Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!"

Bliadhna mhath ur!

Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit. Sláinte chugat!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


"Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him."
~Aldous Leonard Huxley, Texts and Pretexts, 1932

(photo from High Sierra Pack Station...more pics to follow)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Quote of the Day....

“I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.”
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dangerous Drug Dealer? NO! Merely a Trafficker in Tomatoes!!

....and people thought Victory Farming during the Blitz was Difficult....

Georgia Bureaucrats fining backyard farmer $5000:

Drop those Veggies, yer under arrest....

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Math, the emergency subject....(maths and 999 for ya'll across the pond)

....Ah, yes, the start of the school season is upon me.....

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. ~Henry David Thoreau, 1854

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lazy Summer Sunday

Busy summer, and using ancient laptop owing to Mac crash (yes, they do get viruses :/)
Hope my blog pals are well and having a wonderful summer!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Explosives and trucks, July 4th

.....explosives and trucks, what every boy needs....
1. Design streamline Lego car for ultimate performance
2. Carefully attach Piccolo Petes, aka miniature rockets, for maximum thrust to weight ratio
3. Winning trophy for July 4th toycar derby: Priceless!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Whooooo Arrrrrre Youuuuuu?!"

For those of you who follow rugby, or specifically Scottish rugby, most of you have heard that Thom Evans will not be returning to play rugby due to the neck injury he received in this year's 6 Nations match against...Wales. (and, Thom, if you happen to read this I do wish you the best for a new niche in a life redefined!). There, no doubt, have been many athletes who have had to permanently withdraw from competition owing to injury; and, certainly there are other examples of people who have had to make changes in their activities and lives owing to health concerns or injuries sustained. I am one of those, actually, as I don't think I'll be undertaking any difficult rock climbs nor undertaking strenuous mountain trekking any time soon, if at all.
Being athletic and outdoorsy has always been one of my
self-descriptions. Even after having three children, I've always
striven to be in shape to some degree, save for those few years working
the night shift where all I wanted to do was sleep! Between a neck
surgery that left me with a narrowed airway, and a collision with a
drunk driver that's left me with nagging back, neck and ankle issues,
I've had to take a good hard look on how I defined what and who I am.

With the loss of my ability to strive to be in top physical form for
the next adventure, I lost a part of me. Yet, should my identity in
who I am, be defined by what I do? This question has been tugging in
the recesses of my thoughts whenever I get a moment to pause and
reflect. My answer is no, I don't think that what I do defines
completely who I feel that I am. So, then I must ask myself, "who am
I?" What defines who I am as a person?
Perhaps all of this would have been easier were I to have started out
life with defining who I was not with what I did or by the labels , both positive and negative, that I allowed others to apply to my belief in who I was. This is pretty strong stuff when you realize that your belief about
yourself affects the potential that you have within yourself (1).

Most of us are so busy with our lives and the daily grind, we sometimes forget that which defines us. We easily take on labels that society puts on us, but does this reveal what are dreams are, our character, or what we have a passion or talent for? Somehow I do not feel alone in this, if there are people out there who are willing to be honest with themselves. So, I ask those brave enough to answer, even if only to your reflection in the mirror, "What defines who you are?" Yet, before you answer this question with the descriptions of what you do for a living, your hobbies, your station in life, your degrees or achievements, that's not who you are. These are things that define you, yes. They are what you do or what you were born to, and a reflection of part of who you are. However, they do not say 'who' you feel that you believe you are. Therefore, can you define 'who' you are without saying anything about what you do, what you've done, or any other outside labels?

Would love to hear your thoughts....

(1) The Pacific Institute, Imagine 21

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thought for the Day

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength."
-Corrie Ten Boom

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Can you come out to play?!

