Friday, September 30, 2011


Friday night was my favorite night of the week when I was a kid.  Two days without school, spend the night with your best friend, go to the Saturday movies, and maybe, just maybe a date on Saturday night.  Friday night was also my fav night of the week when I worked.  Again two days without work, spend the night with my best friend who also happened to be my husband, sometimes went to the Saturday movies and always had a date on Saturday night.  Now with no school, no job and alone, Friday nights are about like any other night of the week except for what's on TV.  This doesn't make me sad, just makes me stop and realize how things change as your life changes.  I don't want to go back to school, except for fun things like photography and I certainly do not want to go back to work.  I have never lived alone.  I went from high school to college and straight to marriage. So now that I am alone for the first time in my life I am learning to adjust.  And to be honest to be able to eat when I want, go to bed when I want, come and go without worrying about being home at a certain time is not all bad.  If I had the choice, I would certainly want my husband to be with me, living the life we thought we would when we both retired, but because that did not happen I am now adjusting to a new way of life, living alone and it's OK. 

Today, after running some errands, I decided to drive to the Arboretum and check out the colors.  Last Tuesday night I went to bed, the next morning the trees had changed to their brilliant Fall colors. Maybe it was not quite that quick but it honestly seemed like it was over-night.  The calendar has not flipped over to October yet leaves are already dropping. 

Look at those leaves and berries.....sigh!!

Love the petals in these flowers.....

Lovely mums.....

And again, red berries.  I am in heaven.

I hope your Fridays are filled with great memories and everything that makes you happy!!

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful"  ~  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Until next time......

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thoughts on Rosh Hashanah and a few Pics

Since I wasn't successful yesterday at the Dr.'s office, I tried again today.  As I walked in the door, I was greeted by 2 of the office staff and the nurse.  If I hadn't been a patient there for too many years to reveal, I would never have guessed that the blue-jeaned lady with a mouthful of celery was the nurse.  The office was officially closed, eventho the door was open, due to Dr. Weinburg's Jewish faith.  She was not there and would not return until tomorrow because of the holy holiday,  Rosh Hashanah. Cindy, the nurse, was able to fill my prescriptions (yeeha!) and set me up for a physical in October. (ugh!).

Rosh Hashanah is celebrated from sundown yesterday until sundown this evening. In the Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashanah marks the completion of the creation of the world and is the beginning of the Jewish High Holy, followed 10 days later by Yom Kippur, the "day of atonement."  Rosh Hashanah is the "day of judgment," and it is believed that God opens the Book of Life on this day and begins to decide who shall live and who shall die. The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are viewed as an opportunity for Jews to repent and ensure a good fate.

I really am very unfamiliar with the Jewish traditions but reading about Rosh Hashanah being the day of judgement and that God opens his book and begins to determine who stays and who goes, and then gives the Jewish faithful an opportunity to save themselves sounds like something that would interest me.

As a Christian we are taught to be prepared at all times, but I gotta admit there are some days this kid just isn't ready and certainly not prepared.  My thoughts aren't always pure, haven't done a good deed in awhile, didn't attend church last Sunday, passed by the man on the corner collecting money for a good cause, keep falling asleep during my night-time prayers.  If my calling is coming, I am in big trouble.  Now if I knew that judgement day was upon me, all those wrongs would now be rights.  But that's not what our Christian faith is about, we should be doing those rights all along, not waiting until someone says, oops, better right those wrongs or you are not up for re-newal.  I have opportunities every day to do "rights" and I truly do try to not do the "wrongs", but sometimes I slip.  As a Christian I know that when I slip, there is forgiveness and an opportunity to try again. 

A common greeting on Rosh Hashanah is shana tovah u'metukah, Hebrew for "a good and sweet new year".   So to all those of the Jewish faith "shana tovah u'metukah" and may God bless you all.

It is raining again today, so my outdoor shooting was really limited.  Took this from the car window.

The softness of these colors make me swoon....

