St. Louis Cardinal he was a three-time World Champion and he appeared in 24 All-Star Games. He retired with a .331 batting average and 475 home runs and 3,630 career hits. These major accomplishments occurred despite the time he took off to serve in the Navy during World War II.

The Medal of Freedom is the highest honor awarded to Civilians and is meant to recognize those that have made exceptional contributions to national security, world peace, or the culture as a whole. Only 257 American have ever received this honor.

Other outstanding individuals receiving this honor on Tuesday were: 
  • President George H.W. Bush
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel
  • Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.
  • John H. Adams, co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Poet Maya Angelou
  • Investor Warren Buffett
  • Artist Jasper Johns
  • Holocaust survivor and author Gerda Weissmann Klein
  • Dr. Tom Little, an optometrist and aid worker killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan
  • Cellist Yo-Yo Ma
  • Civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez
  • Baseball legend Stan Musial
  • Basketball legend Bill Russell
  • Jean Kennedy Smith, sister of President John F. Kennedy and founder of VSA, the International Organization on Arts and Disability
  • John J. Sweeney, former AFL-CIO president

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Harlem Children's Zone - Children First

Making a difference in Tomorrow.


Heard the news yesterday,
And today, mothers cried.
Our children by tens of thousands
Have died.
And for what?

What will stop this madness?
The eternal sadness
Of small little caskets
Filled with dreams never had.
Are we mad?

We need a small army of love.
And no thanks:
We don’t need any rifles,
No guns, and no tanks.
Just love, and help from above.

Our army will be small,
Diverse, and unique.
Little soldiers in braids,
And some with sneakered feet.
All marching for peace,
And an end to the war,
That has claimed little soldiers
As they open their doors
And romp in playgrounds.
Can we stand anymore?

We need a small army of Love.
Start today.
Sentries on guard,
Keeping danger away.
While our young go to school

And play on our streets,
A small army of us
Standing guard while they sleep.
Can it be done?

And the love of our army
Will always sustain us.
When others disdain us with laughs,
Our love keeps us fighting.
Yeah, we’re fighting fools.

So I know what’s been whispered
and what some said aloud.
“Those fools with their pipe dreams,
Their heads in the clouds.”

But when you love all the children,
There’s nothing to do,
But start a small army of Love,
Me and You.
                                                  By Geoffrey Canada

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tinker to Evers to Chance to Cigar Bands

These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double –
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
~ by New York newspaper columnist Franklin Pierce Adams
After Joe Tinker's playing days were over, he did some scouting and managing, and worked for the Orlando Gulls of the Florida State League. With cigar smoking in vogue and Florida being a hotbed of cigar making, Tinker's name was used to market stogies. This is a genuine 2 1/2" ong gold, red, and black cigar band which reads "Joe Tinker Mild Cigar, Extra Quality" it is in EX-MT condition. Locating one of these gems fully intact could be a trick, as most wound up in the trash when the cigar was lit!  Source:

Cigar Bands as Art
And as Jewerly

~    ~    ~

The Betrothed
by Rudyard Kipling

Open the old cigar-box, get me a Cuba stout,
For things are running crossways, and Maggie and I are out.

We quarrelled about Havanas -- we fought o'er a good cheroot,

And I knew she is exacting, and she says I am a brute.

Open the old cigar-box -- let me consider a space;

In the soft blue veil of the vapour musing on Maggie's face.

Maggie is pretty to look at -- Maggie's a loving lass,

But the prettiest cheeks must wrinkle, the truest of loves must pass.

There's peace in a Larranaga, there's calm in a
Henry Clay;
But the best cigar in an hour is finished and thrown away --

Thrown away for another as perfect and ripe and brown --

But I could not throw away Maggie for fear o' the talk o' the town!

Maggie, my wife at fifty -- grey and dour and old --

With never another Maggie to purchase for love or gold!

And the light of Days that have Been the dark of the Days that Are,

And Love's torch stinking and stale, like the butt of a dead cigar --

The butt of a dead cigar you are bound to keep in your pocket --

With never a new one to light tho' it's charred and black to the socket!

Open the old cigar-box -- let me consider a while.

Here is a mild Manila -- there is a wifely smile.

Which is the better portion -- bondage bought with a ring,

Or a harem of dusky beauties, fifty tied in a string?

Counsellors cunning and silent -- comforters true and tried,

And never a one of the fifty to sneer at a rival bride?

Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,

Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close,

This will the fifty give me, asking nought in return,

With only a Suttee's passion -- to do their duty and burn.