The are pics from last October in the city park when we were visiting friends in Bend, Oregon. The park is absolutely lovely, and quite peaceful. Now, this really has absolutely nothing to do with what I was going to post on today, other than the slightest connection of vague memories of my great-grandmother taking me to the local park near Chester, Pennsylvania. Or, another odd account of taking my then 80-something grandfather shopping to the antique store and his comments of seeing things in there that he or his mother had used....and my, he must be old! (he was quite witty, and my writing does not do his comment justice)

What I'm trying to get out in my pre-coffee haze, is that we're never too old; and, with all of the 'drama, angst, and ennui' that adult life can bring, when we might come to realize that 'life' has not become what we seemed/dreamed it would be, or we planned for this, but that turned out....etc, etc, (and this does not apply to everyone, nor in entirety....just a wonderful blanket statement, that you can take from as you wish...), finally getting to the point....please watch this simple video of people who I don't even know, but I absolutely love the message: You're never too old to try new things, explore, create! Bring that child out to play, today!
....even a 99year old can do it!!!
(I think she won the Limerick challenge for this year..... :D)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No Midges, just Mojave Greens....

This is a Mojave Green rattlesnake. A very nasty critter. They will actually chase you! And, they travel in ya best run in the 'right' direction....

Warmer but still windy

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"And that's how the fight started"...... (seen 'em before, perhaps, but funny all the same)

One year, a husband decided to buy his mother-in-law a cemetery plot as a Christmas gift...

The next year, he didn't buy her a gift.

When she asked him why, he replied,

"Well, you still haven't used the gift I bought you last year!"

And that's how the fight started...

My wife and I are watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were in bed.

I turned to her and said, 'Do you want to have Sex?'

'No,' she answered.

I then said, 'Is that your final answer?'

She didn't even look at me this time, simply saying 'Yes.'

So I said,

'Then I'd like to phone a friend.'

And that's when the fight started...


I took my wife to a restaurant.

The waiter, for some reason, took my order first.

'I'll have the strip steak, medium rare, please.'

He said, 'Aren't you worried about the mad cow?'

'Nah, she can order for herself.'

And that's when the fight started...


My wife sat down on the couch next to me as I was flipping the channels.

She asked, 'What's on TV?

I said, 'Dust.'

And then the fight started...


My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary..

She said, 'I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 200 in about 3 seconds.'

I bought her a scale.

And then the fight started...


My wife and I were sitting at a table at her high school reunion, and she kept staring at a drunken man swigging his drink as he sat alone at a nearby table.

I asked her, 'Do you know him?'

'Yes,' she sighed, 'He's my old boyfriend... I understand he took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear he hasn't been sober since.'

'My God!' I said, 'Who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?'

And then the fight started...


I rear-ended a car this morning... So, there we were alongside the road and slowly the other driver got out of his car.
You know how sometimes you just get soooo stressed and little things just seem funny?

Yeah, well I couldn't believe it... he was a DWARF!!!

He stormed over to my car, looked up at me, and shouted, 'I AM NOT HAPPY!'

So, I looked down at him and said, 'Well, then which one are you?'

And then the fight started....



When our lawn mower broke and wouldn't run, my wife kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed.

But, somehow I always had something else to take care of first, the truck, the car, playing golf. Always something more important to me.

Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point.

When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors. I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house. I was gone only a minute, and when
I came out again I handed her a toothbrush.

I said, 'When you finish cutting the grass, you might as well sweep the driveway.'

The doctors say I will walk again, but I will always have a limp.

Of the People?, by the People? and we're going to ram it down your throat and make you pay for the pleasure

(photo credit)

WARNING: the following is a Rant.

Received this in an email...and thought I'd share; especially as there seems a minute correlation with Bock's post. I'm glad for the address of health care, though I do not like this government's ramming more bureaucracy down our throats. There's enough fraud in the government's existing programe as it is. The poor, and the welfare sloths have free medical, the rich have medical, there are some working people who have medical through their employers. Those who fall through these cracks need the help, so redress this issue, as well as regulate Insurance companies so they don't make a profit on our pain, suffering and death due to lack of service or denial. However, as evidenced by many of the socialized medical programs and the amount they are taxed in comparison with the service they receive...not to mention the nice government medical perks that the average joe doesn't get....sorry, I don't want government seeing to my health. I can do that myself, thank you very much....just regulate for profiteers; and, clear the way for affordable health insurance that crosses State lines, with no denial for pre-existing conditions, and is not tied to an employer. However, warning, this might leave a People more self-responsible and independent of government control.