Loved the texture on top of this already textured leaf, texture courtesy of Kim Klassen. 

Hope your Thursday was like a truffle among the toadstools.....

"Don't run through life so fast that you forget where you've been and lose where you're going.  Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored every step of the way."  ~  Kobi Yamada

Until next time........

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reflections and an Award

Today after Bible Study I drove to my Dr's office to make an appointment and to ask for refills for the myriad of pills that I take to try and combat ailments like high blood pressure and cholesterol, but beings as it's Wednesday the office was closed. I knew the Dr. would not be there, but at least I thought the staff would be around doing staff things. Should have called but it really was not out of my way. Rambling back to my car at the far end of the parking lot I noticed a man walking and remembered that there is a small pathway that winds along the river kinda out of the way, not hidden, but rather unnoticeable. With camera in hand (never leave home without my camera) I stolled along the pathway for a short while. There are indications that Fall is coming in far too swiftly. Still September but already the leaves are turning and some trees have completely taken on their Fall attire.

Driving home I thought of my Mother who passed away almost a year ago and how much she loved the Fall colors.  A wave of sadness came over me and tears streamed down my cheeks, you just never get over missing your Mom.  I was blessed that she lived to be 91, most of it healthy, and she spent the last 2 1/2 years of her life living with us.  Oh the stories she told....I do miss her lots and lots and lots.

But to ease that sadness I received a nice surprise when I logged on this morning to check e-mails and to see if anyone had left some blog lovin' comments.  Nancy over at "A Rural Journal" nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award......after I picked myself up off of the floor, re-read it just to make sure I wasn't dreaming, did a little happy dance, and then remembered my manners and thanked Nancy profusely.  Have you read her blog, she is phenomenal....and I'm not just sayin' that because she nominated me either. 

I think there are a couple of rules that go with this award...1) I have to list 7 things about myself and 2) I have the honor of nominating others for this award. 

  1. I grew up in Dallas, TX and was at the parade for President Kennedy when he was shot and killed.  I almost threw a punch when someone referred to Dallas as "the place where they kill presidents."  It amazes me sometimes at the stupidity of people.
  2. Our first child was born in an Army hospital and our entire bill was $5.27 which was for my meals.  If I had fasted I guess our bill would have been $0. 
  3. I am a real weinie when it comes to alcohol.  I drink a screwtop wine with half wine and half Sprite.  I may have a margarita if it is really sweet and really icy. 
  4. I never watch TV during the day, night is a different story.  I am a TV junkie at night. 
  5. I took sleeping pills for 5 years, I have terrible insomnia, until I discovered I was sleepwalking into the kitchen each night and eating whatever I could get my hands on.  After gaining a good 10 lbs I decided it was time to stop.  Have been sleeping-pill free for a year, still have the 10 lbs. 
  6. I love cheese pop-corn, if I open a bag, it is gone without sharing a lick. 
  7. I still have a cleaning-lady that comes every two weeks.  I live alone, I am retired, I have plenty of free time, I just don't like to clean.  And I love when the WHOLE house is clean.  If I clean, I might, I repeat might, get one floor clean in a whole day's time.  I know my weaknesses. 
Now it is my pleasure to invite others to the "Versatile Blogger Award"....I think you are supposed to invite 15, but honestly since I am such a new blogger, I am not that familiar with a ton of bloggers, but I will do my best.  These are in no particular order....
I know there are tons and tons and tons of great bloggers out there, but as I stated earlier, I am rather new to this world of blogging, so I am in the early discovery period.  These are blogs I am familiar with and they consistently have great photos, great ideas, good food on occasion, great stories, and many of them make me laugh which is a bonus. 

Participation in this award post is purely voluntary, but I think it's a great way to learn more about, and become better connected with, our blog friends and acquaintances. (PS I copied this right off of Nancy's blog, but she stated this so well that I plagerized this word for word) 

Thank you again, Nancy for the nomination, it made my day!!

"Live to shed joys on others"  ~  Henry Ward Beecher

Until next time.......