This will the fifty give me. When they are spent and dead,

Five times other fifties shall be my servants instead.

The furrows of far-off Java, the isles of the Spanish Main,

When they hear my harem is empty will send me my brides again.

I will take no heed to their raiment, nor food for their mouths withal,

So long as the gulls are nesting, so long as the showers fall.

I will scent 'em with best vanilla, with tea will I temper their hides,

And the Moor and the Mormon shall envy who read of the tale of my brides.

For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between

The wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick o' Teen.

And I have been servant of Love for barely a twelvemonth clear,

But I have been Priest of Cabanas a matter of seven year;

And the gloom of my bachelor days is flecked with the cheery light

Of stums that I burned to Friendship and Pleasure and Work and Fight.

And I turn my eyes to the future that Maggie and I must prove,

But the only light on the marshes is the Will-o'-the-Wisp of Love.

Will it see me safe through my journey or leave me bogged in the mire?

Since a puff of tobacco can cloud it, shall I follow the fitful fire?

Open the old cigar-box -- let me consider anew --

Old friends, and who is Maggie that I should abandon you?

A million surplus Maggies are willing to bear the yoke;

And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke.
Light me another
Cuba -- I hold to my first-sworn vows.
If Maggie will have no rival, I'll have no Maggie for Spouse!


A Valentine for Baseball Fans

Here is a link that should please baseball fans and Happy 85th Birthday to Joe Garagiola !!!!!  1975 All-Star Game

by michaelnaidus
Happy 85th Birthday to @ broadcaster Joe Garagiola! See pink sportsjacket in 1975 pregame:

Valentine's Day Approaches

art by milton glaser
I love Valentine's Day, I love the color red and hearts and chocolates and everything that is Valentine. For many years I would hold a small intimate dinner party on this special day. Planning for weeks ahead for the big little event. I would come up with a theme and go from there, making up special plate-side menus for the occasion. I would have a single rose on the plates for the ladies and a tiny box of chocolates for the men.

The table was set with my best china and silverware and a crisp white tablecloth. Always my centerpiece flowers would be red and white tulips, ordered well in advance so I would not be disappointed. I had candlelight and soft music, a delicious meal with a scrumptious dessert to top it off - usually something very chocolatey and made from scratch.

I think this love for Valentine's Day goes back to my school days and the fun of exchanging Valentine's with my classmates. It was a big event which started with the construction of the class Valentine Box that sat on the edge of the teacher's desk. We sometimes even made take home containers from shoe boxes and decorated them with red, white and pink construction paper to hold our own treasured greetings. It was fun getting a "mushy" greeting from someone who signed the card as "Guess Who" or "Your Secret Admirer" - free to express your love for someone and not having to reveal your identity.

I still send out Valentine cards on a random basis, not like a xmas card list of folks, I just like it to be a surprise and not a counted on card. If you get a card in your mail box signed "Your Secret Admirer" who knows it could be from me.

It was fun also to make these little cards with bits of colored paper and frilly doilies and little sticker hearts. I hope you find this Valentine's just for you in your blog 'mailbox' and know that a very secret admirer is thinking of you this Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Forgotten Day - Happy Birthday Abe!

February 12, 1809 - April 15, 1865

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." ~ Abraham Lincoln

Friday, February 11, 2011

In Memory

Some of the young Egyptians killed during the recent protests.
Remembering them for their bravery. Their commitment caused the winds to shift...

An Old Egypt and now a New Egypt

Cleopatra was Egypt’s last pharaoh, and pharaohs were believed by the people to be gods and goddesses. Cleopatra used this status to increase her power and control, promoting herself as Isis, the mother goddess of ancient Egypt

Mubarak Goes Off-Script?

Sometimes Things Are Not As They Appear

Yesterday I was watching the news unfold in Cairo on three different networks and I was hearing three different stories. Even the POTUS appeared to have received a different story than what was actually unfolding.

Like art, language is sometimes in the mouths of the interrupters. Mubarak is stepping down? Yes, no, he is turning over of SOME of the power to the Vice President. You are my children, the hope of Egypt, the future - you the young people, Mubarak seemed to be wording. But the Father did not hear his children and their cries, Go Papa, leave our house, we cannot take your cruelty and abuse any longer. Go!

I get a sense that the demonstrators, if they can maintain the protest at a peaceful level, will in the end have the upper hand and prevail. But as the days pass and time moves on, tempers will shorten and the level of frustration will rise. It is then when the situation can become explosive.

It sit with the world and watch, hoping peace will prevail followed by justice for all in Egypt. Today unfolds....