So, with this new Health Care Bill, it does seem that 'of the People, by the People and for the People" is fine as long as the Government says okay and the special interest groups are served. As far as I'm concerned less government, and localized government is the best. Unfortunately, too many people don't know their history and are willing to trade "security" (however false) for their "freedoms."

"People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both"
-Benjamin Franklin

New Political Party.

Not Democrat, Not Republican, Not Independent.

It's called the "PISSED OFF PARTY" (or POP).

This party is dedicated to vote every incumbent out of office in the next elections.

If you're Democrat, vote Democrat. Just don't vote for the incumbent.

If you're Republican, vote Republican.. Just don't vote for the incumbent.

We need to send a message to all politicians, that we're tired of their B.S.

If the country votes out all the incumbents, the new incoming politicians will get the message..

It's pretty simple. Nobody needs to change parties and lets face it, there's plenty of blame to spread around.

A few good politicians will lose their job but they probably have better retirement and insurance then 95% of the American public.

You've had to struggle for the last 5 years. Some of you have lost your job and may be working in some other sector just to feed your family.

I guarantee you, none of them will suffer like this country has.

If you like what’s going on and think this is a bad idea, delete this.

But if you're fed up and think this is a good idea, then pass this E-mail on.

If you really think this has legs then a website and a blog could help get the word out.

Read this part:

This should be read and understood by all Americans

Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!!

Just a few facts of what the re-election of incumbents has given America:

a.. The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.
b.. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
c.. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.
d.. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more because they are still poor.
e.. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.
f.. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.
g.. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

Folks, keep this circulating. It is very well stated. Maybe it will end up in the e-mails of some of our "duly elected' and their staff (they never read anything) will clue them in on how Americans feel.

Environmental Notice: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy St. Paddy's Day!!

Go raibh tú daibhir i mí-áidh
Agus saibhir i mbeannachtaí
Go mall ag déanamh namhaid,
go luath a déanamh carad,
Ach saibhir nó daibhir,
go mall nó go luath,
Nach raibh ach áthas agat
Ón lá seo amach.

"May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
Slow to make enemies,
quick to make friends,
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward."

Sláinte agus táint!

"Health and wealth!"

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Film Class 101: a western chase theme

The eldest teen is taking a film class this semester. One of the assignments was to film a "chase". She wanted to utilize our equine friends of which I vetoed an all out "get the bad guy while galloping full throttle" scenario, so she was able to make use of trotting and walking and various camera angles. Much easier for the stunt rider aka moi. :)

We involved the whole family, and I had lots of fun getting into costume and character. Though I played both riders, I was essentially the "bad guy" being chased by the bounty hunter. The horses were a bit of a handful at times not understanding what the silly humans were doing. All in all a good learning experience and a fun memory.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

ps. you gotta be you...

Saturday Music

While I like Peggy Lee's version, you can't beat the voice of Eva, and that fiddle...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You're only as old as you feel...

"An elderly couple walked into the lobby of the Mayo Clinic for a checkup and spotted a piano. They've been married for 62 years and he'll be 90 this year.

Check out this impromptu performance. We are only as old as we feel, it's all attitude. Enjoy! They certainly do"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Like water...

(waterfall near Bend, Oregon)

"Like water, be gentle and strong. Be gentle enough to follow the natural paths of the earth, and strong enough to rise up and reshape the world."
— Brenda Peterson

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Kiss to build a Dream On....