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Geranium Love

Normally by this time of the year I have pulled out whatever has been growing in the pots on the front porch to replace them with mums, pumpkins, those beautiful grasses just perfect for fall pots, and orange pansies.  This year I just can't do it.  I can't bear to pull my geraniums out when they are still blooming.  This year I bought 2 big, lush red geraniums to plant in the white pots that always adorn the front porch.  They were in bloom when I bought them, then they went dormant, then blooms again, then dormant.  A pattern that continued thruout the summer and now they are blooming again, so I just cannot pull them out.  I will let them continue to bloom knowing that with October oh so near, their time is short, leaving me with that first hard frost  So bloom on you beautiful geraniums, I love you so.

Now you understand why I can't pull out these beauties.  I even made the last one into a birthday card for a good friend.  We are celebrating her birthday with fine dining tonight at one of my fav Italian restuarants, maybe some food shots tomorrow.

"Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died. "  ~  Erma Bombeck

Until next time......

One for Two

Rain, rain, and more rain....great for the gardens, grass, trees & bushes, but not so great for a photography jaunt.  So I grabbed a photo from a couple of weeks ago when I took that stroll thru my fav garden center to share with Lisa at The Creative Exchange and Kim's Texture Tuesday.  Kim's theme this week is Love.  Well, I "love" the colors of fall and I used her "Love" texture so I am pretty sure that counts for fulfilling the requirements.  I could also add that I "love" that flower and I "love" that color, but then that might be a bit over-board on the "love" theme.

Here's hoping you all have a "love"ly day!!

"I have found that if you love life, life will love you right back."   ~  Arthur Rubenstein

Until next time......

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Heart Faces

This week's challenge at I Heart Faces is "People's Choice".  I don't take a lot of "people" shots but I do love capturing the sweetness of children's faces.  This sweetie was playing between the trees at a recent outdoor band concert.  (PS Her Mom gave me permission to snap a few)  When 16 rolls around, her Mom & Dad are going to have to bar the door to keep the boys away. 

Until next time......

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Evening

Sometimes I can't decide if Sunday is the end of the week, or the beginning.  Either way, it's now Sunday evening and another week is in the record books, marked off the calendar, done, over, kaput.  And I stop and ponder...."what the heck did I accomplish this week?"  I didn't get the oil changed in the car eventho that cute little icon on the dashboard is telling me to go straight to the dealer for an oil change.  I didn't make my annual Dr.'s appointment for my yearly poking and prodding, and obviously I didn't do any yard work from the sad state of the gardens.  It's a slight downer at the end of the week to think back and not come up with one good accomplishment for a whole week.  But thinking back, the one thing I did do quite well was have fun.  I went to Bunco on Monday (see former post on the yummy food and drink I totally enjoyed), had dinner (more food) with friends on Tuesday, attended Bible Study (wonderful coffee cakes & fruit served prior to the start) on Wednesday and visited with bunches of friends there, met with my Cursillo group (no food) on Thursday, and had Friday Foto Fun on Friday(and yes, there was lunch).  So, not only did I share a bonanza week with friends, I also enjoyed palatal bliss over and over again.  Even my time alone this weekend was idyllic.  So maybe I didn't accomplish anything physical, like weeding the garden or getting the oil changed, but emotionally I am full of complete satisfaction.

Hope your week has been full of all things good, something accomplished and something enjoyed!! 

Until next time......

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - The September 25th Edition

Sing hallelujah I am prepared for this Sunday's Savenger Hunt.  Prepared, I should define that word, meaning that I have a picture for each of the prompts.  Doesn't necessarily mean it's the best picture, or even that it's the correct interpretation of the prompt.  But, heh, this is a right friendly group so I figure I am as prepared as I'm gonna be.  Here we go......

My interpretation of "low key"....a feather resting on the stump of tree.....

"Color Wheel - Monochromatic" skies, blue walls, blue building, almost painted the light fixture blue.

The "circles" of blue Morning Glories is pure bliss as their vines twine and grab on to gates and fences. 

Toby "scarfs' down his food especially when I add a little bit of canned dog food to his dry morsels.  Is this a stretch??

And finally, the tele"phone" poles that brought us a voice from a distance for many years before cell phone towers became the new telephone poles. 

Well my fine blogging buddies, this is my contribution to Scavenger Hunt Sunday.  Thanks again, Ashley for hosting this each week.  Stop by her blog and give a little Sunday love.

Until next time......

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday Foto Fun - The Blue Skies Edition

Another Friday, another day with Catherine and our cameras.  All week the weathermen predicted rain for Friday, Saturday & Sunday.  And the last minute, it was a very slight chance of rain on plans whirled in our little photography minds, what to do??  We attempted Starved Rock in the springtime but stopped so many times to take one photo-op after another we simply ran out of time and never made it.  The decision made to try again, we started early.  Well, early in our world, maybe not in yours.  I picked Catherine up at 8:30 AM and off we went, but first a stop at McDonald's for a cup of coffee since I left mine sitting on the kitchen counter.  I do that so many times, fix and leave behind, I get so annoyed with myself.  McDonald's now ask if you want cream & sugar, and it comes to you exactly how you requested.....wrong, no sweet 'n low even tho I specifically requested it.  Me and the voice from the speaker were having little language issues, I couldn't understand her, and perhaps she could not understand me.  Soooo, another stop at another McDonald's, thank goodness there is a McDonald's every few blocks. I get cranky when I don't have enough coffee with cream & sweet 'n low in the morning, just ask Catherine.   Now, off we go to Starved Rock, 45 miles of back road driving with expectations of new discoveries.  Starved Rock is a state park located on the Illinois River and near Utica, IL. southwest of the Chicago area and eventho I have lived in this area for over 30 years, I have never been. 

Driving along at a pretty good clip we spotted these large birds flying fairly close and circling above.  Rounding a curve we spotted the attraction, a dead animal obviously hit by a passing car.  Upon closer observation we decided these were Condor's.  Scavengers of road kill, and fairly ugly birds, their heads being red and unattractive.  They were skittish so my shots were taken from inside the car behind the windshield, not very good ones, but OK.  I DID NOT take a picture of the road kill which was probably the best angle.

We arrived at Starved Rock and began the walk to the top, finding treasures along the way.  I don't know if we were stopping to find the treasures or stopping to catch our breath.  It was a fairly steep climb, so having a camera we didn't look like were struggling, merely hesitating to take a photo.  Think we fooled anyone??

There were so many cobwebs and with the sun shining thru the thick canopy of trees it just illuminated their delicate webs.

Many of the trees were changing from their lovely summer greens to brilliant bright yellows.  

I love berries and these yellow ones stole my heart.....

Love these pinks and greens.....

After walking to the top of Starved Rock and winding our way around to the other side to take the "after" image we decided to drive around in hopes of spotting some camera worthy images.

We drove into the small town of Utica and couldn't help but notice the church steeple rising above the village.  The sky, along with the clouds provided the perfect back-drop for this beautiful church.  St. Mary's Catholic Church had been established in 1858, but after a fire destroyed the original wooden church it was re-built in 1888.  This area dates back to the 1600's when Fr. Marquette celebrated mass with the local Indians.  The inside of this church was as lovely as the outside, I couldn't help but notice the red from the stained glass windows casting a shadow over the heart of Jesus. 

Back in the car, back on the road we stopped at almost every barn along the way.  The hues of Fall are stand-up-and-applaud awesome. 

Can you believe this sky??? 

Even the weeds look good in the countryside......


Little birds have found their home....

The morning glories are still lending their beauty to this rusty fence.

After a trip to what seemed like happy valley where all your troubles seem to vaporize, we ended our day with a vow to return in the winter, when the snow changes everything to a white filled wonderland. 

"Good old days start with good new days like today."  ~  Denise Settle

Until next time.......