I love this song, because it reminds me of how important we can be in the lives of others, by encouraging them to believe in themselves and in their dreams.
...beyond the 'romantic' of Valentine's Day, to the true love of friendship.
Who's dream are you helping to build? :)

Happy Valentine's Day, all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What makes you come alive?

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
- Howard Thur

We're often so busy with the "have - to" and other responsibilities that adult life brings, that we forget sometimes to take a moment to remind ourselves of the why. Then there's all the added on things that people try to put on us with the "shoulds" and the "oughts", and a touch of guilt thrown in for good measure....
I wonder, how do you balance the getting back to who we are and what we love and shed the have tos, shoulds and oughts, not to mention the guilt, yet staying "responsible" with our commitments?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mother Superior's Words of Wisdom

The 98 year old Mother Superior from Ireland was dying. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her last journey comfortable.

They gave her some warm milk to drink but she refused. Then one of the nuns took the glass back to the kitchen. Remembering a bottle of Irish whiskey received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened and poured a generous amount into the warm milk.

Back at Mother Superior's bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother drank a little, then a little more and before they knew it, she had drunk the whole glass down to the last drop.

"Mother," the nuns asked with earnest, "please give us some wisdom before you die."

She raised herself up in bed and with a pious look on her face said, "Don't sell that cow."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Posting Pantry Barely There

Apologies for lack of in depth postings....Once I find myself at the keyboard done with the day, and the studies, it's hard to find the words, let alone read anyone else's in depth posts, then formulate a half decent response...but Please, Do go on without me.... ;D

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thought for the Day

And, as frustrating as the interruptions can be....I do love and appreciate this moment in time, when they're still nesting at home with me... :D

Friday, January 15, 2010

sunrise on the way to work

Had to take some pics on the way to work. One of the good things about living in the high desert is the sky. Lucky for me, I had the handy camara-phone.... :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Virtual Visit Challenge

Lucy has challenged us to undertake a photo tour of where We blog the most. Now, usually you would find me at my desk; however, since our other computer crashed, the teen and the tween now must share my desktop to do their school. This is in a tiny office with stacks of books and papers...just picture the absent minded professor look. :) Therefore, I now am sitting in my second choice area, our den (note TalkingBear's 'Don't Wake the Bear Sign :D)
....and, the more I sit in here, the better I think it is. The sofa is much more comfortable, and when I'm stuck on what to write next, I can always check to see if the rugby is on. :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pangur Ban, a doodle in the margin

Pangur Ban

I and Pangur Ban my cat,
Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men
Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill will,
He too plies his simple skill.

Tis a merry thing to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur's way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

'Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
'Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our tasks we ply,
Pangur Ban, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.

I came across this fun poem in the third book of Nancy Farmer's trilogy, The Sea of Trolls. Her footnote reads: "Written by an unknown eighth-century Irish monk in the margins of a manuscript, when he was supposed to be copying the Bible. Translated by Robin Flower in the Irish Tradition, Oxford University Press, London, 1947." I had to laugh at that. How human nature really has not changed much over the centuries. How many times have you been carried away on a whimsy of creation when you should have Been Working!! And, how many times has this whimsy led to some fun creative writing, a new concept discovered, a problem solved? Even Thomas Edison used naps for his problem solving! Hmmm, is there such a thing as creative avoidance...such as writing this post instead of starting my college paper?! Is it time for a nap??!! :D

What is your latest, creative, doodle in the margin? Will I catch you snoozing?

Photo credit

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thought for the Day: Grace

With the start of the New Year, I didn't really make any resolutions. If anything, I've just been moved to be thankful; and, think of the grace that has been given me: By God, by family and friends over the years. Perhaps that's a lesson in of itself, or the best resolution to be made, to be more 'grace' giving. Someone once said to me: 'Grace is getting what we don't deserve, Mercy is not getting what we deserve'.

“God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that can be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other”
-Reinhold Niebuhr (American theologian, 1892-1971)

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone be found boasting. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
-Ephesians 2:8-10

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
-John Newton

What are you thankful for today?